It might seem like a good time to put up the pressure and water canners but indeed this is actually a wonderful time to catch up on winter canning. We’ll be picking up meat from our friends after harvest in a few weeks and the freezer needs to get cleaned out. I save the green parts of leeks, the outer layers of onion, carrot ends, kale ends, heading to the edge veggies and store them in large freezer bags. When it is time to make broth I stick them all in a large pot. In this batch I did all the mushrooms I had in the freezer waiting for fried mushrooms that never came about. Onion, and garlic cloves joined the bunch of veggies and large sprigs of rosemary were added. 3 hours on low and the simmering broth smelled delightful. Rosemary and mushroom broth will make a delicious broth in rich dishes. The next batch I will be doing will be made with a chicken carcass and all the corn cobs saved in the freezer from summer.
The broth is strained and poured into hot quart jars. The rims wiped down, hot lids replaced, and the jars put into a pressure canner with three inches of water on the bottom. 10 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes for normal folks; we high altitude homesteaders just keep all the weights on at all times. The 25 minutes starts when the top starts ticking. Turn off the heat when the timer goes off. Do not open for a few more hours at least. It is always nice to have broth at the ready and to know what is in it.
I also took the opportunity to re-can the peach jelly..ahem, syrup. If you have been reading my blog for a long time you know that I never get it right the first time! I have had amazing high altitude homesteading jelly makers give me every tip in the book. I suppose my problem is not following directions, ever. It generally works the second time…one more box of pectin, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 more cup of sugar, let it boil for longer than it says…we’ll see if I am giving peach jelly or peach syrup this season! It takes a few weeks to know if I succeeded.
It is always nice to bake bread while canning since you are stuck near the stove anyways. The warmth of the kitchen heals chaos and settles the spirit. The root cellar in the house we are buying has large shelving that I look forward to filling.