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  1. #31
    Zanna's Avatar
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    I never did try out the pressure cooker. I've read Nom Nom Paleo's site before; she does use the pressure cooker a lot. When I run out of this batch of bone broth, I'll give it a try.

    How do you like canning? I only did tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes last year but will try to make more jam this year - strawberries should be in! My favorite was a blueberry ginger; I ended up giving most of that away.

  2. #32
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    It's time intensive, that's for sure. Getting all that water to boil in my big canning pot was a pain! I used my dishwasher to sterilize the jars & rings and the applesauce kept for a while (my grandma didn't eat it for a few months and it was fine), so I think that was okay. I would have had to prep yet another pot of water to sterilize them and keep them warm before filling & processing and I don't have enough pots/stove-top space!

    Tomato sauce sounds fun. I might look into that if my parents get a good haul of tomatoes this year. I don't think I'll do that much, it's a lot of work, but some jars for gifts around the holidays would be nice.
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  3. #33
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    Just a quick note on newer pressure cookers. I was using my (almost brand new *sob*) pressure cooker a couple of weeks ago, and I fell asleep. I woke up to a smoke filled apartment. No explosion, even though the pressure cooker was ruined. The little yellow thingy that shows you when the pressure is up has mysteriously vanished. (Maybe its with the jalapeno pepper that also vanished a few weeks ago.)
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    Just a quick note on newer pressure cookers. I was using my (almost brand new *sob*) pressure cooker a couple of weeks ago, and I fell asleep. I woke up to a smoke filled apartment. No explosion, even though the pressure cooker was ruined. The little yellow thingy that shows you when the pressure is up has mysteriously vanished. (Maybe its with the jalapeno pepper that also vanished a few weeks ago.)
    Eee, congratulations on not burning anything down! Yikes. Something tells me the pressure cooker is going to stay right where it is, ha. Unused and not setting things on fire, like my face or my house. The water bath canning is fine, cause it needs to be watched pretty intensely. Jams only cook for about 5 minutes, quarts of tomato sauce for 45 minutes, but I usually have a bunch of cleanup or prep-work for the next batch to do while it cooks.

    NW, I feel you on waiting for that huge pot to come to a boil. That takes about 45 minutes for me. I have a puny stove and it takes forever. My first go-around with the tomato sauce was just nuts. My kids clear the decks and leave me alone when it's sauce making day, lol. I'd buy half-bushels at the local farm, then de-stem and score all the tomatoes. Then have two pots going to blanch them, with bowls of ice water to plunge tomatoes into after blanching, then MORE bowls to hold the skins as I slip them off the cooled tomatoes. Then on to the de-seeding and finally to cooking the sauce. At last, I can prep the jars and actually get to the canning part. So much freaking work, but I did have 40 quarts of sauce on the shelves for the winter.

    Last year, I couldn't make myself do it again, so researched for better ways. OMG, it is so much easier than I thought. Getting paste tomatoes (Roma, San Marzano) is key. Other tomatoes have too high of a water content and you either spend a bunch of time cooking down sauce for not much yield or you can batches of watery sauce. I did both that first year.

    Now, I halve or quarter Roma tomatoes, put them in a single layer on cookie sheets or roasting pans with some garlic and onions and roast at 425 degrees for an hour. Then just start piling them into my new OXO food mill and work at it until the skins and seeds are separated. No waste and the resulting sauce is nice and thick to start with so doesn't require much cooking time and the yield is greater. Cut my prep time by more than half, easily and used far less pans. The sauce tastes better too from the roasting. Still a pain in the butt, but I really liking having rows of sauce on my shelves. Cheap too, even though I don't grow my own tomatoes. They charge ~$3/lb for tomatoes at the farmer's market and at the store. I can get a half bushel (20 lbs) from the farm for $10-15.

    The easiest way to can tomatoes if you don't have Romas available is to get the juicy kind, blanch them, crush them in your hands then fill jars for canning. Super easy and really handy in the winter. A lot of my beefy stew recipes call for crushed tomatoes so I use everything I can.
    Last edited by Zanna; 06-07-2013 at 06:19 AM.

  5. #35
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    Update on dreams . . . Maybe YogaBare's distress on the GoT thread was in the brain cause last night was all about weddings, cavernous feasting halls and the panicky desire to flee before shit starts going down.

    There was a gigantic wedding that I had traveled to. I checked into my hotel room and got dressed in some silky finery and went down to the reception. There was food and feasting before the wedding for some reason. Something happens and all of a sudden I have this knowledge that I'm getting married too, right after the ceremony for the main event. In my dream, I know I'm already married but maybe I left him or something. Still married but not with him. That has not deterred my fiancÚ from his plans to marry me this night. It's like a pre-arranged marriage or something, cause I don't know him. I start to get more and more uncomfortable, which leads to a panicky flight response.

    Suddenly, I am not in the feasting hall anymore, but in the hotel corridor. In a bit of true weirdness, a real-life friend of mine pops up. He is in his own hotel room but not for the wedding. I pound on his door and tell him that I want to leave and get some dinner. Like, right now. He's pretty chill about things and says he just needs to get ready. I bring him into the hall and point down at the festivities and tell him I have to leave now and quietly cause I'm supposed to get married and I don't want to. He just says "sure, absolutely. I'll help you get out." Which is exactly what he would do in real life, ha. We end up not leaving quietly, instead racing through the feasting hall with people giving chase. Eventually, we burst out of a door that looks exactly like the side church door from my actual wedding (the one I didn't want to be in, lol).

    So we get out, and my friend and I were going to hook up, but the dream kind of faded out at that point. Exciting! Can't wait to see what happens tonight.

  6. #36
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    So I finally got to play racquetball tonight I've played a lot of sports but none that make me so happy. It's physically and mentally demanding, awesome for the body, and most of all, it makes my mind happy. Don't even want to write anymore about my day. I am doing my weight lifting class tomorrow, which is also awesome. It has really helped me get back into a condition where I can really go at my racquetball matches. Can't wait to start playing tournaments again in the fall!

  7. #37
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    Lots of good information in your canning post above, Zanna. Almost makes it seem possible to me, even though I grew up thinking that only smart rugged farm women did stuff like that.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanna View Post
    Update on dreams . . . Maybe YogaBare's distress on the GoT thread was in the brain cause last night was all about weddings, cavernous feasting halls and the panicky desire to flee before shit starts going down.

    There was a gigantic wedding that I had traveled to. I checked into my hotel room and got dressed in some silky finery and went down to the reception. There was food and feasting before the wedding for some reason. Something happens and all of a sudden I have this knowledge that I'm getting married too, right after the ceremony for the main event. In my dream, I know I'm already married but maybe I left him or something. Still married but not with him. That has not deterred my fiancÚ from his plans to marry me this night. It's like a pre-arranged marriage or something, cause I don't know him. I start to get more and more uncomfortable, which leads to a panicky flight response.

    Suddenly, I am not in the feasting hall anymore, but in the hotel corridor. In a bit of true weirdness, a real-life friend of mine pops up. He is in his own hotel room but not for the wedding. I pound on his door and tell him that I want to leave and get some dinner. Like, right now. He's pretty chill about things and says he just needs to get ready. I bring him into the hall and point down at the festivities and tell him I have to leave now and quietly cause I'm supposed to get married and I don't want to. He just says "sure, absolutely. I'll help you get out." Which is exactly what he would do in real life, ha. We end up not leaving quietly, instead racing through the feasting hall with people giving chase. Eventually, we burst out of a door that looks exactly like the side church door from my actual wedding (the one I didn't want to be in, lol).

    So we get out, and my friend and I were going to hook up, but the dream kind of faded out at that point. Exciting! Can't wait to see what happens tonight.
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  9. #39
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    I tried to pick it up, but nothing too dreamy about my sleep last night. There were definitely dreams but the kind that flee in the morning. I did continue the hook up scenario, but that was a daydream, mostly conscious and probably not fit for public consumption.

    Joanie, canning is pretty easy, as long as you pay attention to acid levels. Each quart of tomato sauce gets 3tablespoons of lemon juice to have the right acidity level for water bath canning.

    So, I went to the farmer's market this AM, but not much of a haul. Couple dozen eggs, some lamb liver and baked treats for the kids. They weren't even gluten free :-0 I also did my weight class today, after the market. Had some eggs, cherries and bone broth with gelatin and feel stuffed. Roasting a pastured chicken tonight for dinner, which will make the kids happy. They thought I was nuts when I came home every week from the market with whole frozen chickens, but looks who's smart now! Couldn't find them as a reasonable price in the winter, when the market closed, so we had plenty to cook over the winter. Now I'm stockpiling chicken and lamb/beef bones again. It kills me - the same vendors have product at my co-op, but it's twice as expensive. Meh.

    Leaving shortly to watch playoff game #2 for youngest son. Hoping he wins so the house mood is sunny and happy, and not full of angry disappointment.

  10. #40
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    The weekend ended up being nice. Aside from having 3 or 4 glasses of wine on Saturday night, I've been mostly stable with food and sleep. Also had some chocolate covered espresso beans - does choking back the inexplicable rage I feel when my hubby calls them 'expresso beans' cancel out the calories ingested? God, I'm mean sometimes.

    Aside from the above transgressions, it was mostly eggs, fruit, some sardines, bone broth, roasted chicken and lamb chops. I love love love lamb. I think I would eat that most of the time now if possible. I bought a lamb last fall to put in the freezer. Might buy two this year, since I'm not buying another side of pork. I just don't like eating it. I forgot how much I dislike pork roasts until there are two giant ones staring frostily at me every time I go into the freezer to take out lamb or beef. Yes, you are unloved and I have buyers remorse.

    Didn't spend as much time outside as I would have liked. Hubby and I did go for a walk downtown, which was nice enough. I think I'll go strawberry picking this coming Saturday and spend several crazed hours trying figure out ways to use them before they turn. Fresh picked strawberries turn SO fast. I usually hull them and spread them out, unwashed, on cookie sheets and stick them in the freezer. Once frozen, I can transfer them to regular baggies and since they are already frozen, they won't glue together in a giant brick of strawberry. Not washing them helps with that too - if you wash and freeze, they get mushy and then glue into a big brick. I use the frozen berries all summer for daiquiris. If I have any will left after hulling the berries for freezing, a bunch will be set aside for jam making. That requires some planning - I use homemade pectin from cooking down green apples, which is a job in itself. So must remember to do that this week, in between all of the baseball games.

    No new dreams to report, sadly. I think the Saturday wine drinking gummed up the works. I went to bed early enough last night, but it was a repeat of early last week, where I felt awake most of the night, even though I wasn't. I'll have to read some of the links YogaBare posted re: lucid dreaming. Probably need to do some work on my end to put my head in a properly dreamy state. M

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