Good Saturday morning folks! Whew! Sometimes I feel like a dog chasing its tail!
How in the world do we get so busy anyway? I have been told I don’t have the proper vocabulary, which I guess is supposed to include the word “NO!”
Or maybe I am just too nice? Not. At any rate, whatever the reason, I sometimes find myself busier than I would really like to be.
At the moment I have tomatoes at my house waiting to be canned, my niece is visiting from out of state, I am working 3-8 hour shifts out of 4 evenings as a volunteer for our local Kiwanis club, I am having company and 2 meetings next week, my house is dirty, the garage needs cleaning, and my card making space is a cluttered mess.
So what? you may say. And rightfully so, as I know you all are busy too. I just tell you that so that you might not be too upset when you expected to see a new card, or a new technique and it isn’t here. There are days that there just isn’t time to make a card, photograph it, then write about how I put it all together. On those days, I promise to try to at least do a written blog. Today is one of those days. I hope you will bear with me.
I mentioned the tomatoes that need canning. My daughter has the garden these days, but when the children were small and I was a stay-at-home-farm wife/mom, I had a huge garden. I spent the summer canning and freezing our winter’s supply of food.
This time of year brings back memories of going to my basement room where I stored the crates of potatoes and sweet potatoes, the onions were hanging and the jars of produce already canned were resting on the shelves.
The garden was nearly finished except for tomatoes still on the vine, a few carrots not yet dug, and perhaps a late head of cabbage, or two, and maybe some green beans that had not been picked while they were green beans and are now ready for shelling.
This produce, along with some of the potatoes and onions, became my “End of the Garden Soup”. It is a little different now, but I still call it that, and try to can some of it for the grown-up children and grandchildren. It is SO handy to have for drop-in company, or just when you want a quick meal. It is good on its own as a vegetable soup, or with your choice of meat added. I have made it with hamburger, leftover roast, stew meat, venison, chicken and sausage. It is good any way you fix it.
The tomatoes waiting to be canned will go into the soup. This year we did not plant potatoes, so I had to purchase them and the carrots. Here is how I do it.
Sterilize and keep 7 jars (all that my pressure canner will hold) jars hot. Also, the rings and flats need to be sterilized and kept hot. Fill one jar at a time, wipe the rim to be sure it is clean, add the flat and ring and tighten. Place filled jar in about 3 inches of water in the canner, which has been heating. When canner is full, place the lid and tighten. When steam begins to shoot at a good force from the vent, add the weight.
Then you need to wait for the ‘jiggler’, the moveable vent, to shoot enough steam to pop up and stay. That is when you need to start watching the pressure. For the soup mix, I can under 10# pressure for 45 minutes. Watch carefully and adjust heat to maintain pressure.
After the allotted time, turn off heat. When pressure is at 0, begin releasing the steam by removing the weight. ONLY after all steam is released is it safe to remove the lid.
What goes in the jars:
- 1 teaspoon canning salt
- 1-3 tomatoes depending on size
- 2 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1-2 potatoes, depending on size
- a couple of chunks of cabbage small enough to get in the jar, or shredded
- 1/2 large onion or 1 small, cut in half
- Celery if you like. I never had celery in my garden, but it is good in soup
- any other veggie you like in your soup
I put tomatoes in first and add the rest, packing down after each addition. If there is not enough juice coming out of the tomatoes to fill the jar to the neck, add some boiling water. Usually this is not necessary, but if it is, ok.
Proceed as above, clean the rim, add the lids and process.
I have made a card with veggies stamped on it and attached to a jar of this soup to give as a gift. (I guess that is today’s card idea)
I hope you are not disappointed that there is no card, and that you find some use for the recipe. Please leave comments below, and if you try this, I would be happy to hear your results. Even if you don’t try it until January, I would still be interested in hearing your results.
Thought for the day: A man should never plant a garden larger than his wife can take care of. T.H. Everett