Sunday, January 31, 2010

Failed adventures in homemade

Last night we tried out our new pressure canner for the first time. DH cooked up some London broil that we got on sale, and then we attempted to can 6 quarts of it. I've only used a boiling water canner before, for fruit preserves. The pressure canner is loud, and the meat had to sit in there for 90 minutes, so we had to listen to the steaming and rattling for that long. Then I started smelling meat and I knew the jars had boiled over inside the canner. Boo. The jars seem to have sealed properly regardless, but I'm pretty sure they are not supposed to boil over in the process, so, they are back in the fridge instead of on the shelf. Guess we'll be having steak salads for a while. The official recipe books said to leave 1-inch of space, and although I admit I underestimated how much an inch is, at least 2 inches of liquid boiled out. I think for the next experiment with canning meat, we'll leave a variety of spaces among the jars and see which works best.

While the meat was stewing, I also tried to make homemade strawberry ice cream, and for some reason that didn't work out too well either. I couldn't get it to freeze up beyond the consistency of a milkshake, at least, not within a reasonable amount of time. I was out of rock salt. I guess rock salt is a more critical component than one might realize. The ice cream was delish anyway.

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