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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Canning Chicken

This week, Safeway also had chicken on sale for $1.99 a pound for the boneless, skinless chicken breast, which is the best for canning because there is little/no waste.

You get your chicken all unpacked and ready to cook. You can also raw pack chicken and can it that way, but for my first time, I decided to cook it. Well my mom actually did that for me, because I was in school for 7 hours today. Ah the joy of being a professional student.
We cook our meat in our huge roaster oven. Most people who are reading this probably don't have a huge roaster oven, but you can cook it in your regular oven as well. Cook your meat at 350 degrees until the chicken on the top is tender. Then you can turn the oven off and it will continue cooking even as its cooling.
When the chicken is cooled, you will pull it out of the pan and clean it. We put it in a cookie sheet and it will cool down even more.
As you clean it, you will shred the chicken to put into your jars for canning.
Here is how much meat I had when it was all finished cooking. You may have less depending on how much you want to can, but I wanted to do enough for this semester because I'm going to be so busy with nursing school I won't have time to go grocery shopping or do very much cooking!

(These are all the pictures I have. We forgot to take the camera out as we were finishing, but I will explain it well from here on out!)

You will wash your jars out in the sink and then fill them with the chicken almost all the way full. You will leave a little space though. You fill up the rest of the jar with water (Or the chicken broth from when you cooked your chicken, water works just fine as well.) Then you add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to every jar. I canned my chicken into pints because it is only going to be me and Chris. And we won't need a whole quart of chicken for the both of us. That's a lot of food! Then you put  your lids on and put the jars into the pressure cooker and can at 10 pounds of pressure for 60 minutes if the meat is cooked, and for about an hour and a half if its not cooked. Then you pull them out of the pressure cooker and now you have chicken on your shelves! Yay! Out of the chicken I did today, I was able to get 25 jars. That is two flats and one extra jar! It's not very hard, and it will be worth it when you have it on your shelve for your peace of mind.

Canning Grapes

So do any of you guys like cherry pie? Or cherry cobbler? Or cherry burros? Or anything that needs a cherry filling? I have a secret here that will definitely WOW you! And the secret ingredient is....


Yes, that is right. And now I will tell you how it works! (Well, I don't really know, but it is super good, and a whole lot cheaper than buying cherry pie filling!)

First, you buy your grapes, but you only buy them when they are on sale, because otherwise, it is not a good deal for you. I bought a ton of grapes for only 79 cents a pound this last week at Safeway, and this week, they are $1.99 a pound, so I saved a bunch of money! After you buy your grapes, you devine them and wash them good in a colander.
After they are rinsed, you put them in your jars. You want to do them in quart size jars because for the most part, you will be making pie for a bunch of people, and you want to make sure you have enough filling for everyone there!
We use green grapes because they are usually seedless and not all of the purple ones are. But don't worry, I will tell you how to make them not green anymore!
While you are stuffing the jars, you want to get some sugar water warm on the stove. This is your syrup that you put in with your grapes. You want to do 9 cups of water to every 4 cups of sugar. Get the sugar dissolved and almost to a boil and then pour it into your jars with your grapes.
After you get the syrup into the jars, you will add 1 teaspoon of red food coloring.
(My picture is really stinky, but you get the idea.)
You can add the food coloring before or after you put the water in. We actually put it in before and as you add the water, you can see if start turning red.
When we were adding the food coloring to our grapes, Chris said, "That's all you guys do to make it red? That is so dissappointing! I shouldn't learn how these things are done because I think they are so much more extravant than they realy are!" Ah silly boy, he has much to learn about me still!
You want to boil your seals and use this nifty little magnet to get them out and put them on the jars so you don't burn yourself!
Then you put the jars into your STEAMER, I didn't get a picture of the steamer but you don't want to use your pressure cooker. (If you look when I did apricot jam, there is a picture of the steamer there if you have a question about what a steamer looks like) And you steam the jars for 20 minutes.
And then, you have some instant cherry pie filling!

Ok, now I will tell you how to make the pie filling. You open a can of your grapes, a jar of crushed pineapple from the store, and a cherry package of cool aid, heat it up on the stove and add some cornstarch to thicken it a little bit. I make cobbler in a dutch oven usually, so after it is warm, I put it in the dutch oven with a store bought cake mix (white or yellow) and put a couple slices of butter on top. Then you cook it until the cake mix is slightly brown on top. You can also cook it in the stove, probably at 350 degrees until it is done. I have never made it in a stove, so I'm not sure!! You know you are amazed by this recipe! Try it, your family will love it, and after they have eaten it, ask them if they knew what they were eating! They willl get a kick out of it also!

monsoon season is the greatest

I love monsoon season. Yesterday we got the BIGGEST storm we have gotten in a long long long time! It was so great!! Although, it was kinda scary driving in my little car into these huge huge puddles, but my car is wonderous and made it through all of them! It rained so hard that all of the washes and canals were overflowing, the cotton fields by my house were flooded, and so were all the hayfields. And when I was driving in town, the roads looked like lakes, and I'm pretty positive my car almost got struck by lightning...SCARY!! It was a fun experience. These are the only pictures I got becaue it was raining too hard and my other ones you can't see anything through the windshield!!

Our HUGE Watermelon...

Maybe you will remember the garden that Chris and I planted? Well, this is our first product from our garden!! It was about a 40 pound watermelon...ok we don't really know how much it weighed, but it was super heavy! And looks can be deceiving, because it wasn't the best watermelon I have ever had, but we have 7 more growing on the vine right now so we will see if those are any better!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

21 Years and Counting...

So yesterrday was my 21st birthday. It just felt like another normal day honestly, but it was still fun! I only went to a half a day of work. I went and got my hair cut and styled. My mom took me shopping for a new skirt and some shirts. I got an ice cream cake. There was a huge ward party I went to. Mr Chris stayed up with me and watched some movies. My sister got sprayed with her own pepper spray. The moon was beautiful last night! (I wish I had gotten a picture of that!) It was a pretty good day. Here are the few pictures we took!
All in all it was a good day. And as someone told me last night, "Turning 18 or 21 isn't any fun if you don't have any bad habits!" And that was pretty much the gospel truth!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Anyone up for a good laugh?!

Today, I was driving to work and I had the radio on and the local news came on. It was the radio person reading it from a local website that updates every other day or so, and when she started reading this post, I started laughing so so so hard! I just had to share!!

The title is called, "MAN STABBED IN RIGHT BUTT CHEEK." And this is how the post goes.

A Safford Officer was called to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, at around 1:35am, Saturday morning, to a report of a man who had been stabbed in the right butt cheek with a knife. When the officer arrived at the hospital, he spoke to the man, identified as kenneth Barry, and asked him what happened. Barry told the officer that he had been stabbed in the butt by someone. Barry told the officer that the stabbing happened at his ex-mother-in-law's house. When the officer asked where Barry had been stabbed and who stabbed him, he told the officer that he did not want to say. Barry also said that he did not want to give the officer the person's name because he did not work and could not support his children and his ex-wife was supporting them without his help. The officer observed approximately 1/2 inch cut on Barry's right butt cheek while the nurse was treating him. Barry refused to give the officer any more information on the stabbing. The officer ran "wants and warrants" on Kenneth Barry and found that there was an outstanding warrant out of Thatcher for the arrest of Barry on charges of possession of marijuana. After Barry was released from the hospital's care, the officer plaed him under arrest for the outstanding warrant and took him to the Graham County Jail.

If I were the radio lady, there would be no way I could have made it through that article without busting a gut!

So, of course when I get to work, I tell my coworker and we were both laughing about it. Because seriously, getting stabbed in the bum is a bad enough day, but then to get arrested on top of that? Talk about a bummer. (No pun intended.) And so, we went over to eacourier online and read the article there. I don't know which one is more funny!!

EA Courier story. Headline, "Man stabbed in rear, arrested on warrant."

Story.  Unusally, a stabbing victim is not the one who is taken to jail. That was the case, however, of a Safford man who was stabbed in his posterior early Saturday morning. Safford officer Wayne Crum responded to trauma room four at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center at about 1:35 am in regard to a stabbing. The victim, Kenneth Dean Barry, Jr, 23, said he was stabbed at his "baby's momma's house." Barry alluded that his baby's momma stabbed him but would not identify her because he does not work and she supports him and his children, according to Crum's report. As the nurse came in to clean the cut, Crum observed a small incision to Barry's right butt cheek about half an inch long. Crum later discovered Barry had an active warrant for his arrest for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. When Barry was released from the hospital at about 2:30 am, Crum arrested him on his warrant and booked him into the Graham County Jail.

The best part about EA's story, is the comments after the article. If you have a moment and you're bored, check em out!

This was the funniest thing I have heard in a long time and all day long I was laughing about it!!