Friday, October 07, 2011

Canned Pears 1920's Style

This has not been my year for produce. Late spring, chickens, and 6 weeks of over 100 deg temps and no rain pretty much put an end to everything in the garden. :(

Pears 1

I did get my hands of 2 bushels of pears. They are wonderful and we canned some of them. It feels wonderful to have them on the pantry shelf, 42 Quarts and 14 pints. Happy Dance!

pears 011 (750x800)

You might notice in the photo that I have skins on my pears.... Well... a few years ago I was canning my first batch of pears ever. I was peeling the pears and hating life. I didn't have time for that much fuss. My mom came in and heard me grumbling and said....

"Your Dad always liked them with the skins on."

Me: "What!? Can you do that?"

Mom: "Of course! That is how your Grandma Lucile always did them and it was the only way your dad liked them."

That was all I needed to hear. I stopped peeling the pears right then and there and have loved it. We tried a batch really quick to makes sure we liked it and found that they tasted better than the pears without the skins on. The skins have so much flavor and when you can them, the flavor is "infused" into the pears. If you don't, the skins do slide off easily after canning.

Why 1920's?.... well my dad was born in the 1920's and this is how his mom canned then and through the great depression.

Here is my recipe for canned pears.

Canned Pears 1920's Style

about 3 pears per jar

Extra Lite syrup - 5 1/2 cups water, 1 1/4 (1.25)cups sugar - bring to a boil

Wash pears.

Cut up pears and fill your jars to 1 inch from the top.

Pour boiling extra light syrup over the pears leaving 1 inch head space.

Soften the lids in boiled water.

Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean paper towel, place the lids on and put on the screw bands and finger tighten (that means you don't crank them down).

Process in a steam canner (or water bath) according to your altitude. For me in Southern Missouri I process for 35 minutes for quarts.

Let the jars sit in the canner for 10 minutes with the heat off and then remove and cool on a dish towel for 24 hours.

Remove the screw bands, wipe the jars clean (sometimes there is sticky syrup on them) and put away without the bands on them. Why?? (I asked that this summer.) Because.... it is easier to see that the seals are still good... and... the bands won't rust on you and cement themselves to the jars. Makes life much easier when you go to open the jars.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Secret Sneaky Sloppy Joes

This is my all time favorite Sloppy Joe recipe. I got it from my sister Jeanne. She has the most amazing, wicked cooking skills of all my sister.... (don't tell the other 5).....
What makes this recipe so sneaky and secretive is.... It is chock full of cabbage. Seriously! And when you mix the sauce into it... it can look a lot like shredded beef.

sloppy Joe

Secret Sneaky Sloppy Joes

2 pounds ground beef
1/4 head chopped or shredded cabbage (I usually double this)
1 onion diced
2/3 green pepper diced
1/2 bottle of ketchup (how big is that ?? I use a large bottle)
2 stalks celery chopped
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tbsp mustard
2 Cloves garlic
1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional)

Brown the beef. Add the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking and burning.
Serve on buns or sliced bread and enjoy.
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