For a while, I’ve been wanting to make some homemade Brunswick stew. I love this stuff, and when I was growing up, I would get it every time we went to O.T.’s, this awesome barbeque joint. It was sooo good! That restaurant has long since gone out of business, and OT died several years ago, so imagine my total happiness when one of his sons brought a big ol’ pot of Brunswick stew to homecoming at my home church one year! I’ve found some really good Brunswick stew at a restaurant down here, but at over half an hour away, acquiring it for myself requires some forethought, determination, and money. At any given time, I’m lacking one of those.
So, it was time to try making it for myself. I didn’t want to freeze a bunch, so I decided it’d be a great time to experiment with pressure canning again. First, I found a recipe to try and opted for this one. (I have a couple more recipes I want to try.) Then I found out how to can this. I knew I’d have to pressure can it, but I had to figure out the time and pressure.
I made up a big, tasty batch of Brunswick stew in my stock pot (and dried some apple slices at the same time). Oh, my gosh, did our house smell amazing!!! Then came time to pour the stew into jars and start the canning process. These are the jars after they’d finished processing and resting for a little while. Check out these closed systems of delicious awesomeness! It was so fascinating watching the vegetables and broth simmering and moving about in the jars!
After the jars had cooled down, it was time to label them. I’d created this label design a few years ago when I first started canning salsa. I guess I’m just used to labeling everything I make.
Our youngest daughter asked if we could have chicken salad sandwiches for dinner. Our oldest asked if we could have Brunswick stew, so we broke open a jar. Some of our jars had more broth than “stuff” – meat, veggies – so I had decided we’d use those so I could pump them up with extra chicken and vegetables. I opted to add extra lima beans and potato, as well as a handful of peas. Doesn’t that look totally delish?
I’m all hyped about canning some great foods this fall – pie fillings, spaghetti sauce, chili, applesauce, and apple butter. I think every weekend will see one new batch of something going through the cooker; this will enable me to dedicate the kitchen to different things at different times, because I’ve got a BUNCH of soap to make, too. There is so much joy in making something by hand that I can share! You see, I make soaps to use and sell, but canning stuff is for us and others. I can use it to barter for local farm goods, as gifts, and for us.
Have you ever done any home canning? What’s your favorite thing to put up?