20 February 2015

Canning weather

Yes, the cold front made it down this far south.  Since the house is built to dissipate heat instead of retain it, I have been canning yesterday and today.  Yesterday was a second batch of orange marmalade, and I ended up with another 20 half-pints of marmalade.  I had given about six pairs of marmalade away at hubby's grandmother's birthday party on Sunday ... good thing I took that much up, too!  Everyone wanted to take some home to try.
boiled orange slices, ready to marmalade
So yesterday was water-bath canning the marmalade.  Today is pressure-canning up four pints of chicken meat and six pint-and-half jars of rehydrated beans for summer cooking.

The  observant will notice the absence of chicken stock ... that was due to a mistake on my part.  The biggest stock pot didn't fit into the spare refrigerator without moving shelves.  Instead of asking hubby to fix this situation for me, I thought the stock would be fine left out ... but I was wrong.  We didn't get as cold as fast as they originally forecast, and the stock went funky.  I am still a bit annoyed at myself for that.  I wasted four good cockerel carcasses and giblets.  Live, learn ... and compost the mistakes.  As long as I learn from this mishap, hubby says not to fret too much about it - he had been kicking himself last month when one of the carcasses went funky because the storage bag didn't "zip" properly and neither of us double-checked the bags.  That one was cooked up and fed to the various other chickens.

Speaking of chickens ... we lost two of the younger Wyandotte chicks overnight.  One, a very small pullet, was no surprise since she was acting down yesterday so we medicated her and hoped for the best.  The other, a cockerel, was of a decent size and had shown no indication of weakness ... plus it looked this morning like he had been on the bottom of the pile-up and just got squashed.  We tarped all the tractors the past few nights, first to keep off the rain, then to keep out the wind and keep at least some of the heat in for the chicks.  This is another good argument for having broody hens and chick-rearing capons here in the future.

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