As I get older, I’m more amazed at the things my grandparents did. My grandma was still canning when she was nearly 75 years old. I can a lot but it’s more of a hobby for me. For my grandparents, it was a matter of survival. They had a huge garden and canned everything they could can. They might share their purple hull peas, either ready to shell or already canned, with a friend, who would share their cream peas, either ready to shell or already canned. Whatever one had in excess, they shared or traded.
It will always be mind boggling to me that they probably didn’t eat out more than half a dozen times their entire lives, they snacked for lunch and ate a large breakfast and a large dinner. Bread/rolls were always homemade; there was always a homemade cake or pie. If chicken was being served, my grandma had to butcher it and clean it. How did she do all that?
Let’s just say my grandma cooked 350 meals per year. There were times when they probably had a sandwich but there were lots of times, my parents, my sister and I and sometimes my aunt and uncle were there for the weekend. If they ate two vegetables per meal, that’s 700 jars of vegetables and that doesn’t include having to use two jars if we were all there. I think she canned everything in quart jars but she didn’t save leftovers much because they had the tiniest little fridge and it didn’t work very well. Maybe they just had one veggie per meal and ate the whole quart. I don’t know.
How did she do that? Even as a fairly prolific canner, I just cannot grasp canning 350+ jars per year, if they only used one per meal. That’s just veggies. She’d often can chicken, fig preserves, tomatoes for the year . . really, my brain just gets to a roadblock and cannot even think any farther.
All that to say that I love canning red beans and sausage for serving as red beans and rice. The other day Marcia Hohn posted that she was canning red beans and shared a link to a video. The lady was adding ground turkey. I’ve never cooked red beans and rice with ground meat – always just sausage but I don’t like to eat the “boiled” sausage. I just like the flavor it gives the beans. I thought . . I have plenty of ground beef so I’ll add ground beef to a batch of beans.
Why can beans when they will cook in about an hour, unsoaked, in the pressure cooker? The flavor is so much better after they’ve been cooked and sit for a while. Plus, getting out all the spices, chopping celery, onions, bell pepper . . just do it all at once and be done!
I will admit that for the past few months, I’ve been eating out of jars. With grocery costs as high as they are, eating food that was canned a year or so ago makes sense but it also could be that opening a jar, heating up the contents, having fewer dishes to wash . . I have more cross stitching time.
I opened a jar of jambalaya I had made in 2016 this week. I wasn’t sure it was going to be good so I had a backup plan. When I make jambalaya, I just make the sauce with the meat and veggies and don’t add the rice to the jar.
Yesterday I chopped the celery, peppers and onions. That was 6 onions, 6 bell peppers and a whole bag of celery. Glad to have that done.
I’m using six pounds of beans because I’ll share half of it with Chad. They love red beans and rice.
Using the ground beef will also help my Louisiana sausage go farther. I usually use four pounds of sausage and 4 pounds of ground beef. It’s kind of an experiment so we’ll see how it ends up.
Most of today will be spent canning beans. I’m not sure how many quarts of beans I’ll get. I’d be really happy if I get 16 quarts – that will be 8 for us and 8 for Chad – that should last us at least through most of Fall.