Sunday, May 13, 2012

Computer Demise

Our computer drive finally gave up on Mothers Day. It was very old and may be a long time before we can get a newer computer replacement. So, if you don't see me around posting this is why.

May God Bless all of you.
- TK

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Welcome to Stephen

Today I received my first Follower! A friendly welcome to Stephen, author of the blog "Standing Outside Looking In," whom I've followed via RSS feed.

Stephen, Thank you again for your kind words and encouragement to continue with my blog. Will work on posting again at least once a month. 

:) TK

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Praise for Comfort

It's been a while since posting last because this spring has been a pretty hard one. In March I lost my dear Uncle Dick who was my Dad's last living sibling. On top of that a sudden and severe illness sent me to the ER. The CAT scan revealed a rare condition that would take it's time healing. Praise God I am doing better with this.

April was no better as we needed to convince my brother-in-law that he needed to go the ER with oxygen, via ambulance. (Brother-in-law who has COPD and other critical conditions made it through another close call.) Two days following that three of my molars gave out, originally causalities of a walnut shell, as they just couldn't stand up to the teeth gritting over my brother-in-law. Thank God for pain medicine and the ability to have dental work done.

Today is Mothers Day and God has blessed us to have my beautiful 94 year old mother who is incredible health in our care. I thank God every day for my family that He allows me enjoy. Yes, He is the one who gifts me my family.

So why have I posted about sadness, loss, pain, and sickness in my happy place? Well for one I may not be alive today if it wasn't for my faith in God and the comfort and healing he has given me. The pains of this physical world would be unbearable. He has always been there and I can't imagine any moment of life without my Savior. I Love Him with All of my Being.

Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, New International Version, ©2011)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Food Storage and Survival

Hey one of my daily stop and see blogs was Adventures in Self Reliance. They just moved to a new site called Food Storage and Survival!  Right now they have a give away in process. I have them in an RSS feed in my bookmarks. Maybe you will enjoy their posts as much as me. Stop by and check them out. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pressure Canning Chicken - Half Batch and New Jars

Today I canned my remaining eight jars. This was one layer in my canner. Found out it is way harder to retain pressure with only one layer. Very wide swings on the stove knob, where a full canner was just nudging the heat. Perhaps more practice will make this easier, but I'd rather have a full canner from now on.

With that said I did have another successful batch! Hooray!

Note: IF you are buying new jars with lids and rings...
I found four damaged lids that were still usable. The fifth was not and obviously was damaged at the factory, since the rim was bent and the rubber poured over the top of the bend. Be sure and check your lids and jar mouths before you are in the middle of canning! Luckily I had an extra box of lids to fix the problem.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pressure Canning Chicken

I am so excited! Canned my first time with a pressure canner and it was a success!

Decided to prepare for canning at 6PM. Put out my tools: Instruction book, Canner with basket, jar grabber, orange peeler to get the bubbles out of the food, my largest mixing bowl to dump the chicken tenders in, Sea Salt, measuring spoons, wooden boards to set the hot jars on, towels to cover the jars, washcloth to wipe the jar rims, knife and cutting board, gloves.

Loaded my canner with a layer and a half of empty jars... just to make sure they fit, how they fit and that the second row didn't stick up too high. Counted the layer then took them out to wash and forgot how many fit. Ahgg! So then I had to reload the bottom and count again. (My old regular mouth pint jars fit 9 to a layer and the new wide mouth jars fit 8.)

According to my instructions poured two quarts of hot water into my canner, then set it on low to keep it warm. Set my lids to warm in water. Added 1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt into each jar. Put my non-latex gloves on and dumped my chicken into a large mixing bowl. Did I mention how much I LOVE my gloves?

Packed each jar tight and used the orange peeler down around the sides to get the air out. Once done packing I wiped each jar mouth clean, placed a lid and ring on. Loaded my canner. I don't have a shelf to set on top of my first batch but a metal apple slicer did the trick. Was able to balance the outside jars onto two lower but had needed something so the middle jar was not setting directly onto the lid of the lower middle jar. Like I said the apple slicer worked really well.

Next step was venting the canner for 7 to 10 minutes. Instructions say to heat on high till steam comes out and then turn down for a moderate flow. What is a moderate flow? I guessed. (Note at this point I was still afraid the thing would blow up.) Time was up and the weight went on the vent and set the timer for 1hr 15 min.

Was really glad one of the blog posts had mentioned that the heat would need to be adjusted all during the time, with it gradually being lowered over and over again till the end of the process. Why? Because my canner book said electric stoves should immediately be turned to low and that should hold the temp for the whole process. Not my stove!

The processing went well and I couldn't wait to see my jars after the canner cooled. Yeah! They turned out great! I put them all on the boards, covered them and went to bed. Will wash and label each jar in the morning.

Thank You to all the bloggers that posted instructions and YouTube videos about canning chicken. I would never have tackled this without you! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Conquering Fear of the Pressure Cooker/Canner

I was so apprehensive about this... so many had told me horror stories of pasta sauce all over the ceilings, walls, and floors. Burns all over arms, legs and feet. That or beans and the lids flying off and denting the ceilings. So this pressure cooker of my mom's had set for around thirty years without being used!

Yes, I did help my mom can but was only cutting green beans and loading the jars. Never learned anything about that canner. I only remember canning with it two different years. Mom and Dad always did the tomatoes together.

In May of 2009 I had decided I WOULD learn to use it and had the dial gauge tested by an OHSU extension lady. She told me I was only a pound off and to add a pound to any recipe. Still I had no one to teach me how to use the canner. Was hoping that someone would stand by me and walk me through the process or offer to let me stand by them while they canned their food. Sadly nobody I know cans anymore nor were they interested in being anywhere near a canner. Others just looked at me like I was crazy even asking them.

June of 2010, a year later, I decided to buy a new gasket and vent as a step towards my goal. Not that there was anything wrong with the old ones, but why take a chance? I sorted all my jars in preparation of tackling my fears. A year with terrible tomato growth gave me another excuse not to bring this "monster" from it's hidey-hole.

Another six months and December arrives, my anxiety over learning how to use the pressure cooker was growing again. A couple years ago we lost a large freezer full of food so haven't been freezing food. Now our refrigerator door has been popping open! Lost meat that was in the drawer and think the meat in that little freezer compartment might need tossing too.

Well January 2011 is here and last week I read chicken was on sale locally. Today, on the last day of the sale, I bought 24 pounds of bulk chicken tenders thus committing myself to canning. Yikes! So there they are in my fridge. I rushed to my computer and re-read every blog I could on "pressure canning chicken"...  especially the ones with pictures, and watched some YouTube videos too.  

(A special thank you to each and every thoughtful woman who took the time to post these informative how-to articles. YOU gave me the courage to conquer my fears and do this venture alone.)

Holy Cow! I just read were you shouldn't use old jars in the pressure canner because they might break! Guess I can still use them to vacuum seal and water bath canning. That meant another trip back to the store for jars. Of course they weren't on sale and then had to be retrieved, with a special ladder, from the overstock pallet section. (I guess the next time canning, using the jars will be when I can start saving money.) Came home and washed the jars, rings and lids. Am ready for tomorrows canning and no more procrastination.