Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pressurized Carrots

If you live in the area you know that this weekend was beautiful. Just when you think that winter will never end you get a little glimpse of spring. So we spent pretty much the whole day outside. Naomi and I worked in the garden, worked the hives, messed with the chickens and pruned the apple tree.

In the fall i planted some winter rye as an experiment to see how it would do as a cover crop. The year before I planted rye grass found at the local store in the grass section. It turns out that winter rye and rye grass are not the same. the rye grass grew everywhere, and was really hard to turn over. Luckily the heats of june and july gave it a what-for.

This year, I was equipped with the right kind and it grew real well and covered a few of my beds hopefully choking out the weeds that were left from the summer. After it got growing for awhile we decided it would be nice for those nasty chickens to get to run the yard, so we let them out of the run. The first thing they did was head for my rye grass, they love it, they love it so much that they ate it down to the ground. However, I have to say that the rye grass held its own and was still there, until this weekend. Naomi and I turned it all over to get ready for the pea planting, which I hope to do this week some time. While we were turning we found a bunch of carrots left over from the fall crop, the chickens had kept the greens down to the ground so we didn't know that we had any out there, (Lacey claims she knew they were there).

Carrots in from the garden my favorite variety "Nantes"

So after a little more diggin we came into the house with a big bag full of carrots. Naomi rinsed them and we sent them all through a little gift from heaven I like to call the "magic bullet express" to get ready for canning them. We inherited a pressure cooker from some friends and I have been wanting to give it a try. So we fired it up last night and canned ten pints of carrots.
There are two ways that you can, can carrots one is raw and one is cooked like what you would get from the cafeteria. I like things fresh so I went with the raw method. Although in retrospect it would be nice to be able to have cooked carrots too.

We started the process at about 7:30 and we were done around 10:00 so it really didn't take all that long. Below are the steps we took.

Slice carrots and place them in jars with about 1" of head room.

Pour boiling water into jars and then place lids on them
One of these funnels things makes it a lot easier

Place all the jars into the canner, you can double stack as long as the lid can close and you have something between the layers. I used a dumpling steamer for the second layer.

Pressure cook according to directions, final product after 25mins at 11 pounds of pressure. Some of the jars were still boiling after I took them out.

Do you have any canning recipes worth sharing? please let us know.


Gremlina said...

I specifically remember telling you to go get them for one or 2 different recipes...

Deborah said...

I've always heard of storing carrots in a root cellar or pantry, packed in buckets of clean sand. I hear they keep all winter long and well into spring that way--and fresh, too!