Friday, October 2, 2009

Canning Turkey

I LOVE vintage, and this fits right in with today's blog!
It's been too long. I've been thinking about getting into blogging again, along with everything else I do, I guess. But I really want to blog to be able to share awesome recipes, ideas and maybe some insight from a 30 year-old's viewpoint on life. LOL

Isn't he cute? A thanksgiving turkey that some little child probably lovingly made for his mother. :)
So, starting with Canning. It's fall, which means ripe veggies and fruit to "put up". If you haven't done this yet and you're wondering why you should consider it, here are my reasons: It's Affordable, healthy, safe and convenient! (Have you ever thought of all of THOSE reasons for canning?) Here is how it works: get fresh, good produce- either from your own garden- or from a grower/market.

Mmm.. Fresh tomatoes...
(These are the jars I filled with soup! Yummy, huh??!)

That's how it's Affordable! If you're using food that fits your healthy lifestyle, good-for-you fruits and veggies, less sugar, less salt, no "preservatives", it's much healthier than store-bought. It IS safe to can foods, AS LONG AS you follow the rules. They are there for a reason. Don't let them overwhelm you, just use them as a good guideline, because really, you do not want your family sick. There are some short cuts that are OK, but the important steps- PLEASE follow. My, is it convenient when I am able to open up a jar of tuna, or turkey or soup and have a meal for my family. (We really have no excuse for eating out because there's "nothing to eat. We have the food ready.") Did I just say turkey??? Canned turkey?? LOL You do realize that's it's got to be the least expensive meat? In November you can actually get it for .22cents/pound. I get between 9-11 pints of meat (which is up to 11 dinners with 2 cups meat for our family). It all depends on if we ate a very much. You cannot can turkey and not have at least ONE dinner with it. It's just not right. LOL
Turkey Dinner is one of MY favorites!! Don't forget the cranberry sauce!
You can either use parchment or foil for baking your turkey. (Foil's cheaper! Parchment is prettier and probably healthier!)

So, this is where I'll do some sharing of how I can turkey. I've heard of other ways, like boiling it, but I think this way has better flavor. I buy at least a 22 pound turkey- the biggest I can find so that I'm not paying for the bones so many times. (I use almost all of the turkey, eventually; broth.) Take out the insides (if they are still inside).Rinse the turkey inside and out and stuff with sliced onion and some celery stalks. Spinkle salt and pepper and paprika on the top and every other place you can get it. Bake at 350' for appropriate amount of time, covered with foil. A 22 pound turkey will take around 5 hours to cook. So start it in the morning, or cook it at a lower temp starting at night and start the canning process in the morning! Then the fun part begins, getting your hands totally slimy and greasy in the tearing apart stage. I use a sharp knife and cut it all away from the bone, and chop it into 2-3 inch pieces, some smaller. Keep in mind that when it's fresh out of th oven, it's super hot. Be careful! I've burnt myself a few times. (Just comes with the process! LOL) Start stuffing the jars, leaving an inch of headspace. (Measure an inch down from the top, where the lid would go on. Do not fill above this line. I add 1/2 teaspoon of salt on top of the turkey in each jar and then fill each jar with hot water (from my teapot). In some books it says to not use water- that the meat has it's own juices. I may try that this year! Put on your prepared lids and rings and pressure cook for 70 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. For all of the canning "rules" please read through a reliable canning website like: It will tell you everything you need to know AND MORE, I'm sure!

Can you imagine?? No, this is not me! LOL But that size just might last a whole year!
We use our turkey for soup, turkey-salad sandwiches, casseroles, nachos, pot pies. I also can some larger quart jars with bigger pieces of meat for a "turkey dinner." It really makes a mealtime convenient when you have even one step done ahead of time for you, like cooked meat! My jars are actually fuller than these and not as watery, but this is basicly what you will get. Yum!

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