Life without Plastic

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Canning with Small Children

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How I can with small children:
  1. Put the baby down for a nap and do all of the washing and chopping for the day
  2. Perform all pickling (after chopping) while baby is awake and start pressure canning when Mr. Greenie is home or baby is asleep
  3. Let my preschooler UG1 fill the jars when she's in a helping mood (hands washed first of course)
  4. Watch pressure canner (process) while nursing or cleaning up the kitchen
  5. Do schooling while pressure canner/water bath canner pressurizes/heats up and releases pressure
  6. Forewarn UG1 that I won't be able to leave kitchen during processing time

With these tips in mind:

I made more dill pickles from our garden cucumbers. I adapted this recipe.

  1. First, I added 2 tablespoons of turkey brine mix for each 1/2 liter Weck jar
  2. Filled it with washed and sliced cucumbers
  3. Added 4 sprigs of fresh dill per jar
  4. Wrapped a washed grape leaf over the top of each batch of pickles
  5. Topped each jar with sliced cucumbers to weigh down the pickles
  6. Poured water almost to the top
  7. Put on the lids and placed on the basement shelves 

I made sweet pickles with honey and more turkey brine for brining and seasoning, by adapting the Bread and Butter Pickles recipe from Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home. These cucumbers and onions were left in the free produce box at church.
I also canned our first 1/2 liter of green beans from the garden. (It's the jar on the right!)

Finally, I canned more yellow squash from the free box at church.

During canning, I remembered to reuse the water from the canners and...

  • Watered my potato eye sprouts/onion bottoms that I'm regrowing from free scraps I got
  • Washed and lanolized two wool diaper covers>
  • Reused diaper lanolizing water to wet the worm bin>
  • Collected compost tea from worm bin (4th time using the canner water!)
  • Combined last of the canner water with the compost tea to water the garden

Worms are happy and started working on the second tray of the bin after almost finishing the first tray into gorgeous humus!

Here's to the free and cheap zero-waste homestead!
Little Urban Greenie

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