Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Autumn Visitors & Canning Vegetable Broth

There have been recent visits of does and birds to the homestead.  The deer come to our pond, which causes quite a ruckus with the pups.  They usually see them before us, and let us know they'd really like to be outside.  These pics were taken through the front door, with jumping pups at my feet.

There was a very large flock of birds that migrated through; blackbirds or starlings, I'm not sure which.  They made quite a loud noise as they passed through.


In late summer, we were offered
 a refrigerator/freezer, and promptly began filling it up with all sorts of garden goodness, sale items, etc.  A few days ago, Joseph realized it wasn't working properly, so we had a grand time trying to fit all that was in it in other places.  There were 3 large bags of vegetable scraps for stock that were not going to fit anywhere, so I put them in a large pot on the woodstove Sunday afternoon. When I got home last night, I strained it and cooked it down, then canned it.  Every batch of stock tastes different, but I'm thinking these 4 pints are the best so far.  I save the best vegetable scraps for stock... carrot and celery ends and leaves, mushroom stem ends, summer squash ends and winter squash/pumpkin skin with some flesh, tomato cores, bits of onion, garlic and herbs.  Some of the things I've learned along the way are not to use too many herbs or onion, as it creates a strong taste I don't care for.  One year I saved the tomato skins and bits from all the summer canning, and this made a sour stock, so I only put small bits of tomato in now.  Those tomato skins and less desirable vegi scraps make fine compost.  I've learned that an all-vegetable stock is properly called broth.

Canning Vegetable Broth/Stock

Put all your vegetable scraps in a large stockpot, and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for 8-24 hours. Keep an eye on broth and add water if needed. Strain, and continue to simmer with no lid if not concentrated enough.  Add salt to taste if desired.
I won't get into the basics of pressure canning, but as broth is a low-acid food, it must be canned in a pressure canner.  Canning broth in a  water bath canner is unsafe.
When broth tastes to your liking, fill hot jars with hot broth, leaving 1 inch head space.  Process pints 30 minutes, quarts 35 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure.  If you live in a high altitude, you'll need to follow these instructions.

I've not had much time at home for several days, but found one Happy to share:

An interesting book with papers and clues  "S" by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

The days seem so short already, it's hard to believe we have over two weeks of fall left.  In just a few more days, I'll be joining 39 other artists at Handmade Holiday.  If I don't see you there, I'll see you on the other side.


Stephanie said...

Making vegetable broth is one thing I just haven't done yet. All my scraps still go to the compost bin. It's so cute that you actually cooked it on top of the wood stove...I haven't done that yet either...but, both those things have been on y mind! :) Peace, Stephanie

Laurie said...

Stephanie, I did the initial cooking on the wood stove because it seemed the best way to cook it for hours, with no additional energy required. The final simmering and canning happened on the gas stove, though.

Jennifer said...

how funny, I am making a big batch of vegetable broth with all my trimmings today!

Now if I only had a woodstove ;-)

Laurie said...

Kindred spirits, Jennifer!