I don’t know where I came up with the idea that I wanted to try my hand at canning. Really it must have been just one of those crazy ideas I get every so often out of thin air. Often times I don’t think these ideas through and I just jump in head first. This is definitely the case when it comes to playing Little House. Before I show you the fruit of the labor, let me share a dinner recipe with you first.
I have tried Ethiopian food a few times, liking a little bit of this and a little bit of that. When I was flipping through a Cooking Light magazine I came across this Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil recipe. I thought, why not? I am looking into making more meals where the focus is not on meat. Lentils and beans provide a good source of protein and fiber. Plus the are super cheap! All I needed to make this recipe was some red lentils and the Berbere spice. The lentils were purchased at Whole Foods in the bulk bin for less than a dollar, the spice was a little bit harder to find. I looked at my favorite spice shop Penzy’s but they did not carry it. We ended up going to an East African spice shop/store/restaurant in order to obtain the spice. The clerk was really nice as I don’t even know if I pronounced the spice correctly.
The recipe was easy to make, cheap, and it tasted like something that was fairly labor intensive. I do have to say that it was quite spicy and I added a dollop of Fage yogurt on top to tone the spiciness down just a bit. This recipe will be made again for sure! I love a recipe where the ingredient that costs the most is the vegetable broth!
After dinner was finished I started the canning project…..
It was at this point that I wanted to give up and be done. Buying pasta sauce at the store is so much easier! But, we were in it for the long haul. While we had some time to burn we started and finished another canning project.
Kevin and I have this joke about me canning/cooking/working in the kitchen when it involves an apron. I bought this apron at Target a long time ago on clearance and now when I wear it in the kitchen I am doing “official” work as I am wearing the uniform:)
I was exhausted by the time we were done! I am so glad that we do not rely on home canned goods for sustenance as it is down right hard work. In the end we canned 8 jars of tomato and basil pasta sauce and three cans of dilly beans. We had one small boiling vinegar accident and one can of beans did not make it.
Even though it is hard work we both had a good time. I like cooking and Kevin likes doing projects so it works out well. I can’t wait to cook with some of the things we have made. As far as canning more things this summer, I am not sure. I would like to make some jam/jelly/preserves but don’t know how much more work I am willing to do. Give me a few days and then I am sure I will be up to the challenge:)