Monday, February 11, 2019

Menu plan for the week of February 11

I canned black beans on Thursday.  That's one of the reasons I was lying to you last week about what we were going to eat.  When I can beans, I can as many loads as I can in one day.  Which is 4 (well, I could do 5, but I would have to get up earlier and stay up later, and I don't want to do that, especially since 4 loads of quarts requires 10 lbs of beans, which is a nice number of pounds of beans to can).

Anyway, the plan was to have Sunday night stew that day (I know.  On a Thursday.  What was I thinking?), but I recognized early on that I wasn't going to have the stove space available to simmer the stew for two hours.  So I made something in the slow cooker.  You guys.  It was so nice, after canning all day, in between sledding and shoveling off the temporary rink in the yard, to not have to worry about supper in the afternoon.

Our seasonal pond is huge and frozen this year.
It was all fun and games until someone got a split lip.
Don't worry.  It looked worse than it was.
Oh, and just so you know, when you're planning to can 20 quarts of something, it's important to make sure ahead of time that not only do you have enough jars and lids, but that you also have enough of the right kind of lids for the jars that you have available.  Or enough of the right kind of jars for the lids you have available.  I had 11 regular mouth lids and a bunch of wide mouth lids.  I also had 6 wide mouth jars and a bunch of regular mouth jars.  I actually emptied two wide mouth jars into the slow cooker, so then I was up to 19 jars and lids to use for black beans.  I still needed one more. 

Guess what I did, friends.  I reused a lid.  I know!  You're not supposed to do that!  It's not supposed to work; it's not safe.  But I figured if it didn't seal, I would just refrigerate or freeze that jar.  It was easier than canning all the rest of the beans, and just cooking the leftover quart on the stove and then storing them in the fridge or freezer.

But it worked!  In fact, all 20 of my jars sealed this time.  That might be a record.  But I did put that one jar in the cupboard to be used up first.  And I'll be buying regular mouth canning lids this week so I won't have to reuse anymore lids anytime soon.  You know, if I can get to the grocery store.  I'm thinking today might be my best chance.

Other things happened, too, and we ended up having what was on the menu only one night last week.  And it wasn't leftover night.  Hopefully this week, we'll be able to stick a little closer to our plan.  Here it is:



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