A time to can

I canned the remaining 2016 king salmon from our freezer last night.  On Sunday, I pulled all the fish, let it partially thaw, then removed the skin and cut the fish into cubes and put in the fridge to finish thawing.   I went up to the garage to sort through our canning jars to get all the same size opening (standard) and same size jar (pint).  I also grabbed lids and rings. I ran the jars through the dishwasher.  When I got home from work last evening, I started loading the jars.  I also put a little pot of water on the stove, brought the water to a boil, then turned off the heat and put the lids in the water.  We’ve got this cool collapsable funnel that fits in the jar mouth.  This keeps debris off the rim of the jar.  The rims were so clean after filling the jars I didn’t have to wipe them.  I then found another trick tool – a plastic stick with a magnet on the end – and used this to pull the lids one at a time from the hot water to put on the jar, then with my finger pressing in the center of the jar lid, I put the ring on that holds the lid on, screwing it till just snug. I garage saled a little propane boat stove a few years ago.  I hooked up the propane bottle to it in the garage, and then put the canner together.  I put the seal in the lid, the basket and plate in the bottom, and grabbed a second plate that goes over the first layer of jars to which I set the second layer of jars.  Then I put a third plate upside down on top of the second layer, to keep them from moving around as much.  I filled the jar up till water was about 2/3 up the side of the bottom layer of jars, put on the lid, put the rocker weight in my pocket, and took the filled pot up to the garage and onto the lit stove.   I knew it would take a while for the canner to come up to a boil, so I left it on the stove and started hauling firewood from my splitting pile to the wood bin.  After 3 wheelbarrow loads, I climbed into the bin and stacked what I’d hauled.   I checked on the canner, and when it started to steam, I went inside and put the timer on for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, I returned and put the weight onto the nipple on the 10 lbs hole, then did a few projects in the garage while the canner built pressure.  I drilled out and re-riveted an aluminum step ladder.  Then repaired the paint holder on another step ladder.   Then put away some tools.  Finally, the weight started rocking.  I returned to the house and set the timer to an hour and 20 minutes. I had a few cubes of salmon left over.  I put these in some balsamic vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce to mainate, and some rice in the rice cooker.  Then chopped and fried some celery, onion and garlic in olive oil.  When these got soft, I made a hole in the middle of the vegetables in the pan, then put in the cubes of salmon and the marinade.  I turned the cubes once, let them cook another minute, then turned off the heat. Sara came home from yoga, and dinner was ready.  She likes that. When the canner timer chimed, I turned off the heat and set the canner on the concrete floor to cool till morning.  I then backed the electric car into the garage, plugged it in, and went to bed. This morning, I got up early to see the results.   All the lids sealed properly.  I wiped each jar, labeled the lid with a marker, removed all the rings, then turned the jars upside down on a cloth.  I’ll pack them in a box and put in the pantry.  17 jars, and still a few jars of pink salmon left from a few years ago, so we’re good for awile.  Knees still a little achy and stiff from Friday’s hooter hunt.   Life is good.

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