It’s been raining a lot lately, for which I’m grateful, but wish it was spread out throughout the summer as well. The garden looks great but since there’s a chance of frost tonight John and I put the chicken tractors over the tender plants to be ready to cover tonight. Praying the wind will low so I don’t have to haul bricks to anchor the sheets.
John and I took the last two weekends and butchered all of the meat chickens – 38 in all. Since the freezer was pretty full already I ended up canning quite a few quarts of chicken meat and broth. The last batch will go in the canner today.
I cut the legs and wings off the chickens and even some of the breast meat and froze for other meals. The remaining carcases were cooked 3/4 of the way done and then pulled off the bone. That’s the touchy part – avoiding burning my fingers as I pull the meat off and stuff it in the sterile, hot canning jars.
Each jar is completed, then put in the hot pressure canner until all are ready to go.
After venting the canner for 20 minutes, I bring to the canner pressure to 10 pounds and keep it there for 90 minutes – another ‘enjoyable’ trick. I’m so glad this American Canner has a weight as well as a gauge. Once pressure is reached I can listen for the jingle of the weight to know the correct pressure is maintained. I still come into the kitchen to double check about every 10 minutes. See why this part is so enjoyable?? Rather than trekking back and forth from other rooms I usually try to do something constructive in the kitchen.
Once the chore is over it’s well worth it. Here’s some of the canned chicken and broth as well as the squash harvest from this week. I didn’t want to risk losing any with the possible frost.
One of the hardest things in butchering and canning the chickens is to keep the dogs fenced out of the chicken and the butchering area. Watson is a herd dog and he really stresses out when he’s separated from us. Edgar just wants to be with us period. We really, really need to order a doggie gate for the kitchen entrance. Edgar is very capable of jumping over the back of the recliner I used to block the way.
Stay warm and dry .. enjoy this beautiful fall. It’s been a good one so far!