Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Got Layers

Hi!  Did you miss me?

Life has been slightly too busy of late.  In fact, a much needed day off had to be cancelled due to work commitments...but I snuck in a free afternoon to make up for it.  My garden still has offerings, and it is nearly impossible to get all the preserving done before it goes the way of compost.

My latest canning adventure took three days to get done.  The first night, I cut up about ten pounds of tomatoes fresh from the garden, stewed them for a bit and ran them through my trusty Foley food mill into the crockpot.  That handy appliance then ran all night with the lid cracked, and turned into a rich, thick sauce.  After admiring its great and wonderous beauty ("ahh, red sauce!"), it was stuffed into the fridge and a pot of five more pounds tomatoes took its place.  This batch became thick and luscious tomato paste, by way of a larger gap of the crock pot lid.

And then came the Great Assembly Day.  I found a recipe for Layered Chili on the Internet, and tweaked it to what I had on hand and what I like to have in my chili.  After sterilizing my jars, I started my layers, one by one:
1/4 cup rinsed, dry pinto beans
2/3 cup browned ground beef
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon minced dried garlic
2 tablespoon green chiles from a can
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin & coriander

Tah dah.  After filling to the one-inch head space mark with hot water, it was on with the lids and bands and 90 minutes in the pressure canner.  Seven lovely pints of chili to squirrel away in the pantry until a cold, late evening meal is needed.

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