Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Frugal Food- Canning Corn

Last year my sister in law showed me how to can green beans. I was excited to try to can on my own, and this year I was given a pressure canner from my husband's step mother. I have been waiting for enough food to come in this year to make it worth canning, and then all of my father in law's corn came in at once and they were gracious enough to share with us.
I pulled out the canner and inspected it, and since it had already been inspected by the local extension office I felt pretty confident using it. However I was still nervous as I have heard horror stories of the canners blowing up, but with instruction manual in hand I was going to give it a try.
It took a long time to get all the corn off the cob, and I am pretty sure I hurt my hand doing it. I would suggest if you try to can corn that you enlist help of others for this part, if nothing else to give your hand a rest once in a while. Also, lots of corn ears make a small amount of jars of corn. I had a normal size roasting pan half full of fresh corn kernels and I got 8 pints of corn out of that. Above is the corn before processing.
I thought I followed my instructions properly the first time, but I had not allowed the water to boil enough before putting the weight on and the canner just would not come up to pressure of any kind. I thought for sure I had failed. I let it sit to cool down with the intention of pulling the corn out of the jars when they cooled, draining and freezing them, but my husband being the great man that he is convinced me that maybe together we could figure out what went wrong and we tried again after resealing the cans. It really was something as simple as the water was not at a full boil before putting the weight on, but it was my first time canning alone, and I did not know that. So lesson of the day for me would be canning has a learning curve like any other task, and this will just take practice.

Here is the corn right out of the canner still hot. Do you can your own vegetables? Do you have any tips to share for a novice canner like myself?

This post is shared at the Homemaking link up

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Frugal Food - Zucchini Fritters

We love these around here in the summer when the zucchini seems to take over, and they are easy which I love.


1 medium/large zucchini (you want normal size not monstrous), grated on the large holed side of a box grated
6 oz shredded mozzerella or monterey jack cheese
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
3/4 cup of milk ( Dry milk works fine in this if you have some you use for cooking, but you want 3/4 milk reconstituted not 3/4 milk powder.)
1 tablespoon oil, I used Olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dry Italian seasoning mix

Mix all ingredients till well mixed in a large bowl or stand mixer. Preheat oil in a pan for pan frying, or coat an electric griddle with a bit of oil and heat to 325. When your oil or griddle is hot make your fritters/pancakes as you would cook normal pancakes. If you deep fry these, the batter is a bit runny, you may need to adjust milk content a bit to get the right consistency. They are better in my opinion on the griddle, but I wanted to give the option for those who don't have a griddle.
Makes 10-12 fritters, definitely enough for 4, maybe enough for 6 people. They reheat well if you have leftovers.
I usually serve this with fresh corn on the cob.

Price breakdown July 2011
1 zucchini- free from the garden (or about 50 cents right now at our grocery store)
1 box Jiffy mix - 50 cents
1 egg free from our BIL's chicken ( or about 16 cents from the store, if your dozen is $2)
3/4 cup milk (38 cents - milk is about $4 a gallon here)
6 oz mozzerella ($1.50)
The spices and oil are in too small of quantities to price

Total - $3.04 or 76 cents a serving at 4 servings

Served with corn at 4/ $1.00 which brought the whole meal to $1.01 per person.

This is shared at the Raising Homemakers Link Up