A few weeks ago I purchased a bag of potatoes from Bountiful Baskets. The bag was $6.75 and that was for 20 lbs of potatoes. That factors out to 33 cents a pound! I love it when I can score deals like this. I bought the potatoes with the plan to can them. After #NOSpenduary, I was able to purchase a pressure cooker, which means that I can now can low acid foods. I am beyond excited!
I started out by peeling and washing my potatoes. Alright people let me get real with you. Peeling potatoes is no joke. It takes for-like-ever! I spent about an hour peeling 20 pounds of potatoes. Thankfully I had Netflix up on the tablet and I watched The Hunger Games. This definitely helped pass the time.
I also peeled some carrots because I wanted to throw some carrots into some cans with potatoes. I didn't use the bell peppers, although they are pictured above.
I followed the recipe for Irish Potatoes found in the Blue Book Guide to Preserving . This is my canning bible and has recipes for everything. I used it when I canned salsa last month. I know that canning can seem a bit daunting and expensive, but think of it as you are not just canning for this month, but for the months ahead. I try to can enough to last us 6-12 months. You'd be surprised how far the veggies will go when canning. I also try to can in the cooler months and not do any canning in July and August when it is really hot here. No one wants to stand over a hot stove when it is crazy hot outside. Oh and a good chic flick or music play list are essential for making the time go by as you can:)
After my first batch of canning, I read that you could raw pack veggies when canning them. I decided to give that a try for my second batch and I loved it. The potatoes came out great! You can read more about raw packing here. Basically you wash, peel, and chop your potatoes. Then you pack them into hot mason jars, leaving a 1-inch head space. Cover them with boiling water, remove any air bubbles, and place two piece lids. Don't forget to wipe the mouth of the jar before placing on the lids, so you make sure you get a great seal.
Raw packing meant I didn't have to stand over this big pot. I was all for that:)
Oh and did you know that you can sterilize your jars in the oven? Miss Kay taught me that. Thank you Duck Dynasty! To sterilize your jars, preheat your oven to 225'. Place your clean jars, lids, and rings into a roasting pan and slide them into the oven for at least 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, turn off your oven and leave jars in there until you are ready to use them. Oh and don't forget to use an oven mitt when you take them out of the oven. I know this is a "duh!" moment, but I may have forgotten and all I can say is ouch! You can read about other methods to sterilize your jars here.
Once your jars are done processing, allow your pressure canner to release the pressure on it's own. Next place them on a towel on the counter. Let them cool over night before labeling them and putting them away. I use to purchase washable tags, but have since stopped. It is a lot easier to just label the lid with a sharpie, since the lids can't be reused.
I know that canning takes time, but there is something special about seeing the fruits of your labors. All that time spent washing, peeling, and cutting is worth it when you hear the ping ping of the lids. Trust me it is amazing! I know that this is food my family will enjoy throughout the year. Totally worth it!
Potatoes- Irish or White
2 to 3 pounds of potatoes per quart
Wash white potatoes and drain. Peel potatoes. Wash again. Leave small potatoes whole; cut large potatoes into quarters. Cover potatoes with water in a large sauce-pot. Boil for 10 minutes. Pack hot potatoes into hot jars, leaving 1 inch-head-space. Add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint jar or 1 tsp to each quart jar. Ladle boiling water over potatoes, leaving 1-inch head-space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 35 minutes, quarts 40 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner.
*My jars with carrots in them. I peeled and chopped the veggies and then processed them for the same time. Oh I raw packed them too!
We have a discussion going on about how to serve these delicious spuds on Facebook.
Check out what everyone is saying and leave your two cents too!