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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lilies and Chicken

Another update on my quest to become the best homemaker I can be. Today my first lily opened! This may not seem huge to some people, but it is really exciting for me. I bought these lily bulbs almost 3 years ago at Costco. I planted them without knowing how to really care for them. They came up in the spring, but didn't bloom. The following year, less of them came up, and again, no blooms. Well, this winter, after consulting my newly-purchased Western Garden Book, I realized that in areas with really hot summers, lilies won't tolerate full sun. So, I transplanted the dormant bulbs, which had managed to multiply, into planters that I placed on the east side of my house, right next to the front door. They only get sun until 11 or 12, and then are in shade all afternoon. Well, as you can see, I have my first beautiful lily after 3 years of waiting! And there are many more buds ready to open soon. Flowers make me happy.

The other important development is that I can officially pressure can food all by myself! My mom and I bottled chicken a while ago, but I used it all up. Then a couple weeks ago, a sister in our ward hosted a canning activity where she taught us to bottle meat. I had participated in pressure canning, but had never done it on my own. Well, when Fry's had chicken on sale for $1.77/lb, I bought a bunch, and decided to go for it. I successfully bottled 10 pint jars of chicken (about 2 breasts in each). Getting the hang of keeping the heat and pressure regulated is the hardest part. Other than that, all you do is put raw chicken breasts and a tsp of salt into warm jars, put on lids, and cook for 75 minutes (90 minutes for quart jars). Super easy. And I love thinking of all the money I can save, especially the way we used to go through those store-bought cans of chicken! I use it all the time for enchiladas, chicken salad, Hawaiian haystacks--anything you need shredded chicken for. I remember being a kid, and looking at all the jars my mom had canned. Most of the stuff looked pretty gross--especially the meat. But I can tell you, now that I've done it myself, there is great satisfaction in looking at those beautiful jars!

3 comments:

emily said...

Cool Beans! So I am a bit confused. With the finished product is the chicken cooked or raw?

megs said...

The chicken is totally cooked, ready to eat straight out of the jar, like tuna. It makes its own broth as it cooks, so you can drain it off, or use it!

Jaime Lynne said...

You are such a fantastic homemaker. I am VERY skeptical about that chicken. It just really freaks me out, but I trust you! :)

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