12.14.2011

Amy's Canning Adventure

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, my big kitchen project this season was to make my yummy Thai Peanut Sauce and can it to give out as presents to my family and friends for the holidays.  I've made this sauce in single and double batches, but it has never made as much as I was going to need for this canning project.  So, I think I increased the recipe by nearly 15 times, and made it in a large saucepan.  On the other large burner of my stove, I had my grandma's old HUGE canning tub, that I used to boil the jars in water before and after filling them.  In a smaller saucepan, I boiled the lids to sanitize them until I filled the jars.  (I am by no means an expert on canning, so please do not use my crude explanation of how I canned my jars as a basis for canning on your own.  I would suggest researching the "art" of canning and all of the techniques on your own, as well as being informed on the dangers of canning food and food safety.)

Here are some of the pictures of my process (my nearly 5 hour long process):


Starting the sauce, while boiling the jars and lids.


The Sauce is ready and the canning begins.

I used a wide-bottomed funnel to help me fill them.

After the jars boiled, cooled, and the seal was checked, I decorated them with some Christmas-y fabric my Mom had left over from sewing and quilting, and some basic inexpensive red ribbon.

Health Discussion:
I know that the holidays have always been a time that many of us go overboard with eating, I usually end up gaining several pounds and working my butt off to lose it at the beginning of the year.  While it feels good getting healthy after the new year, I am always kicking myself through the holidays for my bad eating decisions.  Part of me says "I just want to try everything," while the other part of me is encouraging "just get one more serving, it tastes so good!"  I know that this year will be much different, mostly because my parents and I are on-board with a nutritarian lifestyle, so there will be less temptations of "bad foods" and more available yummy good-for-us foods.  

I was chatting with my mom the other day about what recipes we will be making for Christmas dinner this year, during which both of my brothers and sister-in-laws will be in town.  On the list so far are: Kitty's Asian Slaw, Pumpkin Basil Soup, and Thai Vegetable Pizza.  Ok, so not a traditional Christmas meal, but these are some of my Mom and my favorite foods since becoming nutritarian, and ones that I know the rest of my family will enjoy.  We will also be serving a large bowl of mixed fruit, as well as a large side salad with several types of lettuce, walnuts, and cranberries.  I know that this time last year, I would have thought a Christmas dinner looking like this would have seemed so strange, but this year I can't wait to spend the morning and afternoon helping my mom prepare this food that we can be proud to serve, both because of taste and because we know we are giving the people we love most in the world the healthiest things for them.  

What is the most weight you've gained during the Holidays?  What will you do differently this year to change that cycle?

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