Canning up a storm

Canned Tuna
The morning started with 4 half-pints of tuna lion (I found it in the freezer).  I followed the OSU Extension Office’s Instructions for this project.  I packed the tuna into the jars, added 1/2 teas salt and olive oil to cover.  I poked around with a knife to clear the air bubbles and added more oil to cover the fish.  Then I popped on the lid and ring and placed the jars into the pressure canner.  I’ve got a weighted canner and our elevation is only 460′ so I’m processing them at 10 lb for 100 minutes.

Smoked Fish
Next, I turned my attention to the Mystery White Fish from the freezer.  I decided to try to cure and smoke it like I would salmon so I mixed together:

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 8-10 Juniper berries

I’ll let this cure for a couple of days in the refrigerator with a weight on it, turning it twice a day.  Then I’ll rinse it and ask Joe to smoke it with some fresh apple twinges.

Blackberry Jelly
I combined the 6 cups juice I made yesterday with 6 cups of sugar and a couple of teaspoons of cider vinegar.  I boiled it forever (it seemed like it) until it finally gelled and then processed it into 8 half-pint jars.

Goat Milk Soap
This afternoon I decided to make a batch of soap – only my second so don’t follow my instructions – I just want to remember what I did.  I had found a recipe for cold processed soap online using shortening, olive oil and coconut oil along with the goat milk and lye but wanted to add a little almond oil.  I was directed to the Brambleberry Lye Calculator where I was able to input the amounts of oils I wanted to use as well as the Superfatting level (extra oils to make skin softer? – I chose 5%) and was able to determine the amount of lye and liquid I would need.


Oil(s) Selected Amount %
Almond Oil (Sweet) 1.00oz 4.35%
Coconut Oil (Fractioned) 6.00oz 26.09%
Lard 10.00oz 43.48%
Olive Oil 6.00oz 26.09%
5% Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) Amount 3.526oz
Ounces of liquid recommended 7.59oz
Yields 34.12oz
Current Batch (total oil weight): 23.00oz
Resize Batch

Oil Weight  gramsounces

I added the lye into the frozen goat milk really slowly – I think it took at least 30 minutes.  I wanted to avoid burning it, which I did.  It turned out a lovely creamy yellow color rather than the dark orange I had last time.  I best part was that I could check on the boiling jelly while monitoring the lye.  I should add here that I have grown-up children that know their way around chemicals as I was a science teacher for years so I trusted them to stay away from the lye on the back porch.

The stick blender helped a lot when adding the oils to the lye.  It took about 15 minutes to reach trace.  Then I just added a little peppermint scent and red color – not sure I’m loving the red.  I tried to make a swirl but it’s more of a mush. Oh well, it’s resting quietly, wrapped in towels, all nice and warm.

The evening wrapped up with a little knitting and my accidental assurance that there are so live mosquitos in our house.  I put a log on the fire which just won’t stop smoldering.  Joe finally took it outside, but the house still stinks.

This entry was posted in 2013, August 2013, Putting up. Bookmark the permalink.

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