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.


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