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Canning Kale

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One of my family’s favorite vegetables is kale. I got a 25 pound case of kale recently for 50 cents a pound. What will I do with all that kale? Fresh kale salad, dehydrated kale, kale pesto, kale gratin, and I will pressure can kale for even more uses. The great thing about canned kale, is it’s perfectly cooked for a quick dish – – silky soft and ready to eat.

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Canning Yellow Summer Squash

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When my kids don’t like a vegetable, I don’t give up. I make it several different ways, and sometimes even wait a couple years before re-introduction. I’m my kids’ nutritionist, and I’m putting the effort in now to set them up for a lifetime of enjoying a variety of healthy foods. It’s true everyone won’t like everything, but I gotta try, right? Giving up can lead to picky eaters, which is no fun for anyone. This past year was my victory in regards to summer squash. Neither of my kids liked it before, but they finally like it, after years of re-introduction. It’s worth it, especially because sometimes I can get a 20 pound box for $5 like I did this past weekend.

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I accidentally bought 67.5 pounds of cabbage. A vendor showed me a giant box of cabbage and told me it was $10, and looking at the enormity of the box, clearly it was a good deal. I didn’t know the exact calculation until I hauled it home, weighed the cabbage, and realized I had only paid 14 cents a pound. I was exited about the deal, but then I looked at all that cabbage, and realized that was my life for the next two days. My first go to in putting up this bounty was sauerkraut.

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Canning Turkey

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This Thanksgiving, my pressure canner gave me so much freedom in regards to dealing with turkey leftovers. Normally, I’m putting together casseroles and soups for the freezer using turkey, making my family eat turkey days, and cooking turkey stock for hours upon hours. Not this year. Dealing with leftovers is a snap with my pressure cooker/canner.

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* This post is part of my “Make Ahead Holidays,” series, which will go through Christmas. I will tell you how to make the big day(s) less rushed, and how to make your feast cost the least.

A couple of days after Thanksgiving last year, cranberries went on sale at Aldi for 19 cents a bag. You can imagine how my mind started swirling, as I stood in front of the display, and devised ways to employ said cranberries. To be honest, I was so dizzied with excitement, it bordered on manic. I make my own cranberry sauce, but I needed to quickly brainstorm, because tomorrow they could be gone.

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