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I recently canned meatballs in homemade sauce as an experiment, but wasn’t sure what to expect. I canned in quarts, which means 90 minutes in the canner, so I was afraid they would be very soft and fall apart. I waited a week before opening – I almost held my breath as I waited for the moment of truth. I poured the jar into the bowl – it looked great. But what about texture?

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Canning is great fun, especially when experimenting with different recipes and flavor combinations. We just canned up some chicken, and I did some test jars of smokey, taco, bbq, Southwestern, and curry chicken. Here are the jars I prepared before filling with chicken.

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Canning Ground Beef

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Some of my favorite home canned convenience foods are ground beef, turkey and chicken. People tell me they are too afraid of killing someone to can meat. I inform these cautious canners death is just as certain from an improperly canned slice of carrot. More people get sick on packaged foods and grocery store produce than home canned goods. You almost never hear of home canned goods causing illness. You just have to follow instructions, like you would cooking with any method.

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Canning Pineapple Chunks

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I love Aldi. In fact, I haven’t been to the farmers market in almost 2 months because I’m getting such good deals at Aldi. It’s been awhile since pineapples have been 99 cents each, so I had to stock up. I dehydrated four pineapples, made 5 pints of crushed pineapple, and canned several quarts of pineapple chunks. I actually have 4 more to dehydrate – – I put them in the fridge to slow ripening until I returned from a camping trip.

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Canning Lemonade Concentrate

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When I was younger, I always thought of lemons as a summer fruit. Maybe it’s lemonade to blame, since it’s typically pegged as a summer beverage.  But lemons are indeed a winter fruit, and I like to stock up when produce is in season. Each winter I make gobs of dehydrated lemons for the year, since I use them in my water every day. I was running low, and was hoping for a good price. I ended up with a 44 pound box for $10. With 44 pounds, I could surely get my year’s supply of dehydrated lemons, and extra for experimenting.

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