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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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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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One of the most fun things to pressure can, is soup. The tricky part is, unlike stove top soup, you can’t adjust seasonings while simmering, because it cooks while canning. Although, in my first attempts at soup canning, I pre-cooked the dish, then canned it, but the result was a flat, almost sour tasting soup. Then, I saw on the Internet the concept of “layered” soups, where you stack raw vegetables and either cooked, or raw meat, in a jar, then allowed the pressure canner to do the cooking. But these soups used water and no seasonings, and that wouldn’t do. I played around with the concept myself, and think I’ve got a solid contender worthy of your leftover turkey.

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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. At the end of the post, I will tell you how to prepare your mashed potatoes ahead of time for the holidays, and serve them hot with no mess, and no re-heating! 

There is a domestic urban myth that potatoes cannot be frozen. Now, you can’t just slice a potato and freeze it, that’s true, it must be treated, but frozen potatoes are a glorious convenience food, and a great way to stock up when prices are almost a give away.

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