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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Busy Restocking the Pantry

My poor pantry is about as pathetic as you can get because I purposely did not restock many foods in preparation for our recent move.  My husband has been away at hunt camp (yeah! they were successful!)  so I have put the time to good use organizing the house and restocking the pantry.  This past week has been a very busy week in the kitchen, restocking a few items like homemade taco seasoning, taco hot sauce, homemade poultry seasoning, as well as canned jalapeño pepper rings, pineapple and mandarin oranges.  I restocked on gorgeous cod fillets from Elite Foods, bought a few items from the local grocery stores.  M&M's had coated, stuffed chicken breasts on for $1.99 so I bought twelve.  M&Ms is gourmet quality food which works nicely for those meals where you are pressed for time.  I made a full course, home cooked meal each night for the past week for myself as well.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with a few ingredients so there's been a lot going on in the kitchen!

home canned taco hot sauce
Yesterday I canned taco hot sauce.  We were completely out and homemade is so much nicer than store bought.  Doesn't it just look gorgeous in the jars? 

Of note when you are following a canning recipe there are several ingredients that can be substituted without affecting the safety of the home canned product.  For example, this recipe calls for cider vinegar but any vinegar can be used providing it is 5% acetic acid by volume.  If the vinegar is 4% or 6%, the volume needs to be adjusted using the concentration equation.  The recipe calls for corn syrup but pure sugar cane syrup can be substituted and it also calls for hot pepper sauce giving a wide range of hot pepper sauces to choose from including homemade. 

One of the beauties of home canning is you can avoid all those additives, eliminate the problem ingredients like high fructose corn syrup while ending up with a safe, convenient substitute.  Tommorow I'm canning dried beans.  This is a convenience product for me but well worth doing even though I do cook dried beans from scratch.  Commercially canned beans often contain calcium chloride (acceptable for home canning use aka Pickle Crisp), disodium EDTA (a lysogenic agent I definitely do not want to consume), salt, and HFCS something that is quickly gainly a lot of disfavour in the culinary industry. 

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