I just love how Ball supports and encourages the canning community every year with Can It Forward day.
What’s that? Well. . .
Now in its 6th year, Can-It-Forward Day was born from the desire to share – or pay forward – the joy and benefits of canning, bringing together canners, gardeners and food enthusiasts alike. . .
I’ve participated for the last 4 years at least. You all know that as a Master Food Preserver for the Cornell Cooperative Extension I am a HUGE fan of canning. I love seeing all the live videos on the Ball Facebook Page all day and getting new tips and ideas. Don’t worry–if you missed the live presentations you can watch them on the Ball website Can It Forward Day page (they are down at the bottom).
Although this isn’t a paid gig, I think it’s fun to see what interesting things Ball sends me, and more than that, to be able to offer another set of whatever they send for a reader to win!
Here’s what came this year:
Included were the All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving four of the beautiful blue jars, and a $5 off coupon for a case of canning jars. Wonderful!
Now I know a brand new Ball Blue Book came out last year that I enthused about. This is not a new version of the Blue Book–it’s more like a specialty cookbook. It does cover briefly the basics of how to boiling water bath can, pressure can, freeze, dehydrate etc. . . but it’s more about the variety of recipes.
I really enjoyed this book–the pictures were beautiful, the recipes were unique: Berry-Ale Jam, Habanero Carrot Butter, Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Puttanesca Sauce, Asian Pomegranate BBQ and Stirfry Sauce, Thai Coconut Squash Soup. .. you get the idea.
I really loved the tables–there was one for making meals in jars (pressure canned of course) a three page table on flavored vegetables (curried carrots anyone), and large sections on freezing and dehydrating that put all the information you needed all in one place.
I also was thrilled to see two new sections that I haven’t seen in any off the Ball books before. A section on Fermenting that included Kombucha, yogurt making and more. . . and a Curing and Smoking section! That was rather slim, but I’m hopeful that they will continue to increase in that area.
I wanted to try a new recipe out of the book, and the whole “Meal in a Jar” chart had me interested, so I decided to try the recipe for Chicken Curry in a jar.
The table showed the ingredients needed for either 4 pints or 2 quarts. I’ve always been a fan of running a full canner, so I decided to fill a canner worth (that’s 7 QT jars in my big All American Canner). Since the directions were for 2 quart jars, I knew that each ingredient listed just had to be divided in half and then that amount layered in each jar.
Rather than figuring out specifics, I just bought two family packs of chicken breast, 2 boxes of chicken broth, a box of raisins, about 16 plum tomatoes, 3 lbs of potatoes and a bag of onions. Then I peeled, chopped and diced everything.
Layered into each jar went the onion, tomato (I didn’t peel or de-seed them), potato, and raisins. Then I measured in the curry, garam marsala (I had to stop by the little Asian market I like for that one), salt and fresh chopped cilantro. Finally I filled up the top with the diced chicken and then poured in the broth. I had to use a plastic knife to make a channel for the broth to easily reach down to the bottom of the jar, and then I made sure to de-bubble very carefully–there were lots of little air pockets in there.
By the way, don’t you just love my stainless steel canning funnel ? This thing is going to last forever–my kids will be canning using it some day!
Anyway–I wiped the rims with a paper towel dampened with water and vinegar (to cut any grease from the meat), sealed them and worked some magic with the pressure canner–1 hr 30 min of canning really means about 2 1/2 hours by the time you warm it up, vent it, bring it up to pressure, process, and then cool it and release the pressure.
There was a bit of siphoning, but every jar sealed well. Of course I was dying to know what it actually tasted like, so the next evening we cracked open a jar for supper.
It was very, very tasty! The spice was there, but not overwhelming (and not spicy-hot at all). The curry wasn’t overwhelming. I admit, I was worried about the raisins because I’m not a huge fan of sweet in my savory–but they added flavor and texture without ever tasting like you were biting into a raisin.
I’ll be making more of these for quick and easy dinners on busy school nights later in the year, and can’t wait to try out some of the other recipes.
Now here’s your chance to win a Can It Forward Day prize package:
****This post contains affiliate links**** Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I’ve received product samples for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.