Meals from Jars

Today, a busy one, I served a generous meal mostly from jars.  Looking at it, I was grateful for the chance to serve a wholesome meal quickly and inexpensively.
Foresight allowed me to make chicken soup; opening a small jar of home canned chicken, a jar of  home-canned “soup vegetables”, consisting in this case, of carrots, onions, celery, and a jar of homemade chicken broth.  I added frozen homemade noodles to the broth; then cooked 10 minutes.  I could have used barley, a favorite of ours, or rice to make this soup hearty and only would have had to cook it another 10 minutes or so.  Had I wished, I could have thickened the broth to gravy and served the chicken and vegetables over biscuits or as a stew instead of soup.
We enjoyed frozen cornmeal batter rolls I made last week, reheating them and serving them with a jar of Tomato Marmalade.  We could have chosen from several kinds of jams or jellies.   We opened a jar of Refrigerator Pickles Myrna had brought us …so good!  For dessert we enjoyed a small dish of home canned peaches.  If I had had a few more minutes, I could have turned those peaches into a crisp or cobbler.
Besides canned poultry, we keep several kinds of canned beef slices and chunks on hand, canned meat balls, jars of canned ham and several kinds of canned beans and soups like split pea and bean soup.  Along with fruits and vegetables, we can eat pretty well without needing to defrost anything.
This is how many women used to make convenience meals or expand a small meal to serve company.  I remember being amazed at how women I knew could spontaneously (it seemed to me at the time) serve up a meal to drop-in guests with little fuss.  I feel blessed to have learned some of their secrets as well as the skills of canning and baking.  

2 comments:

  1. I would like to know about canning soup. I can a lot of things but don't know about canning soup with meat and vegetables. Can you provide me with any advice or instructions.

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  2. I prefer to can my meat and poultry separately from my "soup vegetables" so the vegetables aren't over-processed, as their canning time is shorter, if you use a combination, can the vegetables the one needing the longest time.
    If you want to can your meat and vegetables together, here is a link to the National Center for Food Preservation.

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/soups.html

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