Mild Weather

Another sunny day, and not too cold either, wonderful! Winter will return, but it will soon break into the promise of spring.

To my surprise, the steam canner was put to use yesterday. Eight 250 ml jars of Cranberry Orange Sauce were canned. This project stemmed from a series of events.

The first part of the series is when we found small whole chickens on sale at the grocery store, they were marked down, a lot, because their expiration date had been reached. We bought five of them, brought them home, and put them immediately into the chest freezer. We have been having a roast chicken every few weeks. Each small chicken provides us with four chicken dinners, and two batches of soup.

The chicken dinners end up being a little rich for me. So after the first night of chicken dinner, Attila carries on with a full chicken dinner for three more nights, and I switch to eating a toasted chicken sandwich, with is less rich, and agrees with my stomach. My sandwich is made with my homemade organic whole wheat bread, mayonnaise, Cranberry Orange Sauce, sliced chicken, and a wee bit of freshly ground pepper. So delicious!

Which brings yesterday’s project into play. I make my own Cranberry Orange Sauce. Since there are fresh oranges that were bought on sale in January in the refrigerator, and frozen cranberries that were bought on sale months ago in the freezer, it seemed logical to make enough Cranberry Orange Sauce to accommodate a lot of sandwiches. The intention was to freeze batches for future use, but the freezer is almost full. At the last minute I decided to can the sauce in the steam canner.

Since the Cranberry Orange Sauce will be consumed in the next few months, the reusable Tattler canning lids were used. They don’t always seal, but this time they did. My trick to getting them to seal is to apply them to the jar at room temperature, and to increase the head space to at least an inch and a half. This would not be good for long term storage, oxygen in the jar will deteriorate the food, but for a a few months I am happy with it.

Cranberry Orange Sauce is also a treat on toast or biscuits, and has a lot less sugar than jams and jellies.

Another project tackled by Attila yesterday, was to process one of the two large Blue Hubbard Squash that are stored in the basement. They were grown in our garden, the last of the five that were harvested. Attila removed the seeds, peeled the squash, and cooked it in the Instant Pot. Today I will puree the squash, portion it into clean plastic containers (reused sour cream containers and lids), label, and store in the freezer. Pureed squash cannot be canned, it is too dense. Cubed squash can be pressure canned, but freezing pureed squash is our preferred method of preservation in this case.



Updated on Mon, Feb 13, 10:55 AM
Partly cloudy
Humidity 90 %
Visibility 13 km
Sunrise 7:10 AM
Wind gust 5 km/h
Pressure 100.4 kPa
Ceiling 200 m
Sunset 5:34 PM


“Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny.”
Carl Schurz
1829 – 1906

I prefer that our culture promote this sentiment, and stop telling children that their dreams can come true… because dreams are not meant to come true, they are meant to open our minds, and show us the beauty of our hearts.

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Joan Lansberry

Interesting idea about the dreams, that does seem a wiser approach! Enjoy your chicken!


Your chicken sandwich sounds delicious. Were the chicken Cornish hens? They’re smaller chickens and very delicious. We were at 50 degrees F in Chicago today. What a wonderful break!


Your chicken sandwich sounds delicious, Maggie! The cranberry orqnge sauce sounds like it would be a real treat on there!


Maggie, speaking of mild weather – I’ve actually seen tulips and crocus in l9cal gardens, as much as 4 inches high!

This is the earliest I’ve seen flowers coming up since 1998.