Pulled Pork Baked Potato

Do you wonder what we do with all that canned pulled pork? There are only so many pulled pork sandwiches one can eat and since we’re not eating bread, scratch the pulled pork sandwiches!

My favorite way to eat pulled pork . . or should I say . . my favorite way today to eat pulled pork:

Pulled Pork Baked Potato

Pulled Pork Baked Potato

Since, technically, we’re not supposed to have white potatoes either, we split a baked potato; added butter, sour cream, cheese, chopped jalapeno and pulled pork.

Yum! Potatoes of any kind are my comfort food!

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya for Canning

Yesterday I was in the kitchen the entire day. There were still two pork butts left from the sale at Kroger so I smoked those and made jambalaya.

Vince had meetings all the way through lunch and he had a dinner meeting so he was gone from about 7 a.m. til about 8:30 p.m. so I knew that was a good day to get some time intensive canning done. It’s real hard to start a big canning project early in the morning and be done by the time he comes home for lunch or, to start it after he goes back to work after lunch and be finished by the time he gets home from work and I know he doesn’t enjoy sitting and listening to the canner hiss and sputter.

The little Ninja chopper saved the day!  That little thing is wonderful!  Onions, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, green onions for the jambalaya . .

Veggies for Jambalaya

Veggies for Jambalaya

Meats include andouille, tasso, bacon and chicken. The first thing I did was brown some chicken breasts. For this recipe, I used breasts with bones and skins. I added bay leaves, garlic, onions, celery, black pepper and salt to the water and ended up with a nice rich broth.  There were two pots going so this is half the broth I ended up with.

Broth

Broth

The bacon was cooked, and the sausage and andouille were browned.

Andouille, Bacon and Tasso

Andouille, Bacon and Tasso

The meat was removed and the veggies, except the green onions, were sauteed in the oil. Then a little broth and several cans of home canned tomatoes were added.

The Start of Jambalaya

The Start of Jambalaya

The meat was added back in . . the seasonings were added. At the end of the cooking time, the green onions were added. Doesn’t this look so good?  Once I filled all the jars, there were about three spoonfuls left in the bottom of the pot and I gobbled that up . . which only left me wanting more!

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

For the jambalaya, I can it in quart jars because it needs enough liquid that, when it’s time to cook this for serving, I can add rice to the contents of the jar, then simmer or bake it all (raw rice and contents of jar) til it is done.

Chicken Jambalaya

Chicken Jambalaya

I ended up with 18 quarts of yummy jambalaya . . it’s so good that I can’t wait to open a jar of this and serve it.  All I will need is the rice, and a big salad and we will have one of our favorite meals.

All American Canner

All American Canner

The canner was going all day!  The first batch had 14 quarts of jambalaya which had to process for 90 minutes.  The second batch had 4 quarts of jambalaya and 8 pints of pulled pork and it had to process for 90 minutes. The third and final batch had 7 pints of pulled pork and it had to process for 75 minutes so the canner was really going most of the day.

That’s over a month’s worth of dinners done in one day! I was tired but it was so worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

On the Needles – April 11, 2014

A little progress was made on the sleeve on Nicole’s Blue Sand.  My goal is to have the left sleeve finished and the right sleeve at least started by the end of this weekend.

Nicole's Blue Sand

Nicole’s Blue Sand

Maybe I’m Not Such a Bad Mother

Good morning!  Have you had breakfast yet?  No?  Good!  Grab yourself a bowl of oatmeal or a piece of toast!  You might want to finish eating before reading any farther!  :)

When I decided to raise mealworms, I read about what they eat, how to build their “home”, the temperature I should maintain for them. I did not read that they shed their skin a million times. As I mentioned before, I thought I had killed about 2/3 of them because I kept finding dried, shriveled up skins and I thought that was the remains of dead mealworms. Here’s a photo of one of the worms shedding its skin.

Shedding Skin

Shedding Skin

After accidentally almost drowning them all, on Tuesday I cleaned out their “home” (which is a Rubbermaid box).  When I saw how many beetles were in there, I realized they must be doing pretty good!

Beetles

Beetles

I had planned to transfer all the beetles, larvae, and worms to a clean, dry “home” but then I thought about the eggs? I don’t even know if I can see the eggs and I didn’t want to dump all them so I transferred the beetles, larva and worms and then left the bedding (which is wheat bran and chicken crumbles) in a partially sunny location, stirred it several times and soon it was dry so I dumped it in with the clean bedding.

They start out as eggs, then they turn into the worms. I read that it takes 4 – 7 days for the eggs to turn into worms but I also read that it takes 4 – 19 days and then I read that it takes 20 – 40 days so . . they turn into worms when they turn into worms!  The black thing is a dead worm.

Pupa

Pupa

Above, you can see several of the “skins” that have been shed. I read that they can shed the skin up to 20 times! They are at the worm (or larva) stage for about 10 weeks.  Then they turn into a pupa. There are lots of opinions about how long they stay at the pupa stage. I’m guessing 2 to 3 weeks.

DSC02248

Pupa

Then they hatch into a beetle. They start out white.

White Beetle

White Beetle

Then they turn brown . . then they turn black.

Black Beetle

Black Beetle

Then . . the beetle lays eggs and then it dies. The beetle lives about 8 – 12 weeks. That, my friends, is the life cycle of a meal worm.

Aren’t you glad you ate breakfast before you started reading this?  :)