Wild Canning and Red Chili


20170731_180850Sure, just going to the store and buying cheap cans of vegetables is easy but there is just something about canning that is so satisfying.  From choosing what you are going to preserve, to preparing it, to hearing that lovely lid popping sound, to opening up a jar in the winter to find yourself in your summer kitchen again, the smell of fresh vegetables greeting you on a snowy day.

This week I put up pickles, corn, and broth.  I will see what the local farmers have this weekend at the market to determine what I will put up this Sunday.  I know I need more corn!

Chickens love corn canning time.  They pluck every last morsel from the spent cobs.  I don’t give them all of them though.  Corn cobs make delicious broth.  Broth is just too easy to make.  Fill your biggest pot with corn cobs and any vegetables that need to get out of the fridge.  I piled in a handful of mushrooms, a big red onion, several cloves of garlic, and the ends of some leeks.  You can use any vegetable, really.  I add a couple teaspoons of salt and a bit of pepper.  You can add herbs.  The more the merrier.  Now here is where we get a little wild.  Plain vegetable broth is alright most of the time but sometimes we cooks yearn for a bit more.  And because I personally feel that New Mexican red chili belongs in all of the world’s cuisines, I made some red chili-corn broth.  Simply by adding 1 big Tablespoon of Chimayo chili, I have changed the game of broth.

(Simmer 2 hours, fill hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace, pressure can for 25 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure or for us high altitude folks, leave on all the weights.)

Pickles might like a different vinegar or different spices. Tomatoes might like some garlic and red chili (here I go again!) added to them.  Fruit might love some cinnamon or cardamom.  Green beans might like almonds added.  Or peas and beets canned together.  We put half the corn on the grill for a few minutes to get nice and smoky.  Fire roasted corn!  Get wild, y’all.  You will appreciate the fiesta of flavors come January.

Happy canning!

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