Preparing to Can Food on Lunch Break

Lunch break from work. I have one hour. What should I do with my hour? Crock pot soup for canning after work. Yes, I could have gotten it ready last night, but who has time for that? I have children, big dogs, homework to monitor, cleaning to do, dinner to prepare..

So what did I make today on my lunch break? Chicken soup!
– chicken, “cubed” (takes about 7 minutes)
– celery, chopped (takes about 3 minutes)
– carrots, chopped (another 3 minutes)
– onion, finely chopped (3 more minutes)
– chicken stock, previously prepared (30 seconds)
– spices, salt, pepper (put another 30 seconds on the clock)
– push buttons on crockpot (5 seconds)

And there you have it.. 17 minutes and 5 seconds to prepare 5 quarts of chicken soup for canning tonight. A task easily accomplished during anyone’s normal lunch break. I realize I could have made this soup more interesting and added more ingredients, but with limited time and my other resources, there’s no reason to.

When we sit down around the dinner table as a family to eat this soup, chances are it will be over rice, maybe with some beans added. There will be spices available for each person to change it up as they so desire. Making meals things and canning them does not need to be a lengthy, time-consuming process. Keep it simple and quick. I have heard many people say they don’t can things because they don’t have time. Not sure what they’re thinking about canning, but simply doubling some dinner recipes can help make time. If you’re already preparing a meal that can be jarred, why not double it? It doesn’t take double the time, but it does give you more food for your pantry.

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