Thursday, July 17, 2014

Third times a charm right? Not.

   I attempted twice now to pick and can poke.  I know I've mentioned poke on here before...
Lands Bounty is from when we first learned of how to eat and prepare poke.  DO YOUR RESEARCH! Never eat poke raw and NEVER eat the ROOT!
Poke aka Poke Salat is a southern dish that has been enjoyed for years.  Depending on who you talk to they all prepare it a little different.  After much of my own reading and research this is how we eat it. 

First, Pick a lot! It cooks down a lot like spinach and if you plan to can it you will need three times as much as you need.   Go to above link for pictures of the plant.  I pick them smaller leaves and when they are young is best but I continue to pick smaller leaves from large plants too. 
If we are just going to eat it I wash then boil it.  About 10 to 15 min.  Then pour off the water.  Many recommend that you boil it twice or even three times.  Do your research and decide.  After the first boil it tastes best sautéed in some butter or bacon grease.
My attempt of canning poke did not go well.  After picking and washing a ton of poke I loaded it all into the biggest pot I had full of boiling water to cook..
After it cooked down I used my pasta fork there to move it to my next biggest pot of boiling water.  I put it though a very short second boil and packed it into jars.  I didn't worry about water from the second boil getting into my jars.  The first boil is what boils out all the toxins in poke.
I packed my jars full of poke added 1/2 teaspoon salt and put into my pressure canner.  Here's where everything went wrong. When my jars came out of the pressure canner they had no liquid left in them.  So I figured it was the canner.  I had issues getting it to the right pressure.  I tested my canner and it seemed to work fine so I tried again.  And again failed...
So after two days wasted I gave up on getting any poke canned this year.  I will try again next year. 
So still in denial that my canner was at fault I attempted to can some green beans and again did not get good results.  Seemed to suck the liquid out of my jars. So I think my canner needs new seals as it doesn't want to get to pressure very quickly.  I will not be using it until I get new seals for it.  Hopefully soon.  So this all gets chalked up to Live and Learn.  :) 

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