I've been working on a batch of chicken stock for a while. It was clear that it was time to make some because I still had some necks and organs in the freezer from when I butchered chickens a while back. Also, we had chicken legs for dinner a few nights in a row, and I had a carcass left in the freezer from a while back.
Additionally, we were getting more vegetables from our CSA than I was able to eat so it was time to morph all this food into something that would be useful to me at a later date.
My favorite thing about having learned to can last summer was the fact that I have no reservations on canning my own foods. It makes it so wonderful to know that I can make 2 gallons of chicken stock and preserve it without having to think about using it all up. The trick is that you have to pressure can it, and that gets me a little bit nervous sometimes.
I got my pressure canner from a yard sale for 20 bucks, and I adore it. It is huge--20 quart capacity, so I can can about 2 gallons of things in one go. Pressure canners that were made recently are incredibly safe, but in the old days these things used to explode and cause all sorts of trouble.
I feel like I sit on pins and needles while I wait for the 25 mintues to be up. I've only got 5 more mintues to go on the batch I'm working on.
The positive side is that I will have freshly canned chicken stock to use at my will that can sit in my pantry waiting for me to come up with something to use it in!