Monday, February 4, 2008

Canning Fish

I know, I know, it has been forever since I've posted, but I returned to work, (down to three jobs now!) and things just got pushed aside. Oh well, keep on walking, right?

Anyway, this last weekend I volunteered at our local Friendship Centre, and helped to host a Round Dance. For those of you who don't know, a Round Dance is a PowWow, but inside during the winter months. Also instead of Fancy Dancing, or Traditional, we hold hands and "snake" in a clockwise direction around the hand drummers in the middle of the circle. Hard to explain, but I hope you understand. Before the singing and dancing begins, we have a Pipe Ceremony and a feast. This year we served buffalo, moose meat stew, wild rice caserole, beef, rice, potaoes, vegetable, pickerel, pike, rice, hamburger soup, bannock, and more dainties and meat trays than I can recall! We started and 12 noon, and I finally made it home at 3am, it was a long, long day for me!

The whole day was great, but there was a sad note, our arena director's grandfather passed in the morning, so rather than 30 - 35 drummers, we had only 10. This is very understandable, and we pressed on. This also meant that we had over 20 lbs of fish that was thawed and would go to waste if something wasn't done. I decided that I would can the leftovers and save it for our next gathering.

I have canned fish for several years now, I can remember as a little girl going out to my grandmother's trapline and watching her can fish, but in the OVEN! A big no-no now, I use a pressure canner, which cuts the cooking time by over half! So much nicer. She would can jackfish, but I usually can suckers in the spring, so taking a leap of faith, and racking my memory, here is my recipe for canned jack.

Per quart jar

fish fillets, (no need to debone)
2T ketchup
1 1/2 T vinegar
2T cooking oil
1/2T coarse salt

Fill the jars with fish, leaving an inch headspace

Pour over ketchup, vinegar, oil and salt.

Place in canner, vent for ten minutes and then process for 110 minutes with the weight gently rocking.

Remove from heat, DO NOT remove weight or lid until canner has cooled.

Tada! All done! Take jars out and allow them to sit for 24 hours undisturbed.

I can sneak this in all recipes that call for salmon, I swear you cannot tell the difference! I have one son who "hates" fish, and he will eat this without complaint! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!! Good luck!