I raided the refrigerator yesterday morning for vegetables that I needed to use immediately. They weren’t bad but absolutely perfect for vegetable stock (just at that perfectly ripe stage before they become too ripe).

I found celery, frozen broccoli stems, carrots, squash (from last summer’s garden), onions, garlic, wimpy bell peppers and and more celery (I had lots of celery). I washed and cleaned them, cut them in large chunks (if they were too large) and threw them all into a large stock pot and filled it with water.

I let them simmer on the back of the stove for about four hours. Towards the end of the four hours I cleaned and sterilized the quart jars and lids and got the pressure canning heating up. I strained the vegetables and tossed them out for the wild critters(once they had cooled) and poured the vegetable stock into the hot, sterilized jars.

Make sure you follow the directions for your pressure canner. I have the All American pressure canner. I let the stock can for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure and then turned off the stove. Once the canner had cooled down and there was no more pressure within it, I opened the canner and had 5 beautiful quarts of vegetable stock.

When you are able to make your own vegetable stock, you should. It’s healthier for you as you know exactly what was used in making the stock. You can control the amount of sodium in the stock as well as what you use in the stock. ┬áNo two vegetable stocks will turn out the same – at least in my home. I use what I have and what needs to be utilized before it goes bad.

If you do not have a canner, you can still make vegetable stock and freeze it.

By the way – DO NOT use a water bath canner when you are canning vegetables. They are non-acidic and will have a large potential to grow harmful bacteria like botulism. You MUST use a pressure canner when canning vegetables, plain and simple (unless you’re pickling them but that’s a different post).

Take care and God bless! Happy canning!

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