A day with my mama (recipes included)

One advantage of having our hours at work cut to 32 a week is that I have more time during the week to do special things I may not otherwise be able to squeeze in to my schedule.
On Wednesday, I spent the day with my mama, being domestic :)
When I was a kid, I'd help her can all summer long — pickles, green beans, tomato juice and more. Well, my parents raise cattle and my mom would always can beef. In the past year or so, I've realized just how awesome it is to have that canned beef for a quick meal. One of mine and J's favorite meals is just to open a can, cook it in a little EVOO, and mix in with some seasoned rice. So this time, I helped mom can it.
And it was so EASY! Seriously. What we had only made about 16 pint-sized jars, which isn't a lot to split between two people. But mom has friends who just use roast from the store.
So here's my plan: whenever roast goes on sale for $1 to $1.50 a pound, I'll buy up 10 or so pounds and cut it up. Then I'll haul it up to my parents' (since I don't have a pressure cooker) and finish it up.
Here's the super-easy recipe, though:
- Cut beef into cubes (about one inch)
- Pack as tight as you can into canning jars (we use pints)
- Pour 1/2 tsp. canning salt on top
- Add about 1/4 cup water
- Put lids and rings on as directed
- Put in pressure cooker. The manual has directions on how much water to add to the cooker
- Turn on the stove and once the pressure cooker starts jiggling, just let it keep at it for 75 minutes. Then you're done!

While doing this, I also made my grandma's homemade meatballs for lunch, and mom taught me how to make gravy. Here's the meatball recipe:

Mix the following:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 2 slices bread, torn apart
- Chopped onion (optional)

Form into balls and roll in a flour/salt/pepper mixture. Brown in grease or oil (I use a cast-iron skillet.)
The meatballs can be served with spaghetti, gravy or as an appetizer. My mom likes a tomato gravy - you basically add flour to the leftover juice, then adds tomato juice instead of water and Kitchen Bouquet, then puts the meatballs back in. Delicious!

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