Chicken nuggets & Plum Sauce

Is there anything in the media that screams childhood more then Chicken nuggets? As a young parent I lived in the dillusion that nothing prefab would ever enter my child’s mouth. Then came a weekend at Grandma’s.

My children mysteriously came home and knew the draw of the chicken Mcnugget and dip. When I asked how they knew about nuggets – my younger son answered “I was just borned with it”. I had heard this answer once before when speaking about Star Wars and how they had heard about them – long before they were of age to watch. Apparently both Star Wars and nuggets are something mysteriously passed n through DNA now.

You have built a stronghold by the songs of babies. Strength rises up with the chorus of singing children.

Psalms 8:2

With heightened food allergies at school, it severely limits our options in lunches. (No eggs, Fish, dairy, nuts,) I admit prefab Chicken fingers have made a weekly appearance but to ease my conscience I do try to buy ones with no fillers. My kids love it because it makes them feel special cool, all the kids wish they had hot chicken nuggets in their lunches.

I heat up the thermos with boiling hot water for 5-10 min, drain and dry and add a bit of paper towel in bottom this absorbs the steam and helps keep them crisp.

Bernardin has a recipe I use to make and can Plum sauce. It is just like the traditional Chinese dipping sauces you enjoy with out the red dye. The secret to this sauce is using yellow Asian plums. They are much smaller then the regular red or purple plums. If you cannot find yellow plums I have had success with apricots as well. Using regular plums wont hurt but yellow helps give that golden translucent colour. I enjoy a strained sauce – free of tidbits, but that is totally optional, and original recipe keeps them in.

Plum Sauce – care of Bernardin

10 cups (2500 ml) prepared plums (Yellow or Asian), about 4 lb (1.8 kg)

2 cups (500 ml) firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar

1 cup (250 ml) cider vinegar

3/4 cup (175 ml) finely chopped onion

2 tbsp (25 ml) finely chopped green chili peppers

2 tbsp (25 ml) mustard seed

1 tbsp (15 ml) salt

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 pieces (each ¼ x 1 inch / 0.5 x 2.5 cm) gingerroot, minced

• Pit and finely chop plums. Measure 10 cups (2500 ml); set aside.

Place 6 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

• Combine sugars, vinegar, onion, mustard seed, chili peppers, salt, garlic and gingerroot in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil; add plums. Return mixture to a boil; boil gently, stirring occasionally, about 1 3/4 hours or until thick and syrupy.

• Ladle sauce into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more sauce. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining sauce.

• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*

• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.

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