Saturday, February 4, 2017

Canning Season

Most folks who have a garden find themselves up to their hips in vegetables to can in the fall when it is time to harvest.  Because I don't have a garden, my canning season is whenever I find a good sale at the grocery store.

This week I ordered two of those boneless half hams.  They were 2 1/2 lbs. each.  I also got 20 lbs. of russet potatoes and 8 lbs. of carrots.  And I have about 15 lbs. of onions and one head of cabbage.

I spent the better part of Friday prepping the ham and potatoes and carrots.  The ham was cut into 1 inch cubes.  The potatoes and carrots were run through my food chopper and turned into 1/2 inch cubes.  Saturday morning I will run them through my pressure canner.

While the canner is doing its thing, I will chop the onions and shred the cabbage for the dehydrator.

I know that I have already put back enough canned and dried food for at least a year.  Oldest Son has been working with me on this prepping thing for the last few years, so I figure the amounts I need for his household and mine.

I had planned on sewing Friday and Saturday, but it is a matter of priorities.  Some say I am foolish to can and dehydrate so much, but the meat I canned two years ago that I ate for supper cost considerably less when I bought it than it does now.  And the ham I bought this week will likely cost more next year.  And even though things seem to be looking a bit brighter now, we still live in an uncertain world with more unrest here in the States than I can remember.  So, I keep on adding to the pantry whenever I can.  Just in case...


  1. You are a very wise woman to plan ahead. It is for the uncertain and difficult times that we put away the good foods. You are also correct about the fact that the cost of those food items will most likely rise over the next year or two. I get much satisfaction when I go to prepare a meal and am able to find the ingredients ready and waiting for use in my pantry. And there is plenty put aside should the need arise. I just read an article yesterday about a shortage of spinach and broccoli in Europe. Food shortages are not something I want my family to experience. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your weekend...sewing?

  2. Anyone who disparages you for putting back large quantities of food is displaying extreme shortsightedness. They should pick up a copy of The Grapes of Wrath and see what can happen out of the blue. Since everything that you acquire in the way of self sufficiency can be utilized in the normal course of events, I can't see any grounds for objecting to your efforts. The time may well come when you will need all you have put back in order to take care of yourself and your family.

  3. It sounds like you are one of those hording, radical preppers to me. Next thing you know you will be locking your doors and screening your calls.

    Grace and peace.

  4. I look for the overall economy to improve, but I don't think those of us on fixed incomes will be any better off.

  5. So do you can the ham and potatoes together or individually? Just curious.
    Last week, I stocked up at the case sale and added more canned beans to my pantry. The sale only comes around about twice a year. I've got about a year's supply...teehee. I know that uncooked beans would be cheaper but this is my solution for now.
    Have you ever read Sharon Astyk's book titled Independence Days? She talks about a 30 day menu where everything is off the shelf edible. No need to cook. Reading her book is what started me slowly adding canned beans to my supplies. While cold beans wouldn't be my first choice of menus, they would keep me going in a pinch.
    Snow is falling here. We're up to 10inches again and still falling. The weather forecast is for snow possibly through Tuesday. And some people wonder why I have such a big pantry. I'll be in the house toasty and not dealing with crazy drivers.
    Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  6. When people find out I can and dehydrate, I just fall back on the fact that my family is Amish, and avoid the crazy prepper talk when I can. Pork is such a great price right now. I bought a ham for 99 cents a lb, good porkchops for 88 cents a lb, and a number of pork loins for 99 cents a lb. We've also had whole chickens on sale at 59cents a lb. I look like the crazy lady buying 25 of them. Had some room in my freezer, so I didn't can them, but boiled, deboned, froze in portion sizes I need for cooking, froze broth, and our 3 dogs love the skins, heart, livers with their dinner. We've had sales on red bell peppers, 3 for $1 so I did 3 dehydrator full. Have enough for the year for cooking. Right now it's full of Roma tomatoes because they were 50 cents a lb. I'll make more tomato powder. I take advantage of sales, and that's what I work with. We keep a years plus of food storage for my husband and I, 5 grown kids, and their families. (and the two grandkids that live with us full time).
    Amish Heart in New Mexico

  7. CW...I'm not so sure about the "wise" part. More that this is how I was raised. My parents preserved everything they could to get through the winters. I have done the same whenever I could. I have been reading about the food shortages in Europe and parts of South America. I don't think some people realize that the same could happen here, given a national emergency. Should grocery store deliveries stop for whatever reason, shelves could be bare within three days - one day in some places. Not worth risking having my family go hungry.

    Sewing? Probably not until next week. I still have another canner load of vegetables to run through plus the ham. Maybe Monday.

  8. Harry...Those who think I am foolish to spend the time, effort and money on preparedness are the ones who firmly believe that nothing bad will ever happen here - at least nothing bad will ever happen to them. They are also the same ones who believe everything the mainstream media spews forth and have no idea what is going on in the world around them. There was a time, many years ago, when I literally had no clue where my next meal was coming from. I never, ever want to be in that position again. Perhaps some of those people need to be a little hungry. Hunger is memory long remembered and a good reminder that being ready is much better than not being ready for whatever happens.

  9. Pumice...Yep, that would be me. And I believe I have passed the point of no return, for I do lock my doors and screen my calls. Not only that, but my tinfoil hat fits snugly on my head. :)

  10. Gorges...I would settle for Congress to stop threatening to take away my Social Security. Seems like every time there is a budget crisis, real or imagined, that's the first thing you hear from one or another of those critters. They threaten us old folks or the veterans. Pathetic, really. I would love to see one of them live on my income.

  11. SJ...I canned the ham and potatoes separately. That way I can use the ham for sandwiches or in an omelet or scrambled eggs or in scalloped potatoes or a casserole.
    I stock both dry beans and canned beans. Some of the canned are store bought like pork and beans, but I have also canned my own pork and beans as well as quarts of great northern and mixed beans. Should there be a power outage, the water pumps won't work and water could be at a premium, so it makes sense to have beans on hand that don't need to be soaked or boiled.
    I have not read the book you mentioned, but it sounds interesting. I like to keep a supply of ready-to-eat foods like soups, stews, etc. May not be the most pleasant to eat cold, but they are edible nonetheless.
    Good Lord, but you are getting the snow this winter!! Isn't it nice to know that you don't need to rush out to the store in order to have something to eat? I would have a deep pantry if for no other reason than that. :)

  12. Amish Heart...My family knows all about my canning and dehydrating, but I stay quiet these days to anyone else - except for here on my blog. I used to talk about canning and the advantages of keeping a deep pantry, but most folks looked at me like I had just grown a third eyeball in the middle of my forehead.
    Sounds like you work the sales like I do. Sometimes I can find a good sale like those you mentioned and sometimes, not so much. The grocery shopping service I use would call me to verify that yes, I really did want 30 lbs. of hamburger, but they are used to the way I order now and just take it in stride. Shopping sales is the main way I have been able to put together a year's worth of food. I prep for my son's household and mine, but I keep adding to it because I have three other grown children and their families, none of whom are much interested in preparedness. In reality, there is no way I could let any of them go hungry. Keeps a person busy, doesn't it. :)

  13. I beat you on a ham, 18lbs for .49 a lb. left over from the holidays, bought and frozen for Easter. Milk here is on sale for $1.99 gallon that I wish i could save up on. I have the whole family watching our pennies and dimes. With Scott working at the store, I know what's on sale next week. Big Grin.. This week cake mix .89 box I will buy some.

    1. Rob...You sure did beat me on the price of ham. The lowest I have seen it here is .99 a pound and then there was a limit of one. I wish I could stock up on milk on sale too, but I've never had much luck freezing it. Lucky having Scott working at the store. Helps to know what is going on sale next. :)

  14. hi.
    excellent to preserve whatever you are able.
    people think things will always be available, but there are crop failures, floods, droughts, et cetera.
    and everything is more expensive than last year. so good to have dried beans 50 cents per lb. now, as today they are 1.50$ per lb. just a year or two later.
    i keep a lot of tinned beans because no cooking necessary, but keep lots of rice, lentils and other legumes in dried form.
    because you never know.
    the dried ones are easier to haul should the need arise.

    as to a previous 'tired' post, i recommend sublingual vitamin b drops and sublingual vitamin d3 drops, especially in winter when sun is rare. i also have to have b12 injections once a month.
    just a thought.
    i hope this will post as i have trouble with recaptcha. could you rid us of this troublesome pestilence? please.

    1. deborah...I agree that it is smart to preserve whatever we can. It wouldn't take much to stop the deliveries to grocery stores. And I like the part where I can just go to my pantry instead of running to the store all the time.
      I keep quite a lot of food that doesn't need to be cooked. Although I have a camp stove as backup, the fuel I have stored won't last forever. Keeping both canned and dried is, as you say, a good thing to do.
      I tried everything I could to get rid of recaptcha. Nothing worked, so I changed the comment format and now it seems to be gone. Blogger must have added it to my blog because I did not. I hope it is forever gone now.