Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I've Been Busy

My groceries were delivered this past Thursday.  I am concentrating on food storage, so there were bags of sugar and flour and rice.  There were some odds and ends of canned tomatoes and fruit to fill in some gaps on the shelves.

I ordered 4 lbs. of carrots thinking I would cube them and dehydrate.  I keep much of my dehydrated food in freezer Ziploc bags stored in cardboard banker's boxes.  When I checked the box of dry carrots, I found it was full to the brim, so I cut the carrots into chunks and canned 7 pints.

Next were 4 bunches of celery.  I have never been able to successfully rehydrate celery.  It doesn't seem to matter if I blanch it or not, I always wind up with rock hard bits.  So now I just slice it and dehydrate.  When dry, I run it through my small coffee grinder, turning those hard pieces into powder.  I get the taste of celery without the unwanted rock hard crunch.

Next was 4 lbs. of pinto beans.  I soaked them overnight, filled each pint jar about 2/3 full, added a teaspoon of onion flakes made from my home dried onions and a beef bouillon cube for flavor.  This was topped off with a scant 1/3 cup of shredded ham.  I added broth from cooking the ham and processed the jars for 75 minutes.  I had one jar that didn't seal, so I used that for a taste test.  I like it.

The first canner load held 16 pints of ham and beans.  I had three pints leftover, so I sorted and washed 2 lbs. of Great Northern beans, put 1/2 cup of the dry beans in each pint jar along with the rest of the shredded ham and seasonings.  I used water for the liquid and processed them as for the first load.

All totalled, I got 19 pints of pinto beans and ham and 14 pints of Great Northern beans and ham.  Not exactly gourmet fare, but it will certainly fill empty stomachs!

I still have 10 lbs. of potatoes to dehydrate, but that will keep for another day.

Many of us grow gardens that provide us with vegetables and fruit to preserve.  I love the pictures folks post and the articles they write about their gardening efforts.  Takes me back to a time when I could do the same.  But there are also many of us who are not in a place where we can garden.  That doesn't mean we can not build up a deep pantry.

Some who were raised in the country like I was, tend to scoff at those who do not garden, home can and preserve.  I'm pretty sure we would all prefer home grown, organic.  But I'm here to tell you that in the end, it doesn't matter.  If the only means available to store food is to buy extra cans of food at the grocery - do it.  If your only source for meat is the grocery - buy it and freeze it.

Take a good, hard look around.  See those meat processing plants shut down due to the virus?  See those truckers who refuse to go into those areas where they do not have police protection?  See those thugs who are burning and looting?  What makes you think you will not be affected?

I don't care what the reason is for preparing.  But prepare we must.  For if this assault on our country continues to escalate, what you have on your shelves may be all there is.

Pray and prepare. 

20 comments:

  1. You're right on the money, Vicki.

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    1. Yeah, Gorges...I think we are in really deep doo and I honestly don't know if we can get out of it.

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  2. Super job, Vicki! You will have good and comforting food when you need it. The way things seem to be going, we will all be glad we put some "extra" on the shelves. CW

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    1. Thanks, CW...The more insane things become, the greater the need to stack it to the rafters! Take care.

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  3. Again, Vicki, what an inspirational example you are. Meat and veges on the shelf, canned or dehydrated, beats empty shelves and stomachs any day. Please keep it coming. We need all the encouragement you can share.

    Blessings! Fern

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    1. Hi Fern...I just hope that people will understand that they don't have to homestead or garden or preserve. They can still prepare. And I pray they will do so before it is too late. We are nearly there, aren't we. Take good care.

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    1. I pray that you and yours sire doing alright, LindaG.

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  5. Vicki~ Well done with the canning. I added to my dried veggies and tried some dried pineapple. It works though a little bit of corn starch removes the remaining stickiness.We've been saving the seeds from the various squashes and radishes so far. I've added to my grain storage... again. Also added various dry and green bean bean seeds to my armory against hunger and famine. If you haven't already watch the last several IAF videos. The one with Curtis Stone was interesting regarding fake meat.
    On the bright side we have a new furry friend that we rescued. She's a nice little girl and purrs like crazy. In God's Safekeeping. Red

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    1. Red...Sounds like you are accumulating quite a stash of dehydrated foods! Good on you! And thanks for the tip on using cornstarch to get rid of the stickiness in pineapple. I had not thought of that and will give it a go.
      I check the IAF videos every couple of days. The information he puts out there make sense of what is happening in the food industry.
      I always love to hear of animals who are rescued. Most of the dogs and cats I have had over the years were rescues. Don't tell anyone, but I once helped a friend steal a Great Dane who was living chained to a tree in a bitterly cold Minnesota winter. Glad to hear your furry friend now has a good home. Take good care.

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  6. We have a very small garden..8 tomatoes 4 green peppers. The tomato are beef steak. IIRC we have at lest 8 or 9 tomatoes. We can't have a large garden. we make do. I will try and post photos if I remember.

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    1. Every little bit helps, Rob...and home grown always tastes so much better than store bought! I will watch your blog for pictures. We just do the best we can with what we have.

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  7. Another awesome post. Well done on your preps.

    I'm still trying to play Tetris and figure out if I can squeeze in another freezer here. That is if I can find one for sale.

    The garden is producing well. My little 'Micro Farm' with its 12-inch or 18-inch rows. I may just let the last of my radish go and see if I can get seed from it. Strawberries are still producing well. We had such a wet spring that I was late planting and my snow peas are just now putting on flowers. It's all good and keeps me out of trouble.
    Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

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    1. Thank you, SJ...Trying to figure out how to pack more into an apartment seems to be an ongoing theme. I know every time something is added here, it is a challenge finding a place to put it. :)

      I love hearing about your 'micro farm.' It is amazing how much you can pack into it. As for staying out of trouble, my kids tease me that the things that occupy my time here keeps me out of the bars. I'm thinking that the fact that I no longer drink alcohol probably has nothing to do with it. :)

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  8. 'See those meat prices going through the roof? The rib eye steak my wife wanted to make for Fathers' Day, the ones that used to cost around $7.00/lb, are now $14.00/lb.

    'See those people robbing you of your right to free speech? We had a protest come through our town, ostensibly run by the only ones whose lives matter. They looted and destroyed, as usual. They tried to do the same thing the next day and were met by store owners sitting in lawn chairs with shotguns in their laps... No more looting or destruction. Funny how that happens. I stated this fact in a company chat, using these exact words, and was admonished for "stating an opinion." When fact becomes opinion and feelings become fact, we're in deep trouble.

    If you're prepping, keep on prepping. If you're not, ...what are you waiting for?...

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    1. Pete...My grocery order bills have increased substantially in the last few weeks, even though the kinds of goods and the amounts remain fairly consistant. And I expect it will continue along those lines. Historically, food and the lack thereof have been used as a weapon to bring the serfs in line. So I am not surprised.

      I am sorry to hear your town was visited by maurauding thugs. So far my town has been spared. I seriously doubt that most here would have the guts to even think about defending themselves and their businesses. Good on those in your town for doing so. That seems to be the only language those of that ilk understand.

      We are losing our rights so swiftly these days that I find it difficult to keep up. What I want to know is when did Americans decide it was acceptable to allow our speech to be censored. Or our cities and towns to be burned and looted without putting up a fight. When did wrong become right.

      Pete, if things don't change soon, we are toast. I love my country too much to just go quietly away. I want my grandchildren to enjoy the freedoms I have enjoyed in my lifetime. I expect it won't be long before bloggers who stand up for America disappear. Those who find it inconvenient to prepare, God help them because we are now on our own. God help us all.

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    1. Yes, you do, BW...Selfishly, I want you around for a very long time so I can continue to enjoy the pictures you post!

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  10. For celery, I dice it and put them in ice trays, fill with water and freeze. Take them out frozen and keep in a freezer container or freezer bag. I just toss them in a skillet or pan and heat them up for whatever. If you have freezer space, I like the taste better than dehydrated too.

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    1. Thank you Kristina, for the tip. I hadn't thought about freezing celery, but I will absolutely give it a try. I just love it when those who have good ideas share them.

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