Thursday, September 29, 2022

Canning - Yes and No

While going through the shelves I use for my home canned jars of food, I found a few jars of fruit that I had canned as an experiment a couple of years ago.  I decided to open one jar of each to see how they held up.

The first was a jar of those little oranges - mandarin oranges or as they are sometimes called, Clementines.  They had been canned in a light sugar water syrup.  They had turned a kind of brownish color.  That could be due to the fact that the shelving unit holding them is located in my living room and isn't in the dark.  The fruit had turned to mush.  Others may have successfully canned these, but as for me, I will use the mandarin oranges in a can from the grocery store.

About the same time I saw where some were canning grapes, so I gave that a try.  This time I just covered the grapes with water.  They stayed fairly firm, but had nearly no taste at all.  I can think of no good reason to waste jars on tasteless fruit.

I will still can some fruits, but these two are not among them.

It is fun to experiment with canning new foods.  But at this time when grocery prices are headed skyward, I believe I will be sticking to what I know works.  For me, that is mostly meats, soups, stews and vegetables.

After all, the point of this whole food storage thing is to make sure my family has food when things get really bad.  In my area, jars and lids are a hit or miss situation.  I will be spending time getting rid of the experiments that failed and filling those jars with what will fill the bellies of hungry family.

As always, pray and prepare. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Things don't always...

 go according to plan.  At least, not in my house.

The fellow who usually does the shopping and delivery with the grocery service I use, had today off.  The one who did the shopping and delivering is a very nice guy.  But he has no clue about how I shop.

The plan was to buy a turkey, a couple of chickens and vegetables in order to can quarts of chicken/turkey vegetable soup.  I got the chickens.  The turkey turned into a rather small frozen turkey breast.  Four pounds of carrots turned into two small bags of baby carrots.  My regular delivery guy knows that when I order cabbage, I want large heads.  The one I got was slightly bigger than a softball. 

So, the soup isn't going to work out.  But there is always a Plan B.

The chickens and turkey breast are in the freezer and will be used for meals later on.  The veggies are all chopped and tomorrow morning they will be blanched and frozen.  It is all still food.  And it doesn't matter if I open a jar to use it or if I thaw out a package.  Food is food, no matter how it is preserved.

Sometimes we have an idea of what we want to do and then Old Murphy shows up and tosses a monkey wrench into the works.  The trick is to be flexible.  If one thing doesn't work, we just try something else.

But I kind of wish Murphy would find somewhere else to hang out.  :)  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Call It Whatever You Want

 Gut instinct.....That little voice in the back of your head.....God leading us.  Whatever name we put to it, most of us have experienced the feeling that we need to do something in particular - or to not do it.  I have learned over the years to listen.  When I don't, chances are pretty good I will find myself knee deep in yucky doo.

So this week, plans have changed.  I had thought I didn't need to do any food preservation just now.  I scrubbed out my pressure canner and put it away.  And I washed all the dehydrater trays and the plastic liners.  They are neatly stacked out of the way.

So when I went to figure out my next grocery order, that little voice in the back of my head was yelling at me.  Chickens and turkeys are being killed off and destroyed by the hundreds of thousands.  Probably reached millions by now.  Better order some while you can.  So I did.

If they are in stock, I ordered two whole chickens and a turkey.  Along with that I ordered cabbage, carrots, onions, celery and frozen peas.  I have a couple of cases of quart jars left.  Groceries are delivered Thursday.  Over the weekend I hope to can quarts of chicken/turkey soup.  This soup has many uses.  It can be heated up as soup.  Rice or pasta can be added to stretch it to feed more people.  It can be made into stew to serve over biscuits.  It can be thickened for use in pot pies.  There are possibilities limited only by imagination.

I seem to be more aware of using every bit of food lately.  The "waste not - want not" of my parent's teachings comes back to memory.  So any leftover meat will be canned in smaller jars.  Any leftover vegetables will be dehydrated.

I am not telling you that you have to rush out and buy poultry.  That's not the point.  The point is to listen to whatever small voice speaks to you.  Bad things are coming, even though many are convinced bad things can never happen - especially not in their back yards.  Whatever you need to do to be as ready as possible, do it.  And pray.  That's the most important thing.  Pray.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Paying Attention

 When I talk with people who are not in the preparedness community, I quickly learn why we are in such a mess.

Fairly new nurse.  Young.  Cute.  Does a very good job with her duties here.

I thought today I would see if she was aware of a potential railroad workers strike.  Might happen.  Might not.  But if the strike happens, the repercussions could affect us all.  So I asked her if she paid any attention to the news reports.  Her answer was no, she didn't because she was way too busy dealing with her personal life.

I believe this is a response that is way too common.  Granted, we all have personal issues to deal with.  The difference is that we are still able to see beyond the personal and see what is going on in the world around us.  And prepare accordingly.

I wonder of those who think the world revolves around them are going to be able to handle it when they find out it doesn't.

Pray and prepare.  Now more than ever.

Friday, September 9, 2022

New Normal...

I really dislike the term 'New Normal.'  I rather liked the old normal.  The following showed up in my email.  Thanks, Deb. 

I am sharing this with you as for the next couple of days I will be busy canning up as much as possible from my freezer.  So far here in Minnesota, we have heard no threats of blackouts as are happening elsewhere.  But I am willling to take no chances with losing what I have.  Prices are way too high to replace it all.  So here you go.  I shall return in a few days.       

I Used To Be A Pretty Normal Person .......

I used to think I was pretty much just a regular person, but I was born white, into a two-parent household which now, whether I like it or not, makes me privileged, a racist, and responsible for slavery.

I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today's standards, makes me a fascist because I plan, budget, and support myself.

I went to Grammar School and have always held a job. But I now find out that I am not here because I earned it, but because I was "advantaged".

I am heterosexual, which according to gay folks, now makes me a homophobe.

I am not a Muslim, which now labels me as an infidel.

I am older than 70, making me a useless eater who doesn't understand Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

I think, and I reason, and I doubt most of what the 'mainstream' media tells me, which makes me a Right-wing conspiracy nut.

I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive culture, making me a xenophobe.

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair reward according to each individual's merits, which today makes me an anti-socialist.

I believe our system guarantees freedom of effort - not freedom of outcome or subsidies which must make me a borderline sociopath.

I believe in the defense and protection of my nation for and by all citizens, now making me a militant.

I am proud of our flag, what it stands for, and the many who died to let it fly, so I stand during our National Anthem - so I must be a racist.

Please help me come to terms with the new me because I'm just not sure who I am anymore!
Funny - it all took place over the last 7 or 8 years!

If all this nonsense wasn't enough to deal with, now I don't even know which toilet to use... and these days I gotta go more frequently!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Taking a Break...

 to let my sewing machine cool down.  Just kidding, but it has been in nearly constant use for a few days.  Each of my six grands has a 'Grandma Made' rag type quilt, as does the first great grand.  So it is only fitting that the second great grand has one too.  It should be finished in a day or so.  There are also several quilt tops that need to be finished and turned into usable, warm quilts.  I hear the winter promises to be long and cold.

I have also taken a break from canning and dehydrating, mainly because I simply have no space left in my little apartment to stack any more food in jars without being in danger of tripping over them.  However, I am still stacking foods like rice and oatmeal and pasta.  And I am filling in gaps in my medicine chest.

I suppose I could go on another rant, but there are so many things happening right now that it might be hard to pick one.  I think I will just keep an eye on what is happening and continue to get ready for when the insanity comes to my town.  As far as I can tell, there is no stopping the left from working overtime to tear our country apart.  I can't stop them.  But I can do my best to be ready for them.

Until then, I will enjoy the sunny fall day, continue to sew like crazy and pray while doing so.

Pray and prepare, my friends.  Pray and prepare.

PS...

I just took the time to watch 'Appalacian Homestead with Patara.'  In this video, she says what the rest of us are thinking.  It is well worth your time.

Farmers! Veterans! Elderly! Abused! Used! Displaced! - YouTube

  

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Coming Up For Air

 Contrary to popular belief, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth.  I have just been busy.

Ten lbs. of onions have been dried.  My son stopped at a small Farmer's Market on the other side of town and brought me a few carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.  I sliced the cukes, sprinkled them with coarse salt and dehydrated them.  I had done this once before and liked the flavor of them as a snack.

I still have the carrots and plan to shred them to use in making a few loaves of carrot bread.  Haven't decided to use the recipe that calls for raisins or the one that has crushed pineapple.  I am leaning toward the one with pineapple.

The tomatoes were a delight.  It has been a long time since I had home grown tomatoes.  They reminded me of a time as a young girl when Dad and I would grab a salt shaker from the kitchen and head for the tomato patch in the garden to eat our fill of fresh tomatoes.  One of the simple pleasures in life is a tomato sandwich for lunch.

My groceries will be delivered tomorrow.  So far I have received everything I have ordered, but not always the brand ordered.  The choices are becoming limited as far as brands go.  I am having to cut back on the size of my orders due to skyrocketing prices.  Frozen chicken breast has gone from a little over $3 per pound to over $5 per pound.  My delivery guy tells me about a few bare shelves that once held items I don't buy.  I am grateful to have shelves full of home canned meat that was put up well before inflation hit us so hard.

I believe those who have ignored what is happening around us are going to have a much tougher time as the food shortages increase and prices continue to climb.  Especially those like me who can no longer plant a garden or raise meat animals.  If they are just now realizing what we have known all along, they are nearly out of time and it will be way more expensive to buy the food they need.  

I am off to work on finishing a quilt for my new Great Grand.  I want to get as much done on that as possible before my groceries arrive.  The order includes a boneless ham to dice and can in half pint jars for adding to dishes like scalloped potatoes or to use as sandwich meat, and potatoes and celery to dehydrate.

It would be so easy to say "I told you so" to those who haven't prepared, but as tempting as that might be, I think they could use prayer more than ridicule.  Continue to prepare.  Continue to pray.  Keep on stacking.