There is no good time to slow down on the preps. With all that's going on in the world now, we need to be as prepared as possible. The cold, hard fact is, when disaster strikes, we are on our own. Take a look at China. Millions of people are locked in their homes under quarantine from the virus that has spread all across China, with no way to get food when theirs runs out. If you think that can't possibly happen here, I envy your ability to happily live in a land of fairy dust and unicorns. But most of us here live in the real world. We take precautions. We prepare. And because we do, our chances of survival are better than most. But if you think you can start preparing tomorrow, you will find that once the crisis hits, supplies will be gone from the store shelves within a couple of days.
Earlier this week I canned 12 quarts of Great Northern beans. The reasoning behind doing this is that in a situation where I would need to cook on my camp stove, it takes much less fuel to heat beans than it does to cook them from scratch. And cooking dry beans from scratch takes more water which also might be at a premium. I used the easy method which is putting 1 cup of dry beans in each quart jar and then filling the jar with water. I also dropped one chicken bouillon cube in each jar to add a little bit of flavor, and processed the beans for 90 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure for my altitude. When I can dry beans in pint jars, a half cup of dry beans go in each jar and the time is 75 minutes. They came out perfect.
My grocery order arrived yesterday. Included were 8 lbs. of fresh carrots. I have lots of sliced or diced carrots on the shelf, but I like larger chunks of carrots for making candied carrots or stew. So I peeled the carrots to get rid of any chemicals that commercially grown carrots were probably sprayed with to prevent them from sprouting. Garden fresh carrots would only need to be well scrubbed. The carrots were cut into about 1 1/2 inch pieces and they filled 14 pint jars, which are happily bubbling away in my pressure canner. If I were canning quarts they would need 30 minutes in the pressure canner.
I have a couple of items on the canning 'to do' list to work on over the weekend before deciding what to include in the next grocery order for my food storage. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to can up some kidney beans. It is cheaper to can them myself than to buy them already canned and I know what's in them. I could use more dehydrated potato slices so I will order potatoes as well. It's all good.
4 hours ago