"For those new to prepping there's a rule: when you have twice as much as you need, double it. It may barely be enough." Ol' Remus - The Woodpile Report 21 Apr 2020 (624)
With this in mind I am spending today canning.
My grocery order included the following: 12 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 6 lbs. of carrots. 2 bunches of celery, 10 lbs. of potatoes and 4 lbs. of onions.
The chicken was cut into bite-sized pieces. The vegetables were cut into 1/2 inch dices.
Quart jars were filled with layers: 1 Cup chicken 1 Cup potatoes 1 Cup carrots 1/2 Cup celery 1/2 Cup onions This was topped off with 1 Tablespoon of powdered chicken bouillon and the jars were filled with water to 1 inch of the rim. The jars were processed in the pressure canner for 90 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure for my altitude. I got 21 quarts of chicken/vegetable base.
This can be used as a soup with added broth. It can be thickened for chicken pot pies or served over rice or with biscuits. I think it might also be used as the base for some casseroles.
The idea here was to get the most mileage possible from the meat. Meat processing plants across the country are closing. If things don't straighten out soon, it is entirely possible that some meats will not be available and those that are will have a hefty price on them.
We tend to forget that before this virus hit, there were concerns among those who pay attention that the possibility of food shortages were very real. Now due to the virus panic, other food processing plants are closed or about to close. My grocery delivery guy tells me that there isn't much of a selection in the canned fruit and soup aisles of the store. Some stores are already either low on or out of some staples like flour.
I admit to becoming a little bit lazy when it comes to canning and dehydrating. No more. The plan is to can everything I can lay my hands on that will fit in a jar and to dehydrate the rest. I can't let circumstances stand in the way of making sure my family is fed.
So tomorrow the 12 lbs. of hamburger in my fridge will be canned. So will the leftover potato dices from today's canning session. And the leftover onions will go into the dehydrator.
The times are way too uncertain to wait until tomorrow to prep. History shows the best way to control the population is by controlling the food. It would not surprse me at all if that is the road we are headed down now.
LindaG is a frequent and welcome commenter here. She and her husband survived a tornado that destroyed their home. Rev. Paul has details here. We thank God that their lives were spared and ask for prayer as they move forward from this devastating event.
There is power in prayer, people. Now would be the time.
I haven't asked anyone's permission to do anything since I left my parent's home at age 17. I really would like to know just why some government official thinks I now need to ask permission to live my life as I see fit, within the law.
I have a simple solution to the problems facing us all.
Open everything back up. Now.
If I decide to go to a ball game, I go. If I fear catching a virus, I stay home. If a ball player wants to play ball, he does. If he fears catching a virus, he doesn't. Those business owners who want to open their businesses back up - do it. If they fear catching a virus, don't. Those who have lost their means of employment, go back to work. If they fear catching a virus, find another means of employment. If I want to shop at a department store, I shop. If I fear catching a virus, I order online. If I want to see a movie, I go to the theatre. If I fear catching a virus, I stay home.
There is talk of forcing those who are vulnerable to stay home. That would be me. I am nearly 74 years old with health issues. If I choose to spend time with family or walk the dog or sit on a park bench, that is my choice. If others want to join me, that is their choice.
It really is quite simple. We are grown-ups. We make choices every day and we live with the consequences of those choices. We know how the virus spreads and if we decide to risk contracting it, that is up to us - not some bureaucrat.
I will not comply. I will not live the days I have left in fear. Should my decisions cause me to catch the virus I will do everything I can to avoid spreading it to others. But I absolutely refuse to ask permission of anybody to live the way I choose.
Besides, I already have my permission slip. It is called the Constitution.
I know I live like this all the time, but even so, this whole 'shelter in place' thing is getting really old. I see my oldest son and I am glad of it, but I have three more kids that I can't hug. To say nothing of grandkid hugs.
You know it is getting bad when the highlight of my week is a warmer day when I can open a window next to my dehydrator and dry some onions. When you live in an apartment building, you need to be mindful of your neighbors. Not everyone is pleased with the smell of drying onions. Nevertheless, tomorrow is the day. I am excited!
The construction of an apartment building across the street continues. The workers don't seem to be too concerned about masks and social distancing. They are just busy doing the job they were hired to do. It is good to see the work continue. There are so very many that wish they could do their jobs as well.
Our governor has opened golf courses, marinas and parks, but no camping and no picnics. We are now allowed to go fishing as long as we fish in a body of water close to home. If your fishing rod breaks, good luck. No opening of sporting goods stores.
Minnesotans are getting cranky. There have been protests outside the governor's mansion, with more planned. There are many who worry more about being able to feed their families while unemployed than worry about catching the virus.
Me...I baked two loaves of banana bread, one of which just left my apartment with my son. I will continue to add to my food storage as much as is possible. There are quilts to sew and afghans to crochet and books to read. And I will continue to pray that the light at the end of this tunnel is not a freight train headed our way.
I have been seeing accounts about meat processing plants across the US that are shutting down. Ice Age Farmer in his latest post tells the story much better than I can.
I can not speak for anyone else, but I have made the decision to order as much meat as possible in my next few grocery delivery orders. Some stores are already setting limits on meat products.
It is not only the meat industry that is suffering. Vegetable farmers are finding that with the shutting down of schools and restaurants, they no longer have sufficient markets for their produce. Another Ice Age Farmer video uploaded a few days ago discusses this at length.
Today I am canning ham and yams. Last week I canned 16 pints of peas and carrots. I wish I had ordered more foods to be canned.
While our country is being held under house arrest, our farmers are facing the devestating conseqences of a virus. I understand that this virus is serious and people die from it. But I also understand that if we don't do something positive soon, we will not have much of a country left.
I can't honestly say the 'shelter in place' orders have affected me very much. I am housebound anyway. My sister called to see how I was doing. We decided that we didn't mind staying home as much as we minded being told we HAD TO stay home. We, of course, blamed our Dad, who never liked being told he had to do something, no matter what it was. :)
Duane and I have ordered Easter dinner from the restaurant where he works. The biggest reason for doing this is to support local business in these trying times and the second reason being that this way, neither of us have to cook. We had two choices - individual meals and a meal for four - both with all the trimmings. We chose the meal for four with the idea of having enough leftovers so that neither of us would need to cook dinner for a few days. After doing the math, I found it would have cost more to buy the ingredients for dinner than we paid to order. Win - win!
I have been seeing videos and articles about food shortages. Some are due to last year's bad weather that had an effect on the harvest as well as meat animals lost to flooding. Others are due to Covid-19. Tyson just closed a pork processing plant in Iowa because some workers have the virus. Other meat processing plants across the country have done the same, giving farmers and ranchers nowhere to ship their meat animals for processing.
Other warnings are being heard from the grocery industry. It seems now that restaurants are closed with minimal take-out orders still in effect, many are now having to cook their meals at home. This has resulted in 'panic buying' at the grocery stores, leaving some shelves empty. Some stores are putting limits on the number of certain items that can be purchased, while others are limiting the number of shoppers in their stores at one time.
So far, aside from the lack of toilet paper after the 'Great TP Stampede' last month, the store where my delivery service buys my groceries has had little if any shortages. I will find out if that is still true when my order is delivered Thursday this week.
Ham and turkey are on sale and I saw no notice of purchase limits, so I ordered two of each. The plan is to cook one of each, divide the meat into meal sized portions and freeze those for easy meals. I haven't decided if I will can the rest or just freeze them whole for later use. I also have ordered frozen peas and fresh carrots to can together in pint jars for an additional vegetable option. I like peas and carrots as a vegetable for a meal or in casseroles or cold macaroni salads.
Until the canning starts again, I have been spending time doing what I love to do - reading, sewing, crocheting, etc. I found myself feeling guilty for not being productive, but as a dear friend pointed out, "You are retired. You don't have to do anything, so do what makes you happy." Good advice.
Although I am sure there are other newsworthy things going on in our world, the news broadcasts are filled with little except the latest dire reports on the virus. I wish the newscasters would report on the number of recoveries as often they do on the number of deaths. We desperately need good news.
Here in my little corner of the world, I am keeping track of the latest developments, but I am also working really hard to stay positive. We need to get our people back to work. I find it astounding that all those years ago we could successfully send men to the moon and get them back home unharmed, but we haven't been able to figure out a way to get our citizens safely back to work.
Hang in there. Do something that makes you happy. Pray. We might be in a long, dark tunnel, but I have to believe there is a light at the end of it. And never, ever give up.
I look at my shelves full of food and think I must have enough to last a year. But do I really?
Danny over at Deep South Homestead put up a video this morning entitled "Breakfast For a Year - Reality Check."
I believe I will need to get out the calculator and do the math. I have a sneaking suspicion I am not as prepared as I think I am.
Mom of four and Grandma of six, who writes about family events both past and present as well as anything else that happens to come to mind, shares new photos as well as old and who enjoys life in general.