Sometimes I get obsessive about canning and filling my freezers. I make a point to get to it the markdowns at the meat counter and in the produce department. You get great deals that way. The butcher was marking meat down as I was making my selection today. I simply handed him my purchases and he checked the date and marked it right then. If I had been five minutes earlier, I’d have paid thirty percent more. It made my day. I make sure to watch the dates in he freezer and can the meat up if it’s been there a few months. I buy whole turkeys after the holidays, bake them, and can the turkey and broth. I still have four quarts of canned turkey from Christmas. It makes great soup, turkey salad, pot pies, and casseroles.
Yesterday I got twenty pounds of assorted apples off the markdown rack for six dollars. I canned seven quarts of apple pie filling, five pints of apples in light syrup and juice and five pints of apple jam from the peelings. It’s incredible to think of all that produce for just six dollars. I’d cooked two pounds of dried navy beans and pork the night before, so I canned four quarts of beans as long as I had the canners out. I’d been wanting to can sausage gravy, so I made a batch and canned two quarts of that, as well. It turned out great! The main thing to remember when canning meat, is that it has to process at least ninety minutes at ten to fifteen pounds pressure to kill off microbes. Vegetables and fruit take far less time, so they will fall apart if you process them with at the same time as meat.
I have two of these pressures canners, so I can can fourteen quarts at once. I have an smaller canner I can use for pints or smaller. Should you stumble up on a used pressure canner, you can find replacement parts easily on line. You can also find brand specific instructions and parts lists on line.
Bud built shelves in the garage for storage. I mark and date jars with Sharpy.
A week ago, I put four hundred twelve pounds of fresh beef in my freezer. Two days ago we made sixteen pounds of homemade liverwurst and put it in the freezer. Last week I froze quite a bit of fresh sweet corn. In the midst of all this, I canned seven quarts of dried pinto beans and ham hocks. Things were going so well, I was planned to start making a big batch of corned beef. I was admiring the contents of my pantry when Bud came through saying, “What’s this big puddle of water coming from the freezer?”
We rushed out to inspect and found the packed freezer dead with the contents starting to thaw. We shuffled the meat to my other freezer and ice chests. Mean while, Bud starting investigating the freezer problem while I started canning and cooking. By the end of the day, thank goodness, Bud had the freezer running again and I had canned all the thawed vegetables. In addition to that, I had made pies from my frozen pumpkin pie filling and frozen pie dough. You might find a previous post on that subject. https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/fifty-two-pies-2/
At the end of the day, everything was saved, and we sat down to a turkey dinner with fresh pumpkin pie. I am so grateful for the bounty and the freezer that kicked back off and saved us.
Learning to get by was the best thing that ever happened to me. Growing up on a farm, the second of five children, I learned responsibility, despite my best efforts not to. We were all needed, just to get back. With stock to feed, hay to make, gardens to care for, there weren’t too many idle moments. That was before helping Mother in the house, Continue reading
I love a well-stocked pantry. It makes me feel good to can and freeze food so that I can pull out good, wholesome “fast food” to serve at a moment’s notice. My husband, Bud loves pie. One summer, we had a bumper crop of butternut squash, so I reasoned it would be a great idea to make some of these up into pies and freeze them. I rolled Continue reading