Article On Food Preservation: Canning & Dehydrating, Etc.

Article On Food Preservation: Canning & Dehydrating, Etc.

Postby jpf1030 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:33 am

Howdy All,
Below is a good article on food preservation by Granny Warrior from her free newsletter at http://www.grannywarriors.com. It is extremely important that we all get fully stocked on our food preservation supplies ASAP. Don't get caught in the crunch, Get Prepared!!!...jpf
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Are you the Ant?

Working towards a well stocked and safe winter?

Or are you the Grasshopper?

Fiddling away the time and singing "No No It Ain't gonna happen?"

Hopefully you are the Ant having fun while making sure you are well supplied..

Now is the time to start seriously checking your supplies, go through all of your canned items, check for any bulges, mold or off color in the jars and discard any that seem even the least bit off the norm.

(Reason) When you are under a lot of stress and unsure of the future it is not a good time to become ill or even a little sick and even though you may be in excellent health a little food that is off just a little could make you very ill. While in no stressful situation it probably would not do more than give you a little tummy upset.. Don't take the chance on anything that does not look just right...

Remember the summer heat will make things that are almost bad really explosive... I know as I made Kraut the way a neighbor advised me to do? Yep just cut that cabbage added a little salt and pack in jars? I followed the directions but when I had sealed those jars they didn't stop working.. they just exploded making a God-Awful mess for me to clean up and a lot of praying to forgive the foul language used with every bit of rotten cabbage I wiped up.

( My thoughts on what to do with the cans and jars that you deem not good enough for your family? put in a different location one that is easily seen and found by intruders and allow them a easy score... they can pay later in their own lairs and you won't be the one to have to clean up the mess just make sure your immediate family knows where it is and why)

Now I know as well as you that that is not a good Christian's thought process but in these times and with the up bringing I have had being taught never to hit and wound your fellow man etc... it seems like a very good thing to be able to not fight back yet win the battle against looters. We have a small pantry in our kitchen which I plan on using for this type of thing once we know what is going on, until then all the jars and cans that seem bad will be boxed up and stored away from our usable food to be used when needed.

Make your lists: Check them. I get light bulbs popping in my head several times a day it seems but forget to write them down then can't remember later? Don't do as I do.. Do as I say.. Keep a little note pad in your pocket with a pencil. Write down your ideas.

Now is time to get started on your canning and preserving for the summer. Get your canners down, wash and inspect the gaskets on the pressure ones. Check the pressure gauges and I would suggest buying several gaskets and gauges extra just to be sure to have them for later years work. When you get your new gaskets take some good oil and rub them down in it to keep them from getting dry and brittle in storage and check them periodically.

Check all of your empty canning jars for cracks and chips, wash and store upside down in their boxes.

Use your dishwasher to wash the jars just before using especially on foods you will process in the pressure canner.. no need to do all the hand washing and boiling before use especially when pressure canning. I also use the freshly washed jars right from the dishwasher for my pickles and jams also and to date have never lost a one. It sure saves a lot of time and work washing and sterilizing jars.

Make sure you have all the lids you will need ( buy many many extras if you don't use the tattler lids)

Inspect the rings of your tattler lids, the rubbers will sometimes dry out and become useless and you lose food with them.. I store mine in well oiled condition and have never lost any yet. They are also stored in a air tight container in the dark. Treat them like they are Vampires, keep in the dark.

I have already started making jelly and jam as the strawberries and raspberries are in and really plentiful. I get our berries from a neighbor and pick them myself that is until this year when I just can't do it any longer.. Now I buy them picked and wash and cull them in the sink at home.

I made some really killer strawberry and jalapeno jelly yesterday and I'm already missing 3 Jars? Hummmmmmmm This stuff is really good you should try it. Not even hot just has a little tang but that pepper flavor really adds to the berry taste. But then I love jalapenos and don't care a lot for strawberries?

Now is the time to also check on your garlic.. I keep mine in a cupboard in a canning jar all winter long, yes ( uncovered) under the counter in the dark, but it will start to sprout a little by this time so I just take all the left over pods and poke them all over the yard. By the end of summer we should have plenty of fresh garlic to last all winter and it keeps the bugs off of the plants it is close to.

A old friend who is a bit daft sometimes kept telling me about her Garlic Jam? Now I like garlic but that is a bit too much but she gave me a jar last week. Now I am going to be making lots of it. I don't think it would taste too good on toast but when you spread it on a roast or pork chops you cannot believe how delicious it is.. Good Lord we have been missing this for all our lives... just garlic and sugar and lemon juice.. No it won't jell but it gets really sticky and almost like glue and sticks to the meat very well. I was thinking about really making it a total one thing use for meat by adding some salt and pepper and a little green onion. I am going to try that and see how it works.. I may even add some sure jell to make it gel up and see how that works it could stand to be a little thicker. Anyway this week will be Garlic week, my Mother in Law hates the smell of garlic so I of course love it..

Don'tcha just love the smell of garlic in the morning...LOL

I have done this with ginger for years. Just grate the fresh ginger add 1 cup of sugar to every 1/2 cup of ginger, a little lemon juice and bring to a boil, cook till the ginger is soft and then put in jelly glasses and seal.. Use in Chinese recipes and I just spread it on pork especially sliced ham before baking. Use anywhere you would ordinarily use ginger and it also makes a great hot tea for sore throats and when you just feel out of sorts.

When you do your ginger this way it makes the best sweet and sour sauce you can imagine.. just add 4 tablespoons of your ginger, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup cider vinegar to pan with a small jar of sweet pickle chunks ( the kind with vegetables in them) and a small can of pineapple with some of the juice. Add a few maraschino cherries and their juice ( just enough to color the sauce ) and simmer, You will have a sauce that is to die for... I also add fresh jalapeno pepper slices ( without seeds) and a few bell pepper slices for color. If you cannot find the sweet pickles with veg's. simply use the sweet pickle chunks and add some cauliflower, onion and pimento. Taste as you may need to add a little apple cider vinegar if it is too sweet and not enough sour. ( one thing to remember when making sweet and sour sauces is always measure equal parts of sugar and vinegar)

Typing the !/2 thing reminded me of Cole slaw dressing.. the very best any one ever tasted.... so simple... 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup of mayo and a 1/2 ounce of vinegar a sprinkle of celery seeds and salt and pepper.. mix and let sit for a minute and pour on your chopped cabbage...even kids that don't like slaw will eat this like it is candy ....

I am also checking on all of the dehydrated items.. I have gallons of collards, kale, mustard and tomatoes... I powdered most of the tomatoes as I will be having so many this summer hopefully and now am going around emptying my gallon jars and powdering the other dried items like the greens, peppers, onions and garlic. The garlic and onion powder is so easy to mix with sea salt and you have your ready made seasonings.

By powdering the greens I will be ruining them for eating as greens but will be making them for use as a soup base? I will try it before I do them all just to make sure it works out right....will let you know how it does.

I found about 4 gallon jars of orange slices I had hidden and now have a over abundance of them.. the grand kids will get a gallon and it will be gone in a day or less so it is time to let them at them now so I can use the jars for other things. I am also thinking of powdering some of these also, theoretically if they are dry enough they should powder up nicely and make a wonderful garnish and addition to any dish needing a little bling to it. I love orange glaze on pork and ham so this should work nicely by just sprinkling it on the meat? we will see.. They say need is the mother of invention don't they? Well I need those jars for new stuff..

This year I will be using the gallon jars for the pickled beets instead of my quarts. A gal. jar will fit in the refrigerator and will hold many more beets making it a easier job of pickling than using many jars. I am a little concerned about not being able to process them and the sealing but think with the vinegar and sugar they should be safe. We will see.

I am trying to get my husband to measure the lids and cut rubber rings from a inner tube to make gaskets for the jars. I remember my Grandfather doing that for my Grandmother during the war as they could not get the regular canning lids and rings. At that time most of her jars had the rubber rings for gaskets with the snap down lids, the rubbers would crack and wear out and had to be replaced periodically and the bike tire was the perfect size I guess..? Anyway it worked then why not now?

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