Monday, September 5, 2011

Autumn Canning

Root crop season is upon us. Cool weather crops are soon going to be
harvested. Root vegetables, cabbages, and winter squash of various
types will be coming into season. This is the season of that last big
canning binge. Produce prices are rising quickly due to crop failures,
drought, etc.

I am watching closely the produce prices for the autumn and root crops.
As I see something at a low price, I am buying as much as we can afford
that week and canning it up to add to the pantry. I am even going the
route of buying #10 cans of some foods and repackaging them. I found a
#10 can of sliced beets very cheap and repackaged them to make pickled
beets. Having the juice on them already, it was only a matter of adding
the seasonings then repacking them in jars and water bath canning them.
If tomatoes didn't do well, check for the #10 cans of tomato sauce at
the store. I use it to make large batches of spaghetti sauces to can
and add to the pantry. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well it
works out both in flavor and in price.

Often, you can find in the larger stores, such as Sam's Club, the bulk
size bags of frozen vegetables at a fair price. I slightly cook these
to reduce the shrinkage that occurs as a vegetable cooks in the canning
process. Next, I pack the jars just as I would with fresh produce
adding water and canning salt, then processing as usual.

Hunting season will soon be here. Already, I have been hearing the
sounds of neighbors shooting targets in preparation for deer season.
For farming families, it is also butchering season. You can also watch
for meat sales. I love to can up chunks of meat; chicken, beef,
venison, to use in meals later in the year. I make stew meats, taco
meat, add the meat to spaghetti sauce, make beef or venison stew with
vegetables, BBQ shredded meat, or simply can it in a marinade or broth
to be added to pasta or rice later on.

Typically, autumn is that last push for getting your pantries in order
before winter. How are you prepared for the upcoming winter? If you
were to be caught in a winter storm situation or simply one of life's
storms like a job loss or illness, would you be ready for it? Recently,
we had the opportunity to see how well we would fare through such a
situation when Joe's truck kept breaking down for a 2-month period. We
literally had no pay some weeks and I was unable to go to the grocery
store for 3 weeks at the worst point. We were blessed however to have
been prepared. We were lacking some things, but the essentials needed
were there. I learned from that experience where I need to build up the
pantry more and in what areas we are doing good. The greatest blessing
was that we didn't have to worry about how we were going to find a way
to eat. There was always food in the house.

I am so grateful to the Lord for blessing me with a heart for stocking
up and a husband who supports me in doing it.

1 comment:

Sisterbrenda said...

Good job in getting prepared for winter and some good ideas too..