Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Putting food by

I know -- that's the title of a very good book on canning and preserving written decades ago, by Janet Greene, et al, and still in print, apparently. If you're into that sort of thing, you'd do well to obtain a copy!

But it's also what Dorie and I have been up to in the past couple of weeks. Taters in the callar, basil in the freezer, and from the pressure and water bath canners, beets, pickles, tomatoes, hot chili sauce, grape jelly, and now, apple butter. More to come!

We've always preferred canning to freezing for fruits and veggies, but lately we've been adding meats, soups, and lots of other things to the "summer in a jar" pantry shelves. Most of these things require a pressure canner -- which Dorie just does not like to do -- to be done safely. So I bought a large (23 quart) one a couple of years ago, and I do the pressure canning, and she does most of the rest.

Our aim is to get clear of the freezer -- an energy waster -- and get into nearly 100% canned food for stocking up. No wait time for thawing that way, and no worry about power failures costing us a fortune in beef, pork, chicken, etc. And much lower electric bills to boot!

We have a dehydrator as well, and will be doing some dried foods -- veggies and fruits, and even jerky and fish -- to fall back on. Wild mushrooms are excellent when reconstituted from their dried form, and so are commercial ones. Why pay a fortune for store-bought dried ones, when we can do it ourselves for much less?

Gotta run back down stairs and clean the stove -- the apples boiled over when I wasn't paying attention. Stove's a mess, but it'll clean, and it just adds to the fun!

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