I've decided to turn my freezer off and save the dollars it takes to run it. For the most part it is only half full. I buy spices and flour in bulk, which will get portioned and sent to the deep freeze. I'm not trying to build up a store house of food in the event of a disaster. I am trying to keep up with a busy lifestyle that includes a family that likes to eat, good food, made from scratch and organic if possible.
I spend a lot of time at homemaking and I enjoy every minute. My oldest sister Cherie got me going on this 35 years a go with a simple sunset cookbook called "MAKE A MIX COOKERY" It was a great idea then and still his. I've always cooked ahead and made mixes ahead. I have relied on my big freezer for big batches of just about everything. The down side of that is they are expensive to run and if you have a power outage for any length of time, you run the risk of loosing everything in it.
So that being said I have always wanted to can. I had a friend in high school that used to "put up" everything her husband grew in there amazing garden. They had a room the size of a 1 car garage filled with shelves that were filled with beautiful jars containing the reddest tomatoes and greenest beans and everything tasted delicious. Charlotte would feed her family thorough out the winter with the best of foods grown in her own back yard.
As I become more health conscious and more knowledgeable in food science, I am learning to "put up" food for my family. Last week I made 12 pints of apple butter and it came out delicious. This week I found a 24 qt pressure canner on craigslist for 25.00. I have watched you tubes as I have no one here to teach me and I have purchased a bevy of used books from Amazon on food preserving. Jars, lids and tongs are a part of the the needed equipment. all of these things will cost less than a couple of months of electricity to run the freezer.
Thursday I purchased ground beef, pork and turkey on sale, cooked it all up along with the other essentials for chili. Total cost for the batch $26.00 for 16 quarts of wonderful chili. I now have 13 quarts ready and waiting to become a meal on a busy day.
I cooked the Chili up the night before and let it simmer over night, that being done I had a clean kitchen to start the canning process. My kitchen is very small ( but super efficient) Doing things in stages and cleaning after each one is very important.
With the Jars prepped and ready , I filled and sealed and put them in my pressure canners according to directions for food type and altitude.
16 quart and 24 quart canners in action:
Now while these were processing for 90 minutes - two pressure cookers going full speed ( can you hear it? ) I had F-16's flying over practicing for this weekends air show, the cookers and the planes were bothering the Great Dane who also barked for 90 minutes non stop.
I walked into my craft room to get away form some of the noise and I stepped on a glue bottle which the cat running around knocked over. The glue bottle sounded like a gun going off which made the dog and the cat run. I think I lost it a little and yelled at the dog to shut up - 85 minutes into the bark-a-thon. Which thankfully he did.
I think the blue angles shut down for lunch too..
This is what happens when you step on a glue bottle:
Here is some of my Chili!
Next in the Que, a non dairy cream of mushroom soup!! No more yucky canned soup for sauces and definitely not for eating! I'll have homemade, preservative and chemical free with the best of ingredients. Yum
Thanks for stopping by!!