Thursday, September 8, 2016

Canning, Preps and Storage - August Journal

For the past year I have been meaning to start a canning journal that would include my preps and food storage.  I tried to put in on paper and in a spreadsheet but I just wasn't keeping up with it.  To increase the excitement level, I will try to place it here in this blog, which is largely my personal journal anyway.  I'm shaking my head too.  We all know how sporadic I am with this blog.

August is a busy canning month for all canners.  The gardens are producing and it's time to put things up.  My garden pretty much took care of our needs so I did purchase some veggies and plan to purchase more.  Next year I will put in a larger garden including a potato patch where the chicken run is right now.

I was motivated to do a bit more canning after we received our last electric bill.  It was up on a month where it should be low.  One of the things that I noticed was our big chest freezer always seemed to be running.  My first step was to defrost it but my goal is to unplug it for good.  Hello smaller electric bill!

Later that night I had a sink full of various meats that I canned up the next day.  For my family, canning our meats is smart.  We do not eat a lot of meat and I really do not like touching, cooking or smelling it.  I loved that I cooked up a sink full of meat in one canner load.  

Next, I was honest with myself and turned the items we were never going to eat into chicken food.  A couple large bags of carrot pulp from our juicing days, a small bag of frozen grapes, some lentil soup that turned an ugly color of gray, all mixed up with a bit of oatmeal fed the chickens for days and made delicious eggs.

I am making an effort to use up the frozen veggies.  Thawing and canning them would destroy them so veggies are on the menu.  In the future I plan to can only the veggies that we enjoy, not the ones that I think we should be eating and never do.  

From the chicken scraps and a bag of frozen vegetable ends I made up bone broth in the crockpot and canned it.  I still have 2 whole organic chickens in the freezer that I will cook and eat and make and can up more broth.  It's like free food for us and more chicken food.  I wonder if it's considered cannibalism to feed live chickens dead chickens?

I canned up pinto and white beans because I love having them on hand for a quick burrito or refried beans or easy soup.  Here's what I canned in August:

Garlic - 14 half pints
Hot peppers - 8 pints
Pickled Beets - 5 pints
10 pounds Hamburger
10 pounds Chicken Breast
3 pounds Fish
8 quarts Pinto Beans
8 quarts White Beans

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