Fill Your Pantry, Save Money, Eat Well During Emergencies

This guest post is by Ladyhawthorne and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

1133973 old fashioned canned food Fill Your Pantry, Save Money, Eat Well During Emergencies

Image courtesy stock.xchng user turbidity

Canning your own food. It’s not that hard and can be done for a minimal investment. There are plenty of articles and books that go into the actual process so I will not repeat that here. What I will tell you is how to fill your pantry with canned meals you can eat right out of the jar if need be.

I’ve been canning pretty much continuously for over 20 years and grew up helping my mother and grandmother can. I am also single and that puts a little different spin on things. I have learned a lot from years of living on a very small budget, about 15 years ago I lived on $600-$700 a month and rent was half of that. I don’t garden at this time and all my food has to come from the store.

I quite regularly will buy items that are on sale or marked way down and can them when I get home so they have a longer shelf life, this includes fruits and vegetables in cans. As a single person most of my food is canned in pints, broths and juices in quarts and fruits I usually put in half pints as single servings. I live in hurricane country so I don’t like to keep much in the freezer. When I lose electricity due to a storm it’s usually for a week or longer and since this house is all electric I have to cook over the firepit or eat it cold.

The one item I have the most of in my pantry is soup. Every time I make soup or chili I make a big pot of it. There’s just no way for me to make a small pot when I’m tossing in all my bits and pieces. I usually start with the leftovers from a roast or chicken or turkey. I may have meat or not, sometimes I use the last of the container of tomato juice as a base. I use up the fresh vegetables I have on hand, especially those nearing their end of freshness.

I will often add frozen or canned vegetables and dry beans to fill out the soup. I add whatever spices suit my fancy that day. So you can see that every pot is different, a never ending variety of flavors. I rarely use a recipe for soup or stew. You may think cold soup sounds unappetizing but try gazpacho or cold borscht with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt sometime, you will change your mind.

For canning you don’t want the soup too thick, you can always add a cornstarch thickener when you reheat it for eating. I will have several meals from the pot before I can the balance of it and those jars of soup are great to put in a container for lunch at work. Some of the soups I currently have are beef vegetable, chicken vegetable, ham & beans (like bean w/bacon), beef noodle, beef barley, chicken & rice, gumbo, split pea, and chili. Some of these are great thickened and poured over rice or noodles.

The next item I have a lot of is canned chicken. I pick up chicken breast (it’s what I prefer) when it is on sale usually for 99¢ a pound. This is with the bone and skin. I boil it in a large pot with diced onions and celery, shredded carrots and a bay leaf or two, salt & pepper.

The chicken gets stripped from the bone and the meat goes in pints in chunks and the broth poured over it. You can make chicken salad, tacos, burritos and casseroles galore. It’s probably the cheapest meat and will go far. Again, you could eat this right out of the jar if need be. The left over broth with the seasoning vegetables gets canned in quarts for future soup making.

Beef or pork roast leftovers can be canned in chunks in broth also. Pork is excellent if shredded and canned with barbecue sauce, instant pulled pork. You may have seen where folks can bacon but have you seen where you can dry can sausage links and hot dogs, hamburger and sausage patties or crumbles? It works wonderfully well and you can eat it right out of the jar in an emergency if you have nothing to heat it with.

Basically I can most of the meals I prepare and eat. You can easily put some meat and 2 vegetables in a jar with some broth and when you open it drain the broth into a pan to make gravy. A great quick meal in a single jar.

One last thing I can a lot of is salsa. I buy large cans of tomatoes on sale or the #10 cans of tomatoes and using my food processor I combine the tomatoes with fresh onions, jalapenos, cilantro and lemon or line juice. Add some salt and fill up the pints. I love salsa and use it on and in lots of things including casseroles, soups, goulash and chili.

I hope this article helps you to think outside the box or box meals to another way to have emergency meals that are ready to eat, some without heating, on a budget.

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Comments

  1. Well that’s it! I’m gonna make myself get my rebuilt yard sale canner out and try my hand at canning.

  2. Repair Mama says:

    I love the ideas in your article. I have canning articles here in the archives of this site somewhere on a previous writing contest. It is a wonderful way to save your food dollars and make meals with food that you know exactly what is in it! A scratch made meal is soooo wonderful when you did not have to spend 3 hours that day to make.

    I do have one problem with the information on dry canning hotdogs and such. Meat crumbles can be canned if you follow the information from the agriculture extension offices or the information in a ball blue book of canning. Hot dogs can not be safely canned. The results are not always safe. It has been tested and the chance of dying for a hotdog is just not worth it. Please…… look for safe canning practices. Some things just are not good for canning. it is not safe to can things in the oven. it is not safe to can some things with out a pressure canner. If the internal temperature is not reached inside the food that is in the jar, the food will not be safe to eat later. One example of this is canning pumpkin. It has been tested to be safe to can it as chunks in water, but not as a puree. The inside of the the mush does not reach the temperature high enough for long enough to be deemed to be safe.
    DOnt be afraid to learn canning. The results are glorious! It is safe if done properly. Be informed about your food. It could save your life.

    Great article for the newbee to think about. Thanks!!

    (P.S. I love to can up beef in chunks.. heat up the beef, make mashed potatoes, brown gravy and serve with fresh bread and another veggie…yumm yumm!! Hot open faced roast beef sandwiches.
    southern comfort food at its finest!)

    • Thanks for posting the warnings. My oven does not work so I don’t dry can in the oven. I dry can in the pressure canner, guess I should have made that more clear. And yes, dry canning meat like hot dogs is considered outside the norm, please do your research and decide for yourself.

      • I don’t over pack the jars when canning things like sausages and hot dogs and you can also cut them in chunks. The warnings are because of the denseness of the foods, just like you don’t want to can purees of things like pumpkin, it’s too dense to be sure the heat gets high enough all the way through.

        I highly recommend Jackie Clay’s canning book from Backwoods Home Magazine. She does a lot the ‘experimental’ canning and has really good advice. you can check out her blog here:
        http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/JackieClay/

      • HomeINsteader says:

        I dry can pre-cooked bacon (using pressure canner – I’ve never used an oven for dry canning; it just doesn’t appeal to me); I think it works out much better than dry-canning it raw; I just cook it to crisp, wrap it in parchment, and dry can it – 10 lbs. pressure for 90 minutes, quarts. I have pre-cooked bacon that will store for long periods without refrigeration, and love it!

        • HomeINsteader says:

          PS: only thick bacon – I can’t imagine the skinny stuff holding up to the process.

      • I would wet pack the hot dogs, kind of like large Vienna sausages to be safer. I see in your article that you can barley too. The USDA says that’s not safe. I feel that as long as its FULLY cooked and very soupy canning it is just fine and that’s how I do it.

        • My barley soup is fully cooked and I add plenty of liquid so it’s safe to can. Same with noodles or rice, lots of liquid.

          I have actually not canned hot dogs yet but I have canned link smoked sausages without the liquid and they turned out great. There is a small amount of greasy broth in the bottom of the jar with them. Mom says my grandmother used to can meat this way in the 50’s & 60’s.

    • Repair Mama,

      I have never looked into canning hotdogs. What is the issue? I would imagine you could just slice them up and pressure can them. (Or were you just saying that you can’t water bath can hotdogs.)

      • Any meat has to be pressure canned. The dry canning I mean is pressure canning but without liquid added to the jar. I tried hamburger and meatballs with broth and it turned into mushy cat food, bleck. Pressure canning it dry with liquid in the jar gives a much better product. I have also canned smoked sausage by cutting into chunks, again without liquid. I’m not saying you can’t add liquid, just that I have done it without.

        What you want to be careful of with canning hot dogs or link smoked sausage is to not over pack them in the jar. You want to make sure the heat can get to everything.

  3. HomeINsteader says:

    You and I are like-minded on canning, Ladyhawthorne! Our idea of “fast-food”! Pop the jar, heat it up…you’re good to go! And you know what you are eating because you put it there.

    • Home’r,

      My dh and I eat fast food two or three times a week in the winter–just pop open a jar of home canned soup and serve with freshly baked bread. That’s a meal for about $2.

  4. I often make big batches of chilli and spagetti. Canning seems to be a good idea for power loss that can happen in winter. Also living in Earthquake prone N Calif power loss is something to consider when prepping.

    • I’ve seen some neat ideas for keeping those canning jars safe in eathquake country. Adding a bar or bungie cords across the front of your shelves and putting your jars in cut up sections of old socks to keep them from banging. Clean ones of course!

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Good idea! Need more socks? They’re really cheap at your nearest second-hand store. Just wash them and, “no worries”!

      • axelsteve says:

        Good idea Lady!
        I was wondering about that also ,keeping glass from breaking.

        • worrisome says:

          Speaking as one who has been there and done that……….shelving needs to be secured to whatever wall it is on. There is safety in returning the completed canning jars to the boxes they came in. And absolutely using something to keep the jars from shaking off the shelf or tipping over and off is necessary. Either bungee cords or build a rail across the shelf. I speak from experience here….I wish I had kept the pictures………..

          • I was involved in helping to completely reset a grocery store when someone on a different team moved a jar of pickles. Apparently, the shelf wasn’t fully attached and they lost two or three 4-foot shelves. All of us working that aisle just stood back and let it happen. There wasn’t anything we could do and it was too dangerous to try to prevent anything anyway. That aisle smelled great (I admit I like the smell of dill pickles) for the rest of the day but it did create quite a mess.

  5. Thanks for this article. I’m also a single & need to make a buck stretch. I do dehydrate and have canned some vegetables,but never meat. While I read that you can dehydrate crumbled beef, I’ve also read that no meat should be canned without a pressure cooker. I’ve considered buying a pressure cooker in the past, but I’ve heard stories about them that scare me to try one.

    RepairMama…thanks for reminding me of past posts about canning. I saw them in the past, but forgot all about them. I’d really like to learn a lot more about canning.

    • Please see my correction about dry canning meat in the above response. I only dry can, meaning without liquid added, in a pressure canner for the appropriate time according to the Ball guidebook.

    • Nann,

      Take a look at the All American Pressure Canner. It has wing nuts so you know the lid isn’t going to blow off. Also pressure canners come with a blow out valve.

      • Thanks for that info, Bam Bam. I’ll definitely look into that canner.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          The All-American truly IS the best of the best, or, some I’m told from many sources. I do not have one. I can not afford one. (Don’t feel bad for me – every extra dollar we could find has gone into our BOL for quite some time).

          But I can tell you that my vintage 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s pressure canners all far outperform the “new” Prestos I own (I have 2 newer ones). They are much heavier and distribute heat more evenly; thus, they are also easier to maintain temp when canning, so, not as labor intensive as the newer models (newer are Made in China – and that should tell us everything we need to know).

          Just so you know, I have bought mine from ebay, yard sales, and second-hand shops, over a period of a number of years, obviously. I only have one that I bought new, retail (just a few years ago) and I don’t particularly like it, so I don’t use it much.

          If you are like me and can not afford the “Cadillac”, the Chevy will do just fine; you can purchase replacement gaskets, gauges, etc. from ebay, http://www.cookingandcanning.net/allamcoandca.html, hardware stores (especially in small, remote towns), and other sources, no doubt. Be leery of VERY OLD models, however – and do your homework before purchasing, as some of them no longer have parts available.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            That link to cooking and canning actually too me to All American on their site! Isn’t that funny?! But they carry everything available; I have used them several times and have, so far, been very pleased.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      I can using a pressure canner and liquid, especially for meats, except pre-cooked bacon and burgers – they need to be wrapped in parchment paper and dry processed. But try browning your ground meat, drain, hot pack it with beef broth (MSG free!), prepare your jars properly and process – 10 lbs pressure, 90 minutes, for quarts or 75 minutes for pints IF you are below 2000 ft; 2000 ft and above, add 2 lbs pressure, or more – check the Ball Blue book based on your altitude.

      Any meat can be canned, but I recommend it be covered completely by liquid. Most foods only require either a one-half inch or a one inch head space – the distance between the top of the food in the jar and the jar opening. For meat, allow one and one-half (1 1/2) inches head space for the meat only; now cover with liquid, allowing one inch headspace (liquid should stand one-half inch above last of meat in your jar, and you should still have a one inch headspace from the top of the meat/liquid combined to the jar opening. I hope I’m making this clear.

      Even pre-cooked meat will expand a great deal in the canning process. If you fill the jars too full, they will overflow in the canner and may not seal properly.

      I like to roast chicken (40-50 lbs at a time), using my big electric roaster and my big oven together; then I take it off the bone, hot pack it with chicken broth, and process.

      I also like to roast pork loin and pack it in the same manner. Beef chunks are great – I buy roasts on sale, cut them up, cook them briefly, pack, fill with beef broth (not water), and process.

      These meats are so versatile – you can do many things with them.

      There is nothing like popping open a jar of home-canned meat and veggies and throwing together a healthy, quick meal.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Also, I would not raw pack meat – when cooking, meat produces some very unappetizing “refuse”, which you do not want to can; precook it, even if only partially, remove the “gross stuff”, pack and process your meats. I HAVE actually raw-packed the meatloaf in a jar; you CAN do this, but, I didn’t find it all that appetizing, just being honest.

  6. Please, ma’am, may I have some borscht?

    • A dear friend from Russia who has since passed away taught me to make it…..yummmmm.

      • Like paska (Easter bread), there are plenty of recipes. My first mother-in-law’s recipe was basically fresh beets, home-canned tomatos, beet leaves, sometimes stew beef, and always lastly (after cooled enough) the sour cream and then re-warmed. Pass the pumpernickle, please.

  7. How long does homemade canned soup last? Does anyone have a good how-to on canning soup?

    • It will last as long as any other canned item, almost indefinitely in optimum conditions. A good 5 years is probably a norm, mine don’t stay around that long as I keep eating from the pantry and make new to replace. Use a Ball Canning Guide, they are about $6 at Walmart, and pressure can your soup for the longest time dictated for your ingredients. So if you have meat in it, you would can at 10lbs pressure for 75 minutes for pints. If you are at a high elevation that will be different, but the book has all that info.

    • I would not hesitate to use my home canned soups two and three years out, longer if my home canned stuff lasted that long.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      I agree with ladyhawthorne; properly cooked, processed, and stored, your home-canned goods are safe AND appetizing for a good, long time; 2-3 years no problem; 5 years is absolutely within the realm of possibility, IMHO.

    • 1974 canned food from a recovered paddle wheeler lost on the Mississippi river was tested. The wreck occurred in 1865. Over one hundred years latter the food was determined to still be good.

        • OK – a pressure canner is definitely on my Christmas/Santa wish list. I already have the jar lifter, a canning funnel and the Ball canning book, so Santa doesn’t have to get everything for me. :-)

          • Repair Mama says:

            You will love the canner! My husband told one of our customers once that I would can everything in the house given the chance! lol I thought that was the funniest thing I had heard in a long time.
            I do not have much time these days to do any canning. I saw whole beef sirloin tip roast at the grocery yesterday at $2.69 lb. My hands went to itching and I almost purchased one.
            my work schedule has went to the dogs and I have not been home enough to do the laundry and dishes. The house looks like pigs live there and my pets dont remember who I am! (giggle) I am afraid that the prices will continue to spike.
            The popcorn was 2.29 lb, the grapes were 3.29lb and looks awful, i have been watching things and they are creeping up at an alarming rate. Ham has jumped 20-30 cents per lb since thanks giving. I want to try to put some up in the freezer and maybe can come up for beans.

            Good luck with the canner. If you tell santa that you want one for Christmas, tell him if you get it early, you can make some yummies for him for christmas eve!

            • Hey, do we live at the same address?

              Wow, you aren’t kidding about prices. Applesauce went from $1.29 to $2.29, sugar looks like ready to go way up or changed to 4# bags. And we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Hurry up seed companies with the 2013 seeds & catalogs.

  8. Thank you. I have been canning for a while and do have access to a garden area, but it is so refreshing to hear someone that does not use the lack of garden as an excuse. Hopefully people will read this and know that you do have an option to reduce the amount spent on food. We just moved to what was going to be a “retirement” cabin. After losing my job and my husband’s medical bills, we too live on very little each month. I am amazed when I used to see (no t.v.) on the cooking channels how to feed a family of 4 for $10.00.
    Many times $10.00 would feed us for 3-4 days!..Thanks again for sharing.

    • I’m sure those folks on the cooking channels are using the best organic ingredients from a great market but sadly they are not in my budget. We just have to do the best we can with what we have.

  9. We have our food budget down to less than seventy five dollars for a full month for the two of us. This is definately due to our canning and then using our canned foods. Our pantry is well stocked. This small budget also is constantly replenishing the pantry also. Yes. Definately learn how and just do it. This is part of what I teach along with the canning lessons. God bless you all.
    grannyc

    • Granny C.,

      Wow–down to $75 for eating and stocking up. I got our regular food bill down to $150 a month for two of us and I thought that was good. But that doesn’t include stocking up. I can’t go to Sam’s Club without spending $100 (but a lot of this is one large dog, two cats and two kittens).

      I would sure love to hear more about what you teach.

  10. Although we currently don’t can I can attest that eating out of your pantry can save you a lot o money. It took us a while, but once the pantry got full, we now save about 30-40% off what we used to buy at the store. We do shop for fresh and diary, but the reset comes from the pantry which gets refilled when things go on sale.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      It’s all in buying the foods you like and know you will eat when they are in season and/or on sale! That’s where the savings come in.

  11. I really appreciated your article as I also can soups and meats. But I have read warnings not to taste such food until having boiled it 15-20 minutes for safety reasons. Do you recommend I ignore the warnings and can eat my food straight from the jar?

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      I follow the 15 minute rule for meats. If memory serves (getting awful old so maybe the steel trap is real rusty) the 15 minutes boil is for meat.

      I love the soup idea. So many times I make a large batch and end up freezing or tossing…only so many gallons of turkey soup we can eat. Good article!

      • The boiling after opening home canned foods it to assure it kills any botulism TOXIN. The toxin is what actually kills you, the long pressure cooking is to kill the spores.

        You should bring to a full boil for 15 minutes ANY low acid foods before eating or tasting them – just in case. One little mistake might be your last.

    • They do say to heat things for 10 minutes, what you choose to do is up to you after you do your research. Personally, and this is MY choice, I have never had any issues with properly canned items and would not hesitate to eat something right out of the jar in an emergency situation where I could not heat it. But please everyone, make up your own mind after researching all the information out there.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Again, I agree. It’s already cooked to death. Properly cooked, canned, and stored, you should not have a problem. I reheat my home-canned foods, but I don’t try to cook it too long – I like food to have color and texture when I eat it!

        I’ve been doing this so long I’ve forgotten “when” I started, but the only problem I have EVER had was when I tried to use a pressure cooker (rather than a pressure canner) to can – yes, I know – we’ve had that big fuss here already. A pressure cooker is NOT a pressure canner, and they DO NOT function in the same way,; it’s very difficult to know temp, and you must maintain proper temp in the entire cooking process to safely can foods. Experience: never again.

        • Yes maam, there is a difference between the 2 pieces of equipment, make sure you use a canner to can food. The nice thing is you can also cook food in the canner if you want to. But always make sure to clean everything very well afterward, especially the vents.

    • Wellrounded says:

      This is straight from the USDA complete guide to canning…

      “All low-acid foods canned according to the approved recommendations may be eaten without boiling them when you are sure of all the following:
      Food was processed in a pressure canner.
      Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate.
      Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
      The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at your altitude was followed.
      Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave.
      Nothing has leaked from jar.
      No liquid spurts out when jar is opened.
      No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.”

  12. I try to buy up any canning jars I can find at yard sales , flea markets etc if they are a good price. I also buy new ones in the case any time I can find them on sale, also buy lids, and lids and rings when on sale also. Will splurge on a case of tattler lids in each size soon. My goal is to get me a nice peice of good land and become totaly self sufficent in all aspects. Just hope I have the time to find the place and get thing up and going before tshtf for real. Will use a combonation of canning, dehydrating and other preservations methods for all food needs. Just do the calculations on how many jars you would need for a year of food per person and you will find that ALL methods of preserving will be needed.

    I also love the canned beef , just dump it out in a pan, heat it up and thicken it up for gravy and put over rice, noodles , potatoes great quick meal.

    • I buy up jars at yard sales and thrift stores all the time. I even have gotten new boxes of lids for 50¢ on occasion. You are making me hungry George!

  13. I can lots of things as well. My main grocery expense is buying more jars. I usually check out the store on the day before meat expires and they have it marked down. I buy it up, cut it up, and can it. If a food has meat in it, you should can for 90 minutes at the amount of pressure for your area. The longest I have left my meat canned was 3 years and it was fine, but others may have different results. I can usually get about 3/4 of a roast in a jar (cut up into chunks).

    It is really nice to be coming home tired and open a jar of food, heat it up and dinner is served.

    • I watch sales and about to expire sections also. That is how our pantry stays stocked and everchanging. Am so glad to be with like minded people here.

      • It is nice to be able to talk to people who think like you do. It is just me now, the boys have been on their own for awhile and it is just not worth preparing a large meal for one person. Instead, I prepare meals on the weekends when I have time, and can the rest for during the week when I am too pooped to do much else.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      90 minutes for quarts; 75 minutes for pints (in case anyone out there prefers the pint jars).

      • HomeINsteader says:

        And that’s @ 10 lbs. pressure IF you are below 2000 feet altitude; if you are above 2,000, you’ll need to add at least 2 lbs pressure (12 lbs), or more, depending on how high you are; check your Ball Blue Book.

        • Repair Mama says:

          I thought it was 10lbs for under 1000 ft elevation and 15 lbs over 1000 ft elevation., My house is 997 ft and I can at 15 lbs. (weighted canner) Am I over cooking my food??

          • HomeINsteader says:

            Probably. But, hey! It’s safe!

            • It is also different pounds of pressure if you have different canner types. I have a dial guage and I must can at 11 lbs pressure. My elevation is 1076.
              I have a friend who has a weight guage canner, her pounds of pressure are differen for the same receipe.

      • Thanks HomeInsteader for the clarification. I usually can in quarts unless I can only find pint jars. Also getting the wide-mouthed jars are better when canning meat…or I find them to be easier.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Good point on the wide-mouth jars for meat, and you are so right – they are better for this purpose.

  14. I’m just starting canning and am proceeding slowly. I used to freeze leftover soup and sketti sauce but will consider future canning. I know you’re supposed to use only “canning” jars and “canning” lids according to all the U.S. experts, but I’ve read blogs where people can in any jar re-using the original lids. Do you have any experience in this area?

    • I have used the glass mayo and spaghetti sauce jars before with no problems, IF they are the right size to use regular canning lids and rings. It is never safe to can something in say pickle jars and reuse the one piece lid. Store your dry or dehydrated items in those. Also you always to use a brand new lid though you can reuse the ring. Tattler lids are pricey but reusable, they are plastic lids with a separate rubber ring.

    • GA Red,

      Be careful. Someone I know was using jars not intended for canning and the jar shattered and she got 3rd degree burns on her legs. It’s just not worth the risk to save a few dollars on the cost of proper canning jars and lids.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      PLEASE do not do that, GA Red – or anyone else reading – (reuse just jars with original lids). You can not reuse a jar lid, for starters – unless it is a “Tattler”, which are made for multiple uses (the only one that is!). In order to seal, these commercial lids have a thin rubber liner around the inside; once this has been subjected to the high heat and long processing time needed to properly seal the jar, it can’t reseal in the same way again; just opening the jar often “damages” the lid in such a way it can not seal. It’s truly not worth the risk of food poisoning. If you’ve never had it, please allow me to assure you, that saying, “you’ll wish you could die”? True.

      • HomeInSteader, I’ve always avoided taking the chance, too, even tho others do successfully. I re-use those glass jars & lids only for storing dry stuff or dehydrated stuff and then using my Pump-N-Seal to draw out the air. I had ptomaine or something of the sort all the way back in 3rd grade and I will never ever forget the agony. So I just don’t take that particular risk.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Hey, GA Red – home-canned spaghetti sauce is DELICIOUS – just heat gently and serve it up! Make sure your meat is cooked and drained before adding to sauce, then pack the jars and process. Takes longer to cook the pasta than it does to heat your spaghetti sauce! Home canned lean ground beef in broth is delicious for tacos, and just about anything else, as well (use the broth to cook down with your taco seasonings).

    • I have occasionally used ‘other’ jars for jams and jellies, but I would NEVER consider them for pressure canning. They are just not made for that, and I would hate to lose a whole batch of food because a cheap one jar exploded and broke my other ones as well.

    • Thanks for all the replies. I remember saving jars growing up as my mom would say, “They aren’t going to sell stuff in glass jars forever.” I still save some and use them for random things, but I haven’t seen mayo in a glass jar in years. As for spaghetti sauce, the jars are glass but don’t appear to use the canning ring lids anymore.

      I’ve been curious about the Tattler lids. I think they will be good to have in a SHTF scenario because you might not be able to get new lids.

      The blogs regarding re-use of jars are from people in other countries where the canning experts are not as strict as they are in the U.S.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        I applaud you wanting to repurpose those glass jars. Mom was right: they won’t be making them forever. But it is not safe to can in them. So, what can you do with them? Lots of things!

        Get yourself a “Pump-N-Seal”. It looks like a mini-bicycle tire pump and operates in much the same way: http://www.pump-n-seal.com/pumpnseal.htm

        These come with a plastic strip loaded with little yellow sticky strips having a small square magnet in the center, and a metal “push pin”. Use the push pin to make a hole in the center of the lid of your jar, center the magnet of one of these strips over the hole, stick it in place, and use the device to pump out the air. I find I have to lift the magnet to let air escape before I can open these jars; I take out what I want, then reseal it – you can use the same seal strip many times.

        This does NOT work for powdered foods – they tend to get drawn up into the pump and the pump will then cease to function. They are great for dried foods, however, and, as well know, glass is better for food storage than plastic bags, as plastic breathes and allows oxygen to penetrate, so that food doesn’t last as long. Yes, you can mylar bag long-term storage, but some foods are stored for consumption, not long-term storage (such as nuts in our house!).

        The jars that work best have the rubber lining on the inside of the lid. Jars that have held pickles, relish, etc., always have this rubber ring, but, be forewarned – you;’ll need to seriously clean these out and set them in the sun for a while to remove the “pickled” odor – the dishwasher alone will not remove it.

        If you want to use jars to store but can only get the clear ones, get you some heavy paper bags, such as you can purchase from a local farmers’ market, put your jars inside the bag, and just mark them on the outside as to contents and date; this will help preserve them longer, if you can’t just simply put them in a pantry, away from heat and light.

        I hope you find this info helpful. Blessings,

        • Oooh, HomeInSteader, great minds think alike. I too have a Pump-N-Seal. It’s great. I’ve used it with corn meal and didn’t have a problem. Fine flour surely could be a problem; maybe not fill all the way up, thump on the side a few times to settle the flour down, let sit for a few minutes, then pump.

          • I remember reading for flour and stuff like that that you could put a coffee filter on top of the contents and then pump the air out. This was supposed to keep the fine flour or whatever from being pulled up into the seal.

            I hope to get a Pump-N-Seal soon!

          • Put a paper towel over fine powders and you can seal them. I do it all the time!

  15. Great article! I always make a huge pot of chili or soup and never know what to do with all of the leftovers. I have thought about canning the leftovers many times, but never know which method to use to can and how long to can the leftovers and at what pressure. Any ideas or thoughts?

    • If your chili and soup have meat you need to can pints for 75 minutes at 10 lbs pressure or quarts for 90 minutes at 10 lbs pressure. If you live at high elevations above 1000 feet you will need to consult a canning manual for how much longer to process and at what weight. The Ball Blue Book is cheap at $6 and will tell you everything you need to know.

    • Jill,

      Get the Ball Blue Book. If your soup/chili has meat, pressure can for 75 min. for pint or 90 min. for quart at 10 lbs. pressure if you live at sea level. Increase pressure for higher elevation.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Any food containing meat should be processed as meat; chili is great canned, even with pasta, as long as there isn’t a lot of pasta and there is lots of liquid in the chili. Process like any meat: 10 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes (pints) or 90 minutes (quarts). This assumes you are not over 2000 ft. elevation; over that, check your Ball Blue Book, depending on your elevation. You will need to add AT LEAST 2 lbs. pressure (12 lbs). And do remember that processing time doesn’t start until your canner reaches the desired temp; if it falls below that temp, instructions are to start the count over when you have the canner back at the proper temp. This is why it’s important to keep a close eye on your canner – you do not want to overprocess your food and turn it into “mush”!

  16. Great article. Does anyone have the shelf life on the various meats that are canned?

    • I plan on cycling mine within a 2 year period though I did just open a jar of chicken that was 3 years old and it was fine.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      See comments above, jonsobo100. If properly cooked, canned, and stored, you should be good for not less than 2-3 years; 5 years is definitely within the realm of possibility. Just store it in a cool, dark (away from heat and light) and dry place (damp basements are not a good choice).

      • We are still eating foods that I canned in spring and summer 2010. If my husband takes out a jar to cook with that was canned in 2011 (by mistake), I put it back and take one from 2010.

        The food is fine and proper rotation will ensure it all stays fine!

  17. I do the same thing when buying meat, it has to be on sale. 90 minutes is for quarts I believe, sorry I’m at work and don’t have my Ball book with me. I also double check pressure and times every time I can something, just to be sure.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Yes; 90 minutes for quarts; 75 for pints – UNDER 2000 elevation @ 10 lbs. pressure.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        I JUST learned that the 2000 ft rule is for DIAL-GAUGE PRESSURE CANNERS (the only kind I own).
        The 1,000 ft rule is for weighted-gauge pressure canners.
        10 lbs. pressure up to 1,000 ft; anything over that requires 15 lbs. pressure (those are your only choices – no “in-between”).

        Look at that! Learn sumthin’ new every day!

        http://pickyourown.org/canning_sweetpotato.htm

  18. The Last American says:

    Our family has been eating home canned items for generations. To us it is as much a hobby as a prep.

    For any new-bees, start with Apple Sauce in a water bath canner, easy to make and you are able to add other fruits and spices to differant batches to “spice it up”. My DW’s bourbon Apple Sauce is a must have at Christmas, so is her Peach Brandy Cranberry sauce for Thnksgiving.

  19. Great ideas, I really need to get some quick meals canned up. I”m a teacher and some days I’m just too tired to cook a meal when I get home. Another idea to help us save money as well.

    • LB,

      My favorite quick meals are home canned meatloaf (brown in pan) and serve with mushroom gravy and instant potatoes with a veggie, home canned soups and chili (served with freshly baked bread), pulled pork sandwiches (reheat pork with ketsup and bbq sauce and serve on buns), chicken salad sandwiches.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Yes, indeed. Cook on a Saturday and produce enough food for a lot of weekdays, when you want it!

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Also, if you’re a teacher, hopefully, you have more time in summer – the peak of season for many veggies and fruits. Best price, and time to can! Go for it.

  20. James Nelson says:

    I read your post to my girlfriend and she was laughing all the way through it. She wants to know how I could have a twin sister and not know it. I can just like this. I do all of my canning in a huge All-American pressure canner. As there are 2 of us, I can mostly in quarts. She loves the versatility of the canned meats . Just this weekend I canned 9 quarts of fresh bratwurst (thank you Sam’s Club), 4 1/2 gallons of chicken broth and 14 quarts of chicken soup. I save all of the chicken bones and scraps in the freezer until I get enough for a big batch of broth, and then simmer them all night with carrots, celery and onion.
    I recommend getting into drying stuff too. Properly stored it keeps far longer than canned food (though home canned food keeps far longer than most people realize) ant takes up much less space.

    • LOL James,
      But more than likely I’m not your twin, probably your aunt.

      I’ve been doing a lot of dehydrating too. All the freeze dried foods are great but are not in my budget to canning and dehydrating are my chosen ways of putting food by. I do the same thing with chicken and turkey bones to make broth. If you have beef and pork bones you can roast them in oven then boil them for a delicious broth too.

  21. Lady Hawthorne,

    Thank you for writing this article. It’s good to get the discussion back to prepping and homesteading. Home canning has saved my dh and I so much money–not just on our food bill. But also in having gifts to give away for birthdays and Christmas. This Christmas everyone is asking for my salsa.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Salsa? Recipe, Bam Bam?

      • Home’r,

        Here’s the recipe.

        16 lbs. tomato
        8 cups chopped onion
        24 cloves garlic
        4 cups green pepper
        8-12 hot peppers
        4 cups red wine vinegar
        2 cups orange juice
        1 cup lime juice
        1/3 cup sugar
        1/3 cup salt

        Put above ingredients in pan and gently boil for 30 min or until thickened. Then add remaining ingredients (tomato paste and cilantro) and cook another 2 min.

        2 cup tomato paste
        2 cup cilantro

        Process in water bath canner for 20 minutes. Makes 12 pints.

        Every year my brothers ask for salsa for Christmas and every year they say it’s not hot enough. This year I put in 12 ghost peppers and 12 scotch bonnet peppers. (My dh had to use eye protection, surgical mask and gloves when he cut up the peppers.) LOL I can’t wait for Christmas.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          YUM! YUM!

        • HomeINsteader says:

          I’ve saved this recipe as “Salsa BamBam”! ; )

        • Salsa recipe saved and printed. :-D

          Do you peel the tomatoes first?

          • GA Red,

            Oh, I forgot to add that. Yes, wash and core the tomatoes, then dip into boiling water until tomato skin split and then put in cold water–the tomato skins will come right off.

            • Thanks – that’s one odd thing I knew how to do. My ex-MIL did that before freezing tomatoes and I helped a few times. She was really into freezing stuff but didn’t can much even though she used canning jars for freezing the tomatoes. She also did jelly with paraffin wax which I understand is a no-no now.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            I would. An easy to way to do it is to heat up a pot of water; make a “cross” in the bottom of the tomato and drop down in hot water for 15-20 seconds; remove and drop down in ice water. The skins should peel right off. This is messy, but it works. I’ve also learned to keep a clean but old bath towel under my work area; it catches the “mess” and I just toss it in the wash machine! “Quick and Dirty”, as they say in Joisey.

        • WeeVoiceInTheWilderness says:

          Hello BamBam (or others that know) I’m a new (sorta) to BWB canning. I pressure can a lot. I have many, many frozen tomatoes in my freezer and this recipes sounds extremely wonderful.
          I’m wondering if you are ever wary of the acidity of the tomatoes, vinegar or if the OJ (fresh, I assume) takes care of the need when BWB requirements for safe acid content. I read so much technical canning info that warns ‘be sure, be careful, follow recipe with no deviation’ and especially ‘You can’t BWB just any recipe’ to ensure safety and wondering if it’s just being extremely prudent when posting a canning recipe.
          Just when I think I’m going to be very brave with a recipe, I get whip-lashed by doubting if I’m brewing a bad batch of stuff.
          Thanks greatly in advance – I look forward to thoughts on this.

          • Wee,

            The red wine vinegar, OJ and lime juice increases the acidity of the salsa. So it’s fine. What you don’t want to do is water bath can tomatoes with added low acid veggies without increasing acidity.

            • WeeVoiceInTheWilderness says:

              Thanks kindly, BamBam and HomeINsteader. I can’t wait to try this new recipe.
              New question. Do you know if I’ll be disappointed using frozen tomatoes. I usually PC them into tomato sauce. I’m assuming that as a salsa, it just won’t be as ‘chunky’.

              Again – I’ll say thanks for the replies.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Well, I was going to mention this but didn’t want to rain on your parade. Yes, I think you will be very disappointed using the previously frozen tomatoes; I think you will have more of a “tomato mush”. I experimented with canning previously frozen veggies, and they were not fit to eat. (Glad you raised the question.)

            • Wee,

              My inclination is that if you have them, use them. The salsa will taste fine with previously frozen tomatoes. If it’s not chunky, no one will notice.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Go ahead! Prove me wrong – I’ll happily eat my words – if you’ll send me some salsa to spice them up! ; )

          • HomeINsteader says:

            Greetings, WeeVoice! BamBam will answer you soon, I’m sure…meantime….BWB – water bath canning? I would say, “YES” – the warnings are very often there because people usually “interpret” everything according to their own filters, they sometimes take shortcuts, and they sometimes just plain do dumb things, and the writer wants to be quite clear as to what is “safe” – they also don’t want to find themselves defending in a court of law, so, of course they will cover all the bases, if they are smart. But if you are talking whether to water bath can or pressure can based on a recipe recommendation, there IS a reason why you must follow the directions and use the correct recommended process, time, and temp – as in, don’t poison anyone, and don’t kill yourself trying – this would NOT be a pleasant way to “check out”. So, yes, it matters very much. Did I understand your question, or, did I miss it completely?

  22. I can beef roasts in pint jars. When we have tacos for dinner, all I need to do is heat up the meat in the microwave and mix in some taco seasoning. Easy shredded meat. I also can chicken, elk, venison, and tuna using the same method as mentioned above.

    • I’m not big on eating fish so have never tried canning it. I do have a friend that dry (without liquid) pressure canned some fish her son caught and it looks pretty nice in the jar and she says it tasted good.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Homecanning your own fish is no more difficult than any other meat; you just have to be a little more creative in the recipes (I think, anyway). I’m cook and can Manhattan Clam Chowder for the DH, but I also like a “fish stew” that uses any fish you have with onions, potatoes, celery, seasonings, carrots, and just spring water for liquid – whatever you want to throw in there – very tasty. And it helps to have an outdoor kitchen, because the smell is not “purdy”, IMHO.

  23. Great article and preety much what DW and I told and showed our prepper group last Saturday. There are so many myths about canning and these folks were surprised at how easy pressure and water bath canning really is. Quite frankly anyone who is a serious prepper needs to learn canning. One to two years of freeze dried or dehydrated food is great, but in an emp or coronal mass ejection it will run out without any means to replace it. You will then need to grow your own food or hunt it and can it to preserve it. Like all skills it needs to be learned now, not after!

    • Yes Ken, and you can bet I will be figuring out how to can over an open fire if need be. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos on it so I see it can be done.

      • Rocket stove! It concentrates the heat better to the bottom of the pot. It uses less fuel too. The biggest problem is you have to stay near and tend the fire. Also expect the bottom of your pot to be soot covered, which is why I’ve not used my DW pot yet, lol. I will try it soon on a volcano stove soon and let you know.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      You make some very good points here, Ken. While we’re discussing the role canning will play after SHTF, let’s talk about storing up supplies.

      Even if you are not going to can right now, you’ve never done it, you don’t know how, your confidence is low….whatever the reason you are not NOW canning…get the Ball Blue Book and stock up on pint jars, quart jars, lids, rings, canners (more than one would be wise), a couple of extra gaskets if it isn’t an “All American” that needs no gasket (not all can afford them)…jar lifter, funnel, water bath canner…ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING YOU MIGHT POSSIBLY NEED FOR CANNING. Don’t neglect a supply of thickener for jellies and jams, if you like jellies and jams. Personally, I prefer natural fruit spread. But you get the point.

      In some areas, you can only buy canning supplies during the canning season – summer through early fall. Go ahead and stock up on jars, especially, and lids – and everything else – while you are able. If nothing else, they’ll make great “bartering” later on.

      STACK IT HIGH! (While you still have the opportunity and means.)

      • Repair Mama says:

        I buy so much at the local grocery, that when I need canning jars in the off season, they keep them stored in the back room over the walk in freezer. The manager and I go into the back and he hauls out the ladder. I point to what I want and he hands them to me to carry down the ladder. Pop um in my buggie, mooch the damaged bags of flour and sugar at a 50% savings before I leave the back and I am a happy camper. It is good to get on the good side of the people that are running grocery store. It is a small town and most of the guys at the store know I do canning.
        There was a sale last year for boneless, skinless chicken breast there for 1.49 lb and I got them to order me a case of chicken. They asked me how I wanted it packed and I told them that they didn’t have to do that and waste the supplies. I took the case as is and took it home to freeze and can chicken all weekend. They were happy to not have to pack it and I was very happy with the price!
        I love this store!!

        • Repair Mama says:

          OH P.S. I store the sugar in torn bags as follows:
          Juice bottles that are empty are washed, and bleached, air dried till the bleach smell is gone and stored with lid on. When I get several damaged bags of sugar, I just use a funnel and fill up the bottles. leave a little room at the top to shake them to break up the lumps and put the lid on. No ox2 absorber. I hear that they just turn the sugar into one hard lump. store the bottles away in dark dry place till I need the sugar.
          I put the flour in mylar with o2 absorber and seal. lable and date and put it away. cheap food storeage!

          • HomeINsteader says:

            It’s my understanding that sugar does not “go bad”; it may lump, and you may have to break off chunks, but, unless it becomes critter infested, it does not go bad. It isn’t likely to get critters, the way you store it. Good job!

        • HomeINsteader says:

          RM: you and I shop in very similar ways! The produce team at my local groceries know me, and they are happy to order by the case when they have a particularly good price. Example? I bought cases of Braeburn apples for 99 cents a pound from one grocery and processed them – canned and dehydrated – now have lots of apples, for a while, and Braeburns are one of my favorites! One of the groceries has them on sale THIS WEEK @ $1.69, marked down from $2.49 a lb. Uh-huh.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            By the way, at least in my area, the groceries try to sell as much local produce as possible. Love it!

  24. Good article, but I wanted to share something with you that I found works great for thickening without adding flour or cornstarch.

    I just take my stick/hand blender and run it around a few places in my veggie soup or stew. It chops up a few of the veggies, and thickens the soup just great – not all of them, just a few places around the pan is all that’s needed, then stir and you have thicker soup, and veggie chunks as well.

  25. From someone who is just beginning to learn about canning food, I wanted to say “Good Article!”

  26. Wow. LOTS of great info has been added since yesterday. It’s amazing what you can learn in one day! Thanks to everyone for their input!

  27. Repair Mama says:

    I have a canning question for you gals,
    I was at grocery and saw some fresh sweet potatoes on sale with skin on them. They were getting a little old, but still firm and not bad. .19 cents lb. I love yams! How do I can them??
    Thanks
    I want to go over and buy them all and can them if I can do it safely.
    then I can have them with brown sugar and butter any time I want them.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Oh, gfriend, you just run right back there and buy them all! : )

      Get lots of apple juice, too – the cheap kind is just fine, but be careful that it does not contain products from China – that’s showing up more and more in our juices, and you do not want to eat or drink anything coming out of China.

      White House brand is Made in USA, but, it’s expensive, especially if you’ll need a lot of it. Kroger brand is mixed with Chinese blends, but the markings are stamped in tiny, tiny print on the plastic bottles and nearly impossible to find.

      You’ll need to remove the skins; you can steam or microwave them or just boil them gently, if you prefer. Peel them. Cut them up. Compost the peelings (had to sneak that in!). Drop them in your jars.

      Use apple juice for your liquid. Why apple juice? It’s delicious, and will make for the best sweet tater dishes you’ve ever imagined! If you need just the taters and not the juice when you open a jar, save the juice and drink it – even if you need to “water it down” – it’s very nutritious and it’s a source of hydration – never to be wasted!

      Process at 11 lbs. pressure, 65 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts.

      Here are pics and detailed instructions:

      http://www.pickyourown.org/canning_sweetpotato.htm

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Process time is for 2,000 ft elevation or less; check for correct pressure and time if over 2,000 ft elevation.

        • Repair mama says:

          I have the weghted type of canner with out dial. Process like meat?? pints at 75min at 15psi?
          thanks about the apple juice idea

          • HomeINsteader says:

            Repair mama: you’ve taught me sumpin’ new! Good on you!

            Here’s my post above:

            The 1,000 ft rule is for weighted-gauge pressure canners.
            10 lbs. pressure up to 1,000 ft; anything over that requires 15 lbs. pressure (those are your only choices – no “in-between”).

            go to the “pick your own” website and search for canning meat (see link following). It should tell you exactly how long.

            http://pickyourown.org

  28. Mystery guest says:

    I bought at China Mart a long handled spoon with holes in it about 6 months ago for stirring my “Stuff” (jam, jelly or syrup depending on how it turns out). The spoon had holes in it which didn’t affect stirring any. But I thought how nice it would be to have one without the holes. Well yesterday I was at China Mart and guess what those China Mart workers hand made one and got it to their store. They are under the name Oneida and sale for $4.98 and they are heavy and stainless steel. I hate to say this but I love the one with holes, probably going to love this one too.
    I needed them as all I had was all those short handled things that if you let go the spoon becomes part of the “STUFF”.

  29. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Ladyhawthorne,
    Great article. I must say I must bow to all you canning cubbies since I am not as experienced with the pressure canning as a lot of you are. I am however known as a moocher. If I have to by the food, I want it precanned. But I do can most of what I grow. I do prefer somethings frozen and I try to get free fruits, nuts, and vegies, and even scored a big buck last night. Cheap is good but free is better. Any recipes for canning deer or do I make 160 lbs. of jerky?

    • I usually grind up my deer into chili meat, make a big batch of chili in my roaster and then can it. You can cut the steaks into pieces and can them. A friend of mine does that and then she takes them out and chicken fries them. There is nothing better than deer chili and crackers on a cold night….just sayin’

  30. Last comment from me for this thread. If your in the greater Houston, that includes about 100 miles out and your interested in canning feel free to contact me. I’m more than willing to teach canning. I’m not a master canner, but I’m no beginner either. I’m on facebook, ken Lowder, or you can connect with me through my blog, gardenforyourlife.blogspot.com. I fully believe time to learn and prep in this country is short. You need to learn now.

  31. Being completely in the dark about canning, I want to get started. My question is do you need both water bath and pressure canners or can everything be done with a pressure canner? Great article really got me interested in this. Thanks.

    • Smile,

      No, most people start with water bath canning.

    • If all you can afford is one canner – go with the pressure canner as it will be most versatile. Some foods like pears or peaches are not suitable for pressure canning – foods like tomatoes can be pressure canned successfully. Remember though, whichever way you can tomatoes to appropriately acidify them.

      I have not heard of using a different lid for boiling water canning with a pressure canner. If you are boiling water canning you will need to treat the pressure canner as a boiling water canner. In other words you will cover the jars by approximately two inches with water and you won’t use your weights or gauges.

      When finished you will need to clean the lid very well and all holes should be cleaned to insure that when used as a pressure canner the steam will be able to flow freely and the weights/gauges reflect correct weight and pressure.

  32. HomeINsteader says:

    If you must choose, go with the pressure canner – they are definitely more expensive, but you will definitely need it. The other thing is you can use a pressure canner as a water bath canner – you will simply need to find a ng lid that fits well to make it works well. DO NOT try water bath canning using only the lid of your pressure canner – can cause damage to your pressure canner lid and attachments (gauges, dials, pressure valves, etc.)if not properly operated.

    MOST of the foods you’ll want to can will call for pressure canning, anyway; few will be suitable only for water bath canning, and I pressure can even those that could be water bath canned, because I’m a freak about food poisoning – been there, done that.

  33. What I would give for a personal canning tutor!! While the books are great resources, there’s nothing like an experienced canner standing by your side with tips. Thanks for the great article.

    • If you have a county extension service near you check them out they may have a master food preserver program. My local master food preserver program has regularily scheduled canning workshops as well as other workshops (cheese, breads, dehydrating, etc.). Many master food preservers are willing to help new canners outside of the workshops. While some think we like to scare people we really are all about safety. Food bourne illnesses are no fun and while there are treatments available for things like botulism it is best to avoid them if at all possible.

    • LyndaKay – I totally understand. I can’t even find a class in my area so far. Fortunately, my sister is a self-taught canner and is only a phone call away. Unfortunately, she only water bath cans. Pressure canning will be a whole new world for both of us.

      • GA Red,

        I KNOW I am not far from you! The state of GA county extension services offer canning classes at your local library.

        If you can’t find one, email me (email address in on my blog) and I can point you in the right direction.

    • LyndaKay,

      Watch videos on youtube. That’s how I got started in pressure canning.

  34. HomeINsteader says:

    http://www.pickyourownproduce.org is a good resource..as is “canning granny”, and many others. Lots of tutorials.

  35. James Nelson says:

    Aunt huh? I’m 62 so you’d have to be ancient. Mother canned When I was a child. I farmed for about 15 years and we bought very little outside food. Both farm and 1st wife are long gone, but I kept the canner.
    Do a search for dehydrate2store on you tube for the best dehydrating advice ever.

  36. HomeINsteader says:

    It’s a shame you didn’t keep the farm, as well. (Chuckle.)

  37. I wish I’d not got behind on these posts! The Jackie Clay book mentioned above was free a couple of days ago on Kindle, but is back to $4.95 today. Hopefully those of you who would have been interested already checked my blog and got the book then! And that those of you who didn’t will kick yourself (VERY gently, of course!) and bookmark it to check! Oh well, chances are no one will see this anyway! But today there quite a few specifically prepper-type books free that I’ve listed here (and there have been all week, not just today. Some from yesterday or the day before may still be free.) http://preputilityvehicle.blogspot.ca/2012/12/free-books-available-dec-6-2012.html I know with the high regard for Op Sec among preppers not very many actually subscribe, so here’s a reminder to check. I want people to benefit! Enjoy. :)