Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer In A Jar
I love this canning recipe that came from Better Homes and Gardens! It’s garlicky, crunchy, beautiful in a jar, it makes a fantastic gift, and is a taste of summer in the winter! I canned 38 pints of this last year and gave them as Christmas presents. I did make some adjustments to the recipe after some trial and error.
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 medium red sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 medium onions, cut into small wedges
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

  1. Remove husks from ears of corn. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks; rinse. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boiling. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes; drain. Cut the corn off the cob into a large pot. Cut and slice the rest of the vegetables into the pot.
  2. In a 4- to 5-quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot combine the 3 cups water, vinegar, sugar, garlic, red pepper and salt. Bring mixture to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  3. Pack vegetables into six hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.  Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables, maintaining the 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe jar rims; adjust lids.
  4. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 6 pints.
You have Summer In A Jar!

Friday, July 22, 2016

It's Canning Season!!

It’s Canning Season!!
I am so excited it’s canning season!! I don't just stockpile food for a collapse but I rely on it year round. I have to say I got my love of canning from my mother. We were a country family of six and she knew how to stretch a dollar. My Dad would always plant a huge garden because his philosophy was “You plant a garden that will feed your family and your neighbors” and we did! At least 2 acres of sweet corn, pickles, peppers, etc. The summer was 4-H for me but full mode canning for my mom. I never really appreciated this until a about 10 years ago when I was on a fixed budget and was totally done with eating Ramen Noodles, and basically empty carbs and calories. For my birthdays and Christmas’s I asked for storage units and a high pressure canner and a water bath canner. I turned my 2nd bedroom into my pantry/storage room with a chest freezer that my parents also gave me.

That room has been my lifesaver over the last few years. It has provided me with food and Christmas presents (yes Christmas presents). On the lean weeks and sometimes months I just go back to my pantry and I have plenty of food. From Jan 2014 to May 2014 because of financial emergencies I lived out of that storage room, it provided all my food,  toiletries, and grooming products.
This is not something you don’t just kinda do, it takes effort and work. I clip coupons and when things are on sale I stock up when I have the money. Not just food but toilet paper, paper towels, deodorant, shampoo etc. and at one time I had about 500lbs of food and supplies on each of my 2 storage units..that’s 1000lbs of food for a bit of work and planning! My deep freeze I use more for meat and I make casseroles, chili, soups, goulash etc that I freeze in individual containers for my lunches which think about it for a minute…how often do you buy your lunch, how healthy is it, and how much could you save taking your own?

Last year for $58 I made all of my own pasta sauce, salsa, summer in a jar, a few jams, frozen peppers and zucchini, and they were also the Christmas presents that I gave out. How much did you spend on Christmas presents to your family and friends and for your own use on the items I mentioned. And the best thing is what you can is THE healthiest!
So my challenge to you today is add up what you spent on what I mentioned above, your weekly eat out meals, and what you spent on Christmas presents to your friends. So with a bit of effort right now will save you HUGE over the year! Over this summer I will be posting my canning recipes and also I will do the math on how much it costs me vs. how much I would spend to buy it. Not to mention how much fun it is just to do it!!