Showing posts with label Canning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canning. Show all posts

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Prepper's Canning Guide Book Review & Giveaway!


Disclaimer: I was given a copy and asked to review this book. The opinions of this review are mine.

The Prepper's Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Lifesaving Supply of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable Foods by Daisy Luther was a book I was looking forward to buying and using for this upcoming gardening season. I have almost every book by Daisy so I knew this would be a book I would want to get. 

Do you know who Daisy Luther is? If you don't, please check her out at The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com. She also runs Prepper's Market which is a food storage company with delicious tasting food for your food storage! She is also co-founder of Prepper's University which helps new and current preppers get started in prepping and keep their prepping in good shape!

This book did not disappoint! I will be canning almost every recipe she supplies in the book. They look delicious. Some of the canning recipes are a little out of the box with recipes that can be canned any time of the year as well as recipes for main dish meals and soups in a jar. She also has canning recipes for condiments, leftovers, and canning your own recipes. 

She also takes a lot of time to focus on traditional canning, how to can, and canning safely. She is an experienced canner so she knows how to can correctly and safely. That is something I can definitely appreciate! 

What I like most about this book (besides the recipes!)? I love that this is canning book geared towards preppers. She gives valuable advice about how to can in a grid down situation. She lets you know what works and what doesn't work. As a prepper, while I like to figure some things out for myself, I don't have time to figure it all out. Daisy cuts through the guessing process and lets you know that it may be harder than you think to can over a wood fire!

I like this book so much that I can going to do my very first giveaway! That's right! I am going to give one of these books away to one of you! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Monthly Update From The Homestead - August/September Edition


I love this time of year! We are so busy trying to keep up with the yard, the garden, and the projects. So this will be a monthly update for now and in the future. 

In August, you realize that summer is winding down fast. You may have at least two months left to get everything done outside that you can get done. Canning is full speed ahead trying to keep up with the produce. While I love dehydrating, I am finding myself doing a lot of canning this year.

Then September comes and you realize you may be running out of time! 

Canned green beans

We canned several quarts and four pints of green beans. We also canned summer squash pickles and zucchini relish. I froze eight quart size bags of vegetable pasta sauce. I have canned some salsa and need to do A LOT MORE! I froze a lot of the small onions from the garden to be used with roasts and in stews. 

After waiting patiently, oh so patiently, on the tomatoes, they are finally starting to come along. We have picked more grape tomatoes than we can keep up on eating. I still have lots and lots of green tomatoes though. I did give the tomatoes a good trimming as recommended by several gardeners. This has helped tremendously! I keep cutting back vines about once a week with great results. The tomatoes have been growing faster and turning red faster. Yeah!

I seem to have a lot of green peppers in the garden too. They are suppose to turn to red, orange, and yellow peppers, but nothing yet. If they stay green, I will still use them and freeze them for future use. I also have some mild banana peppers coming along too. I am not sure what I will do with them yet, but I will figure it out!

I also have a lot of zucchini which I have been using for a lot of zucchini bread. I have also been adding it to other dishes too as well as grilling it. I also grew some yellow crookneck squash. I will probably not be doing that again. I wanted yellow smooth neck squash, but I didn't read the package close enough. Oh well, the chickens love them! I did pull one hill of yellow squash plants out yesterday and will probably do the rest 


 Pumpkin blossoms

The potatoes have tasted great and I need to get the rest of them dug up. The pumpkins are coming along great too. The beets need to be dug up also. I actually have carrots! They germinated really late, but they are there and growing!

The chickens are still alive. That is saying a lot. We lost one chicken for reasons we couldn't figure out. We have one chicken who will be on the chopping block soon because she is not laying anymore and is becoming very mean to the other hens. The rest of the ladies will need to find new homes or become stew meat. We are only getting 4-6 eggs a day which we still enjoy. However, we have a rodent problem in the barn where their coop is and in the walls. The food and the water is attracting the problem and we need to get rid of the problem. 

So the chickens need to go for now. We will start over in the late winter - early spring with a new crop of chicks. I know I said previously that I wanted to add to the flock, but this problem really needs to be addressed before the rodents find a way into the shop.

Back of the barn

The shop in the barn is coming along great! The walls that are going to be painted are done. Rob stuffed more insulation down the walls before painting them to help keep the shop warmer. The floors in the shop and back half of the barn have been power washed too. It was amazing to see the difference after doing that! Rob wants to finish the ceiling and paint that. He also wants to finish insulating around the windows and get those trimmed out. 

We have enough rain for quite awhile. I am sooooo tired of mowing! Unfortunately, the forecast says rain again this week through the weekend. Oh well, it keeps the garden growing!

Otherwise, school has started! Woo hoo! We started on August 23rd and it has been pretty smooth sailing. The kids have been taking their lunches every day which has been an awesome savings on my pocketbook! Paige has been busy with cross counry, marching band, and choir (All-state, jazz, chamber, and concert). Dane is thankfully not really involved in anything yet! Dane turned 12 in August and we took him to Arnold's Park! It was a lot of fun!

We are still doing a lot of cleaning out, decluttering, selling stuff we don't need anymore, and donating other things. I keep thinking I am done for awhile, but then I reconsider things I don't need anymore!

What have you been up to this last month?

Thanks for reading,
Erica



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday Update From The Homestead - August 8 (Garden, Life, Bathroom, and Being Frugal!)


This last week has been busy! Again. Surprised, aren't you? 

I promise the winter updates will not be nearly as exciting as these summer ones. The weather is nice, hot, humid, and we are just trying to get everything done outside that we can. Except...



We ended up doing an impromptu remodel on our downstairs bathroom. You know, toliets leak once in a while. A new ring, some chalk, and new vinyl flooring will make it better. The walls need to be painted too, but I need to read up about how to paint over wallpaper. I don't have any desire to take wallpaper off of plaster.

We weeded about half of the garden. The garden and produce remaining probably thanks me, but it just seems like a lot of work. We are getting zucchini, summer squash, a few tomatoes, and a lot of green beans! I think I got all the onions dug out. They were a little on the small side, but still good. The shallots are just about reading to be dug out too. 

I haven't done a lot of canning this summer yet. As much as I believe in putting up as much produce as I can, I am trying to make sure it is produce we will eat in canned form. I can't wait for the tomatoes to take off. I will make a ton of tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and salsa. We eat a lot of those things. I did get eleven quarts of green beans canned though. I love green beans!

We have been really trying hard to be more frugal. I am pretty frugal naturally. I would be even more frugal if I could remember to make snacks for myself and take them to work! We have a couple of short trips we want to take in the next few months. So we are really buckling down on spending money. We have only eaten out once in the last month. We are really trying hard to make sure no food goes to waste. We are generally just being more creative about fixing things and not spending money if we can help it.

Another reason I am buckling down on being frugal and being more aware of money going out is that school starts in two weeks. I seem to spend a lot of money on a lot of things when school starts. Today I paid our school fees and that was $110. Ouch! I still have to pay band and choir uniform fees for Paige. Dane will not have those until next year. 

We also did not qualify for free or reduced lunch program at school because I make just enough money to not qualify. I figured out the rates of lunch per day ($2.40 for high school, $2.35 for middle school) and took that times twenty days for the month. That would be almost $100 a month for just school lunches! Owww!!!

The kids have been informed they will be eating more cold lunches than hot lunches and no more breakfast ($1.55 each per day) at school. They actually seem to be fine with it. I am doing more research on cold lunch ideas so we don't get bored. 



Our local county fair was last week. Paige got three blue and one red ribbon on her art projects. Dane got two blue ribbons on his picture frame and Lego project. They were happy and I was happy that we got there in one piece. Fair time can be rather stressful!



How did your week go? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How I Preserve Food: Vegetable Soup


One of the greatest things about preserving your food is making your own food to eat later on! You can control the ingredients, use up what you have on hand, and make delicious food such as this Vegetable Soup. I also like that I can make this recipe in pint jars for work lunches and quart jars for a quick supper.

Vegetable Soup
based from a recipe in Ball Blue Book of Preserving

2 quarts chopped, peeled cored tomatoes (about 12 large)
1.5 quarts cubed and peeled potatoes (about 6 medium)
1.5 quarts 3/4-inch sliced carrots (about 12 medium)
1 quart whole kernal corn, uncooked
2 cups 1-inch sliced celery (about 4 stalks)
2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
1/5 quarts water
Salt and pepper (optional, as you want)

Feel free to play around with the vegetables a bit. I would make sure to keep the tomatoes, but I think the other vegetables can be switched to taste. The original recipe called for 1 quart of lima beans which I did not add because I did not have any on hand. I also added 2 chopped medium-sized zucchini to mine since I had plenty to use up. In the past I have also added bell peppers, green beans, and peas.

I would also caution you on the use of the salt and pepper. I usually never add black pepper when I am canning, but I did the last time I made it. The black pepper made it very peppery and almost too much for my tastes.

1. Combine all vegetables in a large saucepot. Add water; simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

2. Ladle hot soup into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps.

3. Process pints 55 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 25 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner.

Yield: about 14 pints or 7 quarts

This post is a part of:

The Prepared Bloggers - How We Preserve Foods

Join us as we share different reasons and methods of how we preserve food to create a long-term storage plan for our families. Click on each link to be taken to a new blog with helpful information and tips.

  Mom with a PREP - How to Dehydrate Ginger and Make Ginger Powder
  Preparedness Mama - Make Jam Without Pectin
  Mama Kautz - Dehydrating
  Busy B Homemaker - Freezer Jam
  Ed That Matters - Anyone Can Do It: Fool Proof Food Storage
  The Apartment Prepper - Easy Marinated Mushrooms
  The Homesteading Hippy - How to Use Your Pressure Canner
  Montana Homesteader - Making and Preserving Cherry Pit Syrup
  Are We Crazy or What - How to Dehydrate Cherries
  Your Thrive Life - How I Preserve Food: Meals in a Jar 
  Melissa K Norris - Re-Usable Canning Tattler Lids-Do They Really Work?
  Real Food Living - Preserve and Store Grains wiith Dry Ice
  Cooke's Frontier - Smoking
  Homestead Dreamer - Water Bath Canning
  Evergrowing Farm - How to Preserve Red Chile
  Survival Sherpa - Modern Mountain Man MRE's
  The Backyard Pioneer - Fermentation
  Trayer Wilderness - How We Preserve Food
  Living Life in Rural Iowa - Vegetable Soup
  The Organic PrepperHow to Make Jam without using added Pectin
  Homesteading Mom - How I Preserve Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup
  A Matter of Preparedness - How I Preserve Using Mylar Bags

Enjoy!
Erica

(This post does contain affiliate links. Thanks!)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What Do You Need To Start Canning Your Own Food?


Canning, by and far, is one of the easiest things I know how to do. That may be because I steer away from complicated recipes, but I find it so rewarding to pick food from my garden or trees and preserving it myself. Many people are overwhelmed by canning, but with a few good pieces of equipment you can do it too.

Canning is not fancy if you choose it not to be, but some basic equipment is necessary. I got a lot of my canning equipment from my mom and garage sales. I got a lot of jars from my grandmas and friends. You do not have to drop a lot of money on canning unless you want to. The list below is what I consider the essentials of canning. This is all I use to can.

The Essentials:

1. Jars. I use half-pint, pint, and quart jars. The half-pints I use for butters, jams, and jellies. The pints and quarts I use for just about everything else. I have a tendency to can using portion and meal size for my family.

2. Lids and Rings. You will need many more lids than rings. I started out buying a quite a few lid and rings kits. Now I buy mostly lids unless I have rings starting to rust.



3. Water Canner. You want one that will hold at least 6-7 quart jars. You also want one that has a canning rack to hold the jars still in the canner.



4. Pressure Canner. You will need a pressure canner to can low-acid foods to make them safe to eat later. There are many options out there, but like the water canner you will want one that holds at least 6-7 quart jars and comes with a canning rack.



5. A Canning Kit. This kit includes a jar lifter, a lid lifter, an air bubble tool,  and a funnel. I went a few years without this kit and, trust me, this kit comes in handy. Very handy.

6. Canning Books. I highly recommend a good canning resource book. I use my Ball Blue Book all the time. I also use my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook a lot for recipes.

Another great resources is At Home Canning and Beyond by Kendra Lynne from A New Life on the Homestead! 

That is it! Canning doesn't look that intimidating now, doesn't it? You can do this!

Thanks for reading!
Erica

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Applesauce - Eating, Canning, and Freezing Instructions

Slow Cooker Applesauce is probably one of the easiest recipes I have in my arsenal to make. I love that I can sweetened it to taste, spice it if I want to, and make enough to can.

Slow Cooker Applesauce also has the benefit of saving me money by using the slow cooker and not the stove. I also like this recipe because there is no babysitting the stove! I have better things to do with my time than babysit the stove.

Per pint, Slow Cooker Applesauce is also cheaper than purchasing it in the store. I know what is in my applesauce versus the store bought applesauce which can have high fructose corn syrup and other preservatives that are not necessary!

During the fall, apples are cheap! If you don't have a tree or two to pick from, you can pick up 10-20 pounds pretty cheaply at the store. I know our local stores were advertising $.69 a pound for apples during this last fall. When you do the price break down, you can make your own cheaper than the store. During the rest of the year, I can find apples for $.89 - $.99 per pound which isn't a bad price. I refuse to pay more than that anyway. I can usually pick up bags of apples on clearance for $.99 a bag. What Dane doesn't eat gets made into this applesauce.

The apples will turn brown as the slow cooker cooks them down. I am okay with this. Some people might not be okay with this and they can choose to add Fruit Fresh or lemon juice.

Also, I am using a 6 quart slow cooker. If you are using a smaller one, adjust the recipe to fit your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

20-30 apples, peeled, chopped or sliced with cores removed
sweetener of choice, to taste
spices, to taste (I use cinnamon and sometimes nutmeg)

1. Place the apples in the slow cooker. I run my apples through an apple peeler/corer/slicer and throw the apples in the slow cooker as I go. When the slow cooker is full, I put the lid on so 20-30 apples is an estimate.

2. Set the slow cooker on low and walk away. Occasionally check the slow cooker and stir if you would like. It does help to break up the apples.

3. After 6-10 hours, if your apples are broken down and basically mush, you can do a few different things. I like to use the potato masher to get the apples to the chunky applesauce consistency. Then I sweeten them and spice them. If you like a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender, food mill, or a food processor and puree them smooth. Then you can sweeten and spice them.

4. Serve as part of a meal or make it the meal. Who am I to judge? Otherwise, move to the canning portion of this recipe. You can also freeze this applesauce.

To Can Applesauce:
1. Fill water canner and bring water to boiling.
2. Clean jars and rings with hot soapy water and dry. Keep jars and lids hot, either using the water canner or the warm setting in your oven.
3. Fill jars with hot applesauce leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim of the jars off with a wet washcloth.
4. Place lids and rings on jars. Tighten them to finger tight.
5. Process pints in the boiling water canner for 20 minutes. If using quart jars, process for 30 minutes.
6. Take out of canner and let cool. You should hear a pinging sound as the lids cool and seal. Let cool for 24 hours and put away. I generally get 4-6 pints of applesauce canned, depending on how much we eat first.

To Freeze Applesauce:
1. If using containers or jars, clean them in hot soapy water along with the lids. If using bags or a Food Saver, get them out and ready to go.
2. Fill containers/jars with hot applesauce, filling only 3/4 of the container/jar. You need to allow room for the applesauce to expand as it freezes. Otherwise, you will have a big mess. If filling bags, the same philosophy. Fill only 3/4 full, squeeze as much air out as you can, and seal.
3. No matter what you are using, place them in the refrigerator for 24 hours to cool. If you don't moisture from the hot to the freezer may cause freezer burn, breaking of containers or bags, and a mess in your freezer.
4. Place into the freezer after the 24 hours cool down in the fridge.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Thrifty Thursday Linky Party at LivingWellSpendingLess.com!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Canning Potatoes


What you see above was my total crop of potatoes from the garden this year. I planted three rows of 15 plants each and this was it. I might have to set a better watering system next year. Dang heat. 

I knew I wanted to can potatoes again this year. I love the convenience of opening up a jar, draining it, and dumping the potatoes into a fry pan. Almost instant fried potatoes! You don't need garden potatoes to do this, by the way. A bag of potatoes from the supermarket will work too. This is also a canning project that can be done anytime of the year.

How To Can Potatoes:

1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Set a pot of water to boiling. Get your pressure canner ready to go and set to boiling. Place quart-size jars into hot water or a warm oven to get them hot. Set a small pan of water to simmer for the lids.


2. Peel the potatoes if you would like. (I don't, but that is a personal preference.) Cut the potatoes into similar size pieces that you can get into the jar. I do roughly one-inch pieces of potatoes. Toss the lids into the simmering pot of water.

**At this point you can boil the potatoes for 10 minutes if you would like before packing the potatoes into the jars. I follow the raw pack method and have perfectly good results. 

3. Pack the potatoes into the hot jars tightly. (I didn't have enough potatoes for six quarts so I used a few store-bought potatoes.) Ladle boiling water over the packed potatoes. If desired, add a teaspoon of salt over the potatoes.

4. Use a spatula or a butter knife to get down the sides to release the air bubbles. Put lids and rings on the jars after wiping the jars to get rid of any residue.


5. Place jars in the pressure canner using a jar rack. I don't always use mine, but it is recommended. Place lid on top of the pressure canner and lock into place. Let the canner come up to pressure and follow your manufacturer's recommendations. I have an old pressure canner and just have a weight on top.


6. Process the potatoes at 10 pounds pressure for 40 minutes if using the quart jars or 35 minutes if using pint jars. Pressure may need to be adjusted according to altitude. When done, remove canner from heat and let the canner cool before opening the canner. Take the jars out and let cool. 

7. After 12 hours, check the jars to see if they sealed. The jars may be cloudy, but don't let that freak you out. Label and date the jars. Eat later and enjoy!

This is one of the simplest canning recipes I have done! Try it and let me know how it works for you!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Meats Will Meet Your Needs?


In setting up your food storage, a tough area to address is meat. When I started this series, I stopped because I wasn't certain how to address this myself along with the fact that I had changed my mind a few times about how I was going to address this area.

The best way to address the issue of meat in your food storage is to understand that you will need a few different plans. You have heard of others saying back-ups to back-ups to back-ups? In this case, they are absolutely right.

I know others who will say that you do not necessarily need to have meat in your food storage plan and that you will need to replace meat with other healthy proteins or go meatless. While I do encourage a few meatless meals a week, I do not believe meat is totally replaceable in the food storage plan. Meat is too valuable of a resource of necessary protein to give up eating altogether.

My first plan for meats to keep my chest freezer full of them. In fact, as of this being written, I have very little room for more. What a wonderful problem to have! I buy my meat directly from the producer and normally buy a half of beef once a year, several chickens, chicken breasts, a half of pork, and a few turkeys. I do like to keep ground turkey on hand also as cheaper alternative to ground beef and to stretch the ground beef I have on hand.

I could stop at this plan and be done, but while I think this is wonderful to have a full freezer and be in the position I could justify getting another freezer, problems can and do arise with my Plan A. Freezers fail. You could lose power for several days and lose everything in the freezer.

While I know (and a tip for you) a freezer only needs to be plugged in for four hours a day to stay frozen along with putting layers of blankets on top to keep the freezer cold, a possibility occurs to lose everything. So what is the next plan?

The next plan for me splits off into two plans that are equally valuable as well as viable. Plan B is to keep shelf stable meat products in my food storage. Canned chicken, tuna packets, canned corned beef, real bacon bits, and canned ham all have a place in my food storage. These are things I believe I will use and do use on a regular basis. As always, you need to keep what you will use. By having these items on hand, I could leave the freezer alone and keep the cold inside undisturbed.

Plan C is to can my own meat which I have been doing a little of myself. If you have a pressure canner and jars, you can do this yourself too. I highly recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. This is a fantastic resource for anyone canning or learning how to can. They do tell you how to can meats. I started out learning how to can chicken since chicken is something I use a lot in my one-dish meals.

Also with canning your meats, if you think you might lose your freezer for any reason, you may be able to save a good deal of your meat by canning it instead of letting the meat go to waste. Learning how to can meat is definitely a skill you would want to have.

Do I have a Plan D? Not exactly. Plan D is going to involve learning things I have not learned yet. I want to learn other ways to preserve meat whether that is making jerky or drying the meat, curing meat, smoking meat, and salt packing meat for storage. These are all necessary skills that I need to learn.

I also need to learn to hunt for times when meat may be too expensive for me to buy for my family. Hunting is my Plan E, but if I don't really know how, this plan becomes impractical. Hunting for me does not only mean being able to bring down the animal, but to skin, gut, and dress the animal. Again, these are all necessary skills that I need to learn.

So far, this is my plans for addressing meat in my food storage as well as what I keep on hand. Again, I had to look at the possibilities with something that needs a little different attention than other food storage items.

How do you plan to address meat in your food storage? Do you have different plans that will take you through emergencies and other situations that may be out of your control?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Canning Tomatoes

This year I have been learning to can tomatoes. Truthfully they intimidated me. All the work and the questions surrounding how to can tomatoes would be enough for me to avoid it! With my newish attitude to produce some of own food, not waste food, and preserve it has caused me to view tomatoes a bit differently. Because....

We eat a LOT of tomato-based products. Pasta sauce, anyone?

Lately, I have had a lot of people ask me how I can tomatoes and what recipes I use. True confession: I choose the easy way out. I choose Mrs. Wages. She has been very, very easy to work with and I can find her pouches at my local grocery stores. She helped me to make 11 pints of pasta sauce last night!

I really want to can tomatoes using from-scratch recipes. This weekend looks like I will have my chance. I only have two pouches left and more tomatoes than that since a sweet friend has gifted me with tomatoes. I committed to not spending any unnecessary money for awhile so from-scratch it will be.

I really want to can crushed tomatoes so that will be the first thing I try. I use crushed tomatoes in chili and will use them as a base for pasta and pizza sauce. If I have any left after that, I will be doing tomato sauce because I have a hundred uses for tomato sauce.

I realize that many of you are done canning tomatoes, but what are your favorite ways to can tomatoes?

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strawberry Jam Fever (and a few tips!)

I have been making Strawberry Jam for the last few days when I have a few moments. I found a really good deal on them at the store as well as getting a few from my garden. We love, love, love strawberry jam! This is also the one thing I can make that my oldest child does not give me grief for canning.

I did something different this year. I use to make freezer strawberry jam. This year, I made it and canned it because (1) I don't have room in either of my freezers and (2) I wanted to actually can it this year. 

First I made regular Strawberry Jam or so I thought. This is soooo much better than the recipe I had been using! This recipe came from the Food In Jars blog to whom I am eternally grateful for all the canning recipes they post. Some day, I will get through all of them! Please click on the link for their recipe!

There they are in the middle. Right next to my canned chicken. Delish!

Next I made Strawberry Balsamic Jam. I had some balsamic vinegar to use up and I had heard great reviews about the marriage of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. I wasn't disappointed! The house smelled awesome and the jam tasted even better! The balsamic vinegar gives a richness and depth to the strawberry jam that cannot be imagined! I got this recipe from TLC Cooking "Preserving the Harvest". Again, check them out for the recipe!


A few tips when canning anything:

Always label and date your canned items. This helps you to eat up your oldest canned items first. 

Store your canned items in the boxes that the jars came in. This helps with jars not breaking and storing your canned items safer and easier (below)! 


Thanks for reading! Have a great night!

    

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making Chicken Stock

In our quest to become healthier, more frugal, and self-sufficient, we have been making our own things. Chicken stock is one of them. I think I only have one can of the store-bought stuff left on the shelf. I have been using my homemade variety a little over a year now and I love it! I can my chicken stock and sometimes I will freeze it, but I like canning it the best. No unthawing!

Chicken Stock

The ingredients are very loosely based. It really depends on what I have on hand. I also use the bones and leftovers from when we roast chickens. I will keep these in the freezer and pull them out when I get time to make broth.

1-2 chickens worth of bones and leftovers
3-4 carrots, roughly chopped into pieces
3-4 celery stalks and leaves, roughly chopped into pieces
1 onion, cut up into wedges
3-4 garlic cloves, whole
Salt to taste (I add roughly a scant palmful)
Whole peppercorns (10-12 roughly)
Water to cover the whole thing and then some

Put all ingredients except water into a big pot. I use the biggest one I have, but I am not sure of the size. Add the water. Fill 3/4 full.


Place on the stove. I bring my stock to a boil and then turn it down to simmer. Keep it covered to keep the goodness in the pot. I let this simmer for 2-4 hours at least. It just depends on how distracted I get.


After a few hours, take off the burner and let cool a bit. Strain the chicken and vegies out by either a strainer using a cheesecloth for more clarity in the broth. Strain into the biggest bowls you own. It makes this next step easier. 

If it is summer, put your strained broth into the fridge to cool and let the fat rise to the surface. If it is winter and cold where you are (30 degrees and colder), put it outside and out of reach of the animals. I use the inside of my grill which sits out all year round. My refrigerator room is premium space here. Let the broth sit for 24 hours. 

Bring the broth inside or out of the fridge. Skim off the fat layer at the top. I will leave it up to you as to keep it or not. I know people who do and use it when cooking. I don't. If canning the stock, this would be a good time to heat it back up again. 

If freezing the stock, fill your containers 3/4 full to allow room for expansion. Label and place containers in freezer. You are done.

If canning the stock, fill hot jars with hot stock, leaving one inch of headspace. Screw hot lids and rings on the jars and place into the pressure canner. Fill the pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water and place the lid on the canner. Use the canner according to the instructions you have. My canner is old and basic. Bring the canner up to 10 pounds pressure. Process the pint jars for 20 minutes, quart jars for 25 minutes (as per Ball Blue Book of Preserving). Let cool and bring the pressure down in the canner. Take out of the canner and listen for pings. Let cool, label, and put away for the day you want truly homemade chicken noodle soup!

My recipe makes me about 6-7 quarts of stock. I usually end up freezing some too. 

That is it! A basic and simple chicken stock that will blow you away with goodness! Yum!

Thanks for reading! Have a great night!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Some Interesting Links

I haven't been posting so much because I have been busy learning! I am trying to learn more about canning, prepping, and to some extent candle-making.

Here is what I have been watching on YouTube lately:

Canning Chili: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_du998lYkdE&feature=related

Canning Potatoes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUkjSWLNmKw&feature=related

Canning Beef: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUBRKyAHoOw&feature=related

Canning Pork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LghymrKPbSk&feature=g-vrec&context=G2fa4c59RVAAAAAAAAAg

Here is some of the blog ideas I have been reading about:

Canning Chicken at the Hugs and Giggles Blog

Making DYI Survival Candles at the TEOTWAWKI Blog

6 mistakes Homesteaders make and how you can avoid them at the Joybilee Farm Blog

Rising Gas Prices: 10 Ways to Save Money at the Pump at the Frugally Sustainable Blog

I hope these are as informative for you as they were for me! Thanks for reading!

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