Tag Archives: canning

Back to Canning: Where Do I Find The Food?

Hey guys!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I did! It was super relaxing, and I enjoyed a day of resting. However, I woke up this morning feeling a little (or A LOT) overwhelmed. My thoughts have just been running crazy on me: a never ending to-do list and not much motivation. So I started my day in the Bible, with lots of prayer, and a big dose of honesty with myself (that I’m being a control freak over nothing)….and sadly, didn’t feel much better. So I was sitting around feeling kind of mopey and it hit me, “When things feel overwhelming, you’ve done all you can do, then wait on God….and while you’re waiting, do what you know.” To me homesteading is what I know brings comfort and calm during times of chaos whether it be physically or mentally. I’m so happy when I’m in my backyard with my ducks and goat running around. My greenhouse and garden bring that same feeling. I feel at peace. Life is simple there. So I thought I’d go back to my canning post. It is a little too cold to be hanging outside with my goat today for very long so I’m going to my happy place while staying warm…LoL!

So these are my tips on finding the food to can:

1. Grow your own: Some think having a garden is so complicated. It is only as complicated as you make it I’m discovering. Compost and mulch are your best friend in gardening. We are currently practicing no-till gardening. Much easier, and you wouldn’t believe how a little compost and some free mulch can produce such bountiful harvests.

2. Mom and Pop Produce stands: I live in the foothills of NC. Roadside produce stands are EVERYWHERE. Word to the wise, know your pricing because a lot of these stands will make a killing off of you if you don’t. And always ask to see their #2s. You are canning the stuff not putting it on display. It doesn’t have to be pretty

3. Craig’s List: People sell produce all of the time on Craig’s List. Again, know your pricing.

4. Shop sales at grocery stores: Not ideal, but you will hit a killer sale every now and then. I did on corn last year!

5. Farmer’s Markets: I shop these quite a bit during spring and summer. Some have great deals. Others are waaay too expensive. Knowing your pricing is a huge benefit when you choose to shop for your canning produce.

I hope these tips will help you when canning season comes around. Spring is coming folks….better get ready!

Until next time…keep looking up!

Jen

Canning: Saving money the “old fashioned” way!

Canning blog pic

Hey guys!!

Today, I wanted to share something I’ve been learning over the past few years that I have been told time and again is a dying art. That thing is canning! Most think I’m a little loopy when I tell them I can a lot of my family’s food. Some see it and think it is the coolest thing EVER! Others look at it and wonder is it really safe to eat your own canned food? The answer is a big, fat YES!!! The reason I decided to do this post was because I know God wants me to share what He has taught me on this life changing journey I’m on. And as many people as I get that think I am strange for doing what I do (LoL) there are more that want to know how but don’t know where to start.

I have been blessed with a wonderful mother in law who is very old fashioned and LOVES that she has daughter in laws that are pretty old school ourselves. So she is a walking library for us girls that want to save our family’s money and eat healthy food by doing it ourselves.

I am considering doing a blog post on how to live on an unsteady income considering a lot of people do now days. This would certainly be one of my first tips!

So here we go….

If you are just starting out canning your own food, I suggest that you start with water bathing. It is less complicated then learning a pressure canner though I might follow up with a post about pressure canning later.

To start canning you will need: mason jars, rings, lids, jar grabbers, and a funnel. As well as a stock pot and the ingredients to what you might be canning. The great news is all of this stuff can be found at your local Walmart 🙂

You always start by washing and sanitizing your jars and rings. You can do this the new way by using the dishwasher and the sanitizing setting or the old way which is washing by hand and then boiling your jars and rings…totally up to you!

Then you cook your product. Things that can be water bathed are high acid foods. These include jams, jellies, salsa, pickles, relishes, and even your own condiments! The internet offers many recipes. The fun part about starting out is you get to try as many as you want until you find the recipe and tweak it to where it works for you!

After cooking your product, you ladle it into hot jars. Place the lids inside the rings and put them on the jars tightly.

You place the jars in the stockpot of water until the water is over the jars. At that point you turn the stove on and wait until the water boils. You start timing your processing time after the water starts boiling.

Let the jars sit for a few minutes after they are done processing. Then lift them out of the stockpot with the jar grabber and we turn ours upside-down to help with the sealing process. (That is just a personal preference. You can leave them right-side up if you choose.) Be sure your lids are tight!

Then you let them sit for 24 hours. You will hear them seal with a little “ping” but check them before you put the canned goods away to make sure the little button on top went down.

That is all there is to it! Pretty easy right? We spend every summer and most of fall canning our own food. It is a great time to get together with your family and friends, praise Jesus for His blessings, and provide healthy food, cheaply for your family! Not to mention, great bonding time with the kids.

Stay tuned…tomorrow’s post will be about growing/finding great foods for canning cheaply!

Until then…keep looking up!

Jen