Winter is Coming… Preparing your Pantry

The purpose of home canning and meal prepping is to prepare for times when fruits and vegetables and meats are not as abundant naturally.  When an item is in season, it is more abundant and less expensive, this is the time to prepare for winter, especially when you live in the northern and Midwest areas.  Winter can be harsh.  We believe in canning what is in season, naturally, to help with budget costs, health benefits and being more ‘God sufficient’ than man sufficient.  The other side point to preparing and budgeting your food storage is to better understand what a REAL portion of food is.  America has gotten really bad at ‘super sizing’ and over convenience everything.  We’ve gotten into the mindset of “getting our money’s worth” instead of planning and looking at what our body needs.  The sugar and preservative addictions are just as bad as the “bad addictions”.  Look at the rise of obesity, health issues, enabling etc.  If we are stressed, we head strait for the candy jar, if a child is crying we hand them a sweet treat.  I could go on and on about this subject, because I myself suffer from stress eating and weight issues.  I come from a long line of Southern Cooks.  I love my butter, gravy and I melt with Shrimp and Grits.  Which is all fine, IN MODERATION.

But, back to preparing your pantry.  Each year it is essential to take stock of what your family will need for the upcoming year until the next season arrives with more goodies.  Also knowing crop rotation years help too.  One year may be a great corn year, the next nothing.

Now the big thing I want you to really take notice of is the PORTION of each item.  If we ate this way, I’m willing to bet, the weight loss programs out there would loose a lot of money and we would have more in our savings!

The Canner’s Pantry Planner:
Food Times/Week Serving Jars/Person Jars/Family(4)
Meats, Poultry, Fish 4x week, 36 weeks 1/2 cup 36 Pints 144 Pints
Soups 2x week, 36 weeks 1 cup 18 quarts 72 quarts
Jams, Jellies, Preserves 6x week, 52 weeks 2 tablespoons 40 1/2 pints 160 1/2 pints
Relishes 3x week, 52 weeks 1 tablespoon 5 pints 20 pints
Greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash 4x week, 36 weeks 1/2 cup 18 quarts 72 quarts
Pickled vegetables 2x week, 52 weeks 2 1/2 tablespoons 13 pints 52 pints
Juices and Tomatoes 7x week, 36 weeks 1 cup 63 quarts 252 quarts
All Other Fruits and Vegetables 14x week, 36 weeks 1/2 cup 76 quarts 304 quarts
Pickled Fruits, Pickled Eggs 2x week, 52 weeks 2 1/2 tablespoons/ 1 egg 13 quarts 52 quarts

Did you slightly freak out over the portions? Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Here is the thing I have discovered, when you utilize the mentality of using what you have on hand, you waste less, you eat less, and you have that pride of providing. It’s amazing how the world’s perspectives dissolve when you start living like this.

There are other items to consider as well, the meat covers what you should have in your freezer as well as canning, but there are dry goods to consider:  Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda/powder, yeast, dried beans, rice, powders.  Then your wet goods such as honey, syrups, molasses.  Also your perishables, eggs & milk.  There is also cellar storage to consider, potatoes, sweet potatoes, hard squash, apples.  But all in all the portions stay the same.  Now my favorite:  Cheeses.  I love real cheese, love it!  But a portion is only 2 ounces.  That’s the size of 2 dice.

I credit the knowledge of this from my Grandma Inez and my go to book “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery.

So learn to enjoy and appreciate what you have and you will find that your body and your savings will thank you!

Enjoy and let me know of your thoughts.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

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Canning Basics

With the gardens being in full swing now that we reach the beginning of August, it is a very, very busy place here in the Rice household.  Nothing and I do mean NOTHING goes to waste.  God is truly blessing us this year with a bounty of fruits, berries and vegetables!

I have been receiving a lot of questions about times and what can be water bath canned and what has to be pressure canned.  So, I decided to lay it out simply here.  My two tried and true resources are my Grandma and Mom of course and my absolutely favorite resource book.  The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.  When my husband and I first started to become close, we discovered we had the exact same book.  We truly are two peas in a pod.  But anyway, here are the outlines for Canning.

Water Bath Canning (think fruits and pickles) The times and sizes are for after reaching a full boil in your canner.

  • Apples  Pints 20 min.  Quarts 20 min.
  • Applesauce  Pints 20 min. Quarts 20 min.
  • Apricots   Pints 25 min.  Quarts 30 min.
  • Berries    Pints 15 min.    Quarts 20 min.
  • Cherries (pitted)  Pints 25 min.  Quarts 25 min.
  • Cranberries    Pints 15 min.   Quarts 15 min.
  • Currants         Pints 15 min.   Quarts 15 min.
  • Figs                  Pints 45 min.   Quarts 50 Min.
  • Fruit Juices    Pints 5 min.       Quarts 10 min.
  • Peaches          Pints 25 min.     Quarts 30 min.
  • Pears             Pints 25 min.     Quarts 30 min.
  • Plums            Pints 10 min.      Quarts 10 min.
  • Preserves      Pints 20 min.       Quarts 20 min.
  • Rhubarb        Pints  10 min.       Quarts 10 min.
  • Strawberries  Pints 15 min .       Quarts 15 min.  (Better frozen)
  • Tomatoes (yes tomatoes are a fruit) (you must add citric acid or lemon juice! To water bath tomatoes!!!!! More to come) Pints 35 min.   Quarts 45 min.
  • Tomato Juice Pints 35 min.      Quarts 40 Minutes.

These are the times for Ohio, if you live in a higher altitude location it can range from 5 – 15 minutes additional.  Check your local agriculture site.

Now comes the fun one!  PRESSURE CANNING.

Please learn how to use a Pressure Canner and maintenance and check it well before you use.  They can be dangerous.  You will be canning at 11 lbs of pressure but you want to check for the altitude adjustments for you area.The vegetables listed here are for NON PICKLED.  Canning pickles is another category for another time.

  • Meats        Pints 75 min        Quarts 90 min
  • Fish            Pints 100 min      Quarts 100 min
  • Asparagus Pints 30 min        Quarts 40 min
  • Beans (snap, wax, green, yellow, purple) Pints 20 min  Quarts 25 min
  • Beans, Lima   Pints 40 min     Quarts 50 minutes
  • Beets             Pints 30 min      Quarts 35 minutes
  • Broccoli        Pints 25 min      Quarts 40 min (better frozen)
  • Brussels Sprouts  Pints 45 min  Quarts 55 min (better frozen)
  • Cabbage         Pints 45 min    Quarts   55 min
  • Carrots        Pints 25 min         Quarts 30 min
  • Cauliflower   Pints 25 min        Quarts 40 min
  • Corn             Pints   55 min.         Quarts 85 min
  • Greens          Pints 70 min           Quarts 90 min
  • Hominy        Pints 60 min           Quarts 70 min
  • Mushrooms   Pints 45 min        QUARTS NO NO NO!
  • Okra             Pints 25 min            Quarts 40 min (Better frozen)
  • Onions         Pints 40 min              Quarts 40 min
  • Parsnips      Pints 20 min            Quarts 25 min
  • Peas              Pints 40 min            Quarts 40 min  (much better frozen)
  • Peppers, green  Pints 35 min     Quarts 35 min
  • Peppers, hot     Pints 35 min        Quarts 35 min
  • Potatoes NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
  • Pumpkin (in chunks not pureed)  Pints 55 min  Quarts 90 min.
  • Rutabagas    Pints 35 min         Quarts  35 min.
  • Squash, winter (in chunks not pureed)  Pints 55 min   Quarts 90 minutes.
  • Turnips      Pints 20 min.            Quarts 25 min.

So those are the times for the sizes of what I do most.  If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice