I really misjudged canning stockpile
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  1. #1
    Registered User pinetree's Avatar
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    Default I really misjudged canning stockpile

    I need to readjust for this year. I have already ran out of tomatoes, pears, peach jam, pickles and other jellies.

    I really thought I had enough to make it thru until the next harvest.

    Good thing is I have a mess of free jars coming. I'm sure they will go to good use and I'll take real good care of them.

    Anyone have an idea on how many jars they put up for a year? How long does your canned food last?

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    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    My Amish friends says that most jarred food lasts two years then you start to taste a difference in some foods. Like pears, peaches and grapes. But others can go much longer with no effects. Also personal taste does play apart in taste.
    I'll ask her how she figures for her family. Althought its going to be a difficult question as she has always lived off her canned goods. I do know that they can everything they can find. If she happens upon a sale on apples she'll go home that day and make something with them. Be it apple slices, apple butter, applesauce. You can never have too much. They also can meat like bucky burgers (ground deer meat). If one of her sons bring home a deer it gets processed right away even if it means 100 jars of burgers.
    I love to visit her cellar when we go to Ohio the jarrs are beautiful and its a good feeling all that love waiting to be served up. We have a deal. Since she lives so far from town and jars are more expensive up there (more demand) I collect them all year. From yard sales, house clean outs, trash piles, freecycle, etc Then she gives me filled jars to take home. Of course we don't trade jar for jar. But I come home with applesauce, applebutter, jams, jellies and bucky burgers. She can't believe that folks throw away cases of jars here when a single quart jar at a flea market by her runs a buck. Dh jokes that if we're ever in a crash going north we'll be cut to ribbons by all the jars. I think we took close to 200 last year. Anna shares with her 3 married daughter too. Its fun to get a letter from one of them telling me they are altogether today canned up so and so with Florida Laurie's jars. I feel like I'm there working along with them visiting and laughing.

    Laurie in Bradenton
    Laurie in Bradenton

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Where are your free canning jars coming from?

    You are going up the learning curve!! I haven't learned to can so have no idea what I would need.

    It's all a process and you are doing great!!

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    Registered User pinetree's Avatar
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    Laurie in Bradenton Thanks for the imput. I really never thought about canning durning the rest of the year, duh! Great idea.

    The store has blackberries on sale, I could make a couple batches now to add to! I can't beleive I just put the stuff away and wait for harvest! I must be getting old & the brain just isn't kicking in! lol

    Jars here are hard to find, unless you buy them new. She is probably grateful you bring her the jars! You have a great deal buy trading with her, thats priceless! You must be a treasure to her.

    I would appreciate any info you can get, I would also like to "live off my canned food" but don't think I can do it to her extent. I'm going to try & can meat, going to start with chicken. I guess it keeps for along time too.

    Mauimagic: The jars are comimg from my future DIL, her grandmother is in the nursing home, has been for over 2 years, it does come with a promise tho. We must replace them ( the jars ) if she ever decides to can again. We promised her we will take good care of them. Which we will. I get them Sunday, don't know exactly how many yet, but anything wil be a blessing.

    I love canning, did it years ago and just started up again 2 years ago. I love the look of the food showing through the jars and knowing there is food in the pantry, saving money on it really helps too.

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    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    I was able to get 8 quart jars for 41 at a garage sale last year. I almost passed out when I asked the price and she said...how about $1?

    LOL--Ummm yeah I take that box rightttt there!

    Other than that I buy mine at Big Lots along with lids and bands.

    I also got my big water processor for $1 at another garage sale.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    Jars are scarce around here too. I have to buy new. But I have been buying spaghetti sauce by Classico. They are real canning jars so they can be reused. I'm keeping my eyes out for them though at garage sales.

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    Registered User gapeach's Avatar
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    I would love to learn how to can. Can anyone hear suggest a good book on canning? Also, don't county ag extention offices have info on this?

    Thanks in advance for any information you can give me.

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    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    Ball puts out the bluebook. Its a wonderful source of information. County ag offices have information too. If you can go in you'll get more and better info. sometimes the person on the phone isn't the bes informer. Also check around and see if there is a canning kitchen in your area. Or check with your local Mormon church for someone who is currently canning. Ask to come and help there is nothing like hands on experenice from someone who has already done it. I was afraid of the pressure cooker alone but after a couple of days of helping out an old hand I felt much better on my own. Not to mention someone whos done it for years will have lots of tricks to teach you.

    Laurie in Bradenton

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    Registered User madhen's Avatar
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    I am on the same learning curve, pinetree. I am trying to figure out how much to preserve this year to carry me through until the next. I have not seriously preserved for sustenance, always more for enjoyment and experimentation, but when I went to the store the other day and saw that almost none of their food was grown in the U.S, and even less of it was organic, I decided I'd rather know what happened to my food before it ended up on my plate!! The biggest deciding factor was when I couldn't find any bell peppers that had been grown here. They were all from Mexico. I can't believe that something as pedestrian as a bell pepper has to be imported!! So I am growing my own this year, and will be drying and freezing them. I was asking myself exactly the same question that you are - how much do I need to preserve to ensure that I have bell peppers this time next year, when everyone else is buying mystery produce?
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Registered User VanVivCam's Avatar
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    I hope to do some canning this year, it will be my first and I will start VERY small.

    Good luck

    ( On a side note...does anyone else find humor in "Ball's Bluebook". Maybe my mind is in the gutter is morning!!! )

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    Pinetree -

    I like to read the Granny Miller blog, she has great ideas and info (though I don't agree with her politics about 60% of the time).

    She has this spreadsheet for planning food for 4 I thought you might find helpful. It doesn't include fruits but I will see what I can find...

    http://grannymillerblog.blogspot.com...home-food.html

    And here's her full canning season list.
    http://grannymillerblog.blogspot.com...ng-season.html


    She does say she gave up on her pears, and 6 pints of peaches doesn't seem like nearly enough to me, but it might just be her preferences.

    Overall, I learn a great deal from Granny and highly recommend her blog.

  13. #12
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how many to can but I can tell you how my friends manage their canned stuff.

    They count up how many can of say peaches they have made and then divide that number by 12 (since their are 12 months in a year)

    So if they made 48 cans of peaches that would be 4 cans a month that they have to use. If they really wanted to say use 5 in one month then they would know that they were borrowing from another/next month (so another/next month would have 3 to use)
    Then they do the same with all the other varieties of things they canned.

    It suppose it could be done in reverse how many time a month you like to eat/use said item. Then multiply by 12 to figure out how many you needed to can.

    say you eat peaches once a week that would be 52 cans of peaches you need.

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    RE the books bit. For those of us who aren't ready to can a deer (!) yet, I found something last year that I'm ready to use this year. The book has very simple directions for canning, something I've been looking for too.

    The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round by Topp & Howard

    Since I couldn't find any classes to go to, I decided that if I was going to learn on my own that I'd rather ruin (potentially) less food while learning!

    Many people will tell you to use the Ball Blue Book, but it seems to me to be that it's written for people who already know how to can for them. Since no one in my family canned when I was a kid and no one in my family has ever put up food around me, I'm really nervous about doing this on my own. The Topp & Howard book's directions seem much less intimidating than those in the Ball Blue Book.

    My .02
    Judi

    Isn't there a write-up in one of the FZ books about how she figures how much food she needs to set aside?
    Last edited by Judi Dial; 04-30-2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: additional data

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    I have done some canning every year for the last 5 or 6 years. But only water bath. This year, since I found out i CAN use a canner on my ceramic top(it's in the book!) I'll be getting a pressure cooker.

    Last year I did a few pints of peaches... they are wonderful. I did apple preserves, that are fantastic for homemade streudal. Apple sauce that is delish in muffins. I intend to do way more this year. I did the peaches in apple juice, to keep the sugar down. They are fantastic, mind you the peaches fresh were amazing, melted in your mouth and so flavorful and sweet. Next year I might see if I can find white grape juice for that. More neutral flavor.

    If I have another year of crazy apples, I intend to to juice too. My baba used to make juice all the time.

    I might go saskatoon picking this year and make jam outta those(wild berry that grows in tall shrubs, looks similar to a wild blueberry, but no powdery finish to it).

    I aim to make salsa and spaghetti sauce this year. Maybe only a couple dozen each, but still home made trumps bought IMO.

    I may have to invest in the blue ball bluebook too, to make sure all is well.

  16. #15
    Registered User gapeach's Avatar
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    Thanks for info everyone. I have to agree that I find canning intimidating. I liked the suggestion of finding someone to help with. Good idea.

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