For the last few months I have had the drive to get back to canning and dehydrating, it's almost an obsession but I stop short of full blown crazy prepper canning lady, (well maybe I am a little bit crazy, ha!).Putting up meals in jars has also been happening along with the canning obsession.
I blame YOUTUBE for my current state. I have found a couple of ladies on YouTube that have posted some very informative and inspiring videos. My favorite one is Linda at Linda's Pantry. I can't get a link to work but if you go to YOUTUBE and type in "Linda's Pantry" it should bring up her channel.
Here are some different food preservation techniques I have been doing:
Here I have mixed vegetables which were dehydrated from one 5# bag of frozen veggies I got at Cash and Carry. That one bag reduced down to one quart. Next are Roma tomato slices, about 3# of fresh tomatoes sliced about 1/4" thick. The last jar is full of dehydrated corn. I believe that was about four 1 pound bags worth of frozen corn.
This is a #10 size can of pineapple tidbits dehydrated down to a one quart jar. This stuff is really good. I think it would be good in trail mix or just by the handful for eating.
From left to right in the jars I have dehydrated navy beans that were cooked and then dried, these will be great for doing up meals in jars as they will be quick cooking. In the next jar are some dried button mushrooms, again great for meals in jars. Next is a jar of dehydrated spinach, which will be great to throw in soups, stews and casseroles. Last but not least are milk chocolate chips. No I didn't dehydrated them I just thought I would seal some up in a jar for future emergencies. The pink dots are just vinyl I had put on some jars for table centerpieces for a church activity and decided to leave them on to add some cuteness. Actually, they are a pain to peel off so I just left them and they have stayed on quite nicely. In the front are some dehydrated oranges that were close to spoiling in the refrigerator. I thought they would be nice this coming fall and winter in pans of water with spices for a yummy smelling house.
WATER BATH AND PRESSURE CANNING
Here are some canned pork and beans (left) and plain red beans (right). These will make for some quick and convenient meals.
I canned some Jimmy Dean sausage and some ground beef for the first time. They turned out fabulous. I recently opened a jar of the sausage and made a breakfast scramble with it...wonderful and convenient.
This is one jar of four jars that I canned of homemade vegetable soup with ground beef. It doesn't look so appetizing in the jar but believe me, it's very tasty and have I mentioned convenient??? This will make great shepherds pie.
Of course I can't forget to mention the pie fillings I made last summer; mixed berry, apple and peach. Delicious!
Here I have beef chunks, pork and chicken all canned up. Can I just say that having these on the shelf ready to use are so...you got it, CONVENIENT. They are cooked and ready to eat either cold out of the jar or heated up for a meal.
Along with preparing the meat for canning I ended up with some of the broth left over which I put up in a jar to use in soups and stews. This particular broth came off the pork that I canned which was seasoned with both beef and chicken bouillon along with onions, celery and carrots which I strained before canning. This stuff is like liquid gold. The beef broth in a can you buy at the store doesn't even compare.
MEALS IN JARS
Here I made up a dozen meals in jars. The only thing I bought recently was a can of freeze dried chicken I purchased at Winco (Thrive brand) in their bulk food section, the rest of the ingredients I had on hand.
These meals include Chicken and rice soup, creamy potato soup, meatless spaghetti, chicken noodle soup, chicken and vegetables with pasta and a meatless chili mac and cheese.
I hope this might inspire some of you to give food preserving a try. It might be a bit time consuming but so rewarding.