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 Unusual food items you preserve or can

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Cozynana Posted - Oct 08 2016 : 07:04:23 AM
I am gearing up and trying to preserve more food. What do you can, dry, preserve that most people don't do. I do the normal canning of tomatoes, green beans, fruit, relish, etc. I have dried peas and carrots sealed in a 1/2 pint jar, but I want to expand. What are ways to use up bread that would spoil if not preserved? If I had to eat out of our pantry, what would I have probably forgotten to stock? How do you preserve meat other than freezing or canning?
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HollerGirl56 Posted - Mar 24 2018 : 05:47:24 AM
I put eggs in water glass-cement floor sealer. You can buy this at Lehman Brothers at their online catalog. The eggs will keep for nine months. Also you can put rice, jars and shake up a hand warmer and seal it like canning. It will suck the air out of the jar and it will keep for years.
Cozynana Posted - Nov 19 2016 : 5:12:43 PM
Nini, now I can't remember what I wanted to email you about. But, I would like to know what you do with apples that need to be used up. I have had a couple of bags of apples I picked in Oct and I need to use them up.

Holly, Do you do anything to calm down the gassiness of the artichokes. My husband and I loved them mashed like potatoes, but boy did we pay. WE bloated up and were so uncomfortable. Is there a trick to this. I have more in my garden, but not so sure we want to try them again.
Tall Holly Posted - Nov 07 2016 : 4:42:22 PM
I am going to make Jerusalem Artichoke pickles and relish soon. I made pickles a few years ago and they were delicious. I sold some at a craft fair. No one else had anything like them. Once one of the other exhibitors had bought a jar and opened it she started telling people how tasty they were and I some many more jars.

farmgirl #2499
Ninibini Posted - Oct 18 2016 : 1:10:16 PM
You both are so very welcome! :)

I'm with you, Jana - homemade is always best in my book!

Kem, I will be happy to help in any way I can! If you did email me, however, I have not received it yet... Please let me know. I don't always receive emails through MJF for some reason, so I could also try emailing you so you can respond back. Maybe it would work that way. I'll wait to hear back from you..

Hugs -


Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

Cozynana Posted - Oct 18 2016 : 09:00:47 AM
Nini, thanks for all the great info. I am into learning as much as I can so all info is appreciated. I am going to email you and ask some other questions.
janamarieje Posted - Oct 16 2016 : 06:15:25 AM
Thank you Nini for the very detailed information. I like making my own food because you can control what you are eating, and I will try making my own broth.


Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! ~Charles Schulz
Ninibini Posted - Oct 16 2016 : 05:08:47 AM
Kem, I am so sorry - I misread your post and thought you wanted to learn how to can meat! Forgive me! I don't want to erase the post, though, just in case anyone is interested in doing that!

I wanted to also let you know that although I haven't tried it yet, you can also dehydrate your meats. With ground beef, you brown it first, then the key is to rinse it super well to remove all of the fat. Next you just put the crumbles on your trays and dehydrate at the temperature indicated on your dehydrated until it is dry. To store it, I, personally, would put it in canning jars and vacuum seal them. I have also heard you can do this with chicken in the same way, but, again, I haven't tried it yet.

Jana, when I make broth, I do it the old-fashioned way, just like my grandma did. I guess it's more of a chicken stock because I use vegetables for flavor, but I use it just like broth. I save up the bones from several roasted chicken carcasses and juices/drippings in the freezer until I have enough to make a huge stockpot full. Basically, I put all of the carcasses in a soup sock or two (just to make straining the broth easier - you don't have to do this), along with a couple of peeled, quartered onions, a couple of cloves of garlic, a couple of whole cloves, and quite a bit of cut up carrots and celery. I place the soup sock(s) in the stockpot, then pour in the juices and fill the pot with water to cover the whole thing. I place it on the stove and bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few hours. Then I let it cool and strain the broth several times through a colander lined with cheesecloth. When it's as clear as I can get it, I then put the broth back into the pan, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator overnight to cool. In the morning, I skim the hardened fat off of the jellied broth, reheat to boiling, add a little canning salt to taste, and then can it in quart jars at the recommended pressure for my altitude (15 lbs.) for 90 minutes. Pints would be processed for 75 minutes. I have done this for broth, but sometimes I will add 1/3 jar full of chopped, cooked chicken meat before filling the jar. That way, I have an instant soup base. When reheating for soup, I just add dehydrated mixed vegetables and noodles or rice, then heat through. SO good! :)

I have not tried this yet, either, but I have seen where people make bouillon cubes with the broth/stock. They cook down the broth until it is very thick and dark, then cool it overnight until it's a very thick, gelatinous material. At that point, they slice it, cube it, then dehydrate it into little cubes. It's pretty neat. You can then either store them in vacuum-sealed jars as is, or you can grind up the cubes into powder. When making powder, it should be returned to the dehydrator for a few more hours, just to be sure that it's super dry and won't turn into a sticky chunk in your vacuum-sealed jar. I would love to make this, but I just haven't found the time yet!

As far as bread, I would dry it really well in the dehydrator then make plain bread crumbs, again, storing them in vacuum-sealed jars. You could also make homemade croutons with it in a variety of different flavors, then vacuum-seal them in jars, but I honestly don't know how long they will store since they are made with a little oil. I have also frozen cubed bread and used it later in bread pudding - so good!

Hugs -


Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

janamarieje Posted - Oct 15 2016 : 6:57:17 PM
How about broths, does anyone can their own broths and if so what is your recipe?


Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! ~Charles Schulz
Ninibini Posted - Oct 15 2016 : 6:07:01 PM
Oh my goodness! Sara! Kem! Canning meat is the easiest thing in the world to do! And so much less expensive than store bought! You need a pressure CANNER, though. That can be a bit of an investment if you don't have one already.

For chicken, stew beef, pork and corned beef, I just remove all the fat. Then I cut into uniform chunks - about 1 - 1 1/2 inches. Next I place a little canning salt into my clean jars - 1/2 teaspoon for pints, 1 teaspoon for quarts. Then I pack the meat into the jars as tightly as possible, up to 1" from the top. I do not add liquid, as the meat will make its own broth in the canning process. Wipe the rims with white vinegar, add the lids and twist rings to finger-tight, then place in the pressure canner. Seal up the canner as per your canner's instructions, turn on the heat. When it starts to steam, let it steam for the recommended time as per your canner's instructions (mine is only 7 minutes, others can be 9 or more minutes, so you really need to check), then add the weight for your elevation (mine is 15 lbs.), and once it starts clicking or rocking, then start your timing. Process for 75 minutes from the start time for pints, and 90 minutes for quarts. When time is up, turn off the heat and wait for your canner to cool down to 0 pounds of pressure. Remove the weight, unseal the canner, and remove the jars to a towel or placemat on the counter until completely cool - about 24 hours. When cool, remove the rings. Wash the rings and the jars. Dry. Mark your lid with the date and contents of the jar. Voila! Done! If you only do small batches of the meats, it's okay to fill each jar with a different meat and can together because they all require the same pressure and time! Easy peasy!

For ground beef, you basically do the same thing, only you brown the beef and drain it a little before putting it into the jars. Now, the ground beef will NOT make a broth, but it's still okay to can it without water. Some people add boiling water to the jar before canning, but a lot of people say when you do this, the meat ends up tasting like dog food, so I have never done it. I just add the salt to the jar, then the meat, then wipe the rim, add the lid and rings, and process as above!

For hamburger patties and sausage patties, it's a little bit different. I pre-brown the patties in a pan before canning them, and then add some hot beef broth to the jars before processing as above. Believe it or not, canned hamburger patties and sausage patties are pretty darned good. In a pinch, you can pull out a hamburger patty and make a cold sandwich out of it (the meat is already cooked in the canning process). To reheat the canned patties, you can either heat them up in a skillet using the broth, or put them in a pan in the oven with broth to reheat. Either way, it doesn't take very long. On those nights after long days of running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, it's kind of nice to just pull out the cooked patties for a super quick meal!

You also can can breakfast sausage and other link-type sausages in casings like hot Italian sausage or kielbasa or hot dogs, in the same manner as you do the chicken, above. I can usually fit 9 breakfast links into a wide mouth pint jar, and maybe 4 or 5 link sausages (cut to size so they are within an inch of the top of the jar, skins pricked). Just place them in the jar and process as above. The only thing is, even if you prick the skin on the larger sausages, they're going to burst/split open in cooking, and they are not going to look so fabulous (I do not have that problem with the breakfast sausages). But they will be pre-cooked and ready to go for sandwiches, side dishes or to be crumbled into recipes, etc. We LOVE the breakfast sausages done this way!

I also can pepperoni slices! The first time I did it, I didn't really like it; but the longer they sat on the shelf, the better they tasted, believe it or not! Since you can cram a lot of pepperoni into jars, I use jelly-sized jars for this. Basically, you just take the slices and mash them down into the jar up to the 1" mark, then process as above for 75 minutes. No water, just the pepperoni slices. This is really good in a pinch for a quick pizza and other recipes. Just keep in mind that these are pre-cooked pepperoni slices, so they will dry out a lot quicker than raw!

Finally, I can bacon. No kidding. It's awesome and lasts a loooooong time. The only thing about canned bacon is that when you remove it from the jar and reheat it, it's not in pretty slices. Instead you get a lot of broken pieces. But we love it on BLTs, and we love it as a side dish to pancakes and eggs. I use it for everything. The only other thing I do not like about it is that I have always canned it in quart jars. We are not big bacon eaters, so it's not practical for me to do this if I'm going to use smaller amounts for recipes or on salads. I'm sure I could do it in smaller pint jars, but I haven't tried. ANYHOW, you can fit 1 1/3 pounds bacon into a quart jar, and it will need to be rolled in parchment before processing. There are a whole bunch of videos out on YouTube that explain how to do it. For me, it was very helpful to see it done rather than read directions. Here is a link to the video that I found most helpful: The only thing I do different when canning the bacon is that I fold the paper in thirds, rather than adding a single extra piece of parchment along the bottom. Works just fine. There are also plenty of videos out there that show how to can bacon pieces and/or bits, but I've never tried it. I'm sure it would work great, though! :)

Thing is, with all of these different meats, you are going to see some sort of liquid and/or fat at the bottom or up to 2/3 of the jar after processing. This is fine. "They" say that the fat in the jar will make the meat go rancid quicker, but I have had bacon in my cupboard for over two years now, and it's still as good and fresh as the day I processed it.

Again, remember: if you're canning meat, but only doing a small amount of each type at a time, it's absolutely fine to process jars of the different meats together, because they all require the same pressure and processing time! Small batch meat processing might be a really great thing for you!

I have pictures to share, if you'd like to see them. The only thing is the most recent pictures are on my phone, and I have to get my son to download them for me! LOL! I can use a pressure canner like nobody's business, but don't ask me a thing about using my cell phone! ;)

Hope this helps and gives you some inspiration! It's super easy, so please don't be afraid! And it will SAVE you money!!! Canned meats from the store can be ungodly expensive! (Sara, I have not done fish yet, but there are abundant video how-to's for this on YouTube, as well.) If you want to SEE how all of this is done, I suggest you visit YouTube and watch videos of the different meat canning processes. I learned a lot from bexarprepper, Linda's Pantry, ourhalfacrehomestead, Starry Hilder, Perbain and more! And I always recommend books by Jackie Clay of Backwoods Home Magazine!

Hugs -


Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

YellowRose Posted - Oct 14 2016 : 11:14:32 PM
Kem, I haven't preserved meat in any way. It's just me and since I don't eat much meat I keep my panty stocked with cans of chicken, red salmon, sardines, Wolf Brand chili, and Spam.

If you have any questions on preserving meat and if I can help by looking it up in one of my preserving books I will be glad to. You can ask here or e-mail me.

My sister cans chicken when whole chickens go on sale for $.69 lb.

Sara~~~ FarmGirl Sister #6034 8/25/14
FarmGirl of the Month Sept 2015.

Lord put your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.
Cozynana Posted - Oct 14 2016 : 5:41:37 PM
Sara, do you smoke or dry meat with just salt. I want to try this. I have a cheap Brinkman smoker, but have not tried it out yet.
YellowRose Posted - Oct 08 2016 : 07:34:10 AM
Kem, I make my own bread croutons out of day old bread. Dry in oven. I don't season it so I can use it in whatever dish I choose. When I want bread crumbs I just put the croutons in blender. I think it was on the Food Channel where they thickened soup with fine bread crumbs.

I dry the parings from veggies to use in making broths. A good way to use veggies passed their prime.

I make broth from corncobs which is a good base for potato soup or a chowder.

As for green tomatoes the only thing I have done with them is used them in relish I am fermenting. I wonder if you could dry some and put in blender to make a powder. It might be good in chili. I may have to give that a try. The local fruit/veg stand has green tomatoes.

You may want to check out books or on-line info on preserving with salt or oil. I have preserved lemons with salt - used some for lemon rosemary chicken - the lemons last for a year in refrigerator. I have preserved peppers in oil - very good.

I invested in several books on preserving with salt - oil - fermenting - drying. Two of the books are Italian and Japanese which opened a whole new world of preserving for me. In other books a lot of the recipes come from eastern Europe or France.

Sara~~~ FarmGirl Sister #6034 8/25/14
FarmGirl of the Month Sept 2015.

Lord put your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.

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