Housekeeping Part II

Some of you asked to see the results of our afternoon canning session. I will let you be the judge of our labors.

Mixed greens. Love the emerald color.

 Here you can see the mixed greens that we love so much. All  we have to do is add them to a pot, heat and serve, usually over cornbread with a little pepper sauce for added flavor. Greens, beans, peas and a few types of meat make up our diet. During the spring, summer and fall we live on fresh vegetables. We add meat in the winter along with dried beans.
 

Commercially grown mushrooms. Just imagine the gravies and sauces this will make.

We add mushrooms to our gravies and sauces and then add this to rice. ((The difference between  sauce and a gravy is, gravy is made with water and a sauce is made with milk or cream.)) Most of our gravies and sauces are made without meat. This does not include seafood. Etoufee, sauce piquant and couvillion are gravies and sauces made with seafood. These too can be canned in jars. This is very easy and you can learn to be a good canner in a very short time. Canning is simple and safe if you are careful and follow the steps outlined in the Ball Blue Book. You can branch out from there as your experience grows. Don’t be intimidated by what appears to be complex at first. It just takes practice and the willingness to not be afraid to make a mistake now and then.
 
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Good luck and God bless.
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18 thoughts on “Housekeeping Part II

  1. Thanks for the positive boost about canning. Personally, I am timid when it comes to canning. When young, living in Appalachia, my grandmother would can their summer bounty in the “little house” in back of their homeplace. Located here was also the smokehouse and beneath the small structure was the cold cellar. …while canning one summer I witnessed an explosion that was like a bomb drop. What actually occurred was the fact that a faulty fitting on the gauge of the kettle caused the explosion. Had someone been close to the process….disaster for sure. All we had, thank God, was a huge mess to clean up.
    As long as preventative measures are followed and the process is carefully monitored, CC is right on about the fact that canning can be safe and advantageous. I am just a bit kettle-shy, but agree completely with you CC. I would can, but have no storage room for the product. I travel to my niece’s home in eastern TN, helping them with the planting, maintaining, harvesting, and canning process as much as I can.
    The dry cold cellar is as important as canning. Potatoes / onions last all winter in a cellar. Excellent location for storage of canned goods also. Mushrooms can be grown pretty much year round here also. If the cellar is underground, very little [if any] heat is required to keep the area from freezing.
    ….sounds like your and Von’s sauces are “to die for”!!
    Great post / great advice.

    • Hi thePlanetPrisoner,

      I tempt fate somtimes because I use the old, and i am talking depression era, canners that my paternal grandmother gave me. Many of these i have converted to the newer safty systems which eliminate the problems of the much older models. I can honestly say that in canning between 1500 and 2000 jars of food for my family for the last 40+ years I have never had a canner go ballistic. I will not say it won’t happen because you should monitor it at all times. The canner that i use the most often is over 50 years old. I have some, as i said that go back into the 1930’s and i still use them. But, as I said in my earlier articles, if you are inexperienced but only new equipemnt, new jars and lids and rings and start out the easiest way possible. Von is very skittish around a canner, not be she was ever hurt but because their mother’s mother told a story about someone in the family that was. In my True independence series of articles I encourage everyone to get the latest in the safety equipment. If I get a canner given to me and the pressure relief upgrade cost $19.95 I buy the upgrade. If you buy the ALL American (which we have always called the American Beauty) it is safe and will last you and your family for at least 50 years with reasonable care.

      Most people get in a hurry and do not pay close attention to what is going on with the canner at all times. Von thinks I pay more attention to the canner than I do her at times but I think that is a slight exaggeration. Hope you and yours are doing well and that you are not having to travel too much.

      God bless you and yours.

      • Hi, CC –

        When you say above

        “In my True independence series of articles I encourage everyone to get the latest in the safety equipment. If I get a canner given to me and the pressure relief upgrade cost $19.95 I buy the upgrade. If you buy the ALL American (which we have always called the American Beauty) it is safe and will last you and your family for at least 50 years with reasonable care. “,

        how can I access the True Independence series, and how do I see the ALL American or American Beauty item (is it a canner)?

        Thanks,

        Fiatflatline

  2. Absolutely lovely! Nothing like some nice greens and mushrooms, especially over the winter time in places where it’s cold, and one has been missing fresh greens over the frostier months. Great work CC! 🙂

  3. Wonderful stuff, CC. The Donner Party (no, that is NOT a branch of the Tea Party – ha, ha) could really have used your expertise and provisions during the horrible conclusion of its fateful trek.

    You may have addressed this next question in earlier posts, but … do you also preserved meats in various ways? Who knows what manner and extent of societal “meltdown” might occur when the poop hits the oscillator (your kind term, I believe) and how concerned and prepared do you advise we become regarding electric service interruptions, such that refrigerated and frozen supplies will be lost and one must subsist fully on canned, preserved and dried foods for some length of time (e.g. three days to two or more weeks)?

    As always, I really appreciate the knowledge and guidance your efforts and articles provide for us like-minded but relatively naive comrades.

    • Hi FFL,
      MEats are fairly easy and we do them all the time. Von and I are not big meat eaters but the rest of my family has to have it 2 or 3 meals a day. We “can” meats by putting them in jars and pressure canning them sililar to the pictures you see in this article. We also can soups, stews, meat and gravy, spaghetti sauces with meat, gumbo and a host of other meat dishes so that all we have to do is heat and serve.
      The easiest way to preserve meat is to make jerky with it. You can buy an inexpensive dehydrator a Wally-world or you can buy an Excalibur model which gives superior results. Or, you can do was we have done in the past and that is make your own. I am sure that a Google search for HOW To plans will turn up something.
      Dried meats put away in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers will last years. We eat “canned” meats that are routinely one to two years old with no ill effects or loss of flavor. I do not recommend this but i admit i am guilty of doing it, we eat vegetables and meats from our canned (in jars) stock that is 2 or 3 years old. We do so with confidence because we check all our jars every few months and rotate them on a regular basis. Check the True Independence articles for more tips on canning.
      Now on using cans in canning. We have the knowledge and equipement to can in cans but we choose not to do so because it is far more expensive. We have canned items such as matches, medicines, emergency supplies (dry goods) in cans to protect them from breakage. Still cans are very expensive and the advantages are few.
      Hope this helps. Oh, my birthday is tomorrow and you beat me by 5. I went in the Air Farce in 1972 and got out in 80 and became a “contractor” to the NSA after that.

  4. I never realized that you could can greens!! Man, I guess I’m not too old to learn something new. lol
    Can you share the way that you can greens with us? I’d truly like to know.

    • Hi Sunny,
      Canning greens is fun and simple. As I have said in other articles, clean, clean, clean, everything you touch when you can. The cleaner your environment the better and longer your finished rpoduct will be and keep. First, sterilize your jars and rings. Inspect your canner just to make sure everything is in working order. Clean your greens to get rid of any dust, dirt or grit, we always rinse at least twice and then put them in a pot of hot water and let the greens boil for 3-5 minutes until wilted, not cooked. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint and 1 teaspoon per quart. (This is pickling salt not table salt. Table salt will discolor whatever you can.) using your canning funnel add the wilted greens to the jars. Only fill two thirds of the volume of each jar with greens. Fill the remaining area with the hot water used to wilt the greens. Screw on lids and add to canner. Follow the instructions that came with your canner or those in the Blue Book but here is my safety rule: COdger’s Rule No.# go 10% higher in pressure and go 5 minutes long in time. Example: IF the Blue Book says to cook the greens 90 for each quart at 10 psi then I go 95 minutes at 11-12 psi. I have never lost a jar of food to spoilage doing it this way. Like i said earlier, we put up 1500-2000 jars a year and have done so for more than 40 years, so do the math. I am not an expert. It is like the old Air Force saying “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old, bold pilots. I am an old canner not a bold canner. When the health of your loved ones is at stake never get bold, enjoy getting old. Hope this helps.

  5. Hey Mr. CC! Off Topic..but I gotta ask, What ever came of that photo of Big Foot you had posted on Silver Shield? Real?-Fake? I remember it was up then gone, anyway ya know what they say,”Curiousity killed the cat.”

    • Hey Hognutz,

      I sent it to the Big Foot Research Organization. They analyzed it and said it was real and that the “creature” was over 7 feet tall based on their study of the picture. they asked me to provide more information. I asked the individual that owned the property and the camera that took the picture to supply the info and never heard back from him. His dad told me that the son was afraid of being called a kook or nut and he didn’t want a bunch of kooks or nuts hunting for bigfoot on their property. I can’t argue with that. All I know is that when I showed the picture to my wife and her sistes they said that it was what they had seen 20 years earlier in very near the same place. Must be a hoax, right?

  6. I believe it is real sir. My 80 yr. old great uncle and I were riding down a dirt road a couple years ago. We came to a crossroads in the middle of nowhere. I looked to the left at a turkey about 200 yrds away. My great uncle looked down to the right and started sreaming. He never gets excited! but this time he was going crazy. he saw exactly what you had posted. He is not one to B.S. either. I started asking around and there is reports of other people seeing the same thing. But just like you said above, no one wants to openly talk about it for fear of being labeled a “kook”.

    This is in Coastal S.C.

    Anyway call me a kook, but I beleave after that. before I had never giving it much thought.

    hog

  7. Great work C!

    The Mrs. and I are going to start our first garden this year. We expect to be eating and canning all summer. I will send you some pics when I get done and when our garden is in full bloom.

    Good stuff.

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