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August 1, 2006 in Urban Homesteading
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Thanks alot SueC, I just snorted my ice tea laughing...
I have become very close friends with my neighbor lady, and her husband has MS. She has no one else to vent to about it, her frustrations with watching her beloved husband go through all of this, her family is all gone, his family is worthless, and she hadn't really made friends. So yeah, I know a little about it. I've gained an education since I moved here, that's for sure. We sit together and chat in the mornings over tea and coffee...something I've never had before.
Canning, intimidating? Naaaa LOL. I have this mental image of me in the kitchen, bushel of apples peeled, cored and sliced, jars in the hot water, middle kids watching baby, oldest kid ready to help, with wide eyes and shaking hands as I move toward the stove to turn the heat on under the canner. Oh yeah, I'm scared, hehe...but I know these things about my canning experience: I will screw up. I will learn from those mistakes. I will try some recipes that my family, always so gentle, will say "Please don't make that again." I will have great successes, and probably a few great failures. But that's all OK, it's part of learning. So I"m ready LOL.
I was going to ask another neighbor's mom if she could help me can the first time, but she just got custody of her autistic grandson and we were visiting with her last night and she looked so, so tired. So this is certainly not the right time to ask for her help. So, I'll either find someone, or I won't, and have only these fine ladies for help, and be fortunate at that!
But I'm ready to jump in...I'll hold your hand if you'll hold mine!
Very nicely said Mo7.
Mo7 -- Excellent!
I like the idea of convenience foods that are edible! I plan to make extras when I cook regular family favourites and then can the extra. Well that is the plan if the "book" says I can do it that way!
(((Mt. Rider))) Sorry about your bad days. Though I'm laughing at the hilarious way you describe your mental image, I'm right there with you. I have weakness in my right arm due to the mastectomy & lymph node removal, and neuropathy from one of the chemo drugs, and I've lost some of my manual dexterity. (Plus I have a dog & a cat who love to romp through the house wildly, chasing each other, lol.) Canning is going to be a huge adventure, but I plan to start soon--just waiting for the money to get the canner & supplies. I'm cleaning out my pantry in the meantime! I hope you have great success with your canning!
Thought I'd bump this up to show it's okay if your new to Prepping or just coming back
Is this the thread I got in trouble at?
Yeah but Cookie dahling, I make frequent trips back to Miami.
I'll make sure that YOU don't know WHEN.
I am glad that this post got bumped up. I hadn't read it before. I was sitting here knitting and reading through it all (trying to finish my grand-daughter sweater before Christmas. I am not sure I am going to make it. I still have half the front and both sleeves to finish and I have to work tomorrow.) I too feel overwhelmed most of the time. I feel like I have so much to do and don't have enough done. ( I finally had to move some extra stuff out of the kitchen due to lack of space to fit it. I am making progress, just not as quick I would like.)
This post made me look at canning a different way. Although I have helped my sister can some years ago, I have never canned on my own. ( she doesn't can anymore either, and always did water bath canning.) I have wanted to learn but put it off because I don't have a yard yet to grow my own stuff. I have heard about others buying extra instead of only growing their own, but never considered that. I read over these posts and got to thinking, maybe waiting isn't neccessary. Many of the people in my families have allergies or special dietary needs. I myself an suppose to be cutting out ( or at least down) on sodium. I never thought of canning as a way to eat healthier foods, or of canning left overs. I often make too much of certain foods ( spaghetti sauce, chilli, soups, etc.) We usually eat these foods for days after I make them. I never thought of canning them to have convience foods later that are better for me. I don't have a canner, but do have a tall pot with a lid. These posts got me to thinking maybe I could use it for water bath canning. However it dowsn't have a rack for the jars. Can it still use it without a rack. How do you keep the jars separated. No matter. It has made me think of canning differently. Before I thought of it as a method of prepping and preserving the harvest. No garden, so no need to can. Now I am looking at it differently. I may still not be able to start to can anytime soon, but I now see it is more than just putting things away for later that would go bad if not canned. Thank you for opening up my eyes.
A good view on Canning (shhhhh don't tell Darlene I said that) and being easier on ourselves as we learn new things. There's a lot that can be learned but just being here on this site is a step in the right direction, right?
OoooOOoooh and the pattern your doing sounds cool. (side hug! )
Deb I'm glad to hear that something you read here on Mrs S caused you to look at something in a different way. I truly believe that that is how we are best educated as adults, by having our eyes opened and our perspectives changed.
To answer your practical question: You can waterbath can in a tall pot; you need to be able to put an inch or two of water over the tops of the jars. Waterbath canning is good for acidic foods, typically fruits, salsa and pickled things. If you don't have a jar rack, you can place washcloths beneath and between the jars.
In order to can meals (chili, beef stew, etc), you'll need a pressure canner. A pressure cooker cannot be used, even if it's just a jar or two. Until you get a pressure canner, may I suggest that you freeze some of your leftovers - unless you don't mind eating the same thing for days. I don't, but most people aren't real fond of it.
I do freeze some of my left overs. Others we tend to use for lunches after wards. I did pick up enough to know that alot of the "good stuff" would really need a pressure canner. I have looked at one at walmart, but I have also been sold on the American canner by everyone here. I am trying to save for that. I might get a different one until I can afford the other one. I just thought if there were some things I could do now, it would get me started. The one taller pot I have, would be able to fit canning jars (probably 4 or 5 of them) with enough room to cover them. I will have to look into it more and figure out what I can start with. Last year when I scored a bunch of cucumbers, I sent them to my daughter to can. I got two jars out of it, and she has the rest. ( With all of those kids, she really need more of the pickles she made. The kids of course loved it.) I will look out for more things to do. Canning jars are available and fruit is too since so much gets put out around Christmas. Maybe I will get some and try canning them next week. ( I work all but two days this week.) I hadn't thought about wash clothes. I take it the rack is just to keep the jars from hitting against each other. Thanks for the suggestion. I do want to learn to can, just never thought of it as a way to save left overs before.
I'm bumping this up so newbies can see that not everyone has it all together and that slip ups and holes in preps occur. We've all had to start or RE-start somewhere. (Please note the dates and names... you'll see mising icons too!).
It's easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed by all the new ideas and challenges, Just take it easy. Try some basic frugal living or disaster preparedness and get a little at a time. One extra can, one more coupon clipped, one more innovative use for an old item and your on your way!
Ask your questions! You never know who your helping by voicing their concern. Give advice, just cause your new doesn't mean your completely devoid of information. Prepping is an on-going experience.
Oh and you can see we can disagree in a friendly fashion out here.
Oh Cookiejar, THANK YOU for bumping this up! How fun to read about when you all *weren't* the prepping queens that you are now!
And I laughed and LAUGHED at Stephanie and the "jiggly thang".
What a trip down memory lane!!!
I was snickering the whole way through it. And also amazed at how far I had come in a few years. I was mentioning dreaming of having chickens and goats (now I do).
I had never canned anything and now I'm on the other side of that bridge (as I referred to it). Now, I've seen my 'jiggly thang' in action!!
What a great thread!!
I knew this would make you smile Stephanie...
as it should some of the other's. I can remember some of my more silly questions which people kindly answered. I will freely admit I still ask silly or "Captain Obvious" questions all the time.
I am a work in progress.
Somewhere there's a thread I started asking what the shelf life of spice were...and I think I once asked what the shelf life of salt was. Yes, you may go ahead and chuckle.
The learning process can be amazing. Take a look in humor at my snow for beginners. It's proof positive that we all can forget that the simplist things in our personal world can be a completely foreign experience to another person.
Experience is what you get after the hard knocks.
Cookie that Snow For Beginners is absolutely hilarious.
And you are so right about that learning process. Here's what I've discovered about myself and learning new things.
First I ask a million questions, run searches, this is the INVESTIGATION AND INFORMATION step.
Second I begin to gather like a magpie making a nest. Like I had my big canner for a loooongg time before I would pull it out of the box. I gathered all that was necessary far before I'd venture forth to actually try it. COLLECTION step.
Finally I'll do it to it!! Trying it and trying it again if necessary, working out the kinks and rough edges. EXPERIMENTATION step.
Then I am very eager to pass on my experiences to others, which is where MrsSurvival fits in so nicely!! You can just about always find someone who is interested!
Great Bump Cookie. I have been prepping for EONS. I've raised thousands of animals of all kinds. I've gardened, and I've homesteaded but I learn something new EVERY DAY! Mrs. S allows me to broaden my horizens beyond my own door yard.
And YES. I sometimes ask dumb questions. Sometimes I even give a dumb answer but I hope not too often.
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