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Eating From Your Food Stores


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Kim,

You are so welcome for any help I can give.

I know there are several things I want to write up for people to have information.

I find that I just cannot fit it all in right now. With working, and getting ready for Earth Day, then email questions, and fitting in keeping up with my family, friends, and my home, it has been a challenge. We have not even started teaching classes nor gotten into any garden planting, harvest and preserving my own things.

Another thing people ask about is how to use a steam juicer. Also, how to can on a glass top stove. My family and some friends think I need to write a cookbook and canning information book, along with household tips, etc. Even my husband says he sees a book like this in my future. I do agree that I find some subjects lacking in safe information.

If/when I get some of these done I will let you know.

I have an email friend in Canada and I have heard that she has no idea how to get a dial gauge tested, either. Even here in the US there are so many places this service is also unavailable.

Can you think of other things that people need information on that is not easily found ? I am open to suggestions. I am making a list tonight of things to ponder to write about.

I also have some people that say I should make videos on these things.

Today was a special day, though. My dear friend gave birth to a baby girl ! She was born on what was my Daddy's birthday, so that really seems wonderful to me. I cannot wait to see the baby ! I wanted to give my friend time to get some sleep . I talked to her on the phone and she sure sounded happy and wonderful for just giving birth. I want to hold and kiss the baby. Been over 5 years since my grandbaby was born. My friend is so dear to me, sort of like a daughter, but kind of like a sister, too. I love my friend !

 

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Violet, instead of a book, how about a website so you can get sponsors? It could add up to more money in the long run you can still get the information out and can edit without printing new editions. Just a thought.

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You can get botulism from home canned dairy. It isn't just the dirt. It is also in low acid foods. It grows in the absence of air, such as a sealed jar. The butter is not even "canned". Just heated and has the lid put on and sealed from the heat. No processing at all.

We don't have any safe way to can dairy at home, but the commercial industry does.

This information will help you understand botulism. Sure, it is rare, but if you can something improperly, the risk is still there. About a year ago we had some cases of botulism from improperly canned green beans. You will see that is it all low acid foods, not just dairy.

 

http://missourifamilies.org/features/foods...es/fdsfty60.htm

 

Not trying to cause an argument. It is however important to know about botulism. Botulism is caused by an organism known as Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinumis is an obligate anaerobe, meaning that oxygen is poisonous to the cells. However, they tolerate very small traces of oxygen due to the enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen. It is an anaerobic spore-former, which produces oval, subterminal endospores and is commonly found in soil.

 

Those spores, can become air born through dust and that is how the spores get on our foods. It is not in low acid foods, it can be on any foods. The spore is a dormant form of the bacterium that is much more resistant to chemicals, heat, air, and drying. Once the spore is formed, it remains in that state until favorable conditions are encountered. If the conditions become favorable the spore will "germinate," thereby producing a growing cell that can replicate into more bacterial cells. In the case of C. botulinum, spores will not germinate if the pH is too low.

 

This is the reason that many canning procedures call for the addition of citric acid or some other acid. Most fruits have enough acid in them to lower the pH to a level where the spores will not germinate. In addition, the sugar used in making jams holds onto the water so that the bacteria cannot use it for growth. A certain amount of "available" water must be present for the bacteria to grow. Other canned produce, such as green beans, do not have enough acid to prevent germination of the spore, nor do they hold onto the water like sugar does. Those are the usual sources of botulism poisoning.

 

Milk is canned all the time or we would not have canned milk products. I do not see why if you use proper canning methods for low acid foods why you could not can milk. Fresh milk has a pH of 6.7 and is therefore slightly acidic. Meat has PH of of 5.8 to 6.3 . C. botulinum has a acid limit of growth 4.9. Also milk contains lactose which increases during heating, which also would reduces the available water to the bacteria. I don't see why if you use proper pressure canning methods why milk would be an issue, its nearly the same PH as meat nd people can that all the time.

Edited by FunkyPioneer
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It's the FAT not the ph, that makes it unsafe to can dairy. Or bacon.

Commercial businesses have access to equipment we do not... Like taking 3-4 seconds to go from liquid to powdered milk and eggs.

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Funky,

It is important to understand how botulism works, I agree .....

This is my job, I teach food preservation. I have studied this for 11 years now. Not trying to be rude, but I do know what I am saying when it comes to food preservation.

The HIGHER the number the less acid is in a food. Lemons are 2. something...... Milk is higher than meat, not more acidic. It is less acidic. The ph level is 4.6 for foods safe to can in a boiling water bath canner. They are even now considering changing that safety margin to below that level in ph. How do you figure that milk at 6.7 is more acidic than meat at 5.8 ? It is just opposite.

 

Yes, this is why; we have little $100 canners, not multimillion dollar equipment. We cannot duplicate some things at home. Not only the safety issue here with milk and other dairy, but if you canned it long enough at home with our canners to make it safe, it would be inedible. It would be so brown and caramelized and have a really bad taste. Cheese would be globs of oil in with the solids.

With butter, it is the fat. You need to understand how fat protects botulism spores and can allow them to survive even pressure canning at home. It covers and coats the milk solid particles in butter. Same with bacon being added to green beans. It is how it blankets the fat. Also, fat slows down heat penetration. Water molecules will heat up faster than the fat molecules. This is an exact science.

I have had people even try to can mayonnaise at home and wound up with something that was just oil and white globs in a jar.

And, yes, water activity is important, but only occurs in concentrations in a full sugar jam, not in fruits, or other foods. It takes somewhere between 50 to 65 percent sugar to be a preservative in foods.

 

 

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Violet, we were at Mrs. S are so very fortunate that you are so willing to share your expertise. Canning IS a science, one I'm just beginning to learn -- I don't think I'll ever understand it as well as you and C4C!!!!

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Funky,

It is important to understand how botulism works, I agree .....

This is my job, I teach food preservation. I have studied this for 11 years now. Not trying to be rude, but I do know what I am saying when it comes to food preservation.

The HIGHER the number the less acid is in a food. Lemons are 2. something...... Milk is higher than meat, not more acidic. It is less acidic. The ph level is 4.6 for foods safe to can in a boiling water bath canner. They are even now considering changing that safety margin to below that level in ph. How do you figure that milk at 6.7 is more acidic than meat at 5.8 ? It is just opposite.

 

Yes, this is why; we have little $100 canners, not multimillion dollar equipment. We cannot duplicate some things at home. Not only the safety issue here with milk and other dairy, but if you canned it long enough at home with our canners to make it safe, it would be inedible. It would be so brown and caramelized and have a really bad taste. Cheese would be globs of oil in with the solids.

With butter, it is the fat. You need to understand how fat protects botulism spores and can allow them to survive even pressure canning at home. It covers and coats the milk solid particles in butter. Same with bacon being added to green beans. It is how it blankets the fat. Also, fat slows down heat penetration. Water molecules will heat up faster than the fat molecules. This is an exact science.

I have had people even try to can mayonnaise at home and wound up with something that was just oil and white globs in a jar.

And, yes, water activity is important, but only occurs in concentrations in a full sugar jam, not in fruits, or other foods. It takes somewhere between 50 to 65 percent sugar to be a preservative in foods.

I didn't say milk was more acidic, only that it was slightly acidic, and close to the values of meat, therefor potentially able to be canned. If it was the fat that was the problem you wouldn't be able to can meat or soups. It is not the fat, it is the water content. Other wise methods like duck confit would not be effective. Also things like Ghee which is butter with the milk solids and water removed also cans perfectly and it is done in India and Egypt all the time and has been so for many many years. I suppose if we are going to pull ranks I have been canning now for 21 years.

I do not condone canning cheese, I think the end product is nasty, tried it, I am mostly only pointing out the truth about botulism and where it comes from as well as pointing out that milk could potentially be canned safely from a biological stand point.

 

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I have been canning a lot longer than that, but that is beside the point.

I think we should just drop this now......

 

I agree................

 

seeing we are starting to get into the:

she said - they said posting.

we ALL understand that what the lady (Morman-blogger) is doing is something we would NEVER do. Seeing She will not listen to what others have posted on her blog - lets all just drop this and get on with our own gardening and canning.

 

BUT on the other hand - what a great back and forth posting we had and some that read this DID learn a thing or two so it was good.

 

Thanks for all the good information posted here. :AmishMichaelstraw:

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One question I have is are they losing weight on this adventure ?

I can see that being diabetic I should have more protein things stored at this point since so many carbs would not be a good thing for me. Maybe I should seal up some peanuts for longer term storage.

I have been thinking of canning some nuts just to see what the final product is like. I know how to do it, but just never have found a need to try it. I need to get my dh to shell the walnuts we have.

Not sure what I was thinking, but recently I saw some jars of Cheez Whiz on clearance. They were a good price, too. Oh well.

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One question I have is are they losing weight on this adventure ?

I can see that being diabetic I should have more protein things stored at this point since so many carbs would not be a good thing for me. Maybe I should seal up some peanuts for longer term storage.

I have been thinking of canning some nuts just to see what the final product is like. I know how to do it, but just never have found a need to try it. I need to get my dh to shell the walnuts we have.

Not sure what I was thinking, but recently I saw some jars of Cheez Whiz on clearance. They were a good price, too. Oh well.

 

Violet, I have some TVP stored for an alternate protein source, seeing as how I don't yet have a pressure canner and thus haven't been able to home-can any meats. Have you thought about putting some TVP away for protein? Not sure how it would affect the blood sugar, but it might be worth looking into... :)

 

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Turtlemama,

No, I had not given that a thought. I thank you for the good suggestion. I will look online at it and see if I can find about the carbs in it. I used to see it at the grocery store in bulk. They may still carry it.

Oh, no pressure canner ? I thought you had one. I know I don't want all of my meats to be in the freezer, just in case of power outage or something.

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I've tried TVP and it has a definite weird texture. Weirder than home-canned hamburger in my opinion. It does take on the flavor of whatever it's cooked with, so in soups you could add it with little effort. In a casserole, it's a bit weird. It's definitely something you have to get used to.

 

Violet - I've pressure canned nuts - I've done pints of nuts, 20 minutes at 10 lbs. They seal really well, all the moisture is driven out and they are *FRESH*. These were almonds, walnuts & pecans. I'll bring a jar to class. :)

 

Hugs.

Edited by Crazy4Canning
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Thank you, C4C for your good information. So, the TVP is like tofu, then, in the way it takes on the flavor of what you are cooking. Maybe canning some hamburger would be good, then, too.

I will try to get my dh to shell the walnuts for me and can them. If I get him to do them in the garage then there is no mess in the house from them. I usually freeze them, but I can see the jars would be nice since the moisture would not be a factor, like in the freezer.

Besides, my freezer is full and I have to prepare for the summer harvest of things and have room to freeze them.

 

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TVP is nasty, IMHO. I'd rather eat peanut butter or beans and cornbread.

 

We have such a glut of goat milk that we are getting most of our protein from that right now. We have lots of eggs too, but I've been shoving many of them into the incubator. I have a dozen young roosters that need to be eaten too. Just been too tired at night to go catch them.

 

 

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A couple of things.

 

1) Violet, for me it would be much easier to understand if the reason why you shouldn't can whatever is it has been tested and not been found good. When I don't find any information, I don't know if it is because the procedure has been found wanting OR they haven't figured out how to do it because they haven't tried. Your earlier post is the FIRST statement I have seen anywhere that proper testing has been done on possible canning of milk in a home atmosphere.

 

2) About the bringing pressure canned food to boiling temperature for a certain period of time. The instructions I have read about this says that if there is a problem with your food, the temperature will increase the smell or change in texture to make it obvious that you cannot use the food. Not that it kills botulism spores.

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TVP's texture IS something you have to get used to...however, I've discovered that the taste can be improved by reconstituting the TVP before you use it in some sort of boullion or broth. I also purchase some TVP that is already flavored, but still reconstitute it before use in broth. For chicken dishes, I use chicken broth, and for beef dishes, I use beef. I use twice the amount of broth as TVP, as it soaks the liquid up. You'll find that the flavor is much improved, and it adds some richness to a dish that would be missing if you used just plain, unflavored TVP. :)

 

Violet, a wierd question -- we don't eat beef, so we regularly use ground turkey. Can you pressure can ground turkey like you can pressure can ground beef? I'm sure hoping so... LOL

 

Give the TVP reconstituted in broth a spin...after getting used to it, it's not so bad! I've got some recipes for TVP, if anyone is interested.

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Hey Turtle Mama,

 

There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to can ground turkey. They key is, that you have to patty it and sear it beforehand. Otherwise, the ground meat shrinks terribly and takes on the shape of the jar. You can fill up a jar with ground meat and then once it shrinks, only have maybe 1/2 jar of meat.

 

When you patty and sear them, you get portion sizes, meat that doesn't fall apart so easy and a better use of the jar space.

 

Now, I must say that the home-canned ground meat DOES have a different texture than say the raw pack of turkey or chicken. It's very hard to describe...maybe a bit more granular than regular cooked hamburger. It doesn't taste bad, just, IMHO, isn't quite as good as the freshly cooked ground meat.

 

I had a lot of hamburger from a side of beef I bought and when my freezer died, I had to use it somehow, so I canned it into patties. It's been handy for breakfast - a meat patty with eggs, I've used it for small biscuit burgers, and I've added a mushroom soup gravy with mashed potatoes and a veggie for dinner.

 

I have never canned ground turkey, but I don't think it would be much different. :) Do give it a go and let us know how you do. :)

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Cool! Thanks for the tip on making it into patties first...I'd have just shoveled it in there crumbled and wonder where all the meat went! LOL I'll let y'all know how it turns out! :)

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Scrubbie,

That may happen with the smell from some other bacterias, but not botulism. It doesn't smell, taste, or you can't see it. That is why it is so dangerous in one way.

If you process your foods with the latests times and methods it will be safe and you don't need to boil it first.

This is one reason I am now preferring a weighted gauge canner. In case a persons gauge is off, and then they use it, the food may be underprocessed and they would not know it.

Yes, milk has been tested and the sugars caramelize and if it is processed for as long as necessary to make it safe it is just awful and no one would want to use it.

 

Turtlemama, go ahead and process that ground turkey. The Univ. of Georgia's website has instructions for all ground meats. It doesn't specify turkey, but it is done the same way.

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_05/ground_chopped.html

So, when do you get the canner or did you already ?

In times of need we can all eat things we would not normally have, we would just be grateful to have food. I sure am not relying on the government to feed me.

But, I won't get into that.

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Violet,

 

Got the canner today.

 

I haven't canned anything yet, I'm just staring at it in all it's shiny, plastic-wrapped perfection. I am reading every word of the instruction book before I try to do anything. LOL I'm afraid I'll kill it. :lol:

 

I'm SO lucky!!!! :D I think I'll can beans, first, then hit the turkey...then wait for a sale on CHICKEN... :canning:

 

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You won't kill it or yourself, either, LOL ! Do you have the three piece weight set with it ? If not, if you need to process at 10 lb. pressure for your altitude, you will find it beneficial to get it. It comes apart into 3 pieces. The center is 5 lb. and is in case you want to pressure can fruits. I have done it a few times but the fruit is too soft, in my opinion.

The, you add one ring for 10 lb. Most people use the 10 lb. but if someone lives at a higher elevation then they need the 15 lb. You can use the 15 lb. and cook a chicken or turkey in there. I don't cook in mine, I am not crazy about the thought of cooking in the aluminum. I have a nice stainless pressure cooker for that purpose.

The three piece set is Presto 50332. Usually between $10 and $15. If you only have the counterweight, it will jiggle at 15 lb. and your food will be OK, but more mushy if you try to can with it.

So, I suggest you put 2- 3 inches of water in the bottom. Then put the lid on. Bring it up to a boil until it steams out the vent port. Let it steam for a full 10 min. Then you put the weight on. It should rock the whole time you are pressure canning in it. It will rattle and make a noise, but that is good. I usually suggest you take it for the test run with only water in there just to see how it operates.

You always vent for a full 10 min. when canning. Otherwise it will measure the air inside, not the pressure and your food will be unsafe to eat.

One other thing, do not let this scare you. It is only steam !!! It will hiss at you for a second when you put the weight on. So many people feel afraid of that, but I promise, it is just steam making the noise. It has to happen as you put the weight on. I like to warn the people in the classes before they put the weight on so they don't pass out on me, LOL !

Then, once you turn the burner off, you do not take the weight off until all the pressure is gone. When you are canning, you will take the weight off once there is no pressure, but do not open it up yet. You let it sit another 10 min. Then you carefully open it up, and remove the lid and the jars to cool.

Only the most current things will tell you do let it sit the extra 10 min. but it is important.

Also, use 2-3 inches of water, even if the book says differently. If you go by the quarts many manuals say you will not have enough water in there, especially for canning meats or fish.

Chicken just shreds and falls apart when you can it. I have to add it to a casserole at the last minute and just gently stir it in before baking.

Big hugs to you and I am truly happy for you !

 

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Many people are afraid of pressure cookers and canners because they have heard stories of them "blowing up". They have safety latches nowadays that won't allow that to happen. Sometimes if it pressure is too high, they will vent and you get spewing and I've had that happen with a clogged vent on a pressure cooker. All it did was make a mess in the kitchen. If you are using one, you need to be near enough to hear it if the jiggling stops so you can turn off the heat.

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Many people are afraid of pressure cookers and canners because they have heard stories of them "blowing up"......

 

That was me a year ago!! My brand shiny new pressure canner had me shaking and tear-y eyed the first time I used it, I mean I was all but hysterical. BUT ~ thanks to all of the wonderful knowledge I'd gleaned from this site and because I followed the instructions on everything very carefully, I used it all last summer and fall and never blew up a thing. Nor did I poison anyone. :D

 

The blog is interesting, but I'll agree that the set-up she used just doesn't mirror what any of might experience in a rl situation.

 

 

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