I have been canning up a storm while it's cool. The canners adds needed humidity to the air inside and heat. It's that time again to empty out the freezers and defrost them. We do this every two years. It's hard to believe I've been here two years already. Time flies when you are busy. So I've been canning the contents of the freezer and more.
So far, I've canned up pint jars of 18 lbs of ham, 40 lbs of pork chops, 24 lbs of roast beef, 40 lbs of pork loin chops, 24 jars of spaghetti sauce with meat and there was still shrimp, fish, and ground beef in the freezer. I've even made a case of chili for quick fix dinner nights when Mel comes in saying, "I'm starving!" The fish, shrimp and the 10 lbs of ground beef can sit in the coolers until Mel finishes defrosting the freezer. Or maybe, I'll try and can hamburger patties and meatloaf again if I have enough wide mouth pint jars. I also canned about 20 lbs of bacon in half pint jars (a serving for the 2 of us). I couldn't keep Mel out of the bacon. She was a regular piggy it scarfing up every time she passed the pans. I did the last 10 lbs in a 10 lb batch. I won't ever do that much at one time again. Even Mel complained that she was almost sick of the smell of bacon and after a week she says no when I talk about cooking some.
Besides the canned fat can be used in biscuits, gravy, and pie shells. The canned bacon fat will have to go through another cooking process to remove the smoky flavor before it's used in anything other than flavoring. Although, the bacon flavor and taste wouldn't be bad in breakfast biscuits. Oh, it makes some yummy green beans and other vegetables too.
So my winter depleted storage building got a new influx of canned foods before the garden starts producing. My plans for the empty chest freezer? To fill it again. This time with half a cow and culled roosters. Maybe, even half a lamb for variety. I also do plan to buy 2 cases of hot dogs from Zaycon in early summer. We do love the Zaycon all beef hot dogs! The one case I ordered last year was gone too fast and I thought we'd have plenty. The plan is not to have to buy meat again this year unless it's something special like seafood.
Oh, and I'll make my yearly trip to the Amish store in NC. I'll pick up some more cases of used canning jars, my non GMO flour, wheat, sugar, and Clearjel. We'll be set for at least a year. The purchase of the 50 lbs of ground flour is a luxury item for me. It will get me several months worth of ready to use flour rather than soaking, drying, and grinding it myself. The Clearjel is necessary for pie fillings, and cream of chicken and mushroom soups that I can. I've used other thickeners in the past, but for long term storage of these items, I prefer Clearjel when I can get it. But I use half as much than is called for in a recipe. I kind of like getting my canned food stuff out of the jars without having to dig it out. Oh, geez! I just checked my inventory program that Mel created and saw that I only have six pint jars of Cream of chicken soup and only 2 pints of beef broth left. Guess I gotta make some soon.
It's been a busy canning time for me this week. Mel has been troubleshooting her new Master List gardening program. We've also been busy with the bunnies who blew their coats. A shorter staple length because of the shearing, but not too short. Still a respectable 4" length on average. So we've been busy!
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Y'all have a blessed day!