If you’re like me, if you see something you like, you wonder how to make them instead of just buying it from somebody else. This is how many of my friends have gotten into home canning – they’ve tasted something that I’ve made (I regularly give away my jellies, jams, and salsas as gifts) and then they want to learn how to make it.
When I tell them, I also teach them how to avoid several common home canning mistakes, and now I’d like to share them with you.
It seems that there’s always some kind of disaster, either natural or manmade, that prove the value of being prepared. Even if it’s not a Red Dawn scenario, there are hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts, and even job losses that just make stockpiling food smart.
But, there are some foods that you shouldn’t try to stockpile.
Some of these are foods that you just shouldn’t stockpile at all and some of them are foods that you have to stockpile in a certain way to keep them from going bad. It’s important to optimize your space, so don’t waste it on food that’s just going to go bad.
I’m going to skip listing fresh fruits and vegetables because that’s kind of a no-brainer. Bananas obviously aren’t going to store long-term. The exception is, of course, root vegetables if you have a cellar.
You have to love autumn. The leaves are changing, the air is cooling down, and the joy of the holiday season is right around the corner.
Fall is also a time to do your canning in preparation for winter. Now, if you live on a farm, you have to harvest what you have and can it, but if you’re an urban prepper who has to buy produce, then you have to plan a little better.
Unlike a farm garden that likely provides months, if not years, of food, urban preppers have to decide how much food will be necessary to get through the winter.
Then they have to decide how much you need to can based on how much space you have, how much money you have to spend on produce, how much time you have, and how much you want to invest in store-bought goods.
Then of course, you have to figure out what’s available.
So, let’s talk a little about what you need to do to optimize your fall canning plan.
We all have that one family dish that we’re known for, the one that was passed down to us from our ancestors.
It may be a dip, or a cake, or your grandma’s meatloaf, but if I ask you what your favorite family recipe is, I almost guarantee something instantly comes to mind, and odds are good that we even have it committed to memory.
My family is full of cooks, though traditionally most of them are women.
My former father-in-law Max, on the other hand, probably taught me more about cooking than I ever learned from my family, because he taught me the WHYs of cooking, not just the hows. He taught me how to make all of my grandmothers’-and of course his-recipes come out right every time. Even if they don’t, I have a good idea of what happened.