Can, dry, freeze and store a year's worth of your own foods with these pantry stocking suggestions

Yearly Food Storage: Part One

by Doris O'Connell

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This is not for the unmotivated. Canning, preserving, freezing and drying food is time consuming, tiring and probably even boring for some. For those that persevere, the rewards are many: A full pantry with a year's supply of food, exercise gotten from the gardening and preservation, money savings for the budget that can multiply the actual income at times.

If you are new to preserving food, go slowly. Maybe even 1 batch of jam the first year and then if you like doing it then go further, but build up gradually.

Here is part one of a sample list of foods that can be good additions to your pantry:

Applesauce: 50-200 qts. Allow more if you have babies and kids.

Apples, Dried Slices: Dry 1 bushel for each person.

Apple Jam or Jelly: Allow 10 small jars for each person.

Apple Juice or Nectar: Use the peels and cores of the first 2 apple items to make jam, juice or nectar. Do not put in any bad spots. Put these in compost instead. I put the peels and cores in a big pan, cover with water and bring up to a simmer, not a boil. Put juice thru a cheese cloth or fine sieve, pour into hot sterilized jars, put on canning lids and process or 15 minutes in a boiling water bath, or 5 minutes in a pressure canner at 10 lbs. or 10 minutes at 5 lbs. We get 25-50 quarts some years and other years upward of 200 quarts. But this is free, unless we sweeten it, then the cost of sugar has to be added in. It is so sweet on it's own, we do not typically sweeten it.

Dried Apple Peels: Also free. We dry many pounds of them for use in herb teas, potpourri and boiling herbs.

Baked Beans: They will be very soupy when you follow recipes in a canning book. No Problem! Cook the water out when preparing for serving. Jazz up with mustard, brown sugar, ketchup, chili powder. We do 20 pints for each person.

Healthy Meal Plans from Gatheredtable

Bananas: We figure 2 lbs. dried for each person and several pints of frozen puree (10-20) for each person. Add lemon juice to top or fruit fresh so they don't turn dark. Makes great milkshakes, pancakes, muffins and banana breads.

Beans, Green & Yellow: We can a minimum of 25 pints for each person. Up to 50 pints in a bumper year, or freeze some, too.

Dried Shell Beans: 10 lbs. minimum for each person, up to 40 lbs.

Leather Britches: These sre dried green and yellow beans. We use in in soups, stews or a put a big pot of them on the woodstove with a fresh loaf of bread for a meal. About 2 lbs. for each person. Leather britches are the whole bean pod and all dried.

Grapes: We can them, cut in half with seeds removed. We also dry some for use as raisins. We do up as much as we can get from the wild or for free. We freeze some juice for making jam during the winter when there's time.

See Yearly Food Storage: Part Two
See Yearly Food Storage: Part Three
See Yearly Food Storage: Part Four
See Yearly Food Storage: Part Five

Doris O'Connell-copyright 1996, may be copied in full for distribution via e-mail in full version only.

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