Preserving Foods

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Blog series by MsDebbieP consisting of 41 parts so far

Part 1: First Efforts: Pears & Limes

05-24-2009 08:06 AM by MsDebbieP | 11 comments »

May 24, 2009 I have decided that I should record my attempts at dehydrating food so I will have something to look back on for future reference. What better place to record it than online! That way I never have to remember where I put my record book :) After the new dehydrating sat on the counter for almost a week, I decided that I should at least give it a try to see if it even runs! I had a couple pears and a few limes that were soon going to pass their edible stage and so these wer...

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Part 2: Tools

06-26-2009 06:04 AM by MsDebbieP | 21 comments »

June 26/09 Well, the time has arrived for the real use of my new dehydrator. Up to now, I have been “playing” with the dehydrator, drying mushrooms (definitely a hit) and some kiwi (also a hit). But, the machine was purchased with strawberries in mind and it’s now strawberry season! Yesterday, my daughter brought home 12 quarts of berries and I got right into the process. I cleaned them and hulled them with my antique huller (the little pinchy thing that works really w...

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Part 3: Tomatoes

08-23-2009 08:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 15 comments »

Aug 23/09 Dehydrating Tomatoes Tips firm tomatoes I didn’t peel them; seemed to work fine but I’ll have to wait until I try eating one a tomato slicer cuts tomato into consistent-thickness slices 5-tray Excalibur holds about 4 tomatoes per tray store slices in jar of olive oil = “sun dried tomatoes” (can add dried herbs to the oil dehydrate 7 hours at 145 degrees

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Part 4: Asparagus

05-14-2011 01:44 PM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

5/14/11 This morning I made my fourth picking of my asparagus – best crop I’ve ever had!! So much, that we can’t eat it all. So – how do I preserve it? I tried freezing it in the past and we just didn’t like it. I could try again, but I’d prefer to try something else. And so, I’m turning to the dehydrator. This past year, I had dehydrated some zucchini and added pieces of it to my potatoes for mashed potatoes with a kick. Loved it!! Why not a...

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Part 5: Onions Anyone?

05-18-2011 12:46 PM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

5/18/11 Today, I start another dehydrating experiment: onion greens. Last year (or was it two years ago now) I received through Freecycle a clump of Egyptian walking onions. I had them in my labyrinth but due to its demise, I replanted them in a raised bed last year. This spring – I have onions. Lots and lots of onions. Now, I don’t really know what the best way is to use the onions but part of what I’ve read is that the greens are an option. I cannot possibly eat a...

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Part 6: Taking The Plunge Into Pressure Canning

09-29-2012 07:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 15 comments »

Sept. 29/12 I’ve considered pressure canning for some time but haven’t moved into the “I think I’ll do it” stage until recently. My daughter, at my suggestion, purchased a big bag of dried black beans. When she went to use them she asked me what she needed to do. The answer left her a little disappointed. Rather than spending her time and money cooking the beans for each recipe she would rather just open up a can. To save my reputation I had to find a wa...

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Part 7: I Survived!

10-04-2012 01:52 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

October 4/12 It came.The pressure mounted.Things calmed down.And I survived. Today was the big day – the arrival of the pressure cooker. I was as excited as I was terrified. I decided to can some beans, plain old beans for the first attempt. That way it would be the least expensive “screw up” if I did it wrong. A 16 oz package of dried beans made 5 pint jars. I did a total of 14 pints; that was one canner full, making the most of the electricity to do the cooking...

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Part 8: Pressure Canning - Take 2

10-05-2012 06:05 PM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

Oct. 5/12 Yesterday I had success (I hope) with the beans. Today, I tackled some of the meat that I purchased on sale. (2) Leadbetter’s Cured Pork Loin @ $1.99 /lb. (not sure what the total weight was) Cost: $9(1) hickory smoked ham butt $1.77/lb 3.3kg Cost: $13 I cut the meat into cubes (Well, Rick cut the ham while I was preparing the jars. The help really made a difference.)I divided it amongst the jars (6 jars of the pork loin and 8 jars of the ham) I filled the jars with boi...

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Part 9: Pressure Canning - Take 3

10-06-2012 01:24 PM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

Oct. 6/12 I’m on a roll!!! So I have canned beans… haven’t tried them yet. And I’ve canned some peameal bacon and some ham. I was going to try it today and Rick thought we should leave it for a day or two (I think the picky eater gene is kicking in. Gosh I hope he’ll eat it .. it was a big investment). Anyway… when I purchased the meat, I also picked up some frozen pork tenderloin for $1.97/lb. The fresh stuff was on sale for $5.97. This was a BIG sav...

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Part 10: My Tips & Tricks re: Pressure Canning

10-07-2012 04:18 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

I have now used the pressure canner three times and I wanted to record the little tips that I have learned through reading and through experience. (Edited Addition: Purchase the meat etc at the end of the week so canning can be done on the weekend when the cost of electricity is the cheapest – Ontario, Canada) Preparing the Canner1. Check the valve to ensure that it is not blocked… can you see through it?2. Check the gasket. (The “All American” style doesn’t...

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Part 11: Food Storage - Vacuum Pump

08-01-2012 08:11 AM by MsDebbieP | 19 comments »

Aug 1/12 Although this year has been a bad one for my gardens and I don’t have anything to dehydrate and store for the winter, I am still interested in the options available to improve my gardening as well as food storage. When I first dehydrated some food I found that, with my storage technique, the foods would absorb moisture and then start to go bad. I then decided that it was easier to just put the dehydrated items into the freezer. I had the space and the dehydrated items too...

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Part 12: Pressure Canning - The Results

10-09-2012 01:34 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Oct 9/12 Drum roll… What to have for supper? Oh, let’s just grab a jar of pork loin …. For the trial run I decided to divide the pork in half and cook one part with barbeque sauce and leave one plain to taste the real results. I forgot to grab the camera when I started. On the surface of meat (still in the jar) was a fair bit of grease. I used a little bit of this for the pan and drained the rest. I then dumped the contents of the jar into the pan and heat...

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Part 13: Pressure Canning - Pork Loin #2

10-10-2012 02:49 PM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

Oct 10/12 Leftovers tonight…. mixed the juices off of the canned pork loin into a gravy; added the tad of meat left over from last night, added some potatoes and voila, another meal from that one container of meat. oops.. no picture. Feedback: thumbs up—again!!!

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Part 14: Pressure Canning - Bacon

10-13-2012 07:20 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Oct. 13/12 I’m writing this blog as I wait for the canning process to do it’s thing so I don’t have final results at this time. One of the local grocery stores had bacon on for $1.97 / lb. That’s much nicer that seeing $5 or more! So I picked up 7 packages. I saw a few options re: canning bacon and I decided on the “roll it up” strategy. I could have wrapped them in parchment paper and had lovely little strips of bacon when I was done but that is j...

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Part 15: Pressure Canning - NEED STORAGE!

10-13-2012 01:17 PM by MsDebbieP | 17 comments »

Oct 13/12 Well, pressure canning seems to be a success and I’m looking for super deals at the grocery stores and markets. But, as was mentioned in a previous post, this means that I need more storage. The porch is too cold so that is out.The basement is too damp so that is out.The cupboards are full so they are out. And that leaves the space under the stairs. In the past the area as been a “junk” collector as it is SO inconvenient and uncomfortable to climb under...

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Part 16: Pressure Canning - Carrots

10-14-2012 09:53 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

Oct 14/12 After canning the beans, ham, pork, and bacon and I’ve finally gotten around to canning the carrots that I purchased at a local market last week. I don’t have a great place for storage and am too lazy to set up a nice place in the basement so canning is a great option. I’m not sure what the weight was of the big bag that I purchased but it cost me $10 and I filled 13 pints. I read that you should keep the carrot slices rather large because small pieces wil...

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Part 17: Storage - Part II

10-28-2012 09:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Oct 18/12 Can you see the big smile on my face??? !!!! In just a couple of weeks my kitchen storage went from inconvenient, unaccessible, inefficient, and frustrating to….... (PART I – see blog here) to…. I have four pull-out shelving units, each with multiple shelves. They are spaced specifically to hold my pressure canner (the tallest kitchen item), quart jars, and down to half-pint jars. And as a bonus, I got this …. (The pull-out shelf ...

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Part 18: Pressure Canning - Ground Beef

11-03-2012 10:11 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Nov. 3/12 I’ve been watching the grocery store flyers since I started pressure canning meat and finally a store had lean ground beef on for a reasonable price! I picked up 14 pounds today at $2.47/lb for a total of $35.83The 14 lbs filled 14 pint jars. What I really like about the canned meat is that the pint jars provide just enough for Rick and I to get a couple meals from it, with little leftovers to sit in the fridge. I also like being able to cook up a whack of meat at one...

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Part 19: Beef

11-18-2012 11:47 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Nov/12 Today I canned some cubed steak. I had two options – cold pack or hot pack. I thought that doing the “hot pack” would help the meat stay in chunk form for when I went to use it. Hot Pack Method cut up the beef into chunks brown but do not cook through put in jars and add hot broth can at 10 lbs pressure for 75 minutes I didn’t like this method. I didn’t have fun. Perhaps it was partly due to having so many things to do after getting h...

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Part 20: Pressure Canning - Chicken

11-22-2012 02:05 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Nov 22/12 Today, I am canning chicken for the first time. I had purchased enough chicken to do the full 15 jars but at the time of filling the jars I forgot that I had had to buy two different kinds of packaging and I was 3 jars short. (The rest is still in the fridge.) So now I will have to put the remaining chicken into the freezer. The chicken was on sale this week but when I looked at buying a $20 whole chicken at $4.40/kg or the chicken breasts at $21.96/kg I was going to get a lot...

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Part 21: Clementines & Cumquats

12-23-2012 09:17 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Dec 23/12 A couple of weeks ago I bought some clementines with the intention of preserving them. Finally, I found/took the time to get to work on them. I am using the following recipe: Clementine PreservesDay 1 wash the clementines, scrubbing them clean pierce them everywhere with a thin needle put them in a pot and cover with 1” of water bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a (glass) bowl/jar add to the hot liqu...

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Part 22: Turkey Soup

12-27-2012 11:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Dec 27/12 One of our local grocery stores has “turkey bucks” throughout the fall—for every so many dollars you spend on groceries you receive a $1 coupon towards a turkey at Christmas time. Between my Mom and I, I saved $10 on a $30 turkey. Yesterday, Boxing Day, (the Day after Christmas), I roasted the turkey and removed what I meat I could from the bones. I put the bones into a large stock pot of water and brought it up to a low boil. I added a few small on...

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Part 23: Clementines & Cumquats - END RESULT

12-30-2012 08:35 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Dec. 30/12 Two weeks ago I began a preserving experiment—cumquats and clementines. Today is the final day of the preserving process. The ClementinesI put all but two into a jar along with one last syrup mixture. This can now sit, preserved. Rick says that they look like shrunken heads so I doubt if he’ll be trying them. I took a bite out of one of the extras. Interesting that you can now eat it like a peach, peel and all. Taste? Could be a little sweeter, if you...

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Part 24: I'm STEAMED!!! (canning some juice)

01-27-2013 02:11 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

January 27/13 Well, yesterday was the day. It had been on my “to do” list for some time but I’ve been dreading it – and now that it is over I can say that the “dread” was well-deserved label for the experience. Yesterday, I emptied one of my freezers and make juice from the frozen fruit. The MotivationSo why empty the freezer and turn the fruit into juice?1. my goal is to be freezer-less by the end of harvest season this year.2. one of my frozen peach...

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Part 25: Asparagus

05-18-2013 12:24 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

May 18/13 We have way too much asparagus to eat fresh, so what to do? Can it of course. I wish I had had more ready at the same time but I was able to gather enough over the past couple of days to preserve 4 pints. One pint will be for a taste test to see if we like it … we haven’t liked it frozen so it’s been fresh or nothing. If we like it canned I can still purchase some locally-grown and preserve it for the winter – if we like it. Canning just 4 jars at a ...

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Part 26: 2013 PRESERVES

05-21-2013 07:07 PM by MsDebbieP | 1 comment »

I thought I would try to keep track of the produce I can this year,,,,,I still want to do some potatoes but not sure if I’ll find the time in the near future. I also want to do some ham again as well as some dried beans… but for the most part, I’m done for the season. Grand tally: around 500 pints of food. I’m ready for the winter! asparagus …......................7 pints (homegrown) apple pie jam …..................8 pints (homegrown apples + bou...

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Part 27: Green Beans

07-17-2013 06:53 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

July 17/13 Today’s bean harvest was enough to can…. so, in this hot hot weather, out came the pressure canner. I cleaned the beans and cut them into pieces; put them in sterilized pint jars; added boiling water; did the pressure canning process (10 psi for 20 minutes) and voila .. 6 pints of beans for winter eating. I’ve never preserved green beans before so we’ll see how tasty they are down the road. I guess we should use one jar to check it out. I will have ...

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Part 28: Canned Mock Pineapple (Zucchini)

07-29-2013 10:24 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

July 29/13 What to do with all that zucchini??!! I have shredded and froze it, storing it in batch sizes for zucchini bread; I have made zucchini bread, three times; I have made zucchini brownies, twice; I have fried it; and I have, now, canned it. Someone on Facebook asked for zucchini recipes and one response was for the mock pineapple. What? Let me think about this …. soak the zucchini in pineapple juice, can it, and then when you need some pineapple for a recipe you use zucchi...

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Part 29: Pressure Canner - Sweet Corn

08-09-2013 12:35 PM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Aug. 9/13 Yesterday, we stopped at a farmer’s market that sells “locally” grown fruits/veggies. (as local as she can find it, anyway). I picked up 4 quarts of green beans and canned them up (so much easier to buy in bulk so I can fill the pressure canner… I don’t get enough in my garden being ready at the same time) and I got 4 dozen sweet corn. We are eating 1 dozen and I canned the rest of the corn today. I husked them and Rick took the corn off the co...

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Part 30: Apple Pie Jam

08-19-2013 11:08 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Aug 19/13 I wanted to can up some apple pie filling this year. I had made some a couple years ago and it was great having “at the ready” but since then I’ve read that you shouldn’t can stuff that has flour in it. I was sure that I had seen a recipe for pie filling without the flour and you add the flour when you make the pie. While trying to track it down I came across the recipe for the jam. Now I don’t really like pie and Rick’s sweet-tooth days ...

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Part 31: Pears

08-21-2013 01:09 PM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

Aug 21 / 13 The other day, Rick and I harvested about 90 pounds of pears from our pear tree. Today I started canning them. The peeling part, which I thought was going to be the hardest part, was actually quite easy and relaxing. (Peel them with vegetable peeler; cut in half; use melon-ball tool to scoop out core and the stem and blossom end). The not-so-nice part was getting the jars sterilized, the syrup ready, and the pressure canner set up all at the same time … all requiring t...

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Part 32: Pressure Canning - Pulled Pork

09-01-2013 09:59 AM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

Sept 1/13 We had a family get-together Friday night and I made some pulled pork for the bbq. I made lots, we ate lots, and I still had lots left over. So, today I canned it …. 1. heated it up2. put it in sterilized jars3. put it in the pressure canner (and followed the directions of the canner) cooking it at 10psi for 70 minutes. I now have 12 half-pint jars of pulled pork ready for those lazy days of winter when I don’t want to cook. The jars hold just enough pork for...

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Part 33: Peaches

09-02-2013 01:19 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Sept 2/13 My daughter lucked out at the farmer’s market on Saturday and got the “one day special” on some peaches. Today we canned them up. $15 + sweetener + electricity = 42 pints of peaches ready for winter. For the first batch we used honey as the sweetener and for the rest of the batches we used sugar. The syrup was 4 cups water to 1.5 cups honey or 2 cups sugar. Process1. dunked the peaches 5 at a time into a pot of boiling water for two minutes and then int...

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Part 34: Pickled Peppers

09-14-2013 03:27 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Sept 14/13 ”Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” and MsDebbieP canned them .. all 7 quarts of them. I’ve never canned up peppers before; I’ve always put them in the freezer (which is so easy).I have also never really eaten pickled peppers before other than whatever they got tossed into. This spring, however, one of the farmers gave Rick a jar of his pickled peppers and I gave them a try. They were nice, not hot and not too pickle-y. And I used them i...

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Part 35: Coleslaw and Peppers

09-15-2013 03:26 PM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

Sept 15/13 When I got the peppers for my “pickled peppers” (see yesterday's blog) I also picked up a couple very large cabbages so I could make some canned coleslaw. I’d never tried this before nor had my mom or aunt. So this was new to me! Today was canning day. After canning them I had some left over for a taste test. Oh my, yummy. Not sure if I’ll try draining it and adding the mayonnaise as suggested. It’s pretty delicious “as is” –...

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Part 36: Pepper Jelly

09-15-2013 03:46 PM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

Sept 15/13 After making my pickled peppers and coleslaw I still had some peppers left. So I got to do some pepper jelly. Last spring I attended a house party and got to taste test some hot pepper jelly that was delicious—not too hot and plenty of yummy. I couldn’t wait to see if I could make something similar. So … the recipeCombine 4 large peppers chopped (I should have chopped them finer) 1/2 c jalapeno peppers (or, I used 3 of my “little blue” pep...

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Part 37: Pickled Beets - 2013

09-16-2013 12:03 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Sept 16/13 Not many of my beets came up this year but I guess it was enough. I just let them grow and this morning before my grandson arrived I made some pickled beets. 1. cook the beets; let cool and slip the skin off. 2. bring to boil the following 5 cups vinegar 5 cups sugar 1.5 cups water 1 tsp pickling salt 3. slice up the beets and put into sterilized jars4. fill the jars with the boiling liquid5. add the lids and you are done. The above liquid does 5 quarts. ... and ...

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Part 38: 2013 - Grape Juice

09-17-2013 07:45 AM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

Sept 17/13 19 quarts. And how many more grape vines did I plant?? !!!

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Part 39: 2013 - Crabapple Jelly & More Coleslaw

09-22-2013 12:19 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Sept. 22/13 I still had a large cabbage to do something with and since we LOVE the coleslaw, a second batch was the plan! I also had picked my crabapples last week and finally had time to can them up. More Coleslaw19 pints coleslaw Crabapple JellyI had difficulties finding a recipe that used the steamer so I meshed the found recipes with that of my pepper jelly that I made last week – they were very similar instructions. 1. wash the crabapples and cut in half (removing any &...

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Part 40: 2013 - using the new camp stove

09-28-2013 02:20 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Sept 28/13 Although I was done canning grapes, the abundance still on the vines and my grandson’s need to devour them (with not so pleasant results in the pants, if you know what I mean) ... enticed me to get out the canning supplies and do up the last of the grapes. My new Camp Chef Camp Stove had arrived last week and the weather was perfect for working outside…. so we set up the stove, gathered all the equipment and carried all the water and my day of canning began. ...

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Part 41: Pressure canning MEATLOAF

10-17-2013 06:17 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Oct. 17/13 Hamburg is on special this week and I got enough to do a batch of meatloaf. This is the first time canning MEATLOAF. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. THE RECIPE 11 lbs of hamburg 3 tsp garlic salt 3 tsp paprika 2 tsp pepper 2 tsp onion powder *.1 tsp turmeric (I added this, as I am adding to all dishes now, if I think it is appropriate) 11 eggs (1 per pound of meat) 1.5 cups ketchup No flour or crackers as they supposedly don’t do well in pr...

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