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Food Preservation



Anonymous Ole Prepper


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Poor Man's Grain Storage


Grain is an easy thing to store, believe it or not. Most folks feel a little intimidated, when they think about storing grain, so they don't store much.
I will give recipes, on how to use the different grains in a future article. Grain isn't for just grinding! But those you do grind, are for more than bread! For now, I will deal with just the storage of grain.
Grain storage is not as daunting, as one might think.  Over the years, I have come up with a couple of grain purchasing and storage solutions, that you may find helpful.
To get grain, I go to a local elevator. Yes. I know....You are thinking that is for animal feed.
Well...it is! But considering the grain is needed, for long-term survival, and for most of us, our pockets are not lined with gold, should we be picky?
The grain you can get, from your local elevator, is meant for animal food, so there is nothing more harmful on the grain than dirt and pesticides.
Now I have you completely freaked out about pesticides! Don't worry about it! Just stock up on hydrogen peroxide!
When you go to use the grains, just put 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of the pre wash water. Let a gallon of grain set in this water, for 10 minutes, and it completely neutralizes any chemical residue!

If doing this for grains to grind, they will of course need to be dried first.
This method of pre treating, before use, makes animal food grains perfectly safe for human consumption!
You don't have to pre treat the grain to store it. It can be stored for years, before this pre treatment, so just stock up plenty of hydrogen peroxide, for your future needs.
A Note on Hydrogen Peroxide: 'They' say, hydrogen peroxide only has a shelf life of about two years. I have had a bottle of it setting on the shelf for twenty years. I opened it up and it still went to town bubbling, killing the germs, just fine, in my grandson's knee boo boo! (Now! Back to grain. :)
A 50 lb bag of grain, still costs around $20, at the local elevator. That is a pretty dog gone good deal, compared to what it costs to buy it over the internet!
Yes. I know. What you can buy from the internet is already labeled for human consumption. Most of it still has pesticides on it, and it is still dirty and needs washed!
You can find the grain elevator, nearest you by using your net connected phone. Simply use your favorite search engine and type in 'feed grain elevator your town, state initials' and hit enter! The info that comes up tells you how many miles it is from you, and even gives you a map to get there!
If you don't have a net connected phone, use a phone book. Call them. The folks at the elevator will be glad to give you directions.
OK. Now that the purchasing of the grain is out of the way, let's look at your grain and seed choices.
Most grain elevators nowadays, have a feed store in them. If they don't have something in stock, they can order it in for you, usually free of charge.
I love shopping for food at the elevator! I consider it my bulk food store!
You can get corn, whole or cracked. Oats, barley, soybeans, flax seed, millet, sunflower seeds, peanuts, wheat, and more! Oh! My!

If you have gotten to know me a little, by my articles, then you may have anticipated what I am about to say next :)
Yep! You guessed it! I roast sunflower seeds and peanuts, then make all the nut butter I want!
You can too! Why pay over $4 for a small jar of peanut butter, when you can make the same amount for about 15 cents!
Why pay over a dollar for a can of bean sprouts, when you can sprout your own for about 15 cents?
You can get around 70 gallons of wheat grass juice, out of a 50 pound sack of wheat. Grow your own health!
I grow mine in house boxes, then I put my wheat grass in a blender, then add as much water. Blend, strain, and drink! Twenty bucks is all it costs, for a six months supply!
Of course I would advise keeping this way of using purchasing grain on the down low, or it could incite some ABC agency to put the cabosh on it!
The good people at the elevator don't know you aren't feeding an army of critters, so just thank them kindly and stock up your SHTF (Stuff Hit The Fan) mountain of grains and seeds!
Now that the why of purchasing, large quantities of grain, cheaply, is out of the way, let's talk about storing the grain.
Some folks get food grade barrels, giant mylar bags, and a mylar bag sealer, to store large amounts of grain. I have heard there can be problems with this method.
Some of these folks, have opened their barrels of mylar-sealed bags of grain, a year or so later.
What they found was stinky, webbed-entwined, ruined grain! They spent a lot of money, just to end up with a barrel full of bugs!
One of my household, best friends, is my Vac Sealer. I came up with a way to seal 5 gallon buckets, with my good friend, the sealer!
If you want to use this bucket method, to store grain, you will have to do a little bucket modification first.
First you have to have a Vac Sealer, and a hose attachment. Next, go to the Vac Seal section of your local store. Get some of those little Vac Seal containers for storing small amounts of food. I haven't bought any in awhile, but what I got came two in a pack.
Buy however many packs of these little containers you need. You are only concerned with the vac seal fixture on the lid. You will need one per bucket.
You will also need food grade buckets with rubbers seals in the lids, some vinegar, a wire brush, a pair of scissors, that will cut heavy plastic, a drill with a 1/4" drill bit, and some all-purpose silicone glue.
Cut the vac seal fixture off each lid of the little storage containers. Leave 1 inch of the lid, all around the fixture.
Drill a hole, in the lid, away from the center of the lid, on the flat surface.
Make sure the outside of the lid, around the hole, and the underside of the cut out, container fixture, has been rubbed well with vinegar, then rinsed and dried well.

This removes any manufacturing fluid residue that might keep the the glue from making a good seal.
Once the surfaces are dried well, scratch them up with the wire brush. This creates grooves for the glue to grip for a good, tight seal. Just make sure not to damage the vac seal fixture.
Let everything set for a couple of days to air dry. Even the slightest moisture in the vac seal fixture is not good!
When all is dry, smear a layer of silicone glue on the underside of the vac seal fixture. Be careful not to get any glue on the fixture itself.
Place the center of the fixture through the hole on the bucket lid. Push down a little to spread the glue. Set the refitted bucket lid someplace dry and out of the way. Let it set there for a week or two. This allows the glue smell to dissipate and get a good set on the glue.
When ready to store the grain, place three Bay Leaves in the bottom of the bucket. Fill the bucket half full of grain. Put in three more Bay Leaves, then fill with grain to within 2" of the top.
Put the lid tightly on the bucket, attach the Vac Sealer hose attachment and vac seal! The actually vac sealing will take a long time, but hang in there, it is worth it! The sealer has a lot of air to pull out!
Handle the buckets carefully. Big bumps and knocks could unseal it.
A different solution for storing large amounts of grain is easier, and cheaper!
Build a floor-to-ceiling, 2"x2" frame, in your, cool, dark, storage area. Make it wide enough to hold at least three 2 liter soda bottles, laying on their sides, and side-by-side.
The frame doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to support the the bottles on the top shoulder and bottom.
Next, fill empty, washed and dried, 2 liter soda bottles, to the halfway point with grain. Put in one Bay Leaf. Fill the rest of the way with grain. Put the lid on and lay it on its side, in the rack. Stack this way to the ceiling!
This method of storing grain doesn't remove the air from the container, but the grains will still be safe and nutritious years later, if kept out of light, and in a cool place.
The Bay Leaves used in both methods of grain storage keep bugs from hatching out, and making a stinky, web-tangled mess!
Hope these poor man's methods of grain storage have been helpful to you!

Sincerely,

Anonymous Ole Prepper


Gotta Do This Legal Note ;) This article is for informational purposes only. What you do with the information, in this article, is your responsibility. The author is in no way liable for the way this information may be used, and cannot be held liable for any consequences or in-consequences for the use or non use of this information.





Anonymous Ole Prepper


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Canning Secrets


I have some canning secrets to share with you.


The first secret is.....how to reuse jars with pop top lids, that came from the store with food in them.


Here is the secret to using them, with many foods, and the trick to using them for canning.


One of the secrets to using pop top, store jars, is to only use them with foods that have a high content of vinegar and/or sugar.


Examples, which I use them for are, lemon butter, applesauce, jams, jellies, sweet pickles, dill pickles, pickled radish pods, catchup, fruit with syrup, and homemade herbal salves. Can you think of more uses for them? Go for it!


Also, you only use a boiling water bath for this type of jar.


Here is the other secret for my processing technique for using store-bought jars, with pop top lids:


When you put the canned goods, in the canner water, which should never be more than 3” from their rim, just set the lids on the jar rims. Do not screw them on, not even a little. Process them, then screw the lids on, using a pot holder, just enough to get them out of the canner.


Only take one jar at a time, out of the canner, and after setting it on the waiting towel, give the lid a good, firm twist to seal it. Work quickly, but safely. Once the processing is over, all the jars have to be sealed quickly.


Let your canned goods rest, on a towel for 24 hours, then label them, with contents and date.


The second secret is.....reusing lids for (name brand) jars.


I know, I know! They say you can't do it. They say it isn't safe. All that 'They say' stuff is propagated by the good folks who make the lids! I have been doing it for near on forty years! What 'They say', isn't true!


Yes! You absolutely can reuse your (name brand) lids! I didn't reuse them for a few years, after I started canning a lot, to feed my family.


Then, out of need from desperate economic times, I found the secret to being able to reuse (name brand) jar lids! What is the secret? Well, I will tell you.................


The secret is..................................................................................................................


(Drum roll for dramatic pause) :) ….......................................................



Keep your ever luvin hands off the can opener! Yep! That's the secret!


Use your fingernails, and gently pry around the lid, until you hear the suction giving way, with a Slurp! It isn't as hard, as you might think!


Your lids won't get bent, using your hands, the way a can opener dents and permanently damages them.


Use your hands to open your jar lids, and as long as the rubber is still evenly on the inside, and they haven't rusted, (brand name) jar lids can be reused five or six times!


Another (brand name) jar lid canning secret, to make sure the rubber doesn't wear out too quick, is to never let your pressure canner go over 10 lbs of pressure, when processing.. That is a good, safe pressure gauge setting, for your pressure canner, and one which is most commonly used for meat and other such perishables.


Buying new lids for your (name brand) jars is way too expensive, every time you can!


Instead, reuse the lids, then take that money you were going to spend on new lids, for your next canning session, and give yourself a real treat!


Work on filling a cardboard box with canning lids! Treat yourself to an after SHTF (Stuff Hit The Fan) supply box of canning lids!

Don't just survive the SHTF, thrive!!!


I hope my canning secrets help you in your long-term survival efforts!


By Anonymous Ole Prepper


Gotta Do This Legal Note ;) This article is for informational purposes only. What you do with the information, in this article, is your responsibility. The author is in no way liable for the way this information may be used, and cannot be held liable for any consequences or in-consequences for the use or non use of this information.





Diane Zirger

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Preserving Tomatoes


Easiest to preserve! Needed:
  • Electric skillet or comparable that will contain 4 to 5 quarts
  • Clean tomatoes diced into pieces
  • Clean quart jars
  • Canning lids in saucepan of boiling hot water
  • Rings
  • Funnel (I use a cut-in-half plastic milk jug)

Bring to a gentle boil (foam will form on surface) tomato pieces, spooning and folding gently to evenly distribute heat. When tomatoes remain at a gentle boil with stirring, they are ready to spoon into jars. Using a funnel, fill quart jars to one inch from the top surface and wipe rim of jar with clean, wet cloth. Cover jar with lid from boiling hot water. Screw on firmly ring. Turn quart jar upside down on throw rug that will absorb the heat generated from the hot jar and allow to completely cool. Turn right side up and store.



I have tomatoes that are three years old and they taste like I canned them yesterday.


Preserving Salsa


More effort than tomatoes, but worth it! Needed:
  • “Salsa maker” or comparable such as Magic Chef chopper and sharp knife for tomatoes
  • Clean tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, jalapeños, onions
  • Fresh Cilantro cut into pieces with scissors
  • Table or favorite salt (I use Himalayan Rock Salt)
  • Clean pint jars
  • Canning lids in saucepan of boiling hot water
  • Rings
  • Pressure canning cooker (I use a 22 quart Mirro pressure cooker with canning system)
  • 10 PSI pressure control
  • White vinegar

Chop tomatoes, green bell peppers, onions and jalapeño peppers (it doesn’t matter what amount of each of these four ingredients you enjoy—but I would strongly recommend you include all four). Add Cilantro and salt to taste, and mix thoroughly. Spoon into clean pint jars, either regular or (preferably) wide mouth. Fill to one inch from top.

Add 2.5 quarts water and ¼ cup white vinegar to bottom of pressure canner to prevent staining. Place cooking rack on bottom of caner.

Clean rims of jars; add lids from boiling hot water and hand tighten rings. Place on cooking rack so that jars do not touch each other or the sides of the canner. If depth of pressure cooker will allow, place cooking rack on top of first layer of pint jars and do another layer of pint jars, again not touching each other or the sides of the pressure cooker.

Place cover on pressure cooker. With pressure control off, heat on high until steam comes out of vent tube; wait 10 minutes and then place 10 PSI pressure control on vent tube. Wait another 15 to 25 minutes (depending on size pressure canner being used), and when pressure control jiggles vigorously, reduce heat to point where pressure control agitates gently and time 35 minutes. Turn off heat and leave alone overnight or until completely cold to the touch.

Wipe jars dry, mark with year and put on shelf.


Preserving Hot Peppers

Almost as easy as tomatoes, these don’t require a pressure cooker. What you need:

5-Quart Dutch oven or comparable that will contain 4 to 5 quarts
Clean hot peppers with tips cut off and stems removed, cut in half (I retain the seeds)
Clean quart jars
Canning lids in saucepan of boiling hot water
Rings
5 cups water, 5 cups apple cider vinegar, 1 cup honey, 1 teaspoon salt

“Cold pack” the hot pepper pieces in quart jars. Bring to a boil the water, vinegar, honey and salt. Pour this “brine” on the peppers and fill quart jars to about one inch from the top surface and wipe rim of jar with clean, wet cloth. Cover jar with lid from boiling hot water. Screw ring on firmly. Do NOT turn these jars upside down – you’ll have a mess if you do! Cluster your jars touching each other in a tight circle and cover with two or three blankets to retain heat for three to four days or until completely cold to the touch. Store on shelves.

Similar to tomatoes, I have peppers that are dated 2007 and they have retained their flavor and integrity. The parts of the peppers exposed to the air have darkened slightly, but they taste fine. I used to bring the brine to a boil, add the peppers, bring to a boil again and then fill the jars. “Cold packing” gives me the same result but with crunchy instead of soft peppers, so I no longer cook the peppers. You can do either – your call.



Preserving Green Pole Beans


Similar to canning salsa, you need a pressure cooker:
  • Clean beans with stems and strings removed
  • Filtered water
  • Choice of salt (my preferred is Himalayan Rock Salt)
  • Clean pint (or quart) jars
  • Canning lids in saucepan of boiling hot water
  • Rings
  • Pressure canning cooker
  • 10 PSI pressure control
  • Tap water and white vinegar
Add 2.5 quarts water and ¼ cup white vinegar to bottom of pressure canner to prevent staining. Place cooking rack on bottom of canner.

Remove stems and “strings” from green pole beans, then slice approximately one inch in length, tapping jars periodically while filling to settle the contents, “cold packing” into pint (or quart jars). Add approximately half a teaspoon of salt to pints (full teaspoon to quarts), and fill to about ½ inch from the rim with filtered water. Clean rims of jars with clean wet cloth; add lids from boiling hot water and hand tighten rings. Place on cooking rack so that jars do not touch each other or the sides of the canner.

Lock cover on pressure cooker. With pressure control off, heat on high until steam comes out of vent tube; wait 10 minutes and then place a 10 PSI pressure control on vent tube. Wait another 15 to 25 minutes (depending on size pressure canner being used), and when pressure control jiggles vigorously, reduce heat to point where pressure control agitates gently and time 20 minutes for pints (25 minutes for quarts). Turn off heat and leave alone overnight or until completely cold to the touch.

Wipe jars dry, mark with year and put on shelf.

Addendum: This year, the garden did not produce sufficient quantity of green pole beans to warrant heating up a pressure canner for three pints. I had a LOT of salsa left in the refrigerator, substantially more than my household would be interested in consuming before going “sour.” Solution: preserve three pints of green pole beans with additional pints of salsa to fill the canner. Although green beans only require 20 minutes for pints, salsa requires 35 minutes. The result was a 35 minute processing time. My “Bible” for canning vegetables is “Canning & Preserving for Dummies” by Karen Ward; Chapter 10 covers vegetables, and I recall instructions of going with the longer time for processing when combining different vegetables in processing a single batch in a pressure canner. Hence, the 35 minutes requirement for salsa translates into a 35 minutes processing time for a combination of green pole beans and salsa in one canning batch.



Making Blueberry (and other types of berries) Jam



Needed:
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Concentrated apple juice (or any concentrated apple juice blend)
  • 4 cups white granulated sugar in bowl
  • 5-quart Dutch-oven type pan
  • Wire whisk
  • Two glass 2-cup measuring cups
  • Canning lids in saucepan of boiling hot water
  • Rings

Put 2 tablespoons butter in 5-quart Dutch-oven size pan.

In glass two-cup measuring cup, add 1/8 cup apple juice concentrate. Fill glass measuring cup to the 2-cup level with blueberries and empty measuring cup into pan containing butter.

Add 1/8 cup lemon juice to the 2-cup measuring cup and fill to the 2-cup level with blueberries, and empty measuring cup into pan. You now have 4 cups blueberries, 1/8 cup lemon juice, 1/8 cup apple juice concentrate and two tablespoons in your 5-quart pan. Add one package of fruit pectin.

On high heat, constantly stirring mixture with a wire whisk, bring to a boil.

Add your sugar and continue constantly stirring; bring to a “foaming” boil, and continue stirring for one minute on high heat.

Turn off heat and using the other 2-cup glass measuring cup, pour the jam into clean jars. (This recipe for 4 cups of blueberries makes three pints of blueberry jam.)

Clean rims of jars with clean wet cloth; add lids from boiling hot water and hand tighten rings.

Place upside down on heat resistant surface such as a wooden cutting board for 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn right side up, shaking contents gently to move the “air pocket” from the bottom of the glass jars to the top under the lids.

Allow to completely cool, then store.

Instead of using lids and rings, melted wax can also be used in substitution, sealing the jam and providing a barrier to oxidation, thereby preventing spoilage. My grandmother used wax for her jellies and jams when I was a young girl.

To make Blackberry, Boysenberry, Dewberry, Loganberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, or Youngberry jam, increase the fruit to 5 cups with 5 cups sugar. The process is the same.
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