Friday, September 17, 2010

Building Up My Winter Food Pantry

Dried Beans I canned yesterday

Yesterday I spent most of my day canning a supply of dried beans I had stored. It is good to use the items you have in your storage from time to time, then replace them with newer products. I am not saying they don't last because most last longer than anyone knows. These were in my dried product storage and I will replace them soon. I am always surprised when people think their canned goods are not any good after so many years. They last almost indefinitely. If something goes bad, it is usually due to the circumstances. Such as moving the jars around, something getting on top of the jars and causing the tops to become loose, freezing of the jars and then thawing (many times without you knowing it happened due to being in storage.), or not being canned correctly from the beginning and you not being aware of it.

I know what you are saying! "Why would she can dried beans anyway?" Well, to tell you the truth, I had never thought of it myself until a member from Homesteading Today, "Cowgirl" had told of the way she does them. It was so easy and many of the other members started doing them too. I love canning up a large supply of dried beans for my winter pantry supply. It makes meals easy to prepare. No waiting for beans to soak to use. A spur of the moment meal for me! Fast food at our house is putting together a pot of chili with these beans. Or making a pot of baked beans. I don't do beans and rice anymore due to eating low carbs. Beans are a high carb vegetable, but are one I make an exception for. So I watch how big my serving is. It is not like I eat them daily. Once I get off the weight loss part of Dr. Atkins low carb food plan, I can add higher carb vegetables. Just not eating a huge plate of them, which I don't do anyway.

So yesterday I canned up eleven pints of navy beans, six pints of pinto beans and 6 pints of kidney beans. I lost one jar of pinto beans because I tried to double stack them in my new canner. I didn't put them on top of each other, staggered them. But as soon as I put one on top I heard the bottom jar pop. I had to empty out the canner quickly and put boiling hot water in it to keep it at temperature. Then quickly got the other jars back in and on the stove. I hate losing any of my jars that way! Oh well, that happens.

Making a food plan for your family's winter time eating is an important part of the modern homesteading lifestyle. Many other homesteaders live in remote areas and don't run to the store for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. They plan their winter food supply all summer and fall. They harvest, glean and buy as much food as they can to hold their families through the winter, as well as beyond. It is a way of life that is as Scott and Helen Nearing taught so many homesteaders in years past..........."the good life".

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
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