August2012 084

Well, I promised you I would do it, and so here I am! Despite the pleading of one dear particular friend who for some reason is determined to see me do a video, I am here today, blogging, to set before you a week of learning how to do one of the easiest things I know

canning meat.
You heard me right.
 I am talking this week about canning everything but the cat, who makes herself useful around this house during the winter by keeping away the field mice from our home.
Meet Captive the Calico Cat (long story on the name…let’s

just say we are homeschoolers and it shows)

Otherwise, I hear that cat is the other white meat.


yes, this is picture of my daughter running

away with the cat when she read this.

But I do can beef, venison, chicken, turkey, and all different types of pork products, and so, in honor of the dear friends over at the Welcoming House FB Page, I am going to do a teaching tutorial on how to can each different kind of meat, and how you would use it once it is canned.
Each day this week will be a different meat, therefore if you have a particular interest, keep checking back to see when we cover it.

Some of you may be asking: “WHY would I choose to can meat, Heather?? I have a freezer, and a fridge, and frankly, that just seems like a lot of work for no reason.”.

I used to think that too...until we lost a freezer full of meat when we had no money to replace it one year, over a thousand dollars worth of meat….all because we had all our eggs in one basket and did not prepare for disaster. I cried through the sound of each package of meat hitting the trash can (and the gagging of my husband as he graciously took over the chore of getting rid of it).
So I have three reasons for you that I want you to listen to very closely.
The first is simply the economic situation we are speedily approaching here in America.
Finally the main stream media is no longer trying to white wash the fact that 68% of our country is in the grips of a drought the likes of which has not been experienced in well over 50 years. It has decimated our grain crops, erased gardens and orchards all over the country, and now has led to an enormous amount of  ranchers and livestock farmers selling their animals because they simply can not afford to feed them at the prices of corn or soybean feed…..and because there is not hay to speak of in quite a few states, so they would rather sell than see the animals starve.
So economically, that meat that we are used to seeing line the shelves every time we go into a store is going to become more and more financially out of the reach of most Americans within a couple of months. SO, NOW is the time to purchase as much as you can to stock up for the coming months…and what better way to preserve it than by tenderizing it with canning??? It becomes shelf stable, and the only thing you use up is space. Better than that, when you open that jar of chicken, or beef six months down the road, you are still eating that meat at today’s prices, not the significantly higher ones of the near future.
The second reason I have is the use of Freezer space.

 I shared with you what happened with our freezer, and I would like to remind you of what happened to people all over the nation in the last month due to power outages from unexpected storms. What would it be like to invest hard-earned money into stocking up your freezer for the next six months…..and then be forced to sit there and watch it rot in front of you because there is no power to keep it cold? And yet, if it is canned, and on the shelf, it is fine until opened even a couple years later. If, which I hope never happens, some families are forced to choose between buying groceries and paying the electric bill, better to have a way to store all that food somewhere else.

The third reason is one that ALWAYS makes this little heart happy, 
and it is simply for the cause of convenience.

 If you are a busy mom or dad, and you have 15 minutes to get dinner ready, that meat is right there, on the shelf, waiting for you to use it. And once you have it handy, I promise you, it will be something you turn to time and time again. In a life where time is precious, or in a time of year when the last thing you want to be doing is slaving over a hot stove making dinner, then learning how to safely and quickly preserve meat is for you. It also helps because you can shop the sales and immediately have it on the shelf, not waiting in the freezer for a couple weeks getting freezer burn while you try to find time to make it into a meal.

Fruity Chicken Salad–one of my kids’ favorites


Now let’s talk about how easy it is to use canned meat.
Do you like soups?
Stir fries?
Crockpot meals?
and a million more things?
All of those can use canned meat. The only difference is that you dont have to cook it first–it is already there, saving you time and putting you one step ahead in your meal preparation. You can preserve your meat in whatever form you choose—from whole chicken legs, to shredded pork…and in whatever seasonings you choose. I routinely have meat sitting on my shelf with all different types of flavors, from taco meat to just generic flavors that I can throw into anything.
Each day for the next four days I am going to cover a different type of meat, different ways to process it, and include recipes, links to making your own seasoning mixes, and clear picture instructions. I hope that you will be back first thing tomorrow morning to start learning, because honestly folks, these posts couldn’t be more accurate to the times…nor could I find another skill to teach you that would benefit you more than this one will over the next six weeks.If you want to do it along with me this week, you are going to need a pressure canner, canning tools such as a jar lifter, funnel and tongs, jars and lids and rings, vinegar, a crockpot or roaster, and a little time on your hands to learn.
All of my reading and research points to this: you need to purchase your meat for the future within the next six weeks, no later than September 15th. (Purchase as much or as little as you can afford, but unless you want to suddenly go vegetarian, now is the time to buy as much as you can put up for a while.) The prices will begin to sharply rise from that point on, and  I would not be surprised to hear of folks paying outrageous prices for the meat in their Christmas meals this year once the “abundance” disappears.
We are in for a big change, and I hope some of you will take this to heart and be a little more prepared for that when it hits. However, let us focus on what we CAN do, and not worry about what we can not change. We are starting tomorrow with beef. 🙂
Many Blessings to you and yours,