First off, I tried our new bread maker and it works great! I made a couple of mistakes but the bread still turned out so great I could of ate it all. Best of all, it looked like bread, rounded top instead of in a tube, one of the things I didn't like about bread maker bread (we used to have one, but the heating coil eventually died). It also has 10 settings so you can make about anything in it.
I also canned pears. What a lot of work for few pears. Most of them were too rotten to do anything with. I may see if Wallace Brothers still have pears as I'd like to can more.
Yesterday was a busy day in the kitchen. I canned grapes! I did 4 quarts and 7 half pints. I had to scrounge for jars. I was keeping grains and spices in them, but I transferred them to other containers. Then I found a couple cases I forgot about, which I don't mind. Our water bath canner is kind of small for quarts, I was only able to do 4 at a time and by the end, I realized that the tops weren't covered when the water boiled off, but I got good seals.
I also made green tomato mincemeat. Mmmmmm!! It is so good! I didn't put the suet in or use any fat/oil to substitute and I didn't use as much sugar as it called for (called for 6 cups and I used 4). I did put more raisins and fruit peel in as they make it super yummy. It was all I could do not to crack a jar open to have some last night, but I know it will improve with age. I may make more since I have a ton of green tomatoes, plus I'd like to give a jar to my IL's since they gave me the tomatoes :)
We got our side of pork yesterday, yay! So, what does a side of pork look like (minus the hams and bacon which were sent away for smoking):
It took quite a while to get it all ready for the freezer. There was a lot of meat! I couldn't believe all the back fat! Mark will be in his glory, lol! He likes to fry it up for snacks. I've been trying to find out how to properly salt it with no luck, so I froze all but 3 slabs, which I put in a brine in the fridge for the time being. I'd like to do it a la Little House by layering it in a barrel with salt, but I fear poisoning my family, lol! Everything I read has a warning to keep in fridge no more than two weeks. Well how did the Pioneers ever survive since salt pork was a staple and they didn't have fridges in those days (other than the fortunate ones who had ice houses).
I bought the kids a pack of popcorn chicken last night and in my getting the pork ready for the freezer, I forgot to stick it in the freezer. I didn't remember until this morning and it was too late. I hate it when I do that. $3.50 down the drain :(
When I finish get my food storage in order (well, everything put away at least), I'm going to have an other updated post with pictures. It has grown a lot since the last time I wrote about it. Shoppers has an excellent sale today so I'll be stocking up even more. Real butter for only $1.99! Mark and I will each try to go a couple times each to load up since there is a limit of only 2 per customer. They have other great things on sale too.
If you're interested in Food Storage, here is a series of great food storage videos on YouTube. They also have a website called Simply Living Smart. I think the guy is a food storage specialist for my church, so a lot of the information I am already aware of. There are 7 key categories of food plus water, which is something you cannot exist without (1 gallon of water per day, per person for two weeks is basic, plus purification for water beyond the two weeks). The categories are: Wheat & grains, Sprouts, Legumes, Oils, Salt & Seasonings, Honey & Sweeteners and Powdered Dairy. I have all those categories well covered! Well, more whole wheat would be great, but I will be putting an order in soon. I hate to keep oil on hand as it usually goes rancid before we use it (not as much of a problem since we got our deep fryer though), but I keep lots of peanut butter and frozen butter on hand since I feel the oil category should really be "fats and oils". I also keep nuts in the freezer to grind for nut butters as the freezer keeps them fresh.
I love food storage. I would love to be a food storage specialist. It's such an interesting topic for me.
I should have a meal this weekend in honor of Little House; baked beans, cornbread and fried up salt pork. Ahhh to live in a simpler time when you didn't care if every meal was the same, you were just grateful to have something to eat!!