I Like Store Bought Canned Food Fine-So what should I can at home?

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I don't really have the urge to can anything, but I do have a pressure cooker. Any recommendations about stuff that cans well that cannot be obtained in a store-bought version?

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), July 25, 1999


I decided that I would can meats since the variety is quite limited in the grocery. So far, I have canned ground round, sausage, pork tenderloin, and chicken......all bought on sale. I have 12 pounds of ground round in the fridge now for making my special chili. I'm canning the meat/ tomato/spices mixture and will add a couple cans of beans to it when cooked.


-- Dusty (dusstmopp@aol.com), July 25, 1999.


This is a personal decision. I don't can things that I can buy. I freeze some vegetables, but I don't can any. I do things that I can't buy. For one example, ketchup. I have lots of tomatoes and 25 varieties of peppers. I make some really good ketchups. We should have 1 to 2 tons of pears this year. I can pears in a variety of ways. Maybe 15 to 20. None available in the store. Apples: 12 varieties; many kinds of apple sauce. This is just a small list. ssss

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), July 25, 1999.

Butter. See the thread a few items back for the procedure. Its one of the few items I can not figure out how to get any other way.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), July 25, 1999.

I vote for appelsauce (you really can taste a big difference and can flavor it to your liking, somewhat) and specialty items like meat/stew.

Although many people think home canned vegatables taste better, for me the 'store bought' are just to cheap and acceptable to bother. Canning lots of beans/peas especially, and corn is a lot of work --- more than you probably have time for, at least as far as large amounts go.

Basically, I am just getting canning stuff ready for summer 2000, in case I HAVE to use it.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), July 25, 1999.

Jon, That is an EXCELLENT point! Summer 2000 if things get really hairy. Think I'll mosey on over to Wal-Mart this week and get those Mason jars and lids. My attic is going to look like Lehman's Non- Electric before too long.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), July 25, 1999.

Mutti used to can hundreds of jars of food when all the kids were home but now find that for my time,fuel costs, jars and lids I can buy veggies at Aldi's way cheaper....and fruits,too. Lots of ways to spend my time more profitably on the farm. I feel that I can always go back to canning if the times requires it as I have all the equipment and lots of lids stored. In our younger days we did everything the long home-made way and could easily pick it up again as the skills are something you don't loose. Do appreciate a pantry full of sparkling jars of home canned produce though....depends on whether you have more time or money when it comes to storing food. Some think freeze-dried,etc. is the way to go but we like to cook from scratch. No right way .

-- MUTTI (windance @train.missouri.org), July 25, 1999.

So, -- Z1X4Y7 , My wife and I are in lust. That many PEARS?? Do you live between Cleveland, OH and Albany, NY?? Or what part of the country Do you live in??

Chuck, who has REAL memories of his mother-in-law's canned pears

-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), July 25, 1999.

My wife has been buying mason jars at the local thrift stores for 20 cents each!!!!!! Every time she goes, they have over 50 jars!!!!

-- freddie (freddie@thefreeloader.com), July 25, 1999.

SNOW CRAB I agree, most veggies and fruits already canned are cheaper to buy canned. Meats and seafood are a different matter. Whenever snow crab goes on sale for $3.99 a pound, we are canning fools. DuffyO

-- DuffyO (duffyo@mailcity.com), July 25, 1999.


No such luck. My family settled in NY when it was a Dutch colony. When I grew up, I had a lot of relatives in Cleveland. We folks just keep moving west. We are now very far west of you. Yep, the pears are good. The ginger cured Chojuros are something to behold.

Best wishes:


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), July 25, 1999.

WAAAAAaaaaa!! Sniff sniff Sigh


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), July 25, 1999.


My grandma (east of Albany, foothills of Berkshires) had one pear tree, and she canned about 4 dozen jars every year. Not enough! The old pear tree is gone now (thanks, stupid brother!). We're many klicks north, now, and I don't know ANY one who has a pear tree.

Gack. Now I'm homesick. Trouble is, home isn't there anymore. Rats.

BTW, you were right about Wally World Spam. Much better than the original! And so cheap! Thanks!

-- Arewyn (isitthatlate@lready.com), July 26, 1999.

Two things that I can are chicken and beef. Especially chicken. It is soooooooo tasty. Makes its own gravy and just put over biscuits or rice. I like WalMart tuna better than the other brands. Bought 2 cs this past week for $.50/can. I agree on the Spam too. But the best is Celebrity brand when you can find it.

Taz...who can't REALLY grow and can as cheap as I can buy it.

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), July 26, 1999.

Puddintame, if you're going to store that canning stuff in the attic, put the lids somewhere else. They've got a rubber ring on them and the extreme temps in your attic might cause fast deterioration. Have you got a Big Lots over there? They have good prices on jars right now. The one in Durham has cases and cases of them by the door. Also, save your large mayo jar lids so that you can use them to cap the jars after they're open. You'll discard the waxed cardboard liner when you wash them of course, and you can ensure a snug fit by cutting replacement liners from clean styro vegetable trays, using the lid as a template.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), July 26, 1999.

I too would suggest meats. Also, if you anticipate a problem in obtaining water, consider canning dried beans. That way you don't have to cook them, just heat them.

The benefit in home canning over store bought foods is only truly evident in cost comparison of complete meals. I can purchase store canned tomatoes and vegetables cheaper than I can grow them and can them. But I can put together a meal in one in a jar that store bought foods cannot come close to in ease of preparation, nutrition or cost.

So I regularly can foods like these: chili stew vegetable soup beef vegetable soup chicken noodle soup beef barley mushroom stew meatloaf

etc., etc....

Helps the pocketbook and makes a rushed day seem a bit easier. Also comes in so handy when the power goes out. I don't have to spend hours over a fire or wood stove cooking.

Also, if you will place an add in your local newspaper requesting used mason jars, you will get more than you know what to do with! I bought 33 dozen for $1 per dozen a few weeks ago.


-- Sylvia (msbrit@usit.net), July 26, 1999.


Why should you can at home? Well, how long do you think the coming hard times will last? Gary North stated he had purchased over 2000 canning lids, which I interpret as indicating he thinks he might run out of commercially canned food and not be able to obtain any for years. That seems to be an extreme preparation. And he plans to buy more.

Why so many lids? If he can't purchase anymore from the canning manufacturers, then will he be as resourceful as Old Git and others who substitute other materials?

The storage life of numerous vegetables and fruits seems not to exceed two years. If these commercially canned supplies are depleted and the power grid remains down, then I guess old fashioned canning would preserve harvests from year to year.

Those who retain electricity will relish their current luxury.

-- Randolph (dinosaur@williams-net.com), July 28, 1999.

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