Canning and Dehydrating Foods For the Suburban Prepper

Author: Philip MacGregor       Date: 2012-03-22

Keywords: Suburban prepper,canning food,dehydrating food,emergency preparation

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What is Jarring? Jarring is a method of food storage that enables you to store food for long periods of time. Being relatively easy to do with a little practice you will find that you can stock pile food to last at least three months. If you can do more, that is better, but three months is a great start.

A quick history of Canning.

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In 1795 the French Army offered money to anyone who could discover a way to preserve food.

Years later in 1809 Nicolas Appert discovered a way to preserve food by heating a "Hermetically" sealed container. Although he new that the removal of air was important he did not fully understand why. The French Army awarded him the prize for discovering a way to store food for long periods of time. Google Nicolas Appert for a full history.

There may be a day when the food you have in dry storage is all you have access to. If you live in an apartment you likely have some small storage space. Think now about how you can utilize the space you have for shelves to maximize the area you have to work with. Build or install shelves from floor to ceiling on all walls leaving just enough room for the door to open. Hopefully in a short time you will have these shelves full of stored food.

Basic canning check list.

The Equipment. Look around your local area for high-tempered glass Jars made to with stand the heat from the canning process. Look in the local buy and sell, Farmers Market and news paper. In some cases hardware stores will have some as well. Ask around in your family. Chances are "Grandma" has some stored in the basement from years gone by.

1. Make sure all of your equipment is clean, rust free, and not bent or cracked.

2. Pick only firm ripe fruit or vegetables. No bruises or blemishes. Be sure you have a good commercial anti-darkener or ascorbic acid.

3. Choose your Syrup or Liquid

4. Choose your processing method

5. Proper lifting of the jars.

6. Cooling jars.

7. Checking the seals.

8. Proper storage.

Be sure you have new lids. If this is not possible thoroughly check you lids to be certain that they are in good condition. When pre-cleaning your jars boil them for 2 minutes to sterilize them.

Be certain the screw lids function properly and have no rust and no "sleight" bends in them.

When you are preparing your fruit or vegetables, prepare only the amount you can work with at any given time to avoid dis-coloring.

The different types of syrups for canning are. Sugar syrups. Corn Syrup. Honey. Fruit Juice. If you choose to use a sweetener. Remember that slight sweetening can help acidic fruits taste better after they have been stored for a while.

You will want to decide if you are going to raw pack or hot pack. Use a plastic or rubber knife or spatula to remove air bubbles. Clean the rims of the jars. Applying the lids. Follow the manufactures directions. They generally recommend placing the lids in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes to ensure a proper seal.

Remember when processing that the altitude where you live effects the processing time. The higher the altitude the longer you wait. Be very careful when lifting your jars form the boiling water using a proper lifter made for canning. Allow the jars to cool on a clean dry wooden surface, metal rack, or folded towels. Be sure the surface is not cold as this will make the jars crack.

Let the jars cool in a draft free area with a small space between each so air can circulate.

As the jars cool you will hear the "famous" pop as the lid cools. When this happens you know you have got a good seal. Label and date your jars and store in you storage area.

Remember that techniques like canning from times gone by may become essential skills in the future. Learning how and why this works so well for the safe storage of food will help you to feel empowered and less dependent on the system. Knowing that you can "own" this process is a crucial step you can take in your plans to prepare you and your family for "difficult times.

Food Dehydration is another effective method for long term storage of food.

Removing moisture from food is an effective method for long term storage of food that inhibits bacteria growth. Most food s can be dehydrated indoors using a variety of methods.

These methods can include Air drying. Using your conventional oven. If you want to invest some money into it you can purchase a counter top confection oven or a dehydrator.

There are several varieties of food that can be dehydrated and although each have different techniques it is well worth your time to learn this skill. Dehydrated foods require less space to store and can last a very long time when stored properly.

A Mind Set Re-adjustment

When you commit your self to learning how to Can a Dehydrate food you are making an important shift in mental focus. A major problem we face in society is our dependence on the system for very basic things. There is no reason for people to loose the ability to take proper care of themselves in the long term. Running down to the store for all of our needs every day is NOT taking care of our selves. And will do nothing when major change forces us to re-adjust at the last minute. Preparation skills can not be learned over night. That is why it is essential to start now. Go through the learning curve when there is no pressure to perform.


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