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How to Have a Well Stocked Food Storage Pantry  RSS feed

 
garden master
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I have been doing food storage for many years.  This is a page out of the notebook I made that I keep in a handy place.  This is a guide to which canned goods are best to have in your food storage closet. You will be ahead of the game if you have the opportunity to can these yourself.  And this includes a recipe or suggestions on how to use the items.  September was National Preparedness Month.  Store foods that are a part of your normal diet in your three-month supply. As you develop a longer-term storage, focus on food staples such as wheat, cornmeal, rice, pasta, dry beans and sugar.

Canned salmon

One of the best canned food items is is salmon. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  When canned salmon is packed with the bones so the canned variety has more calcium.

**Try making a nicoise-style salmon salad, just open three cans: one each of salmon, white beans and sliced olives. Toss these ingredients with diced onion, olive oil and lemon juice. If available mix the salmon with cooked potatoes, quartered tomatoes, canned green beans, and  hard boiled eggs.

Canned beans

Canned beans are a way to add protein, fiber and flavor to your meals.  Whether they are black, kidney and pinto beans does nor make a difference. they are still a great ways to add flavor, fiber and protein to soups and casseroles.  The calcium and iron content of canned beans is similar to those you would soak and cook at home.

**Make a tortilla soup with canned chilies, canned tomatoes, canned chicken broth,  cilantro, lime juice the add a can of pinto beans near the end of the cooking time.
**Make a bean salad made of kidney beans, diced bell peppers, jalapeños, cilantro, and canned green beans.  Add minced dried garlic, salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then stir the mixture through your beans and serve.




Canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a high source of lycopene and are rich in vitamins A and C while containing no fat or salt.  Having canned tomatoes can add a variety to you soups, stews, and casseroles.  Canned diced tomatoes can be used in place of fresh tomatoes in recipes and even in salads.

Canned mackerel

Canned mackerel is high in protein,  omega-3 fatty acids and is very inexpensive.

**Make patties with canned mackerel like you would make salmon patties or croquettes.

Canned sardines

Canned sardines are often packed in a tomato sauce or mustard, though this sauce has high levels of sodium as well.  So a low-sodium option packed in water might be best. Sardines are a good choice of fish because they are inexpensive.  Sardines contain high amounts of vitamin B12 which promotes heart health.  Like salmon and mackerel, sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

**Make a healthy potato salad with cooked, cooled, cubed potatoes; a chopped-up hard-boiled egg; diced chives and scallions; and a dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Serve alongside the drained sardines.  If fresh potatoes are not available dried hash brown potatoes will work.  Or eat them with crackers.

Canned clams

Canned clams are high in protein,  zinc, iron and selenium. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and are a source of phosphorous, manganese and potassium.
Cook whole wheat or regular linguine till tender. Drain and set aside, keeping a little of the cooking water. Toss garlic and chili into a pan with hot olive oil until they begin to sizzle. Add the clams and spaghetti, then toss to combine. Add a splash of the cooking liquor, then stir through some flat leaf parsley before serving.

**Use canned clams when making a chowder.

Canned chicken

It might not sound massively appealing, but a can of cooked chicken is a versatile ingredient that is packed with protein and incredibly low in fat for a relatively low calorie count. Chicken is high in selenium as well as cancer-preventing B-vitamin niacin. It also contains B6, which is important for energy metabolism.

**Dice canned chicken and stir-fry with onions, garlic and chili in a wok. Add Chinese greens, bok choy or just regular spinach, and allow to wilt with a splash of soy and a drizzle of oyster sauce. Serve over brown rice with a squeeze of lime.




Canned pumpkin

Avoid the canned pumpkin pie filling that is packed with sugar and other ingredients. Use canned 100% pumpkin, which is low in calories, high in fiber and fat-free. Canned pumpkin contains over 500 percent of your RDA of vitamin A, 8 percent of magnesium, 10 percent of vitamin C, and 10 percent of iron.

**Make a risotto using onions and garlic, then adding rice, wine and canned stock. Next, add and stir in canned pumpkin. Continue to cook, then serve topped grated Parmesan.




Canned pineapple

This is one of the only canned fruits that you can purchase canned that contains vitamin C.

**Pineapple makes a refreshing salad if you have other fruits, marshmallows or cottage cheese.

Remember:  Buy what you and your family eat and have plenty of canned vegetables for a variety.
 
pollinator
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I  do love to can. With my grandbaby due in December and our move next spring, I have been busy canning for busier times. Canning jars take up the same amount of space when packing whether full or empty, so full sounds good to me.

I have lots of stocks - typically chicken, ham and pork. Also, chicken soup base - chicken stock with chicken, carrots, celery and onion - just add starch to serve, like matzo balls, noodles, rice.

I like to have onions and mirepoix canned. Most of my recipes start with sweat off an onion or some mirepoix for 20 minutes, this takes care of that.

Typically, I have some braised meats canned, we make a beef gravy kinda like poutine thing, and tamale pork for nachos and other such things.

I like canned small potatoes for hash and such.

Various canned tomato sauces, like marinara, spicy marinara and spaghetti sauce with meat.

And green beans, lots of green beans. Now that I have to limit starchy carbs, green beans in a casserole are a good substitute comfort food.
 
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Just bought my first pressure canner and haven't used it yet. Want to can some chicken and pork (store bought canned chicken is just plain gross).

How long does it realistically store?  I will likely just braise the meat in a pan and can it with water so the dogs could eat it in a pinch, heck for them I may just raw pack it. I just don't know how long it would last (it is primarily for emergencies).
 
pollinator
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Congratulations Lucrecia!   I just started canning last year myself and it is the most satisfying work I do on my urban homestead :)  Soup, plain broth, stews, and potatoes are my favorites so far - I like convenience food, haha.    Supposedly canned goods can last 10-20 years.  

I watched a bunch of Youtube videos and my favorites are Jaime at Guildbrook Homestead  and Carolyn at Homesteading Family.   They both do videos on meat canning with clear instructions.

I have the Stocking Up III book by Rodale that gives instructions for many types of food preservation - it's BIG.   A great quick reference is the USDA guidelines for safe canning here:     https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

 
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Lucrecia Anderson wrote:Just bought my first pressure canner and haven't used it yet. Want to can some chicken and pork (store bought canned chicken is just plain gross).

How long does it realistically store?  I will likely just braise the meat in a pan and can it with water so the dogs could eat it in a pinch, heck for them I may just raw pack it. I just don't know how long it would last (it is primarily for emergencies).



Not scientific, but I recently ate venison I canned in 2014 and it was as good as it was the year I canned it.  I raw packed the meat and canned it.  I have tried braising venison before canning as well but I couldn't taste a difference so I don't do it anymore.  As long as the seal is intact, I would expect it to be good for many more years.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Anne Miller wrote:
It might not sound massively appealing, but a can of cooked chicken is a versatile ingredient that is packed with protein and incredibly low in fat for a relatively low calorie count. Chicken is high in selenium as well as cancer-preventing B-vitamin niacin. It also contains B6, which is important for energy metabolism.



I think home canned chicken breast would be one of the most versatile meats. You can mix it with sweet and sour sauce and serve it over rice, or mix with cream of chicken soup and serve with rice or pasta (chicken a-la-king), or dry it off and pan fry it with soysauce/sugar to make chicken teriyaki, or stir fry it with spaghetti noodles for chicken chow mein, or pull it for tacos or bbq sandwiches

In case it isn't obvious I eat a lot of chicken. :)
 
pollinator
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Just bought my first pressure canner and haven't used it yet. Want to can some chicken and pork (store bought canned chicken is just plain gross). How long does it realistically store?  



Last year I discovered a 3 or 4 year old (I forget which) can of chicken that we prepared with a pressure canner. It had perfect smell, texture, & taste. Far superior to canned store bought. Was concerned that it might be funky but it was excellent.
 
pollinator
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I don't eat meat anymore but when I did I sure appreciated how nice small jars of canned meat were for traveling. Meat is difficult to keep cold so it doesn't spoil and sometimes to cook it (extra so without making a mess).  And opening a jar and serving it with a can of beans, salad greens, carrot sticks, etc. works really well.

On the general topic - I love having canned food.  (I don't know if I can say exactly that I love canning.  I think it is like making quilts.  It is hard work and sort of satisfying but I get obsessive about finishing it and go go go.  But seeing the result is SO satisfying.)  It is nice to open a jar of something I have created (or someone I love has created for me.)  This year canning has helped me feel like I'm doing something related to homesteading even when I can't be there.  All that food tastes like home.

I'm getting my last crop of apples soon and I plan to try some new recipes - apple chutney and apple pie jam.  I'm also going to try to make some black bean-corn salsa from a recipe that looks similar to the stuff I like to buy and eat.  I have never made any kind of salsa before (I can't eat a ton of tomato) so it is a fun adventure.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Once you start doing food storage, you will find a need for places to store your can goods.  I have stored them in various places such as under the bed, on a shelf in the back of a closet, and currently I have shelves with sliding doors in my office similar to this:




This looks like a great place to use for storage - a laundry room:




Something like this with doors would look like a piece of furniture:




 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Anne Miller wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone.

Once you start doing food storage, you will find a need for places to store your can goods.  I have stored them in various places such as under the bed, on a shelf in the back of a closet, and currently I have shelves with sliding doors in my office similar to this:





Wow that can holder is gorgeous! Looks like it was made by a real craftsman that loves working with wood.

I was just thinking about shelves this morning as I am canning (first time) today and I don't have anymore shelf space in my little storage room.   I think I will split my cheapo wire shelving unit (used to start transplants) in half and put that on top of the cases of canned dog food for more shelves. I live alone so I don't have to worry about it looking tacky. LOL

After putting it off for weeks I am in the process of canning 15 lbs of chicken today. Now that I actually started this is fun.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Anne - do you store home canned food in a system like the first one? It seems like that would be better for tin cans rather than canning jars.

One of the things I try to keep in mind when storing food for long time storage is that light is not your friend. While it won't cause the food to go bad, nutrients and flavor will be lost.

If you are limited on space, unconventional places can be useful. I'm currently storing winter squash on a trundle bed frame under my bed.
 
Mike Barkley
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Not about how to but WHY to ... some crops are difficult to grow & some years they just do better than others. I grew up eating fig preserves. Had my own very productive tree in TX but have been unsuccessful in keeping one alive through winter in TN. Recently found a couple jars from TX & it was like winning the lottery. Cherokee Purple tomatos are my favorite tomato but they are problematic because they are susceptible to blossom end rot, splitting, & bugs. In a good season I can as many as possible just to have some for the bad years.
 
Anne Miller
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Stacy Witscher wrote:Anne - do you store home canned food in a system like the first one? It seems like that would be better for tin cans rather than canning jars.

One of the things I try to keep in mind when storing food for long time storage is that light is not your friend. While it won't cause the food to go bad, nutrients and flavor will be lost.

If you are limited on space, unconventional places can be useful. I'm currently storing winter squash on a trundle bed frame under my bed.



Stacy, that system is only for stuff I buy at the grocery store in metal cans.  My husband has certain stuff he likes to open out of a can for lunch and I feed the dog green beans, carrots and pumpkin. I would not trust jars not to get broken in that system.

Most of my canning is meat, pickles and relish.  I keep them in cabinets where they are not likely to get broken.  Those Rubbermaid type cabinet are my friend.  The jars are on the bottom shelf as an added safety.

I have several of these in various sizes and shapes.

 
Anne Miller
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Mike Barkley wrote:Not about how to but WHY to ... some crops are difficult to grow & some years they just do better than others. I grew up eating fig preserves. Had my own very productive tree in TX but have been unsuccessful in keeping one alive through winter in TN. Recently found a couple jars from TX & it was like winning the lottery. Cherokee Purple tomatos are my favorite tomato but they are problematic because they are susceptible to blossom end rot, splitting, & bugs. In a good season I can as many as possible just to have some for the bad years.



If you are asking WHY do food storage ... that could be a large topic.

In a way you answered you own question though it is more than that.

So I can have fig preserves and not have a fig tree.  I have eaten all my fig preserves and now I am eating plum jam that my mother in law canned in 2003 before she died.

My daughter was thankful that she had food storage when her husband lost his job.

I am thankful that I have food storage and do not have to run to the store when I need something for a recipe.  I go to my stores and get one then put that on the list for the next trip to the store which might be in two weeks.  We are round trip 60 miles to the nearest grocery store.  We go to the store when my husband runs out of bread.  He likes homemade bread but not as much as he likes store bought bread.

Natural disasters are reasons to do food storage.

I am sure that as soon as I hit submit, I will think of something else.
 
Sonja Draven
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When I was cleaning out my parents' house after my Mom's death, I found a jar of blackberry jam that I had made and given to her years before (behind a bunch of expired food).  I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it to empty the jar that it was fine.  Like Mike said - felt like winning the lottery.  

And as Anne mentioned - I cleaned out a couple chest freezers and found some food she had frozen.  I've been taking my time with it (at the tail end now because it won't be in good enough shape to be edible soon) because every time I see her handwriting and eat her food, it feels like a hug.

I love the can food storage built into the wall too.  I don't eat enough store bought canned food to justify that but it still looks really neat.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:I have been doing food storage for many years.  This is a page out of the notebook I made that I keep in a handy place.  This is a guide to which canned goods are best to have in your food storage closet. You will be ahead of the game if you have the opportunity to can these yourself.  And this includes a recipe or suggestions on how to use the items.  September was National Preparedness Month.  Store foods that are a part of your normal diet in your three-month supply. As you develop a longer-term storage, focus on food staples such as wheat, cornmeal, rice, pasta, dry beans and sugar.



When I see preserving done in the USA they typically have cellars to store stuff, in a semi-stable temperature.

Historically we don’t have cellars in Australia; well, not many anyway because there’s no need in most circumstances to have a furnace/boiler for house heating. We mostly have the opposite issue of keeping the house cool and lowering the humidity.

I grew up with Italian neighbourhood kids whose parents and relations did the whole tomato passata thing in the backyard each season, and made homemade vino = bare feet stomping and all! It was great to watch and I still remember the processes. My Dad’s family routinely did, amongst other preserving methods, jams, mango pickles, and made hot chili; but, the last two were kept under a layer of olive oil to prevent spoilage – they weren’t heated but lasted decades even in the tropical heat.

I’d like to do fruit, vegetable and meat preserving like you do but the heat and humidity issues may make it difficult unless I make a purpose built ‘cool room’.

The question is: notwithstanding the need to limit light, is a low stable temperature needed for long term storage of home preserved (tinned and jarred) foodstuffs?
 
Anne Miller
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F Agricola wrote: When I see preserving done in the USA they typically have cellars to store stuff, in a semi-stable temperature.

Historically we don’t have cellars in Australia; well, not many anyway because there’s no need in most circumstances to have a furnace/boiler for house heating. We mostly have the opposite issue of keeping the house cool and lowering the humidity.



Unfortunately not everyone in the USA can have cellars.  Most of the south part, especially Texas where I live, cannot have them. Occasionally you might find one.  Even when I lived in Oklahoma, you did not see cellars though a few folks did have a tornado shelter.  They don't have cellars in Alabama either.

I’d like to do fruit, vegetable and meat preserving like you do but the heat and humidity issues may make it difficult unless I make a purpose built ‘cool room’.

The question is: notwithstanding the need to limit light, is a low stable temperature needed for long term storage of home preserved (tinned and jarred) foodstuffs?



Not having been to Australia, I can't really compare though I feel I'm close at summer temps of 115 F though not much issue with humidity.  We do not cool the whole house.  The open space living area is cooled by a in the wall a/c when it gets hot and the bedroom is cooled by a window unit at night.  I have a machine/laundry room that is very hot all day no matter the time of day or time of year.  I store stuff I canned in all these rooms with no issues.  Meat would be the only thing I would worry about and I have some stored in the hot machine room.

You might start with pickles/relishes, due to the vinegar and salt they might be the most shelf stable for you.  Plus they might be the easiest to learn how to can.

I have experimented with ferments, some I like and some I don't  ... they can go into the fridge after done to last longer.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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F Agricola wrote:

I’d like to do fruit, vegetable and meat preserving like you do but the heat and humidity issues may make it difficult unless I make a purpose built ‘cool room’.

The question is: notwithstanding the need to limit light, is a low stable temperature needed for long term storage of home preserved (tinned and jarred) foodstuffs?



You don't need a cool room but cans will stay good longer if you can keep them consistently cool. I just use a small bedroom for storage (with blacked out windows) and in the summer the temps are typically high 70's or 80's (25-33 Celsius). Most everyone tries to use their canned goods within a couple of years so the supply is always rotated. You don't want to can it and then intentionally store it for 25 years as a backup in the event of an apocalypse.

Remember that with pressure canned jars, as long as the jar remains SEALED the contents are sterile and shouldn't actually "go bad", it just slowly loses its taste/color/smell over the years.. One big exception is fat as that does go rancid in a fairly short amount of time (a year or so). Water bathed canned jars can also last a super long time but I would be less comfortable with it since water bath canning doesn't kill botulism spores.

One clever idea that I heard about for a makeshift root cellar -- partially burying an old fridge or freezer in a shaded area (with the door at ground level) can work in most climates.
 
pollinator
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Canning is a push i am making this year. We harvested our first deer of the season.  Other than the backstrap, the deer will be canned chili. Hopefully a years worth.  

I think its been months since we have bought a canned veggie. 2 years since we bought any meat.

A root cellar is something i want.
 
Anne Miller
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wayne fajkus wrote: Other than the backstrap, the deer will be canned chili. Hopefully a years worth.



You will have plenty of chili.  You must really like chili.  No hamburgers, stews or roasts?  Or is it you don't like the flavor?

When we first started eating deer, I mix ground beef with ground deer 50/50 until we got used to the taste.  I can sometimes tell the difference though not often.

If you have a chance to harvest an Axis you will be surprised at how tender and mild they taste.  They make great steaks out of the hind quarter.
 
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For canning storage, I attached steel c channel to the ceiling in our kitchen.  The glass lip below the threads on the jar will slip in the channel perfectly - but check that it's the right size of c channel first. Just file the metal edge where the glass rests so it's not sharp.  My husband brought a piece home with nice rolled edges, but it's a lighter gauge and I wouldn't trust it to not bend under the weight of filled jars.  There might be heavier duty ones with rolled edges, though.  I like this system because you can look up and see through the bottoms of the jars and know what's in each one and it takes up no floor or shelf space. There's also scrap c channel lying around at construction sites quite often, so it's free.
 
Anne Miller
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Equipment is helpful for doing food storage.  There are somethings that I don't have like something to grind flour.  So here is my list of what I have:

All American  Pressure Canner, blue porcelain water bath canner, stainless steel water bath canner, pressure cooker, manual meat grinder, electric meat grinder, electric meat slicer, electric knife, assorted funnels, jar lifter, canning jar, lids, and rings.

If you are just getting started you might want to start with a water bath canning system and try your hand at doing pickles and relishes as they are fairly simple.




https://www.amazon.com/Granite-Ware-Enamel-Canning-9-Piece/dp/B002KHN602/ref=sr_1_3








https://www.amazon.com/All-American-25-Quart-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0002808YS/ref=asc_df_B0002808YS/
 
pollinator
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Main Calories
Grains = Flour, Rice, Oats, Corn
Legumes = Dried Beans
Nuts = Hazelnut, Peanut, Almond, Walnut, etc
Oil = same as nuts
Honey/Syrup/Sugar/Juice Concentrate
Processed Grains = Cereal, Dry Porridge, Pasta, Bread, etc

Spices
Solar dehydrated herbs
Powered herbs
Fermented Plants
Pickled Pepper

Root Vegetables =Potatoes, Yams, Carrot

Fruits = Dehydrated fruits, whole fruits, fruit jam, fruit leather, etc

Fermented Vegetables

Milk=Dehydrated-Fermented/Cheese

Chest Freezer = Meats, Frozen Vegetables, etc
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Anne Miller wrote:
If you are asking WHY do food storage ... that could be a large topic.



Anyone that watches the news or has a clue about history would know why it is a good idea to store food. Now of course they often don't actually DO it, but most adults realize it is a good idea (or maybe most are clueless and I am projecting?). I store/preserve food primarily for emergencies and peace of mind.

In many ways I like to eat the way our forefathers did, gorge on stuff when it is in season and at it's peak then wait until it comes in season the following year. Historically people focused on preserving the staples they needed for survival and didn't try to replicate a grocery store with year round supplies of everything (especially since they didn't have grocery stores to plant the idea in their head). In the spring and summer they ate small game/poultry/fish along with seasonal fruit/veggies, and in the fall they butchered large livestock to store meat over the winter and ate root vegetables (in addition to their staple grains).

We had a bumper crop of wild blackberries this year, I ate my fill over a 2 month period and the chickens also had more than they wanted. After having fresh blackberries 3-4 times a week I can easily wait until spring for more, and they are so much better fresh than preserved.
 
Mike Barkley
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Meat jerkey hasn't been mentioned yet. That works well but not for extremely long term storage. Many good seasoning recipes online. Along the same line of thinking is dehydrated vegetables. I do a lot of that with an electric dehydrator. Dehydrated spaghetti revives perfectly & tastes like it was made today. It keeps well for a very long time. That is my standby for backpacking. Dehydrated then vacuum sealed. It does get a little funky after forgetting about it in a car truck in TX heat for several years. But still edible.

Edited to add more info ----> Home made jerkey is far superior to store bought jerky. Especially good with wild game. Deer & ducks are amazing like that. Smoking & salt curing meats & fish are other good preservation techniques. Preserving meats is an art form in itself & would take hours for me to tell the tiny bit I know about it. Much more & better info online & in books.

Dehydrated vegetable & fruits are an easier subject. Tomatoes are a favorite of mine, after I have enough in jars. Slice them into thin slices & dry them. They save quite well in unsealed jars just like that. I usually take it a step further though. After they are dry I put them in a blender or use the molcajete to pulverize them into powder form. Then I dry them a little more in the sun. Then store in vacuum seal bags &/or unsealed jars. It makes quick & easy soups & sauces later. Squash is best fresh but I usually have too many to eat & give away. Don't especially like the texture of them when stored in jars. Same for dehydrated but I dry them just to save space. Carrots & green beans dehydrate & revive very well. They shrink to a small fraction of their original volume. Slice carrots & other harder veggies for better drying results. Seminole pumpkins have a fairly long shelf life just being stored in a cool spot. They dehydrate well for a much longer shelf life. Just slice them & dry them. This year I'm going to puree &/or cook some of them before drying. Some will get pie spices, others will be unspiced for use in breads & cookies. Potatoes dehydrate & revive exceptionally well. Garlic & onions dry & store very well.

Fruits & veggie sauces dry well too. I usually cook fruits down until they are a thick paste consistency. I also do spaghetti sauce this way. Then dehydrate them on a silicone pad placed on the dehydrator shelves. Flip the food over a few times during the process to help them dry completely. Fruits prepared like this turn into healthy fruit leather like the junk you find in the candy aisles of stores.






 
Anne Miller
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Now that you have some canned foods or are planning on getting some, it is time to talk about long term storage of the basic foods.  Foods like flour, cornmeal, sugar, rice, beans and I would suggest also having instant potatoes and hashbrowns.

Many people buy 50 lb. bags of these and a flour grinder to make flour from wheat.  I have never done this so I can offer no advice on this.

I watch for sales and get my staples at the grocery store or at Sam's.  Before rushing out and buying your staples you will need something to put them in.  These you can buy or you can reuse containers that your purchase food in.  You will want to label what is in the containers and the date.  This is helpful for rotating.  Being a very frugal person and not wanting to send stuff to the landfill, I reuse container. I especially like the ones pictured here for peanuts because they are square.  If you are concerned about plastic there are glass jars that can be reused or purchased.




Amazon Link to Glass Jars





Amazon Link to the above Reusable Glass Jar




Amazon Link to the above Peanuts in reusable container
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Anne Miller wrote:
Many people buy 50 lb. bags of these and a flour grinder to make flour from wheat.  I have never done this so I can offer no advice on this.



Meh....I would much rather store bags of different types of flour in mylar for 2-3 years.  When I make bread or pizza I like to use bread flour for a nice soft chewy loaf/crust.

You aren't going to get that quality of flour from a bag of wheat that you grind yourself (by quality I mean high gluten bread flour, or light/fluffy cake flour etc..). Now some people LIKE heavy whole wheat bread, and good for them, but I really don't.  I do store wheat in mylar for the chickens though.

Not to discourage you though, if your family likes heavy whole wheat bread than a grinder and bags of wheat are a good idea, and if you have chickens you can't go wrong by storing wheat. Course folks that are trying to put up 1+ years worth of food for a severe emergency may find that bulk wheat works well for them, I only prep for 3 months though.
 
Mike Barkley
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Many people buy 50 lb. bags of these and a flour grinder to make flour from wheat.  I have never done this so I can offer no advice on this.



My advice is read the label carefully when buying grains in bulk. Once bought 50 lbs of crushed oats thinking it was oatmeal. The hulls were cracked but it wasn't oatmeal. Managed to process a small amount into an oatmeal like substance with a hand cranked food grinder as show in the above picture & a makeshift smasher but it was very labor intensive. Sealed the remainder back up & saved it with the zombie supplies. Started keeping chickens about a year later so it was gradually mixed in with their food.

Mentioned in a recycling thread yesterday about using 5 gallon water containers for storing rice & beans. I toss in some small containers of salt, pepper, cumino, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried cilantro, cayenne pepper, boullion cubes, & sometimes dried veggies like carrots & bell peppers. Replace the original top & secure with duct tape. Use a poker chip & some plastic wrap if original top is missing. Duct tape that securely. Virtually indestructible. Easy to carry. Ready to cook.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Mike Barkley wrote:
My advice is read the label carefully when buying grains in bulk. Once bought 50 lbs of crushed oats thinking it was oatmeal. The hulls were cracked but it wasn't oatmeal.  



Sounds like crimped oats -- literally just crimped to crack the hull a bit for animal feed. Even some crimped oats are too hard to animals to digest so it is very difficult to cook or grind up for flour with most grinders. I have never done it but I read you would have to boil whole or crimped oats for many hours just to make gruel.

Oatmeal is rolled then precooked oats. They are literally rolled/flatted out and them steamed. Ever tried eating oatmeal uncooked with milk? It is just like the Swiss cereal muesli. Really good, try it some time with a little dried fruit mixed in. After trying it I prefer it to cooked oatmeal. The quick cook oats are thinner and easier to chew.

Steel cut oats are raw oats chopped into little pieces, those don't store very long and take longer to cook.

I store some oatmeal in mylar, once asked the feed store if they can buy it in 50 lb bags but they don't, they only carry crimped.
 
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I probably get into storing stuff with my Presto 23 qt pressure canner and my dehydrator when my garden gets going in 2019.  I am well stocked now.
 
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We have pickles.  Lots of pickles.  Pickled garlic scapes, green beans, garlic cloves, shredded onions, and of course cucumbers.  ]

Then we have three kinds of relish: green tomato, cucumber, and zucchini.

Then we got some roasted allium salsa: all fresh ingredients from the greenhouse and garden (tomatoes, onions, garlic, chives, cilantro, cayenne, jalepeno, and poblano peppers, oregano, basil, savory)  except for some tomato paste to thicken it and the limes.

Tomato sauce.  Same like the salsa.  Super yummy.  Both of these sauces are used for a variety of dishes.  A jar of salsa, with a chopped pineapple over top of a roast, or mixed with curry to make a red sauce for something... man... that's some good stuff.

Jam.  Lots of jam.  Blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, huckleberry... oh and rosehip jelly and green tomato lemon marmalade.

canned beets, tomatoes, peaches and pears.

We have honey and maple syrup (I trade the latter for my garlic).

We didn't dry much this year.  I still have some dried pine mushrooms and dried lobster mushrooms.  I will also harvest Chaga mushroom for winter drinking.

Then there is the freezer.  I know it's not the pantry, but it's full of long-term food. And if we don't have a long-term power outage it's got a lot of potential.   rapsberries, huckleberries, tomatoes, basil, chopped apples, frozen apple juice, beets, cabbage, kale, chard, peas, beans, pumpkin, squash, whole apple pies, chicken, fish (salmon and trout), and beef.

In the celler we have apples, ten types of potatoes, 3 types of carrots.  In the crawl space, we have garlic, onions, pumpkins, and squash.  

As far as bulk grains, I can get almost anything from the local general store.  They will have it in stock or can order almost anything for me.  

 
Sonja Draven
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I'm gluten-free so I don't do the wheat but I have a grinder and use it to grind my own grain - rice, teff and millet especially.  I like to grind it fresh before use.  I don't do a ton of baking anymore though - I mostly eat the whole grains - brown rice, thick rolled oats, millet, sorghum (in soup) or quinoa.

Roberto, your post was very inspiring.  What a great food stash!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Roberto, your post was very inspiring.  What a great food stash!

 Glad to be inspiring.  There are three of us to get this stuff done, so it makes things a little easier.  I forgot to mention that we also have a 3-gallon crock of sauerkraut that is just getting going.  Looking forward to getting into that, sometime later in the month.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:
Then there is the freezer.  I know it's not the pantry, but it's full of long-term food. And if we don't have a long-term power outage it's got a lot of potential.   rapsberries, huckleberries, tomatoes, basil, chopped apples, frozen apple juice, beets, cabbage, kale, chard, peas, beans, pumpkin, squash, whole apple pies, chicken, fish (salmon and trout), and beef.



If you have a canner that can work over a gas flame you can always can the most vital (i.e. fish/meat) freezer foods in the event of a lengthy outage. If the outage goes on for several days and the freezer is in danger of defrosting you will probably be a bit bored anyway so might as well.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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If you have a canner that can work over a gas flame you can always can the most vital (i.e. fish/meat) freezer foods in the event of a lengthy outage. If the outage goes on for several days and the freezer is in danger of defrosting you will probably be a bit bored anyway so might as well.

 Yep.  It should be noted that most people around here have their freezer's outside, or in the porch that is exposed to cold temperatures.  Most of our power outages happen in the winter (caused by ice build-up or a tree falling on the powerlines) when freezing temperatures can be used to keep the food frozen.  Many people here turn off their freezer for at least 4 months.

I have this epic idea to have a home-based walk-in freezer room that is seasonal and is part of my, also epic walk-in pantry/root cellar system that will be in the berm off the North Side of the house. Walk out of the kitchen into the pantry, and then through double doors into the cellars, and out of the cellars (again through double doors), into the freezer room.  An additional final double door system will bring me outside, where everything can be carted or wheelbarrowed to the storage berm without having to go through the house.  In the freezer room can be several actual freezers that have been retrieved at the dump and are mostly filled with smaller plastic containers that will freeze easily.  A pipe down through the ceiling will bring cold air into the room; a pipe near floor level will bring the draining cold air into the woodstove, every time the stove is firing.  The cold draw will bring severe cold air into the freezer space to freeze the contents of the freezer chests, and keep the entire room very frigid during the winter.  Also the air can be piped in a similar fashion into the cellar rooms at certain times of the year (late summer and early fall)  to bring those temperatures down for better storage of crops.  

Not sure if all that will happen, but it's a dream of mine.  
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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My confidence has been shaken....need advice.

Okay so I have used the pressure canner twice, once for chicken and then for some hot packed pork.  I wiped the rim of the jars before putting the lids on and the pork looked perfect and the jars sealed until just a minute ago I went to move a jar and the lid came right off!

They are ball canning lids  without the little "bump" to show they sealed, the lids were brand new. Now I am all paranoid thinking maybe they are all loose and all of them will come off and my beautiful canned food storage is really just a bunch of petri dishes growing botulism! Are there better lids with noticeable bumps in them? I was about to run to the store and buy up more meat to can (chicken breasts on sale for .98 a lb) but my confidence is shaken and
 
Stacy Witscher
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Lucrecia - how long did you let them sit before you moved them? Typically you want to wait until they are totally cool. I have an All-American pressure canner, so I'm not familiar with the Presto. And I've never even seen canning lids that don't have the bump, so I don't know what to make of that. But I've always had better success pressure canning if I let them cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes in the open canner before removing them, less venting etc.
 
Anne Miller
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Lucretia, Here are some of the reasons that my All American Canner book says:

Pressure timing was not complete or long enough

Jar turned upside down before they cooled

Bands were not tight


I try to set the jars where they will not be disturbed while they cool.  It make me unhappy because my husband is always touching the center of the lid while they are cooling.





 
Lucrecia Anderson
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I let them sit on the counter for at least 12 hours. I wonder if fat played a role in this, I pan fried the meat and tried to trim off all the fat but these were cubed pork chops so there is a little fat at the top of each jar (not a lot, just a little at the edges). I canned these last week so I have no idea how long the seal was broken. Though I suppose I could boil it for 10 minutes and use it for dog food.

Will look for a different type of lid at the store. These were new Ball lids with Ball wide mouth jars. Will try not to let this make me too paranoid.
 
Anne Miller
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My current weather situation is a good one to help explain the reasons to do food storage.  I am not a prepper though I do believe in trying to be prepared.  Like having stuff to stop bleeding because my husband is on blood thinners and easily bleeds.  Since this is about food storage, I don't want to get into first aid.

Currently, all the counties surrounding me are having evacuations due to flooding.  When it rains we cannot go anywhere because we have to cross what is called a wet weather creek.  Normally, there is no water crossing the road, when it rains it becomes a fast flowing river. In my part of the country, it is a common usage to build driveways over wet weather creeks or make low water crossing.  At low water crossing, a vehicle normally drives thru it without any harm.  Right now both wet weather creeks and low water crossings are under water or have become raging rivers.  I do not need to worry because we have plenty of food and water to last a long time.

I saw on the Sheriff's facebook page that our Ranch Road is closed at both ends due to flooding of the low water crossings.  We were not going anywhere and now we can't if we wanted to.
 
There's a way to do it better - find it. -Edison. A better tiny ad:
5 Ways to Transform Your Garden into a Low Water Garden
https://permies.com/t/97045/Reduce-garden-watering
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