Canning for Beginners: What do you need to have on hand?

Good morning!

We have a lot of interest in canning and before we get started I wanted to go ahead and give you a list of supplies.  These wll be primarily Amazon affiliate links but only because they are short.  FEEL free to beg and borrow canning supplies from friends, family and neighbors or grab on craigslist or marketplace!

Seriously, people have these things hanging around.

When you water can acidic items (fruits and jams) you use a water bath canner or a large pot with a rack~

Granite Ware 21.5-Quart Porcelain Canner With Rack

When you can non-acidic food (meant, beans, vegetables) . you need to ues a pressure canner.  The “King” of this is the All-American canner ~ but the other option is this one, this is a great price (cheaper than our local big-box tore!) .

You’ll want jars,  depending on what you are canning, you may want pints or quarts and wide-mouth may have some convenience also.

Other tools: heres a quick set ~ honestly you probably don’t need all of it but you will for surely want a funnel and a jar lifter.

Hope this gets you started! Stay tuned



Canning Chicken

There are so many benefits of canning chicken that I want to share today along with the process I use for doing so!  This is an important post.  (This works for turkey too!)

When you can chicken you make it:

  • easy to use
  • long shelf-life
  • can sort white meat vs dark meat
  • doenst take freezer space
  • tenderizes tough meat

I tend to do “hot pack” for chicken.   Raw pack is when you put the raw meat into the jar, cover with water and pressure can.   We do this with Venison and it makes it tender and yummy!!  We tend to do hotpack for chicken and ground meat.   There is a bit of benefit to getting to fill the jars.

I fill a roaster with chickens (also works for olllld roosters!) . this is GREAT to do if you want to roast a chicken for a Sunday dinner then use the rest of the meat later

Chicken, Roasted, Whole, Grilled, Cooked, Dinner

cover the chickens with water and run your roaster (I do this usually overnight)

Debone (or pick the meat off the chicken)   at this point you can choose to separate some of your chicken meat.  We love putting breast in some jars so that you can make a chicken salad.

Fill the jar, cover it with broth and follow appropriate  pressure canning procedures for your altitude.

Ways to use!

  • Chicken Noodle Soup (dump in broth and all!)
  • Chicken salad
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • All the casseroles

yes ~ works for turkey also! (especially your thanksgiving leftovers or great way to use on sale meat!)

yes – can all of your broth too!

Garden Stew

One of the easiest soups to consider storing is that which you can do yourself
Our garden stew is
1 lb meat. (Can be venison, pork or beef)
Then quart jars or approx 2-3 cups of fresh cooked od the following:
Green Beans
Then we did twice as much tomato 🙂. Let it cook down and it’s amazing.

I’m going to be doing some more frugal meals and also sharing some canning and storing techniques over in our Wise Woman Group ~

Love this with some warm rolls 🙂 It’s the perfect forgiving meal.
Dump in crockpot Etc!!!Image may contain: food

Banana Muffins/bread Mania

banana muffin mania

stored here for posterity’s sake

our favorite banana bread recipe (the cookbook is missing btw. had to find it online – thank goodness I did!)

I made 6 (I can count!) 8 doz muffins and 3 mini-loafs tonight.



  1. Heat oven to 350°F; grease bottom only of 9 x 5 or 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and margarine, and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the bananas, milk and vanilla–blending well.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, nuts (if using), baking soda and salt–mix well.
  5. Add to the banana mixture, and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from pan.

and that is it…  thank you pillsbury!

Pumpkin Muffins

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

recopying this recipe here for regular usage 🙂

Ingredients3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
3/4 c canned pumpkin (1/2 of 15 oz can)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 12 medium muffin tins, or 6 jumbo muffin tins. Mix all ingredients with hand mixer. Bake for 20-25 minutes (a little longer for the jumbo muffins!)

Bake, Cupcakes, Muffins, Bakery, Baking, Breakfast



Rhubarb ~ How I love thee!

Rhubarb, prolific, abundant,

rhubarb plant



You can use Rhubarb in all kinds of yummy desserts ~ we make a lovely muffin with struesal..

You can make a beautiful sauce.  It is super easy and delicious over homemade ice cream!  This is a delicious and easy way  to preserve your rhubarb!

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • In a sauce pan, add rhubarb, sugar, and water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until rhubarb is soft and  thicker ( 10ish minutes), stirring occasionally
  • When it’s done ~ whatever you don’t use can be easily canned,  fill clean and sterilized pint jars and cover.  Water bath (boil) for 15 minutes!   I love canning rhubarb because it is usually the first start to the canning season!


Lastly ~ this is not a healthy recipe but we love to use jam or jelly in our Kombucha and this is one of our favorites!

  • Take 5 cups of cut rhubarb, cover with 3 cups of sugar ~ let sit overnight
  • cook for 15 minutes
  • add one package of strawberry instant jello
  • fill sterilized pint jars
  • waterbath 🙂

Each batch  makes 2 pints,  today ~ we did 6 batches!    This is also delicious over ice cream 🙂  13128922_1015337331836801_1578800990_o

finished product 🙂  yummy, not so good for you but a nice treat! 13184790_1015349111835623_1734627187_o

Enjoy the versatile rhubarb in your garden!





Frugal Meal Recipe: Meat/Potato (GF)

So when you grow your own food, you need to know how to use it!   This is a recipe I love to use, especially when it is cold outside  ~ it’s comfort food to me!

meat and potatoes

So – hamburger or pork ground – and you can use canned meat if you have it!  Simply drain it and fry it up a bit with some onion!

You’re going to add it to some potatoes.  If you don’t have canned ones, you can cut them up and boil them in some chicken broth for 20 minutes.

When I make it ~ I like to use one more part potato than I do meat.   Family of 16 here so we used 4 quarts of potatoes and 3 quarts of meat.   When we make it fresh, I cut up 1.5 potatoes per person.  (so for 8, I’d do 2 quarts of potatoes, etc)

Then we cover it with a little sauce to make it more stew like.  I don’t drain all of the broth off the potatoes and I add a homemade cream soup to it.  I make it with gluten free flour so we can all eat it.

I start with butter.  I make 8 Tbsp and melt it gently.  Once that is melted, I add a cup of flour and mix that together.  I then add milk – usually start at about 2 cups and add more if I want to.   Since I’m mixing it with the broth in this recipe, I go for thicker 🙂

I then season it. We use Einkorn flour from Young Living   Our gluten free son and my husband tolerate Einkorn well!   (what? you didn’t know they had more than oils… oh YES!)   If I needed the flour to be certified gluten free, I’d get it where I get my seasonings, from Azure Standard 

It’s a cheap, filling, warm meal,  you can use stuff you have on hand and stuff from your food storage super easy.  It’s something I always keep on the shelf.






Who else does a garden? Do you plant mostly vegetables or do you enjoy flowers?
We pretty much only do veggies here on the farm, mostly because we feed 12 kiddos and that means we need LOTS of veggies.
We buy our seeds from Baker Creek Seeds and Seed Savers. If quality and Non-GMO are important to you, that’s where to start!  
So our goals for a given year are to plant enough for our family for the entire year in the following vegetables that we can.
Tomatoes… this is huge to us – we can as close to 500 quarts as we can.
Potatoes …
Beans,  canned would be mostly green but I do can dried beans too
tomatos from garden
dry storage of
pumpkins (we dehydrate and can)
potatoes and carrots
pop corn
Then we plant seasonal eating in the following:
Lettuce, lots and lots of lettuce
Radishes (I’ve attempted fermenting these but it’s primarily immediate eating)
I will admit, we are dependent on our friends for our supply of sweet corn.  We just can’t make it through.
What are you planting this year?
See you soon!

Freeze the Budget Part 2

So, now you’ve made your menu. I want to talk to you about freezing your spending.

First – set your dollar amount you are aiming to.   I find that 20$ per person per week  which is recommended in the War on Debt by Dani Johnson tends to be high at our house!  (We have 17 people here much of the time.)

Then, make your menu!!  (hey do you need help on your Sunday dishes? This is how I do Sundays )

Make your grocery list according to your menu.   Seriously, if you aren’t eating it on the menu, don’t buy it!

Don’t shop when you are hungry! (Truth!)

Don’t shop with kids (ok, that isn’t possible for some of us but if you do, then turn it into a game! have helpers, price checkers, calculator people.. whatever you need!)

What do you not need to buy?  Time to hit you with a truth.  Mommas, we need to be making more from scratch. If you are buying food made with preservatives and a whole bunch of pre-made stuff, it’s time to start learning more about what it means to say home-made!  if you are on facebook, look me up, I’ll get you added to a beginner group for real food cooking!   In the beginning, I thought things like hamburger helper was home-made, I was so wrong!!  We  need to get back to eating food closest to how God made it, whole and good for our bodies! That means limiting white sugar,white flour, pasta and preservatives!

Alrighty,  clearly more to come. Take some baby-steps with me, and help get your food budget under control.