Just a couple of weeks ago, I started converting our spare bedroom/office into a canning pantry. I need the extra storage because my kitchen pantry and the kitchen itself is small. I like to buy certain items in bulk and we never seem to have adequate space to store things so we usually have bulk items stashed in various nooks and crannies around the house. Plus, I’ve been able to start canning again and I don’t have room to store the jars. Our spare room is a great space to store things since it has vinyl flooring and I don’t have to worry about carpet getting dirty.
I’m not done clearing out the room yet but this is one corner that I was able to get set up. I used some shelving that we already had and this will get me by for now. I don’t have everything organized since it’s still a work in progress so things will get shuffled around as more items are brought in for storage. We don’t have a basement to store canned items but this room usually stays dark and cool so it will work out just fine.
Some of the jars you see in the above photo are food items I canned last year and our stock was dwindling so I’ve had to get myself in gear. My goal is to put away at least six months to a year’s worth of food for my family. Not because I’m afraid of a zombie apocalypse but I do want to be prepared in case there is an emergency or either my husband and I (or both) lose our jobs. At least we wouldn’t have to worry about buying food so it’s peace of mind on one front.
I’ve been buying items that are on sale for us to use fresh and what we can’t use before they spoil, I’ve been canning to preserve them for later use. So far, I’ve canned potatoes….
Turkey…these are from our own turkeys that we raised last year and processed. They’ve been in the freezer. I’m terrible about planning ahead so frozen stuff doesn’t get used often so I decided to cook up a few and this works out for two reasons: one, they’re cooked and ready to throw into recipes like soups and casseroles, and, two…I’m making room in my freezer to put more items in.
I also canned up some yummy turkey broth in addition to the meat.
Marinara sauce was made from half of a 25 pound box of Roma tomatoes and I also made some spaghetti sauce with ground beef. I love having these homemade jars of spaghetti sauce with the meat already in them. They are so convenient for quick meals. I just boil my pasta and heat up the sauce and I’m ready to go.
My mother keeps an eye out for sales also and she brought me 10 pints of grape tomatoes which were dehydrated for storage.
The ten pints dehydrated down to fit into two quart sized jars. I sealed them with the jar sealer attachment on my FoodSaver. The metal lids for canning jars can only be used once when you can BUT…the used canning lids can be used again and again for vacuum sealing jars…as long as you don’t bend up the lid or distort it. So I save my used metal lids and keep them for vacuum sealing…no waste and I don’t have to buy new lids!
I have so many canning projects that I haven’t gotten to yet so there will be more updates on this. Do you can food and stock up on food items for your family? I’d love to hear what others are doing.