"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I can so I can

The political scene is a bit crazy so I have been posting simple posts about life. Yes I have an opinion. No my vote does not matter. Now before anyone gets up in arms, please recall I live in New Mexico. One does not show identification to vote here~and although I am an optimist, my vote against those that may or may not be legal/alive/or even human is cancelled several times over. Not that my optimism will end, but for today and for the last little bit, I am thinking upon the times and what it will truly take to make a change in America.

Now back to my regularly scheduled blogging post! I have made 2012 the year of the flower and the year I am canning a large volume of our foods. If we cannot eat the foods fresh, then my goal is to preserve the food to eliminate all the extra nonsense added. I cleaned the fridge yesterday which made me realize that it was time to can vegetable stock.

My archaeological dig in the fridge uncovered 1/2 head of lettuce, 1/2 head of cabbage and two carrots that had seen better days. I chopped these items up and added four potatoes, 3 garlic cloves, 2 onions, and some dried parsley. I went back one more time to the archaeological site and discovered 1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes~perfect!

With these items I added 7 quarts of water.

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And as I looked upon the veggies I realized I needed more green so I added 1/2 cup of frozen spinach. I simmered these veggies for a good long while.

Then I strained the liquid. Three times.

And look as these veggies. All mushy and ready for the chickies. Well not today as these veggies are going to make something more for the farm! I canned the vegetable stock according to the canning book~food safety is of utmost importance. After simmering the veggies and straining them~
I ended up with 5 quarts of vegetable stock.
Remember these veggies? I added them to 20 lbs of tomatoes and another onion and some salt~

and began simmering tomato vegetable medley juice! It was so amazing to squish and squeeze the veggies one more time and once all was strained (twice),

I ended up with 7 quarts of what can only be described as a V-8* compatible drink!! I am looking forward to the year and what else I am able to can maintaining my frugal lifestyle with taste. (once again follow the book on canning and be sure to add either lemon juice or an equivalent).

Finally, although I was thinking of ways to use the squeezed tomato/veg medley, I opted to toss the tomatoes into the chickidoodles slop bucket!

Oh and have you ever heard of a shortstop? We call a shortstop someone that takes something while the food was being passed to another at dinner. For example, "please pass the peas." As it is passed (to the left) if someone decides they want peas, they say, "shortstop!" While cooking the veggies, both Bill and Fourth shortstopped the canning process, as they could not resist the aromatic flavors wafting around the house. Like always simple things makes me smile on the farm!


Susan said...

I make my own chicken broth. I would love to taste your V-8. I'll bet it's wonderful. Do YOU shortstop as you are preparing these? You have to know if they are worth canning.....right???

Humble wife said...

Oh Susan-that is a given. I reserved one water bottle and filled it with the v-8 mixture. Oh I love it!!

kymber said...

Jen - i save all of our starting to go bad produce in a bag in the freezer. i also save all bones and fat from meat. and then i get around to making chicken broth, veggie broth and beef broth. we use broth in so many of our meals and it is just money-smart to make your own. i will boil those veggies until they fall apart and use the bones until all of the marrow has been stripped.

and then throw it in the compost! we are gonna have some seriously delicious compost-dirt this spring!

i never thought of the tomatoe-juice medley - thanks for giving me yet another great idea to copy!

your friend,

Humble wife said...

LOLKymber. I usually freeze the slops if I have an abundance so that on dry days the chickies have a lovely mid day meal!

I am looking forward to what your compost allows you to grow!! And yes...everything should be used. It can be, we just need to back up our thoughts like those of many years ago.

~~Deby said...

Oh I wish I could physically do all this...can I envy you without sinning ?

Anonymous said...

Jen - can you recommend a good handbook for a person who has never canned anything in their whole life? I remember Mamaw canning, I remember the lids sucking down and then the metal screw on bands and I remember a huge pot of water but that is about it.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Silly Sis in VA!!!

Melodie said...

That is a good idea on the V-8! Me ans one of my canning friends are always saying how many things have been lost from our older generations.They knew how to use everything and use it twice or more!Now we are trying to lean all that again. I canned chicken and broth yesterday and my son kept saying it smelled so good could we have chicken soup for super!I just love that!

Mystic Mud said...

Great post, and I bet your V-8 is great! Makes me want to go get my canner out of storage and can something!!

russell1200 said...

I am the one who does the soup broths (generally Chicken or Turkey). Is there a key ingrediant that cannot be left out of vegitable broth?

Does the letuce actually do something for it?

Gayle said...

I'm amazed. All of those things are nothing I would think of making. What exactly do you use all that vegetable stock for? My husband would be the only one to drink the tomato juice, but I think with the cost of tomatoes here it wouldn't be worth doing.

musemater said...

Wow! looks so good! I've got to try that.

Humble wife said...

Deby-I believe that you are not envying in that way. I understand and send you farm (((hugs))) with Phil. 4:13. You are doing all that you can do through Christ. That is a good thing!

VA sis~a Ball Blue Book of Canning and Freezing and Dehydrating. This is a good place to start with everything spelled out for health and safety. After this, let me know if you want more...as I have tons of canning recipes once you get going. It is really not so hard and with so much crud in our foods-so much better for us. Funny thing, I really don't remember Mamaw canning, but I do remember her always cooking. And Papaw-he is why I love lambs so much!

Melodie-exactly. So much has been lost over the generations that it is like beginning a foreign language that has no similarities to our own. I am excited to share as I love being able to make more for my family by learning these skills. And isn't homemade soup better with homemade broth?

Mystic- I imagine when you get more settled you will do just that! I can't wait to see YOUR recipes!

Russell- for me I have no rules. I follow the basic safety guidelines of what to can and then go from there. As to lettuce, I had that in the fridge close to the end of its life so I tossed it in! It really is about blending all the veggies in any manner that you like! I think the lettuce added(in my mind!!) and was not tossed but an active participant in my great juice!

Gayle-in soups, breads, casseroles, rice, mashed potatoes etc etc etc :) as it is a delicious replacement anywhere water would be called for. I use the juice in a soup I call bean soup...really my favorite soup/meal of all time. So it is not for drinking but for soup!!

Muse-it was fun!

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful ... somewhere deep inside me is a "you" I just know it....

Mrs.Rabe said...

Wonderful ideas. Simple to do but I never think of canning these kinds of things. Thanks!


Humble wife said...

Rhonda- perhaps it is vis-versa! Perhaps there is a bit of you deep inside me :)

Deanna-I never really did before. This is another step upon my journey!