Talking Among Ourselves…

Good morning, and it’s looking like another fine day looming ahead. Plenty of sunshine and warm is the forecast, but in regards to priorities we have Florida and Tennessee at 3:30 in “the Swamp” Saturday.

Man, I love college football, and I’m anxious to see how the Gators perform this year with a new coaching staff, and a new offensive scheme. This weekend their SEC schedule kicks in! Go Gators!

Mississippi State and LSU tonight on ESPN at 8:00…Deb can’t wait, I promise you!

Today let’s take a look at some of our reader, or friend’s feedback.

The first reader this morning is from Chris:

“Hi there, what kind of butter do you buy? Do you buy the blocks of Land O’Lakes type butter or the BIG kind sold at a Costco? Can you email a recipe? I am getting more into the canning. Mostly I am canning tomatoes and freezing beans and dehydrating tomatoes because I do not have a pressure cooker yet. I have made jerky in my dehydrator, but it never lasts long enough to store. LOL. I would like to try my hand at canning butter.”

“Thanks for any and all ideas or help.” Chris

Hey Chris. We appreciate you stopping in to visit. Yes, as a matter of fact we do use Land ‘O Lakes brand for our butter canning. I don’t want to sound “the expert” here this morning cause I ain’t, but butter canning turned out well for us. This was our first attempt but it did turn out well for us, remember it’s 6 months old at this point and it was our first time…just lucky I guess???

Seriously though, and this is to all the people out there that can quite frequently, and I’m sure they’ll agree, as well as those that don’t. You MUST follow the procedures of canning to the T. Like anything else, driving a car or riding a bike, you must pay attention and be aware of what’s going on.

Lids not sealing, not pressure cooking the product to be canned long enough, not wiping down the rims of your jars after filling them with your product, letting the pressure off your pressure cooker instead of letting the pressure drop by itself (this is also VERY dangerous too!), and also be sure to check to see if any of your jars have hairline cracks.

Also not canning with the right pressure weight will foul you up as well. The higher the altitude, the more weight you need. Why? Beats me! Anyone with a little help here in the reasoning behind this? Anything can happen though if you’re not aware or paying attention.

If you pay attention to what you’re doing, and understand this is a type of food storage that can provide your family with great vegetables, stews, meats, fruits and jellies for extended periods of time…and NO refrigeration.

It works for us, and literally we enjoy doing this…here’s a little “how-to” on how we canned the butter, and a link below that showing pictures of us in the canning process. 11 pounds of butter will can right at 12 pints, almost to the T.

In regards to canning butter though, one of the main reasons I consider going ahead and doing so, is freezer space. Which brings up yet another question? Will butter store in the freezer and still be fine to use after thawing, and then, how long can it stay frozen?

If it’s okay to store frozen, then we’re good to go as far as the butter we have frozen, if not, anybody want to buy some cheap butter? There’ll be a good sale going on here at Dub and Deb’s place!

So, let me get back to the point I was making about freezing it. If you can store it frozen, look at the freezer space it takes up. We have a considerable amount in the freezer, maybe 40 pounds or so. With that being the case, if we can it, look at the freezer room it frees up.

Plus, it then becomes a nonfactor if you were to lose power for any length of time. Simply store it on the shelves in your pantry, or, if cramped for space, simply slide it under your bed!

Yet another question for you? The process I’m aware of for canning butter, is not a hot water bath, nor a pressure cooking canning process. It’s along the lines of the same style of canning we use for sweetbreads or cakes.

I’ve never actually canned butter before, but we’re fixing to give it a shot. Our attempt at this will be as follows, but if you have any input, good or bad, please share with us, and your reasoning behind your thoughts, as well. We’d like to try this, at least by the weekend.

First off, we’d put our canning jars in the oven and let them be heating up. We’d be melting our butter down in a pot, and I’m assuming you’d need to stir this frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick.

After simmering for a few minutes, we’d then take the mason jars (pints), out of the oven and fill them with the butter, but be sure to leave your 1” headspace…don’t fill to the top.

I forgot to mention, but you need to have your jar rings and seals (lids), in a small pot of hot water, while your butter is melting and your jars heating.

After putting your butter into the heated jars, take your rings and seals out and “lid” your jars. Then you’ll start hearing the pings, of your jars sealing.

Once you start hearing the pings, you will then shake the jars, again this is after you’ve heard them seal, but cool enough to not burn you, holding the jars. This will remix the ingredients of the butter back together. Repeat this until the butter retains the same appearance in the jar.

After shaking, but while still warm, place the jars into the fridge. After the butter sits a while in the fridge, shake once again. At this point the butter should be beginning to look like butter again, and start beginning to set up. Every few minutes lightly shake the jars again until the butter looks as if has setup.
That’s it.

Once more, if we’re not doing something correctly, or you have differing opinions or methods, we’d love to hear back from you. In this way, by combining our heads together, we can insure the best product for everyone, and that’s exactly what we want, right?

I feel very strongly in regards that this can be truly beneficial for everyone. It gives us all one more way to become a little more self-sufficient, in case of no power, plus increasing our storage space in our refrigerators and freezers.


Thank you again Chris, and keep on freezing and dehydratin, but we feel you’d enjoy incorporating some canning into your storage as well. Try it…you just might like it! Any questions, just give us a holler. If we can’t answer it for you, I guarantee one of the other readers can!

This next comment comes from Elleta, and is in regard to canning ground chuck…

“Question: So, you do not use a canner, just the oven? I am assuming that this is safe, since you are still alive. Are there other food items that can be canned this way?”

“Thanks for all of the good advice you share.” Elleta

Hello there Elleta. Thanks for droppin us a few lines, we appreciate you reading, and yes ma’am, I’m still kickin!

Actually we do some of each, but mostly we can it in the oven. I say we can it in the oven, but that’s actually not true. We are in reality re-warming the hamburger and jars prior to taking them out of the oven to lid and seal.

The hamburger is FRIED first. We fry it in the skillet well done, take it out, rinse under water, lay it on paper towels to dab as much grease as we can off it, re-fry it for just a few seconds, put it in our jars, slide them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, then take out and seal.

We also pressure can it. We only brown it just a little, then we jar it, add hot water (leaving a 1 inch headspace), and pressure cook it in our pressure cooker. You want to pressure cook hamburger meat for 75 minutes in pint jars, then 90 minutes for quart jars.

So you see, you have a couple choices in doing this.

Elleta, thank you again. God Bless.

A link…

Next we have Jill…

Wow!! I found this website through the Canadian Free Press website on your canning butter article. What a great website, I can’t wait to sit down and go through the contents of it. I had done mostly freezer jam for “canning” but my husband and I moved to Washington state in an area where we are an hour from a grocery store. So I began buying meat in bulk and pressure canning it. Also have done stew. I was interested in your method of canning the ground chuck by putting it in the oven instead of the pressure canner. Interesting and always looking for new methods(well, new to me!)
My question is this: for my liquid on the burger I used a beef broth reconstituted from a mix. It gives the beef a taste like Dinty Moore Stew(no slam against DM we have eaten a lot over our 50+years) but was trying more for a “fresh” beef taste. What do you use for the liquid on your hamburger? I can’t wait to try canning butter. Thanks for the great website.” Jill

What a great comment Jill, thank you! We sure appreciate it!

Thanks goes to Judi and Brian at the CFP for all their help. Those two are great people, running a great publication, and have been just a ton of help to Deb and I! This was Miss Judi’s brainchild! Thanks again to ya’ll at the CFP!!

As you saw earlier in response to Elleta, Deb and I can it two ways. One with liquid, this is done in the pressure cooker. You know, I believe you’re on to something with your broth for a different flavor. Huh, I’ve never considered it before. I bet even something like a Lipton soup mix would work well, wouldn’t you guys think so?

Prior to your suggestion Jill, we’ve only used water, but we will be putting some more hamburger up here shortly, and I’m tryin this out! As you said…it is new to me! Thanks!

Also look too at the oven method. This works well, but again, this is fried well done first off…then a couple other steps. You don’t start with raw hamburger in jars, in the oven, as I know you’re already aware.

Jill, thanks again so much, and have a great day!

This one is from Jerry…

“Hello, I heard you can, can butter this way! I my-self have canned corn-bread this way, works with cake recipes also. Enjoy….” Jerry

What’s up Jerry? You know, just like with Jill, I just learned something here. I guess that this just knocks the “you cain’t teach an old dog new tricks!” I say this cause this old dog is getting on up there age wise! Shoot, next July, why I’ll be…hmm…let’s see here…35! Keep believing that, okay?

Canned corn bread…it never crossed my mind. We’ve done plenty of cakes and sweet breads, but no cornbread.

Thank you Jerry for your input, it is appreciated. This is what’s great about Deb and my doing this column. We’ve met so many good, good people who share so much with us. You all have been outstanding in your input, and sharing of your own ways of doing things. Deb and I are blessed to be associated with people like you guys!

One more example of your government doesn’t need to, or have to, help people as they’d like you to believe.

Governments need to govern, not become entangled in our daily lives. People help people…right from the goodness of their own hearts.

This one from Mikki and Butch…

“We love your food storage building. Right now we are using a back room in our basement. We sold our house, to save money on taxes, insurance, and upkeep expenses. We rent now so we cannot build a building outside, but have been giving thought to one inside our 3-car garage in one corner. A window air unit could be added also. I’d like a way to save garden crop seeds also, any ideas? We have 5 adult kids with families so we are going to ask them to contribute to garden expenses so we can put up enough for all of us with their help of course. My canner pan is starting to rust so will be replacing it this fall. I have even put up some dry dog food in canning jars for our pups. I vacuum-sealed dog food in bags, put it in canning jars to use if we need to for our 3 pups. Got a 6 month supply so far, our dogs are toy breeds and only eat 1/4- 1/2 cup of dry kibble at a time. Made up 12 quarts of an easy low calorie gravy to mix in 1/2 tsp. in each dish to make it somewhat softer for them. They are part of our family. Some friends think we are off the deep end a bit, but we shall see.”

“Thanks for you insulation ideas.” Mikki & Butch

Thanks guys! We sure appreciate you reading our column, and then taking the time to drop us a line!

Our food storage room…yes, it works well for us. I think a “room within a room,” your garage as you were saying, is a great idea! The 110 unit would be just right. Our original room was 12’x12’, and that unit cost, I believe $108. Last month, it had been there for a year with no problems at all, but the key…insulation

After we insulated as heavily as we did, throughout the construction and finishing up, we kept cans of the aerosol insulation you get at Lowes, and sealed every crack. Again…insulation is the key.

Your seeds…We haven’t put up any seeds ourselves, believe that? But, we will (famous last words?), probably in the spring. We always overbuy and this carries us through their initial planting, plus it does a large part of our spring or fall planting, dependin on what we’re planting at the time. We then overbuy once more, but seed storage and the harvesting the seeds from your own vegetables is a great idea!

Our brother-in-law, JH, is a gardenin fool! The man can do it. What he does is leave them in their original bag, put them into ziplock freezer bags, and then put them in the freezer. JH says he’s used seeds before, that were 4-5 years old.

Hope that helps, plus if anyone else has some input as to how they keep their seed storage, or advice on how they prep their seeds prior to storage. I’m curious as well.

10-4 on the kids helping out with the gardening expenses, and getting a new cooker.

Your pups and their food storage? Even a low-cal gravy mix to make the Kibbles soft for them? Jill, those pups may not realize it…but those guys won the lotto!!! We love ours too! Thanks Jill.

Well, that’s it for today. You guys take care and God Bless.

Dub and Deb

This entry was posted in Covering the Bases, Letters to Dub and Deb, Ridin out the Recession. Bookmark the permalink.

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