Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Long Term Storage

Another use for all those extra empty mason jars is long term storage of food & other items that wander your way.
This is one of two vacuum food sealers that while still vacuum won't seal. Seems the heat strip that actually melts the plastic bag closed has a spot that is too cool to do the job.
Years ago DH bought both the wide & small mouth attachments that fit mason jars while @ an Aunt Sally's. Needless to say some things are worth hanging on to until the time is right.
Had to use new wide mouth lids but the small mouth lids are out of the recycle bag. Scrubbed well they have a 2ND chance to be useful.
Half gallon jars were bought a few years ago with coupons from a local Ace Hardware store one of the few places who carry this size. Gallon mason jars either used or new are almost impossible to locate not to mention a bit pricey. Turns out I really don't have a need to can anything in a half gallon size so it's good to finally be able to use these jars for something besides making yogurt.
Tally worked out to be 15 - 1/2 gallon jars + 1 quart of organic Winter Wheat. Paid over $50 six mos. ago for a bushel's worth. Little did I know that a Barter Buddy who was passing a field in process of being harvested would stop & grab me over 100 lbs. of locally grown wheat. Not organic but darn near close. On a side note one of the major reasons behind the building of the Erie Canal was to ship wheat. Western New York was the Bread Basket for the East Coast in the early 1830s.
Back to the great barter on Wheat - cost me about 5 lbs. of Butter & a future share of another score perhaps Cider.
1 quart of dried pumpkin - might grind it up for flour or use in a soup. Not really sure so send in suggestions.
7 jelly jars of matches - these were snatched up by DD when they were helping with an activity with the younger children in Bible class. Seems that these matches were destined to go out with the trash. Good score for people like us.
4 jelly jars of yeast - bought a 2 lbs. bag of Fleischmann's yeast from the restaurant supply store in my neighborhood for $5.50. Last year I forgot to split up the bag which shortened the shelf life.
In the dehydrator now is squash. Starting to go bad in the cellar.
I am lousy @ the art of running a Root cellar.
DH says it would be easier if we had a true root cellar with a dirt floor, four walls, and a door.
Not sure on this one. Really do like the idea of once it's canned it's all said & done. Then again eating a crisp juicy apple in December ...

Need to go prep the turkey for tomorrow, mix up dressing (cornbread), and whip up some flan.
Also working on sewing up a shopping bag from a dog food bag that blew into my yard from a neighbor.
In two weeks I have a week's worth of vacation which will be spent stripping wood work and 100 year old door knobs. Not to mention our marriage bed a cast iron 1900's 3/4 bed.
Then all the do dads I have been collecting along with of DH's stuffs can find a home.
After that then it will be time to clear an area for seed starting.
Not to mention an area to study seed catalogs.
Thinking of making a garden map this year. 'Cause a map means a plan. And as everyone knows a plan means better results.
Better results should = a better harvest.
Yeah, I got a plan baby.

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano con carino,

~~ pelenaka ~~