Eventually, most people interested in food storage and eating a more local diet come to a place where food preservation must play a role. After all, no one really wants to face the zombie apocalypse with nothing but canned tuna and Asian noodles. This leads to the crazy days of late August and September when the canner hardly cools down before another load of apple sauce or diced tomatoes is ready. I enjoy it but even more, I enjoy off-season canning. There isn’t the rush, my house appreciates the added heat and there are some amazing bargains to take advantage of.
Today, I’m canning turkey. After Thanksgiving I found a bin of huge frozen turkeys at an unbelievable price. I got a three of them with an average weight of 17 pounds for less than $15.00 a piece. There is a lot of meat on a turkey so this is a great deal. My ideal fast food is a turkey and dumpling dinner, ready in under half an hour. I put the first bird in the oven at 6AM. This afternoon, it will be all hands on deck as we strip the meat and cut it into chunks. I’ll make a stock with the carcass and vegetables bits and pieces I keep in the freezer for such an occasion. I have mushroom stems, some celery and carrots ends and a good handful of frozen parsley. I’ll toss in an onion and leeks along with sage and rosemary, salt and pepper. One of us will wash the jars and get the lids in in a very hot water. We will fill each jar with chunks of meat and top off with the stock and get them in the canner. 90 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure (dang being 10 feet over the 1000 foot limit for 10 pounds of pressure) By the end of the day I hope to have 7 jars of meat and maybe enough stock for a load of that in the morning as well as a couple of dinners this week. I will process the other two birds as time permits. Meals on the shelf are not affected by power outages and need to only be heated up on the back of the wood stove.
Snow is falling, Today’s storm is forecast to be a nasty one with a mixture of sleet and freezing rain. An attempted terrorist attack has rattled nerves but sitting here next to the fire with the lights of the Christmas tree softly illuminating the room and the smell of the roasting turkey filling the air, I feel cozy and at peace. There are worse ways to live a life.