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Determine the difference between dried food and freeze-dried food to proceed with the preservation method that suits you best.
Mincemeat is one of the best ways to preserve an abundance of fall pears. This delicious conserve makes a New England traditional spicy holiday pie. But it’s not just for pie — the chef of a Bon Appetit Top 50 Restaurants asked me for a quart of this to use as a garnish for a very special dinner. Consider a spoonful to garnish any pork or game entrée.
The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts for our area “Winter will be cooler and rainier than normal, with above-normal snowfall." To quote a popular television show “Winter is coming." Prepare for winter with this checklist and weatherization ideas.
Cranberry sauce (or cranberry relish) is very easy make and preserve by freezing or canning. Use it through the holidays and beyond; it makes a great yogurt topping or spread for toast, as well as an accompaniment for Thanksgiving turkey dinners and the day-after sandwiches.
Dairy animals such as goats produce milk in a seasonal cycle, requiring homesteaders to handle both an abundance and shortage of milk during the year. Freezing milk directly, and making & preserving cheese, are two ways to ensure a reliable supply of dairy year-round. Allowing your diet to change with the seasons can also reduce the impact of low-milk periods, replacing its nutrition with food crops or meat when milk isn’t convenient to produce.
Kale doesn't ferment as well as some of the other members of the brassica family but we still find ourselves wanting to preserve this delicious and nutritious green. Here are tips and a recipe to ensure success fermenting kale.
In a time where everything you could possibly want comes pre-packaged, pre-canned, filled with preservatives and is processed to last, why should we learn to can? Why should we use our valuable time and resources to learn a skill that has almost become obsolete? I think I can answer these questions in three simple words: to be prepared.
Food preservation can be an energy-intensive proposition for any homesteader, but building a root cellar will pay off in the long run. This old-fashioned method of food preservation is one of the simplest ways to keep traditional storage crops like onions, winter squash, apples, pears and root vegetables like turnips, carrots and potatoes.
Instructions for lacto-fermenting hot peppers into delicious pickles. These tips will help turn your peppers, whatever the variety, into pickled peppers.
No matter how many pounds of vegetables you are working with, a good tasting result is guaranteed if you ferment in canning jars because the ferments are never exposed to the airborne yeasts and molds that result in off-flavors. As fermentation gases build up, loosen the screw bands on the jars and allow the brine to overflow onto a saucer. In this way, gases leave the jars, but air does not flow back in.
Learn the correct method for safely making home canned pumpkin and winter squash. A few jars of ready-to-use canned pumpkin on your pantry shelf can save time when you want to bake a pumpkin pie, simmer a squash soup, or make any other favorite recipe calling for pumpkin puree.
Fermentation is the rage at the Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Here's a peak at Sandor Katz' presentation and some of the cool new vendors who have joined the fermentation revitalization.
Canning your own foods can be a rewarding, economical and healthier way to preserve a garden’s bounty — but it’s not for everyone. Here is a bit of the lowdown on what is involved in the process for canning food so you can decide for yourself what will be best to preserve your garden bounty.
After you have dehydrated and vacuum-sealed your garden's goodies, it's time to store them either for use during the winter and early spring months, or for those people who wish to have on hand an emergency supply of food — this post covers both! From Mason jars to plastic lidded bins, here are safe food-storage tips right here on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The author tells how to dehydrate and use blueberries for delicious cooking and for snacks, such as in smoothies, muffins or even as flavoring for frostings. You can use an electric dehydrator or air-dry blueberries. Learn how fun and easy it is to do.
The American High Bush Cranberry is a neglected fruit that deserves more fans. Fruits are high in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. The fruit is also high in natural pectin so it makes a great jelly. Fruits (drupes) are similar to Thanksgiving cranberries in color but with their own distinctive flavor. Whether you pick them from the wild or from your own planting, learn to tell the difference between the Native American High Bush Cranberry and the bitter European kind.
So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.
Freezing, fermenting, and using a steam canner can reduce the amount of time it takes to preserve foods. Some vegetables can be blanched without freezing, and some can be cooked in a finished dish to make efficient use of your time while the weather is still hot.
Fermentation goes against many rules that we have grown up with — don’t eat food from a can with a dented lid, that is frothing, or that has a bit of mold on top. Here is a a quick visual guide to common fermentation sights — but I don’t want to call it troubleshooting because often these things that look wrong are in fact fine.
Kefir (rhymes with deer) is a traditional yogurt culture from Central Asia. Often described as a fermented milk, kefir is a flavorful, drinkable and slightly effervescent yogurt.
How to vacuum seal dehydrated food for long-term storage. Tip: get good bags and use oxygen absorbers. I'll be the first to admit that vacuum-sealing is the noisiest of our six steps, but it's the step where the kids can join in and have fun!
I made and preserved homemade applesauce and it's super easy to do. Whether you enjoy eating applesauce as a healthy and natural sweet treat or use it as a replacement for some of the oil used in baking, making your own applesauce is a definite score for the environment as well as your food budget!
Learn to make homemade fenugreek ginger refrigerator pickles.
Preserving food from the harvest is an excellent way to prepare for the winter ahead. Find out the necessary tools for home preserving and the basics for choosing food for preserving. With preparation, you can stock your larder to last all winter.
Okra should be a staple of every Southern garden, but most folks don’t grow it because they have no idea what to do with it. If you have a basket full from the garden or want to experiment with a few pounds from the store or the farmers market, give this pickled okra recipe a try.
The author struggles to find foods to preserve for her family this year after drought and wildfire affected their gardening and foraging opportunities.
The white part of watermelon rind makes a delicious pickle! Be sure to take a little time to make some for a garnish on sandwiches or as a key ingredient in Red Pepper Relish. The recipe below has won several ribbons in State Fairs over the years.
Adding fermented vegetables for vibrant, fresh lunch ideas that will keep things interesting, local, healthy and kid friendly.
Have you ever wanted to make your own pickles, but became discouraged and overwhelmed with the amount of work involved with traditional recipes? Well, here’s a recipe that’s quick, easy and made right in the jar. These fermented dill pickles take very little work or prep time and are delicious, healthful and ready to eat in a week.
Tomatoes and peppers are plentiful in backyard gardens and at the farmers markets right now. Preserve this bounty in the form of salsa with your water bath canner and you can enjoy the goodness the whole year.
Pickling Brussels sprouts is an easy, cost-effective canning project. If you like pickled asparagus or pickled green beans, you’re sure to love pickled Brussels sprouts.
We're dehydrating food in six simple steps. Today is step 2: Prepare It! See the 3 easy methods and one surprise food prep step!
Every summer, I make sure that I get plenty of pesto made and put up in little tubs in the freezer — enough to get me through the winter. There are three different kinds I like to have on hand for use in various dishes: Italian Pesto, French Pistou, and Hatch Pesto. They’re easy to make, freeze well, and make an ordinary meal into something special.
Food preservation methods for green beans include freezing, drying, pressure canning, pickling, and dry salting. Shell beans may be enjoyed fresh, if harvested when immature. Immature shelling beans are best preserved by freezing. Fully matured beans are usually dried, and may also be pressure canned. This article contains instructions for preparing and preserving green beans and shelling beans by using all of these food preservation methods.
Who would have thought that making your own cheese at home could be so much fun? I have produced cheese as a hobby regularly since 2009, so I thought it would be practical to share with some valuable tips that I have learned along the way.
If your tomato crop is like mine, right now you have just enough ripe fruit for salads and sandwiches with none left over for canning. Here’s a homemade barbecue recipe sauce you can make without waiting for the end-of-season tomato tsunami.
This is Part 2 of a blog series for how to can chicken. It includes great ideas for meals using canned chicken. All of these meals can be made with either home-canned or store-bought canned chicken, but the most satisfying is the meals you make with foods you have had a hand in preserving and preparing, as far back up the chain as you are able to go.
Six simple steps is all it takes to dehydrate food at home. Preserve your garden's bounty by utilizing our easy-to-follow steps in this overview. In subsequent posts, I'll delve into vacuum-sealer bags so you can store your survival food safely.
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors threw a canning party with the Ball electric water bath canner and multi-cooker.
Strawberry jam just tastes like summer. I look forward to preserving that summer sweetness so I can enjoy it on a cold winter day or next month on a piece of warm bread. And there is an added bonus when you can give strawberry jam away as a gift and put a smile on someone's face.
Jostaberries are a cross between black currants and gooseberries, combing the best of both fruits to make a tasty berry and an even tastier jam. You can use a water bath canning method to preserve this productive perennial fruit.
Preserve those tasty homegrown and local strawberries by drying them with zingy black pepper.
The author tells how to can chicken at home, and gives some ideas on meals to make with it. Last year, the author raised and butchered 75 chickens. But when you stare at more than 70 quarts of chicken in the pantry you start wishing you had more ideas for using canned chicken.
An adaptable recipe for making fermented pickles from sturdy summer vegetables including cucumber, green beans, zucchini, and more.
A potato can be sliced, diced, shredded, cooked, or uncooked for dehydrating. If you know how you plan to use them in a future use, you can customize how you prepare potatoes for dehydrating.
Here is a brief introduction to the Nesco™ and Excalibur™ electric food dehydrators. We'll help you decide which size best suits your family's needs and teach you about food safety and long-term food storage.
Before commercial pectins, our grandmothers made jam by cooking down fruit, slowly, slowly to keep it from scorching. Pectin is what makes a jam or jelly gel. A little known fact: Which brand of commercial pectin you buy matters in terms of taste, texture, and how fast you are likely to get in and out of the kitchen.
New research shows that steam canning can be just as safe as water bath canning if performed properly to preserve acidic foods. Here are guidelines for operating a steam canner.
There are many delicious ways to preserve corn. Canning and freezing are popular methods. However, pickling, drying, and salting are other good food preservation methods to consider for this summer vegetable.
Garlic scapes, the young flower stems of the garlic plant, have delightful flavor and can be preserved through lactic-acid fermentation in pickles, a convenient flavor paste, or as an ingredient to kraut or kimchi.
A fast, simple, USDA-approved technique to make delicious pickles from almost any vegetable.
Radishes are among the very first non-leafy greens available in the spring. While radish pickles can be canned, I find them more delicious as refrigerator pickles. They can last up to 2 months (but trust me, you’ll eat them long before that time). I create all kinds of variations: Asian-style for use in ramen, sweet, spicy, citrus, and more.
Make jam with whatever is in season! This recipe works with almost any fruit. The results are modestly sweet and balanced with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Radishes are the red and white stars of my spring pickling classes. If you have more radishes in your garden than you can eat, or if you are just looking to try something new—I say pickle them! Not convinced? Here are five reasons radishes are to be fermented and a recipe for Spring Radish Kimchi to get you started.
Last summer Garth and Edmund Brown built a root cellar using plans from MOTHER EARTH NEWS. It has kept root crops in good condition even in an exceptionally harsh New York winter.
For calendar year 2015 brothers Edmund and Garth Brown are eating only food that they have produced on their farm or bartered for from a neighbor. To do this successfully they must raise and butcher their own meat, hunt, forage, and cultivate a large vegetable garden.
Spend the weekend preserving fall apples before they're all gone.
Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.
Dehydrating or sun-drying your extra summer veggies is a great way to save the summer bounty for year-round eating!
Three essential tools for opportunistic canning.
The zucchini harvest overflows. Learn how to preserve zucchini for year-round enjoyment and creative ways to eat it now.
With bumper crops of tomatoes coming, there are some simple ways to preserve the fresh off the vine taste year round, no special equipment required.
This week at Polyface Farm included mornings with rabbits, fence line work, moving calves and my first foray into canning.
A root cellar slowly is dug by hand, with the goal of increasing our homestead's food preservation and storage capacity through the winter.
Use this simple technique to preserve your bounty of fresh summer peppers.
Established in 1879 by an Arab-Israeli family, Abouelafia Bakery continues to make history.
France puts a premium on preserving its food heritage. Here's one example of that country's many food heritage sites, this one in Brittany.
Preserving meat at home by making pork confit.
Candlemas is an ancient midwinter holiday, when people would take inventory on their stock of candles, pantry food storage and hay in the barn to get the homestead through the second half of winter.
Find the best places to store your harvest in your home through the winter.
Putting into practice those great intentions: Living on preserved hard work and home canned peaches these short days.
People have found many techniques for preserving vitamins in winter, which still work today. One of the most basic involves fooling plants, as it were, into thinking they are not dead yet.
Fired up our smoker for the first time and made yummy use of our summer's Kokanee Fish Catch to smoke fish.
Learn how to dehydrate gourmet garlic so you can enjoy it year-round.It takes only a few simple steps to turn fat, juicy bulbs into crunchy, golden chips!
Necessity leads to ingenuity in the creation of root cellar storage.
For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're eating garlic, onions, squash, carrots and beets in June.
To grow, keep and eat your own food keeps you away from the food industry, the fossil fuel based agriculture, food stores and logistics.
Canning is the penance for spring, when you couldn’t stop yourself from putting out one more row of tomato starts. Canning is the human’s attempt to make the hottest days of the year even more sizzling indoors than they are out.
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
Making delicious homemade marmalade from Seville oranges.
Here is an easier way to blanche vegetables, such as green beans, before freezing them.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Learn how to use less energy canning tomato products.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
  We’ve succeeded at drying herbs and greens in our SunWorks solar dehydrator, which promises to make future meals all the more flavorful and nutritious.  
Learn how to store eggs properly, how to freeze eggs for long-term storage and how to use eggs in different kinds of recipes.
Readers who love canning share their firsthand reports about the foods they can at home, and why.
Sauerkraut is an effective and delicious way to store cabbage and add something "fresh" to the winter months
Jessica visits the 890-acre farm belonging to the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernmental seed bank in the U.S. and a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nations heirloom seeds and biodiversity.
How a small group of committed people can truly make a change for good.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
Today's FAIR attendees will be well prepared to grow, make and preserve their own food and, as Joel Salatin encourages, get out of the Industriall food system.
Preserving food was a must during the Great Depression. Doris Zicafoose relates memories of drying corn, canning tomatoes, the necessity of a water bath canner and the joy of acquiring a pressure canner.
This little chipmunk ponders about how much food to store for the coming fall and winter seasons.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
It's not difficult to eat locally during the long winter months if you have preserved the previous year's harvest. Even while we wait for spring to arrive, the root cellar may still be providing our dinner.
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
Readers share tips, tricks and recommended products for keeping produce fresh longer.
There are many ways to protect wood from the effects of weather, what is your favorite technique?  
Learning to save seeds from one harvest to the next takes you a step further towards self-sufficiency and helps to save genetics of plants needed for the future.
Share your favorite places to learn about food preservation.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
Readers share tips and tricks for storing green tomatoes and keeping them longer.
Take plain old raspberry jam to the next level with the complex flavors of white chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
The work of growing, harvesting and preserving your own food comes together in the satisfying instant when canning lids pop. Don't leave the kitchen until you've savored the sound of a job well done.
Get expert advice on how long fresh eggs will keep without refrigeration.
Here's a quick and easy tip for freezing peaches.
Slightly underripe apples that fall to the ground must be picked up, so why not cut away the bugs and bruises and put them to good use? Here’s how to turn windfall apples into supernutritious drinks and snacks.
Making pickles can be time-consuming, but this method for easy garlic pickles couldn't possibly be any easier. Or tastier!
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.

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