Preppers: Jarring Food for Success and Survival
Let’s face it; nowadays everything is expensive! Especially health food! How can we make the food we eat last longer and how can we store food longer in case of an emergency or civil unrest (for you preppers)? Jarring is the answer!
What can we jar? Just about anything. I did read an article that you don’t want to jar stuff that has a low acid content such as asparagus. However you can up the acidity by adding vinegar “pickling” the ingredient. A popular ingredient to pickle is Eggs. If you have a couple chickens it’s a no-brainer! Get your daily eggs throw them in a jar and add vinegar and some hot peppers! I will be doing this later this summer and I will add the recipe and pictures here!
One secret to pickling eggs is to take a clean sterile sewing needle and after you hard boil and peel your eggs poke the hell out of it with the needle. It will give it and easier path for the vinegar to soak in and penetrate the yolk and you won’t have dry yolks in the center. Which by the way is disgusting! If you are like me and you just pop the whole egg in your mouth if the yolk is dry it’s like taking a scoop of protein powder (for you people that don’t eat protein it’s like talking a scoop of nestle quick powder) and putting that dry powder in your mouth. You will gag! By piercing it with a needle you eliminate that problem and have perfect pickled eggs every time! You also eliminate the need to heat up your eggs!
Ok; so what is the process to jarring food? How can I sanitize my equipment and ensure the safety of my long term food storage?
I decided to make bread and butter pickles!
Bread and Butter Pickles
This summer was supposed to be the year that I start to can. I bought a book, read it, and had a list of recipes I wanted to try. Then I blinked, and summer is suddenly almost over. Big oops. Time definitely got away from me these last few months, and my canning project never quite came to fruition. That being said, I am looking forward to hitting the orchards for their fall bounties and finally getting my feet wet with some canning projects. When I saw this recipe for bread and butter pickles, I was immediately drawn to it because you don’t need canning equipment – you could make these pickles (in just about no time) and refrigerate them for two weeks. Score!
Bread and butter pickles have always been my absolute favorite sandwich pickle. Yeah, dill is great, but give me some bread and butter pickles. A little sweet, a little zesty and with a kick. Love them! And now I can make them at home, which I love even more.
You start out with some pickling cucumbers… I have asked around and if you happen to get vegetables from a CSA and have some especially small cucumbers, you could use those for pickling as well. (I love fresh produce, how pretty!)
You’ll slice up the cucumbers into pretty little pieces, about ¼-inch thick (you don’t want them to be super thin). I found this little wavy slicer thing (a very technical term) at the checkout in Bed Bath & Beyond about 5 years ago. I’m sure you could find something similar there or at a kitchen store, if you want the cute fancypants crinkle cut (which I happen to love).
Once the cucumbers are all sliced up, you sprinkle them with salt, toss, cover and pop in the refrigerator for about an hour and a half.
After that hour, you rinse the cucumbers with cold water, drain, and then toss together with the thinly sliced onion.
Set those aside and get your pickling concoction together. You’ll combine white vinegar, cider vinegar, white sugar, brown sugar, mustard seed, celery seed and ground turmeric in a saucepan and get it to a simmer, making sure the sugar dissolves.
Once you reach that point, pour the liquid over the cucumbers and onions and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
That’s it! You’re done! Transfer the pickle and onion mixture (including the liquid) into the container you wish to store them in and pop them in the refrigerator. After about 24 hours you will have absolutely delicious pickles!
I baked the empty jars and lids at 225 degrees for 15 minutes.