I’m running ever so late today, and I’m not even going to apologize. Last night we moved into our new house! The move was what some might consider a disaster, or would have been if not for our friends who worked tirelessly and never said a word about how woefully unprepared we were. I knew we were rushing it a bit, but I thought I was in labor, and I thought we were 90% packed and could throw the rest of our belongings in boxes as we went. As it turned out…well, maybe I’ll just make it part 6 in my househunting series. That’s not what you came to read this morning anyway, is it?
You came to learn about how we big-family moms preserve food. By that, we don’t mean distracting the kids with promises of great fun as soon as mealtime is over, just so they’ll hurry up and eat less – although I have noticed that it would work, if we wanted it to. The downside to that plan is they’re all begging to eat again in 30 minutes. You saved nothing on your food bill and lost some sanity in the process.
Food preservation is, of course, about saving food for later so we can take advantage of great deals and larger quantities than we would normally use at once. There are many other reasons, but that is what motivates me.
I have to confess, I haven’t done a whole lot of gardening and canning, though I have dabbled a bit over the years. On the whole, I have found that it’s not necessarily a big money saver to buy and preserve fresh produce, though you often have a much better product in the end. It’s also not often a good return on your time, unless you are doing it for fun and quality rather than a dollars/hour return on your time. Much like knitting and sewing, you can often buy a finished product more cheaply than you can make it – but doing it yourself carries other benefits.
We did, however, buy a pressure canner not too long ago, and used it to can our own beans, meat bought on sale, apple pie filling, pizza sauce, and a few other items bought or prepared in large quantities at deeply discounted prices. There was a bit of a learning curve and I started out almost afraid of my pressure canner (who hasn’t heard horror stories of explosions in the kitchen?) but it turned out to be very simple – easier than water bath canning, I think. If you’ve ever done water-bath canning or even thought about it, I highly recommend a pressure canner!
What methods of food preservation have you used in the past? What have you thought about trying in the future?
See what the other moms say:
Upcoming topics for 4 Moms:
- October 25 – How do you keep the car clean?
- November 1 – Q&A
- October 11 – 4 Moms: Introducing kids to technology
- October 4 – Q&A with the 4 Moms
- September 27 – 4 Moms address biblical femininity and modesty in girls
- September 20 – Large Family Gift Guide by the 4 Moms
- September 13 – 4 Moms: Handling different standards between you and your husband