Soup? I can can my soup? Get outta town! We struggle with the rising cost of *food*, like everyone does, I suppose. But, I went off the grid this summer in two ways.
#1: I traded four hours a week of farm work on a local farm for a bushel of organic veggies.
A local farm needed help and was willing to trade hours of labor for a (very heavy) box of organic veggies EVERY WEEK. uh, *yes*. It’s brutally hot in August… but let me tell you about my vitamin D levels. Hello. Have you seen a bushel of vegetables? It’s HUGE! I didn’t think that I could get sick of squash.. but I am running out of ideas as to what to do with it.
Every week, the “work” that we do is different, we started out picking strawberries in April and May, and have alternately pulled weeds, harvested green beans, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, squash, watermelons, eggplant, and
peppers since then. It’s crazy!
Always different work, same payoff. FOOD.
#2: canning. I used the water-bath canning method as far as I could, but finally bought a pressure-canner at the local Wally-world and stocked up on jars. Bought out the Wally-world, and moved on to the Ace Hardware, too. Bought them out too. hahaha. A pressure canner is needed to safely can veggies and meats.
Just this weekend I made chicken-veggie soup, beef-veggie soup,spaghetti sauce, navy bean and ham soup, split pea and ham soup (which is to die for) and canned some plain beans-They are delicious.
EVERYTHING I canned was gluten-free, which is a bonus… since that matters a whole bunch around here.
I basically spent a weekend making 6 weeks of lunches and dinners that I can now just pull off the shelf and use in my cooking. OMG- did I tell you about the stew meat? holy moly. packed stew meat straight from Costco into the jars and processed them. ……. uh… the resulting enchiladas are BETTER than the local Mexican restaurant. Yes, this pressure canner just paid for itself.