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Category Archives: canning

It all started with getting that moose, losing our freezer drawer and needing to restock our lunch soup supplies.

But once I got started I couldn’t stop processing like a mad woman.

We had some pumpkins from fall decorations that kept well plus an extra one a friend gave us. I loaded a full canner, two cases worth, of plain pumpkin and then made a batch of pumpkin butter. Which is like eating pumpkin pie on your toast!

I had three turkeys 🤷🏼‍♀️ and some miscellaneous fruits from wildcrafting the last time Niki was here. Which I turned into Crabapple, rosehip & cranberry chutney. It’s so delicious!

With the turkeys I made 2 gallons of turkey broth, a few quarts of turkey bone-in meat and two cases of turkey veggie soups. And I even had a little bit left over to cook and eat for dinner. Along with the aforementioned moose stew, we have some great tasting lunch options now!

Since we’ve been trying to get better organized and had all our canning jars stored in one place the kids have been saying that we have too many jars. Ha. No such thing as too many jars! Now there are empty places on the jar shelves but no empty places in the pantry! What a great feeling!

(I canned a total of 13 cases plus a few singles over the course of the last 4 weeks. Time to restock lids and maybe buy some more jars!)

Shopping last weekend I scored a box of tomatoes at IGA so I made salsa and canned some raw pack tomatoes!

Recap of what’s in the pantry now:

Moose broth, moose stew meat, turkey broth, bone-in turkey, turkey soup, dog food, pumpkin, pumpkin butter, fiesta salsa, jalapeno salsa, cranberry-rosehip-crabapple chutney & tomatoes.


Last year I made an attempt at OAMC. Here’s my kick-off post for that journey. In review, I made a few different recipes that have made life easier over the past several months. The canned soups have been wonderful for lunches and quick meals when I just don’t feel like slaving in the kitchen!

I’m happy to report that the stock of soups I made last year have lasted this long! I still have a few jars each of chicken soup, beef stew and bean soup in the pantry. But they are dwindling fast! There’s nothing better on a cold Alaska work day to have a cup of hot soup & a sandwich!

Admittedly I did not actually make it canning something every month but I’m not going to let that keep me from trying it again!

I also learned that I prefer to can in “spurts”. It takes a lot of work to get prepped and drag out all of our equipment to do this task. So I tried to set aside the last and first week of a pair of months to do a larger batch of canning. Then I’m only doing all the prep work 6 or so times a year. *note to self, design new kitchen around ease of moose butchering and pressure canning.

Our family started this new year off with the gift of a salvage moose. We are extremely grateful ❤️! One of my favorite foods is canned moose meat. My Dad, of blessed memory, used to send me jars of it! The flavor is so rich and delicious and it’s so tender. Plus there’s nothing better than shelf stable, ready to eat meats. So I set aside about 14# of stew meat to process into canned meat and moose stew, & we have a wonderful assortment of healthy, hot lunch choices for the next year.

I also took some of the shorter leg bones (I need a bone saw) and made bone broth that I pressure canned. I ended up with 4 quarts and a case of pints. We use a lot of broth for soups and noodle bowls so these won’t last long! I have two leg bones reserved in the freezer for making an additional 2 gallons of broth.

Jars cleaned, labeled and ready for the pantry shelves.

During the winter months it is not unusual to have some downtime from construction work. That’s when I can dedicate more time to food preparation. I got the kiddos in on the action too. Teaching the oldest boy child how to bring the canner up to temp and maintain it. The youngest girl helped me fill jars, clean and seal them. And the Lil Guy did a lot of grinding to get that meat processed for canning recipes. They all helped prep the carrots, potatoes, celery and onions for the stews.

We used it as a learning opportunity, weighing in ounces and pounds. Measuring volume in pints and quarts. Converting recipes to maintain safe percentages of ingredients. Food preserving uses a lot of math and science skills ya know.

Since I had some time to wait for stew meat to thaw, Lil Bit and I started on the pumpkins we had to can. She cut and prepped the squash while I parboiled it and loaded the jars. I ended up with 24 pints of canned pumpkin. That will last long s a while.

June is always salmon canning season. It seems a little redundant posting about it. But here goes.

I canned three cases of fresh sockeye salmon for human consumption. I also canned 5 jars for the hound dog. I’ve reserved two gallon bags of scraps, skins and bones for more dog food at a later date. Which should get her a full case+.

For the dog food I simply raw pack meat scrapes, bones, skins and a tiny piece of egg sack, no salt. I process it the same as human food, 11# for 110 minutes. To serve it I open the jar, stir it up and place a couple spoonfuls into her regular dry dog food. It adds flavor and nutrition and she loves it.

I had high hopes of utilizing all of our camp’s fish waste this year but with the crazy schedule and setup that just didn’t happen. I had planned to put a big pot on the fire and just make a soup of carcasses, heads and scraps to cook down and hot pack into jars for the Panda Bear. Maybe next year!

For the human food I filet the skin off my fish and roll the filets into cylinders to place into jars. I put in a little salt, 1/2 tsp maybe. Sometimes I put jalapeno peppers or chipotle peppers like I did this year! Can’t wait to give those a try. On e the canner is full (it holds two cases completely full) I process as mentioned above.

Running the canner at midnight

I’m so very thank for this big ole canner. It’s been very helpful!! I can preserve a lot of food fairly fast. I also prefer it to the lighter weight aluminum canners.

3 fish yesterday plus two today equals one case of human food and half a case of dog food.

I hit the jackpot with serranos and red bell peppers in the clearance section. $4 for enough peppers to can up some hot pepper relish.

Relish is a super easy undertaking and great for beginners. I used this recipe.

I chopped all my peppers in the food processor. Added minced garlic, vinegar and water and boiled for 5 mins.

I also tried out my new Tattler lids that I ordered last year. I thought this would be a good batch to test them out on.

I made a small batch of 6 half-pints plus enough left over to blend up into a hot sauce that I’ll just put in the fridge (without canning). Processed for 10 mins in boiling water bath. And voila~easy peasy & done!

Hot pepper relish.

One of my lids didn’t seal, I must have left it too loose. There’s a learning curve with these but I’ll get the hang of it.

With half of the family enjoying spicy foods, this will add some nice spice to the pantry.

To recap my OAMC adventure so far:

Jan~ Turkey soup

Feb ~ Beef stew & Bean soup

Mar~ Mushrooms

April ~ Hot Pepper Relish

I’ve read a few blogs recently where they focus on canning something different every month. Usually something in season, like Salmon in June or garden produce in August. During the off-season they still find something to can like beans or meats. This keeps the pantry stocked and adds variety, which is always good.

I love the concept and I’m thinking of giving it a try. It’s more motivation to keep me on a regular schedule.

I managed to get my turkey soup canned up on the last day of January (WTG me!) and so I’m ready to figure something out for February.

First thing is to check the pantry and see what’s needed. Well, not fish, for sure. Or jams/jellies, we’re pretty well stocked. I’m down to one jar of canned black beans, out of soup (good thing I’ve got some fresh jars to move into the pantry today) and out of canned beef and moose. I still have some canned chicken.

Soups are an important mainstay in our winter diet. Soup and sandwich for lunch on a cold day is so warming and filling.

I think that’s where I need to focus. Beef stew sounds good but I’ll have to keep my eye open at the grocery store for special deals, that will be my deciding factor. Bean soup sounds hearty and tasty too. Our local butcher, Echo Lake Meats, makes a beef Canadian bacon that is so tender and delicious. It would work to sub out for the ham in this recipe. Mexican chicken soup sounds delightful as well.

Homemade cream of mushroom sounds good too… Or this version of you want a already thickened cream of mushroom soup. And I just happen to have some mushrooms on hand. But I could also make this, decisions, decisions.

Off to gather ingredients!

I settled on making some beef stew and bean soup in pints. Processed 11# for 75 minutes. That will give us a nice variety for our work lunches!

And just like that, I’m off to a great start with once a month canning!!

My canning shirt from my Seester.