Save Money by Canning Food at Home

Canning food at home with a pressure cooker or water bath canning method is an important step in becoming more food self-sufficient. Learn how to make the most of your harvest while vegetables and fruits are at their peak flavor with these recipes and instructions.

| September/October 2012

Comfort food evokes a sense of well-being, and brings back memories of happy times, places and people. Thinking of the fare you associate with these two words brings satisfaction and contentment. But just what makes a particular food comfort food? What may constitute a comfort food in New Mexico is totally different from a comfort food in Maine. I grew up in Texas, and my husband in Nebraska. We have totally separate definitions of comfort food.

Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
Honey Apple Butter Recipe
Mulberry Jam Recipe
Heirloom Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
Canning Fish at Home
Fish Patties Recipe
Rendering Lard

What is a comfort food to me? Something I can provide for my family that I made myself. Food that is totally organic with no concerns of harmful residues or ingredients — local food, fresh food, wholesome food. Food picked at the peak of ripeness. Varieties selected for taste, not beauty and ship-ability. Real food. That’s comfort food to me.

It is also immensely comforting to me to walk into my pantry during winter and see shelves filled with jars that I labored over in the summer and fall, knowing that in minutes I can prepare a meal, and realizing that I produced and processed everything on the table. That’s comfort food.

As you may have gathered, I have a great desire to be food self-sufficient. I am not completely there yet, but I am getting closer every year.

Currently, I am spending less than $150 per month on groceries for a family of three, and that includes paper goods and items I cannot produce myself. I love to find local sources to replace foods I enjoy that come from far away. Therefore, the recipes included here celebrate local food. Some of the food I grew, some I gathered wild, and some my husband processed after hunting.

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