Food Storage Challenge Weeks #2 and #3
Talk about a stomach flu that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy! I was down for the count for the better part of ten days, and prior to that was caring for the rest of the family while they had the bug. Therefore, my updates for the food challenge for the past two weeks are being combined into one report- rather fitting, as all those days began to run together for me!
In spite of being off my feet, I was able to put away a few things. I canned 6 quarts of beef stew in the pressure canner. I followed the exact same recipe I always do when canning beef stew, but somehow I ended up with jars that were overfilled. Some of the beef stock leaked out during processing, leaving some of the potatoes and carrots exposed at the top of the jars.
The lids sealed just fine in spite of the leakage. The only downside (other than losing some of that delicious beef stock and having to clean it out the canner) is that those exposed bits will discolor, but not spoil, in time. Best to put those a little further to the front in the rotation!
In addition to that, I put a dozen gluten-free muffins and another 8 cups of beef stock in the freezer. I really should have canned the stock instead to lower the reliance on the freezer, but I just wasn’t up to going that extra mile this week. I will say, the day after making that second batch of beef stock and letting it cool in the refrigerator overnight, it gelled up so thick- I can’t wait to cook with it. All that gelatin is SO good for the body.
Here’s a photo of the jars and one package of muffins. The container the beef stock is in and the other bags of muffins are threatening to come out of the freezer, so I left them in rather than risk the avalanche! This is definitely not how to store muffins in the freezer. They should be wrapped in wax paper or foil, but I ran out half-way through this batch and wasn’t up to going out to get more. I did suck as much air out of the bag with a straw as I could, but this may have pushed me into considering getting a vacuum sealer with a manual control (so the baked goods won’t go flat) for such items.
Speaking of bone broth and stock, I swear that it was my chicken stock that finally forced that stomach bug out of our house. We’d been sick for a LONG time, even for an intestinal infection. No one was showing any real signs of improvement, until I took cans of my chicken stock out, warmed it up, and we started drinking it- right out of the mason jars! A day later, the kids and my husband has their appetites back, and I was a day behind them. It was exactly what Dr. Mom ordered.
I owe you all a LOT of recipes now. I really appreciate your patience with being under the weather. Putting up these recipes is a top priority for me this week.
In the meantime- go put some bones and water into your crockpots and make some bone broth!