Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Road Less Taken

 You might be from the country if you don't mind getting a bit lost on the way from one place to another.

Jen, Lala, my friend Brian and I were running errands in Emporia when we realized we had to get to Jen's bank in Burlington before it closed. I thought I knew a shortcut, so I turned south on a road that follows the Coffey County/Lyon County line instead of staying on the Interstate that angled quite a bit out of our way to the  north. We were enjoying the ride until I ran out of blacktop.


Oh, well. The beauty of Kansas roads is they are almost all laid out in a gird pattern. As long as you are angling in the right direction, you can't get lost. Sure enough, after a few miles of gravel roads through the wildlife refuge and on the backside of Lake Redmond, we came out on more paved road and made it in to Burlington before the bank closed.

We all enjoyed the detour. This drive was more restful and far more beautiful than any Interstate.

Sometimes it's nice to get a bit lost-ed. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Canning Budget

   Mom kept a copy of a flyer pinned in the back of her favorite cookbook. It was called Your Canning Budget. We used it to anticipate how much to can each year. My biggest problem is figuring out how much to plant to get 110 quarts of food per person. :) 

FYI: The photo is a section of the pantry shelves my son built me.

Your Canning Budget

From Modern Guide to Home Canning, National Pressure Cooker Company, n.d. (1940s)

Planning your work… and then working your plan is essential to carrying out your canning program. While it is difficult to devise a canning budget that can be followed exactly, it is important to have at least a rough estimate of your requirements before you start in on your program.
          Working out a canning budget need not become a bookkeeping task, nor is it necessary to plan in minute detail the meals you are going to serve for months to come.
          What is important is to make a list of the various foods you want to can during the season. Decide, insofar as possible, whether you are going to put them up in pints or quarts… basing your decision on the size of your family, the types of foods and the containers available.
          Then calculate the approximate number of times you think you will serve each type of food in planning nourishing meals for a week. Multiply this figure by the number of weeks you expect the canned supply to last, and place the result opposite each food on your list.
          As an example, presume that you figure that you use about ½ cup of tomatoes per serving, and there are four in your family. If you usually serve tomatoes at, say, three meals a week – then your family consumption will total 2 cups, or 1 pint, per meal amounting to 3 pints or 1 ½ quarts a week. Figuring 34 weeks out of the year, then you would need approximately 51 quarts to take care of your requirements. Add an additional 14 quarts for other cooking purposes, and you can put down 65 quarts of tomatoes in your canning budget. Follow the same method deciding other needs.
          If you have your own garden, working out your canning budget before you plant is a good idea for it aids in deciding how much to plant and when to plant certain foods. Of course, you must keep in mind that you want a supply for use fresh, in addition to your canning needs.
          Just as a suggestion, the following canning budget has been worked out for a family of five.

Spinach and other greens………   30
Tomatoes…………………………    65
Other vegetables……   …… …… 100
Fruits……………   ……   ……… 220
Meats………………   … .……      100
Soups......................…  …             25                                                                                               
 Total....... ..  ................. ......... 540 
However, while arriving at a figure may be easy, it is sometimes difficult to budget the amount of each type of food needed to fill a pint or quart jar and what the approximate yield will be when you convert fresh foods into canned foods.

          Mom and I estimate that following this budget, one would need roughly 110 quarts of food per person canned for the season. We discounted the canned meats and soups because we do not go in for that kind of canning. These items are frozen, made fresh or purchased at the grocery store