Organizing my home canned foods for 2014 is my top goal this year. I don’t make resolutions, I make plans. This was one of them. How can you plan your food supply efficiently if you do not know what you have? I didn’t have much space to work with, but the cupboard my husband built in the kitchen was housing all my pots and pans, and there was no other place to store them. I knew I had to get busy organizing home canned foods soon, or we’d never use what we already had. Even for pots and pans this cupboard was a headache to get anything out of. It is very deep and I had a hard time getting what I was looking for.
My solution in the past to organizing home canned foods had been to put them in plastic totes such as Rubbermaid types. The mice don’t bother with them unless it is to run across the top.The only place I was able to store them though was in the bathroom, and I wasn’t crazy about that idea. I was not totally content with doing that. It was not a good solution, but I felt like I had no other options. Yesterday, I got the great idea to move the pots and pans to the bigger Rubbermaid containers and put them in the pantry. The cold would not bother them. I already have my collection of cast iron cookware in there. So that is what I did.
Then I started moving the jars of home canned food to the cupboard and writing down how much of each food I have on hand. One thing I had to make sure of, was that I didn’t put too heavy a load on the shelves that were not supported as heavily as the other two. Remember if you do this, to consider adding more support under the shelves because home canned foods are heavier than store bought. Organizing home canned foods turned out to be easier than I thought. It was just the part of carrying the jars to the kitchen and climbing on a chair to reach the higher shelves that was a bit tough for me.
As I put the jars on the shelves, I put them in order of the date they were canned. So each group of foods are together and then I will use the ones I canned first, before the more recent ones. It is a good way to rotate the food into your every day meals. Organizing home canned food is really important to keep your food from getting too old. Not that I buy into the expiration date information that you see all over. It is not true that the food will become no good at a certain time period. It may not be as nutritional as the day you canned it, but you can eat it. And if it is between starving and eating older foods, then I’ll eat it. But my food doesn’t usually get the chance to get that old. It is really good!
Organizing home canned foods is also a help with your garden plans for the spring. This way you will see what foods your family likes, and what you should plant more of. I do not plant any food that we do not regularly eat, nor do I can that kind of stuff. We don’t use potatoes as much as we used to, so I have none in our food supply. We don’t use sugar, corn or wheat products of any kind. So you will not see jams, jellies, syrups or any of the fruit canned in the sugar syrup. I am trying to make our food be healthy, not kill us.
Since meat and vegetables is the mainstay of our food plan, that is mostly what you will see on my shelves. If an emergency happened, I would not be eating rice and beans, or baking bread in a cast iron pan. No, in an emergency, you need to keep everyone at their healthiest. Their physical strength and stamina might be compromised if you fed them foods they don’t eat daily. I know for myself and my husband, that would be the case. High carbs, processed foods and especially sugar and wheat have a bad effect on both of us. I stick to the foods we like and are healthy for us. I think this day spent organizing home canned foods will be well worth it in the long run.
Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole