Last Thursday night I discovered my upright freezer had somehow managed to lose its seal just enough to start thawing out a good portion of it! I was desperate to not waste anything, and was blessed to be able to pass some food on to people who needed it... the rest has been in the process of being canned or made into meals for myself for the next few weeks.
So far I've canned 12 pints of Beef Vegetable Soup, 11 pints of Sausage'n'Beans, 12 pints of Italian Sausage Pasta sauce, and 7 quarts of chunky Chicken Vegetable soup (so chunky I could easily thin it down with more broth and serve twice as much, or simply thicken it for a chicken n dumpling meal). I have about 8 lbs of burger that I will make into mini meatloafs, and more thawed frozen vegetables that I'm considering drying for future use. I can't believe that I've run out of pint jars, or I would be making more canned goods.
For anyone who wants some great ideas on what sort of things that can be canned, and proper methods of canning, I highly recommend joining the YahooGroup "FoodPreservationDryingCanningAndMore" It is an email group, and fairly active, but you can always set your email preferences to reading from the web. Subscribe by sending an email here. I think you might have to also create a profile with yahoogroups before you can join as well. I will say that I have learned so much from this group that it is well worth it!
Hopefully things will be back to normal at my house next week. I'm not going to start filling my clean and defrosted freezer until the end of September (the reason why is another blog post coming up soon!)!!!