Andy has been really ill. He was air lifted in the air ambulance with a perforated bowel. So this was an emergency situation. We really didn't know what was wrong at first and it was sudden and a shock. He left in the air ambulance Monday and today (now Friday night) we are just home. And he is doing well! I don't know how many hours I was on the road this week but it was a lot. Six today alone! So this is why I cannot even manage my Friday post and why I am behind on replies and correspondence so please accept my apologies.
I hope it was a better week for you! We can report on our weeks and our Vicky Challenge savings all in one place. I am so glad to be home and catch up with everyone.
Two weeks ago Vicky posted on the possibilities of Pressure Canning. This is something I had not really considered. When she said butter is one thing you are able to can I realised diary products canned would be very useful. So Vicky very kindly canned some butter in order to make up a tutorial. I hope this will be useful information to lots of you. Our discussion two weeks ago was an introduction and I shared photos of commercially canned butter which is very expensive. So canned butter is available and I believe was also part of rations for soldiers in war time. In hard times I am imagining some stored butter would be such a luxury!
Over to Vicky...
Let's talk canning!
This time we are canning butter. You will need to decide for yourself if this is something you will like to do because it isn't conventional, but there are many that do. My great grandmother and aunt and grandmother canned butter. It has not been tested mainly because of the availability of fresh butter. Some preppers, homesteaders and off - gridders can a year's supply of butter so let's look at a few things before you decide if this is for you or not. I have been doing research just to make sure of things and in my opinion the older generation may not have had the modern things we do, but they certainly were not stupid.
The following is on the Red feather website:
There is no Expiration Date written in stone, because the shelf life depends largely on the storage conditions (temperature, humidity, altitude, sunlight/shade, etc.). We do guarantee the shelf life for two years however, the actual shelf life of the butter will ultimately be determined by the storage conditions (temperature being the main factor) and the seal on the can remaining intact and therefore protecting the butter from the introduction of oxygen. After this, one can expect some nutritional value loss, although it will be edible, provide fat and calories in an emergency, and still be perfectly safe to eat if the cans remain sealed.
And here is one from Wisegeek:
Canned butter is real butter that is sealed in a can or Mason jar. Its history dates back to the late 1800s. The non-perishable nature of this product allows it to be stored and consumed in situations where regular butter could not be.
And another I read from a college that tests things said your not really canning butter, just storing it in mason jars.
And the CDC has a few references about canning.
Now for the science part. Butter has a pH of 6.1-6.8 which means it's acidic. Kind of surprising isn't it?
Now to can:
I used 8 stick of salted butter which gave 5 half pints of canned.
Wash your jars in hot water and make sure to dry them well, you don't want any water in the jars.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place the jars on a baking sheet. Once the oven is up to temperature shut it off and put the jars in the oven. We are only keeping the jars warm and sterile.
Wash lids and rings, drying well and lay on a clean towel to be ready for the jars of butter. And get the pressure canner water simmering so it's ready for the hot jars of butter.
Put your sticks of butter in a pan on low heat to melt.
Once melted turn the heat up to medium and stirring often so it doesn't burn let the butter come to the start of a boil. When you see a few good bubbles pop shut the heat off and start filling your jars. Be sure to stir each time before filling the next jar because as we heat it the milk solids separate. You will see them in the bottom of the jar after it's filled and that's ok. After the jars are filled leaving a one inch headspace wipe the rims and put on the lids and rings.
Put the jars in the pressure canner, put on the lid and let it vent for 10 minutes then put on the weight.
We will be doing 10 pounds of pressure. As soon as the canner has built up the 10 pounds and your weight starts rocking shut it off and leave it.
As soon as the pressure has released and you can safely remove the lid take the jars out and place wherever you want them to start cooling.
This part is very important! You have to shake the jars every 15 minutes to keep the butter solids mixed in the liquids. So every 15 minutes shake, shake, shake. I used oven mitts until the jars were cool enough to handle without them. You can put them in the fridge when the jars are cool enough, but you really have to keep an eye on them and shake them every 5 minutes or so because the butter can harden pretty quick that way. So for me I just kept shaking them every 15 minutes and voila canned butter!
Any questions you may have I will gladly answer and I will have additional information in the comment section as well.
Thank you Vicky! The end result looks so good! Last year there were butter shortages in many places plus massive price rises. Imagine having your own canned butter in your pantry!
Now I do not have much to report as my week is a blur! BUT on Monday before all this happened I had been in the town and I did a big stock up. I also looked for an ironing board as with my sewing of late suddenly I need to iron. No I normally don't iron and didn't even have an iron or ironing board! In town the cheapest ironing board was over $100. So forget it. For that I would want someone to do the ironing to be included. But I got one from an op shop for $12 and it is a beauty! Also it has a thick padded cover that is perfect. So that was a saving right there of $88.
How did you build up your home and save this week?
If you have any questions for Vicky I know she will help you.
My dream for tomorrow is to sleep in then begin to catch up! Have a lovely weekend! xxx