We had our first Keeper of the Homestead Meeting at my home! For our first project we canned potatoes. This was a first for all the young ladies I affectionately call my "Canning Sisters". Above is Gracie Brand, she was helping Molly and Megan gather my potatoes from the basement. As you can see, they are sprouting! It is time to either plant these taters or can them up!!! My mother bought these potatoes for our family back in the fall for $12 a 50 lb bag in Wisconsin. I had her buy me a bunch of things at the vegetable stand since I could not have a garden last summer.
When there is a will, there is a way...
I was still able to feed my family all winter long on a very small budget. Listen, ladies, it is really easy to stock up on things even if you are a city dweller. Think of it this way, you could be spending about $1 per pound if you buy these items at the local grocery store which would be nearly $250.00!!!! When you buy in bulk you save a ton!!!
Canning Project #1: Canning Potatoes
Each of the young ladies bought 20 lbs of potatoes. Altogether we had 155 pounds to can!!!
Sound like a huge project. For one person it is. For our group, EASY!
Step 1: Peel the Potatoes
Everyone peeled for about one hour. All the peeling went into a five gallon bucket to use for compost or chicken scraps. If we had a pig, that would be perfect for pig feed! Nothing goes to waste.
Step 3: Dice the PotatoesWe have a french fry cutter, so this makes our job even slicker! We learned that if you cut the potato in half first and lay the cut side down, the machine cuts like butter. After it is french fry cut, we just cut the long pieces into cubes. Make sure to keep your cubed potatoes in a bowl of water or they will get brown.
Step 5: Fill Water to the Neck of the JarWe found it fun to use my kitchen water hose.
Step 10: Cool and Store
After the jars are cooled, remove them from the canner and make sure all the seals are sucked in. You may hear the lids "Popping" while they are cooling which is always a fun sound to hear. If you have one that does not seal, you can either use it right away, store it in the refrigerator for up to one week, or figure out why it did not seal. Make sure the rim of the jar is free from nicks, debris, or chips out of the glass. It will not seal if there is obstruction between the glass and the rubber. You can always fill the contents into another clean, obstruction-free jar and place a new lid on to can it again. Repeat the steps 4-10.
Guess how many jars we canned that lovely day???? 85 quarts!!!
Each of the girls got to take home about 17 or 18 quarts of canned potatoes. They were so thankful and can't wait to come over next Thursday for another Keeper of the Homestead Meeting of productive fellowship!
Here are some ideas for using canned potatoes:
- Drain and dry them to fry for breakfast hash browns
- Dump into your soup recipe
- Drain and add to beef stew
- Boil, drain, and mash for a side of mashed potatoes
- Drain and add cream cheese, sour cream, onion, and shredded cheese-bake this cheesy potato dish!
Now it is your turn. Gather together into your own Keeper of the Homestead meeting and can up some potatoes. You will find out how much fun you will have and how useful canned potatoes are!
I have demonstration on potato canning on our Homesteading for Beginners DVD Vol. 3