We have been so busy the last weeks with butchering and canning with our Amish friends. I used to think canned meat was such a gross thing. I was worried it would make me sick somehow. After getting to know the Amish for the last 8 years, I have tried many of their main dishes at gathering bees. They use only canned meat. I found that the canned meat doesn’t taste any different then the meat from the store or from the freezer. The Amish have such a beautiful way of living and working as community that has been almost entirely lost in our present culture. I grew up in the city and always had a desire towards the Old Fashioned way of life. When I was first married, I brought little homemaking skills to my loving husband. I could only make macaroni and cheese out of a box and frozen pizza. How far I have come in 10 short years. With a desire to learn, you can achieve any of your goals in homemaking.
I learned most of what I know from the Amish. They took me in as family. We have worked together for all these years and built a strong relationship through my desire to learn from them. I truly appreciate all I have learned and find it very useful in raising my own family.
Meat canning, to me, is one of the greatest of these homemaking skills. If we went into hard times where there was no electricity, we could rely on a supply of canned meat and vegetable spouts. It would sustain us and keep us healthy. Meat is one of the only things that once canned, keeps its benefits. It does not alter anything like when we can our vegetables. Canning vegetables strips them of all their nutrients. Meat canning can take a lot of time because you have to butcher the animals, cut the meat off the bone, grind, and chop the meat and pack it into cans. But, really it makes life easier in the long run. I love love love it. It is so easy to fix a meal and even my children can throw a meal together in just a few minutes. Above I have a few photos of chunk meat in the can. If you dump the can of chunked meat into a kettle, one can of potatoes and carrots, one quart of water, and a cup of a flour and water mixture, you have a delicious stew that the whole family will enjoy. I make soup with the meat, tacos with my crumbled hamburger canned meat, spaghetti, beef tips and gravy, sausage patties and noodles. Just about anything. I am so excited about teaching you these wonderful LOST skills from long ago to help you provide food for your dinner table. On volume three of Homesteading for Beginners, we feature butchering a hog and beef cow as well as canning all the meat. Fun!