Food storage

Vacuum Sealing Mason Jars

I’ll admit, by the first few weeks of September I’m getting tired of canning. Two runs a day for 2 weeks straight, dozens of quarts, double-dozens of pints, and I’ve had enough of the preparation, the cleaning, the water, the heat. Don’t get me wrong: even at the tail end of the harvest when I’m “canned out”, there is still no greater satisfaction than cracking a canner load of beyond-organic salsa from all garden-grown produce, and knowing I’ve taken another […]

root cellar stores

Of all the typical trappings of homestead life, nothing says “prepared” like a well-stocked root cellar. I’ve been planning my root cellar for years, and just this last week, I finally got around to finishing it. My root cellar started out as a grand plan – a separate structure, built below grade into the side of a hill with a south facing door. It was going to look like a Hobbit hole, but larger, with stone floors and walls for […]

Adventures in Pressure Canning

Inspired by Brother Harold’s recent post on pressure canning salsa, and flush with something like 50 pounds of tomatoes from the garden, Mrs. P and I decided to try canning for the first time yesterday. This was a big moment for us. We’ve always meant to learn this skill, but every year the harvest came and we just never got around to trying it. The result has been a shameful waste of food, and we decided to finally put a stop to it, […]

Fuel Injector: That's proper broke.

Today was just another “Labor” Day on the Homestead. Instead of sitting around, eating cheesepuffs and celebrating pension shortfalls, cadillac insurance plans, and 30 hour work weeks, I commemorated the day like most Americans would have prior to 1882: by actually working. First up, the annual deep clean of the chicken coop was in order. We clean the coop monthly, but this was the *deep* clean: muck it out, hose it out, then scrub it down with a 10% solution […]

Pressure-canning Salsa

Pressure canning can be a bit intimidating. I know it was for me when I first started, but sooner or later you just have to do it: face that fear of the shigity-shhi-sh-shaker weight and learn to love the steam bomb (I’m aware I just said “bomb” in a post about pressure canners. “Honey, someone’s at the door…“) This post is not in any way meant to be comprehensive guidance to pressure-canning, but rather a demonstration of the tried-and-true recipe that […]


I’ve been excited to try pickling as a means of food preservation for years. I love pickles – a nice tart dill pickle, crisp and cold and fresh, is a real treat for me, if not for Mrs. P, who can detect pickle on my breath from 20 yards. The idea that I could make pickles myself seemed really cool. But, I figured the process was difficult, and I worried that there would be a lot of complex steps followed by […]

Protein versus Carbs

Since my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in March, I haven’t written that much about diabetes preparedness. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been prepping, of course, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts on food preps for the diabetic. As always, I’m not offering any medical advice here – I’m just telling you what I’m doing to get our pantry in order. It’s probably a good time to brush up on my disclaimer. For the uninitiated, Type […]