Murray Cannery - Help Needed

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Lots of spots still available

We are still in need of volunteers to help
with our  Corn Welfare Assignment
Tuesday August 7th  & Wednesday August 8th
We will be canning corn
The shifts are 3 ½  hours  MC900436357[1] 
·       7:00am-10:30am, 10:00am-1:30pm, 1:00pm-4:30pm, 4:00pm-7:30pm
Signup now!
To sign up click on a link below to see the signup
sheet and to schedule a shift

YOU NEED THIS EMAIL TO SIGNUP. THE LINKS NEED TO BE
CLICKED ON TO BRING UP THE SIGNUP SHEET.
IT WILL NOT WORK IF YOU TRY TYPING THIS INTO THE ADDRESS BAR!


Traci Johnson Corn.jpg
Murray Cannery
4373 So Main Street
Murray, Utah 84107
801-266-1460

Too many plums!

Sunday, July 29, 2012
We spent the morning yesterday picking plums off of our trees before the birds completely devour them.  We spent about 3 hours and STILL only managed to strip one of the two trees!  There are so many plums I don't even know what to do with them.  We've been trying like crazy to get people to take them off our hands, but apparently plums are not very popular around here...  ;)

So, after picking, I then spent the rest of the day doing jam and raw-packing whole plums. 

I tried an Orange Plum Jam recipe - 8 half-pint and they all set just fine this time.  Can't wait to try this one!

Then I re-ran 8 of the half-pints from the previous plum jam that didn't set.  I found a great tutorial online for how to fix the runny jam, and it worked perfectly!  All 8 of the half-pint jars set great the second time around.

The raw-pack plums?  Well, they are a different story.  They were certainly easy to do - wash them, stick them raw, whole, unpitted into quart jars, cover with medium syrup and process.  They looked GREAT waiting to be processed - nice deep reddish purple color.  After the processing though, they look TERRIBLE!!!  They have turned white/yellow and are shrunken and floating on the top of the jar.  Totally un-appealing!  I'm sure they taste fine, but visually they are a mess.  I think they are like red grapes - the skins bleed their red color when processed.  Not sure if you can stop that from happening.  I think the floating fruit can be fixed by going the hot-pack route, but it is a LOT more work than raw packing, and I have to tell you that I am about plummed out.  Plums even showed up in my dreams last night!

Oh, and I did try pureeing some last night to freeze for baby food - spent about an hour washing, pitting and running them through the food mill, only to taste them and find out they were incredibly bitter.  Yuck!  Not sure what happened.  We must have gotten a few unripe plums in there somehow.  Had to dump the whole batch.  Grrr...

I'd take a picture of all the jars, but you'd be hard-pressed to see them through all the disastrous mess that is my kitchen after a full day of canning.  :(  Maybe after I have a chance to clean up a little.

Strawberry Jam and More Plums!

Thursday, July 26, 2012
I was able to find time to do two - that right, TWO - full batches of strawberry jam today!  Yay me!!!  (Not an easy feat with a nursing 6-month-old who is grumpy from getting shots yesterday.)

It actually went really fast, but maybe a little too fast.  My jars of strawberry jam always come out separated, with the fruit floating to the top.  I'm thinking it is because I use the food processor to pulse the strawberries (to save time) rather than mashing them with a potato masher.  The food processor makes the fruit more of a puree with smaller chunks that break down in the heat and sugar and so I get a half-jam/half-jelly type mixture...does that sound like it might be the cause?  Any other ideas and/or suggestions?  The jam is still edible, it's just that the fruit bits end up on top, so it looks a bit funny in the jar, and then the top inch or so of the jam is chunkier than the rest of the stuff.

Still not sure what went wrong with the plum jam...The fruit was not overripe, and I didn't process it any longer than it was supposed to.  I had the right ratios for fruit and sugar.  Not sure what caused the runny jam.  I'm toying with redoing the batch, but I'll have to run to the store for more lids and pectin first. 

There are so many plums on my tree - I went out and picked another 5-gallon bucket full tonight. I'll do another batch or two of jam and maybe see if I have the same setting problems with the new batches as well.  The plums are ripe and ready to go, and apparently the birds have noticed because there were a bunch of them out in the tree this evening.  I'd like to get another bucket picked tomorrow before the birds totally wipe the tree clean - hope my luck will hold out!

Plum jam results

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Well, here they are in all their glory!  :)


I thought they were looking great as of last night, but when I went to wash the jars this evening I noticed the "jam" was sloshing a little bit too much in the jars, so I think it didn't quite set properly, and now I have more of a plum "sauce"...

I actually did two batches.  The first was with the Ball FreshTech jam maker - I had no idea there was an actual jam-making machine!  It was pretty cool, and I liked it.  It did a fabulous job and turned out perfect jam (the four from that batch DID set properly).  It was nice to just dump all the stuff in the pot and then not have to touch it until it was done.  What I didn't like is that it only made a small amount - about half of a normal stove-top batch.  Not a big deal unless you're trying to do large amounts, and then it might become a pain because you have to wait 30 minutes inbetween batches for the machine to cool down.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try a second batch because after the first one was done, the machine died.  We tried everything, but nothing worked.  It did one batch and then completely died!  I returned it to the store today, and I'm still on the fence about whether I want to get another one or not.  

My second batch I did on the stovetop, only because the jam machine broke.  We had all the stuff in the jam machine and went to plug it in to turn on, and no power, no lights, no nothin'.  So my plums and pectin sat in the machine for a good 15 minutes while we tried to see if we could get the machine to work.  I don't know if that's what caused the jam not to set properly or not, but it couldn't have helped...I'm not tossing these out, but not sure I want to run them again to try to get them to set.  I may just keep them as "sauce" - know of any good recipes that call for plum sauce?  

Murray Cannery - Help Needed

From the Murray cannery:

We are in need of volunteers to help
with our  Corn Welfare Assignment
Tuesday August 7th  & Wednesday August 8th
We will be canning corn
The shifts are 3 ½  hours  MC900436357[1] 
·       7:00am-10:30am, 10:00am-1:30pm, 1:00pm-4:30pm, 4:00pm-7:30pm
This could be a great service opportunity for Laurels and Priest that would like to come volunteer. The age limit is 16 years and older.
Signups are open!
To sign up click on a links below to see the signup
sheet and to schedule a shift

YOU NEED THIS EMAIL TO SIGNUP. THE LINKS NEED TO BE
CLICKED ON TO BRING UP THE SIGNUP SHEET.
IT WILL NOT WORK IF YOU TRY TYPING THIS INTO THE ADDRESS BAR!


Traci Johnson Corn.jpg
Murray Cannery
4373 So Main Street
Murray, Utah 84107
801-266-1460

Plum Jam!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Our two plum trees in the backyard are full to the breaking point - literally - this year!  I don't know what brought on the excess of fruit this season, but the tree limbs are all dragging on the ground, and some of the big ones have even snapped, because they are all so heavy with fruit.  Thankfully, the fruit is ready to go so we can get it off the tree quickly and try to save some of the branches. 

We went out the other night and pulled off enough plums to fill a 5-gallon bucket, and that was only from ONE branch.  It doesn't even look like we made a dent in the amount of plums left on the tree.  And then I used them to make plum jam today - 15 half-pint jars and I haven't even made a dent in the 5-gallon bucket!  Egads - we are swimming in plums!!!  :)

I've never done plum jam before, and actually had never even tasted it before tonight.  But I have to tell you, I have definitely been missing out - it is SOO good! 

I will post a picture tomorrow.  In the meantime, does anyone have any good recipes to use up more of these plums?  I've heard you can preserve them whole and unpitted in a heavy syrup - anyone done this before?  I need ideas for using these things up - HELP!!!  What is your favorite plum recipe?

What I'm Buying - Smith's 7/18

Thursday, July 19, 2012
I finally got a chance to get out and get groceries again...it has been a tough few weeks around here...good thing the Buy 10 Get $5 sale was going on for a second week!  ;)

Here's what I picked up:


(10) Propel waters, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
(10) Pringles chips, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(4) Gorton's fish sticks 18ct, on sale 2.99 (2.49 after promo, 1.99 after coupon)
(5) Kroger waffles 10ct, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(1) Trop50 raspberry lemonade, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo)
(2) Tropicana orange juice, on sale 3.29 (2.79 after promo)
(2) Silk PureAlmond milk, on sale 2.99 (2.49 after promo)
(8) Del Monte canned fruit, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .74 after coupon)
(8) Old Spice deodorant, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(2) Stewarts root beer 4pk, on sale 2.99 (hubs had already put them in the fridge)
(8) Gobstoppers candies, on sale 1.00

I've been having a difficult time with my local Smith's lately - the last 5 trips I've had something ring up wrong or a promo not credit.  This one was no exception...the clerk rang up an extra can of fruit, and at full price!  GRRR!!!!  I knew something was wrong when she told me the receipt showed 51 promo items instead of 50, but the line was backing up, it was late at night, there was no one at customer service to help fix it and I had to get home to feed the baby.  So I let it go...

I used (2) 1.00/2 printable coupons for the fish, (4) 2.00/2 coupons for the deodorant and (2) 1.00/4 coupons for the canned fruit.

I also then used the $11 in Catalina coupons from two weeks ago.

Total:  $56.29

I also bought roma tomatoes and bananas at Walmart so I could price match - they were both .33/lb from Rancho Markets this week.

FoodSaver to the Rescue!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A few weeks ago I bought some large bags of popcorn and rolled grains at Honeyville Grains.  Great buys, but not exactly packaged for long-term storage.  And I've had too many things going on lately to mess with renting the portable canner and getting cans...so call in my FoodSaver to the rescue!


I went to IFA (my new favorite store for canning stuff - they have EVERYTHING) and bought a few sets of half-gallon mason jars.  I had two 5-gallon buckets already as well as a few gamma lids.  So I opened the big bags and put most of each bag in a bucket with a gamma seal lid.  The leftovers went in the mason jars and were vacuum-sealed with my FoodSaver and the jar attachment.  Super fast, easy, and now they are protected for slightly longer storage.  It was a great option for me - not sure they'll stay in these forever, but at least they will be properly stored until I get around to getting the canner again. 

This is also a good option for my corn meal as well, which is still sitting downstairs in just the paper packaging...I use this same technique for storing brown sugar and chocolate chips as well, in smaller jars, and it works great!

Food Storage Group Buy Info for July

Sunday, July 8, 2012
Rose Canyon folks:  The food storage for July is being taken care of by the Young Women.  They will be going to the home storage center (cannery) and canning items there.  They are passing around the sign-up sheets at church.  Please make sure you have payment turned in to the bishopric on a tithing slip by Sunday, July 22.

For those who ordered in June, I have the broccoli but have not gotten the pinto beans or wheat yet - I will be getting those this week. 

Lesson Learned

Saturday, July 7, 2012
It's late, and I've been up for oh, about 19 hours now...not sure if I'm still coherent, but just wanted to jot down my experience today. 

I had what I thought was a great recipe for a meal in a jar, and I bought the ingredients a few weeks ago to make some up.  It looked good and seemed very simple to make.  I figured it would go over well with my kids and would be a good item to have around for breakfasts.

So today, before I sealed up a whole bunch of jars of this recipe, I made one batch just to try.  Good thing I did, because NO ONE WOULD EAT IT...Argh!!!  My kids turned their noses at it, and while my husband did eat some, he was definitely not excited about doing so. 

So, now I have a 25# bag of one of the ingredients, that no one in my family will eat...what a waste of money that could have gone to other items that my family WILL eat. 

I know better, but I forgot one of the cardial rules of food storage - STORE WHAT YOU EAT!  And before storing or purchasing anything in large amounts, make absolutely SURE it is something that you already use in your regular meals, or that it is something you know for SURE that your family will eat.

Ham in the Sun Oven

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Used my sun oven yesterday to warm up a ham - it was great!  Normally it is 275F for 3 hours in the oven, and that kicks out a LOT of heat to my main floor, which is already battling the heat with all of the windows facing due south and getting sun light all day long.  So being able to stick the ham in the sun oven outside was FABULOUS!  No fuel needed, and didn't heat up the inside of my house.

What was not so fabulous, is that I got incredibly sick after eating the ham...apparently there is a dairy-like substance in the ham or the glaze that I am very, very allergic to and didn't know.  *sigh* Food allergies can be really tricky at times...

What I'm Buying - Smith's 7/4

Happy Fourth of July!!!

My kids are now out of school for the summer, and grocery shopping with three in tow is just not feasible, so today provided a great chance to run to the store while daddy stayed home with the kids.  I guess everyone was thinking something similar, or they were gearing up for last-minute BBQ/party items, because it was CRAZY busy!  But, I was able to get everything I wanted, which is sometimes a rarity at my particular store.

Smith's has their yearly Daytona 500 promo going on for one more week - Buy 10 participating items, save $3 instantly at checkout and then get a $2 coupon good towards your next shopping trip.

My cart was so full that I had to do two separate trips, and then had to break the second trip into two transactions to get the full Catalina coupon amounts.  And then we had to re-ring part of the first cart because one of the cereals didn't ring up towards the promo...but it was all good in the end.



Transaction 1:
(20) GM cereals, on sale 1.99 (1.69 after checkout promo, 1.49 after Catalina coupon, .99-1.17 after manufacturer coupon)
(9) Kellogg's PopTarts 12ct, on sale 2.29 (1.99 after checkout promo, 1.79 after Catalina coupon, 1.46 after manufacturer coupon)
(11) Gatorade 32oz, on sale .99 (.69 after checkout promo, .49 after Catalina coupon)

I used various coupons on the cereal and pop-tarts (see list at GrocerySmarts for details).

Total:  $49.68 + (4) $2 Catalina coupons


One of the items that is part of the Daytona 500 promo also has a second Catalina promo - OreIda Sweet Potato steak fries or crinkle cut fries, buy 3 or more and get $3 coupon good off next shopping trip.  Unlike with the Daytona 500 coupons, you can only get (1) of the OreIda coupons per transaction, so if you want more than three packages, you'll need to split them up into two transactions.

Transaction 2:
(3) OreIda sweet potato steak fries, on sale 2.99 (2.69 after checkout promo, 2.49 after Catalina coupon from promo, 1.49 after manufacturer Catalina coupon)
(7) Fritos chips, on sale 1.99 (1.69 after checkout promo, 1.49 after Catalina coupon)

Total:  $20.50 + (1) $2 Catalina coupon + (1) $3 Catalina coupon


Transaction 3:
(3) OreIda sweet potato crinkle cut fries, on sale 2.99 (2.69 after checkout promo, 2.49 after Catalina coupon from promo, 1.49 after manufacturer Catalina coupon)
(6) Hefty gallon storage bags, on sale 1.49 (1.19 after checkout promo, .99 after Catalina coupon, .49 after manufacturer coupon)
(4) Hefty quart storage bags, on sale 1.49 (1.19 after checkout promo, .99 after Catalina coupon, .49 after manufacturer coupon)
(4) Planter's dry roasted peanuts, on sale 3.79 (3.49 after checkout promo, 3.29 after Catalina coupon, 2.29 after manufacturer coupon)
(16) Gatorade 32oz, on sale .99 (.69 after checkout promo, .49 after Catalina coupon)
(7) Fritos chips, on sale 1.99 (1.69 after checkout promo, 1.49 after Catalina coupon)
(4) Barqs and Fanta 12pk, on sale 3.33 (2.50 after promo Buy 4 for $10 - except they only took off $2 instead of the full 3.33 for the 4th 12pk - GRRR!!!!!)
(2) gallon whole milk, on sale 2.00
(1) Minute Maid fruit punch, on sale 1.00
(1) Minute Maid lemonade, on sale 1.00
(1) Smart Balance Lite margarine, 3.19
(1) Nucoa buttery spread sticks, 2.19
(1) calla lilly, 1.99 on clearance

I used coupons on the storage bags and peanuts, and one printable coupon on the milk.

I then used (5) $2 coupons and (1) $3 coupon from the previous transactions.

Total:  $60.96 + (4) $2 Catalina coupons + (1) $3 Catalina coupon

Overall, my total was $131.14 and I still have $11 in Catalina coupons for my next trip, so right at $120 after factoring all the Catalina coupons back in!

Scratching my head on this one...

Monday, July 2, 2012
There are a lot of great ideas out there for gadgets to assist us in emergencies.  Some are pure genius.  Some are literally potential lifesavers.  But then there are those that make you stop and ponder...and then scratch your head as you wonder, "Why...?"

This is one of those items...


The Wind'N Go Hand Crank shaver!  Don't be tied down and a slave to electrical outlets - now you can shave whenever and wherever you want.  It's true freedom!

Wind'N Go Shaver at eBay (just to prove that this really is an actual product for sale - and no, I don't think you should order one)

Maybe I just don't get it because I'm not a guy...  ;)

[Sorry folks - just needed a little humor in my day.  It was a tense weekend dealing with the wildfire.  I apologize if I have offended any hand-crank shaver owners.]