Unless I find a great buy on sweet potatoes, I think we’re finished with the canning for 2021! My family should get fat from our produce!!
The first week of bow season found me bringing in a two year old doe. The second week of the season my bow broke beyond repair but she had been a good one. The third week hubby bought in a yearling buck and our son got a yearling buck. I thought I would share with you what we do to process the meat.
After Eddie skins and quarters the deer, he takes out the tenderloin and slices it into 1 inch pieces and then runs it through our cuber/tenderizer. The next step depends on what I need in the freezer. This year we are very low on burger so he carved all the meat off the bones and cut into large chunks. Then he runs it through our grinder once but we’re not finished at this point. We add 10 pounds of ground beef burger to the venison and I make sure it is all mix well and it’s run through the grinder one more time. We add beef burger to the venison because it is a really dry meat without much marbling. Without the marbling the meat will be dry and even touch as burger.
I did an inventory of what we have so far this morning and there’s 52 packs of burger patties, 56 of tenderloin and only 12 – 1 pound rolls of burger. We’ll need at least three more deer to complete the pound packages. I know this sounds like a lot for two people but the kids don’t have freezers and provide this meat for four households which includes son, daughter and granddaughter. I can’t imagine what it would cost to buy all of this in our local grocery!!!
When I make the patties I place a sheet of wrap between each burger and then place them in Food Saver (I love this little machine) bags, vacuum pack and seal. I date the bags and freeze and our meat so far has been as good in two years as it is fresh packaged.
It looks like the next two weeks are going to keep us busy which isn’t a big problem since we’re staying close to home anyway! We’ve done this most all of our married life and now it’s so routine we don’t even have to think about!!
Nope, canning season is not over and believe it or not I’m glad. I’ve been canning half-gallons of apple juice all morning!
Our orchards did not bare much for us this year due to the frigid spring and heavy frost when the trees were budding and flowering. I love a glass of juice when I first get up in the mornings and apple juice is one of my favorites right up there with grape juice. We decided we would have to purchase some apples to make me some juice.
Eddie and I ventured over to Botetourt County last week and picked up six 70-lb. sacks of their cider apples. The day we arrived to pick them up they were sorting Red Delicious and they were beautiful Out of 420 pounds of apples we may have found a dozen with rotten spots.
On Tuesday, our daughter was off from work and came up to press apples with us. We cleaned up the cider press, washed the apples, and started pressing all of the wonderful juice out of the apples.
We finished the seventy pounds with two 12 gallon milk cans full of juice and a bowl full of apples left over to eat and make some apple bars.
We stored the cans in our garage until this morning so it would stay ice-cold and so the settlements squished into the juice would settle to the bottom of the can.
I washed up all of the half gallons jars and sterilized them for the juice. Eddie went to the garage and poured the juice gently into large stainless steel pots and brought them to the kitchen. I heated the juice just to boiling and poured it into the hot jars. placed the lids on and tighten them for canning. The jars were too tall to fit any of my canners so we used our turkey cooker for the job and it held five half-gallon jars.
After placing the filled jars in the “canner”, I filled it with hot water almost covering the jars, turned the heat up to high and waited for it to start boiling. Once the boiling started, I timed the process for 25 minutes and when completed I turned off the stove and let the boiling stop. I then picked up the jars and placed them on a heavy towel on my kitchen table (away from drafts) so they could seal. We have twenty half-gallons which should last through most of the winter.
The difference in the quart and half-gallon jar is shown here.
We saved the sacks the apples were in to use next year when picking our own apples if Mother Nature cooperates, bagging onions, drying walnuts or anything else we may need them for.
The apple peelings filled up one big galvanized bath tub and four five gallon buckets. We feed them to each of the three herds of cattle and our bulls. The extra milkcan of juice will harden to cider which we also love. If there’s any that gets too hard, I’ll let it turn to vinegar and store it in jugs in the cellar.
I just put some apple bars in the oven and I’ll share the recipe if it turns out well since it’s a new one for me!
There’s rarely anything that goes to waste on our farm. This does NOT end the canning season either!!!! I killed a really nice 7-point buck yesterday and the hams will be cubed and canned early in the next week.
Our chestnut season is over though and we sold 35+ pounds of those this week and saved about 10 pounds for ourselves to snack on.
Until next time. . . .
I’ve added a couple more recipes to my cooking page. Hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we do!
This is Sassy, a blonde cocker spaniel that has as you can see never missed a meal.
We’re trying to cut back on her food a little and I will honestly tell you she eats what we eat. One of the benefits of having our own farm is being able to hunt on our own land. We do love venison and use it in so many way but that’s another post. The reason for this post is to tell you that one of the most nutritious and weight conscious things we feed Sassy is our own homemade deer jerky with no seasoning or additives.
Hubby will take a shoulder of a deer and partially freeze it and then thinly slice it on his meat saw. I then layer it in our dehydrator at 155* for about 6-7 hours until very dry and then pack it in ziploc freezer bags and pop it in the freezer. Depending on the size of the deer, we usually get three gallon bags of dried jerky from each shoulder.
Sassy get a slice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacktime, and bedtime, well, she wishes she got it that much but she does love it.