Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nice peaceful day alone

Everyone is at work today and we have a steady gentle rain.  Got all my work done and remembered the horses.  We had someone who said they'd be coming to see them yesterday so we moved them up to the small front pasture and locked them in there.  They didn't come and said maybe later in the week.  So I put on my poncho and hiked up to the back gate and opened it so they could get into the big pasture.  They were quite pleased and let me walk back the other way without mobbing me like they usually do. 

After I got back I took care of a few other things and then decided to pick the meat off the chicken I had roasted last night and make broth.  I had a little broth left over from last week so I pulled that out of the freezer and added it to the pot.  I ended up with 9 pints of chicken broth and used some chicken I had in the freezer to fill 2 more jars to fill the canner.   And I had opened a pint jar of ham last week and filled a half pint jar with the left overs and added that in.  I can use it later in a pot of beans. 

I had been using canned chicken to fix meals and decided it would be cheaper to boil up my own chicken instead.  I bought 3 chickens at about $2.50 each and boiled 2 up and roasted the third one.  We've had 5 meals out of the chicken so far and I still have 4 packages of chopped chicken in the freezer to use.  I have gotten 21 pints of chicken broth.  This isn't the thin running stuff you buy in the can but nice thick semi-gelled stuff.  I break most of the bones in half and simmer slowly for a couple hours.  Then I also got a couple extra pints of canned chicken so I could fill the canner. 

I pay about 70 cents a can for chicken broth so 21 cans would come up to $14.91 but a can isn't two cups like a pint is so it's even more than 21 cans.  Plus I pay $11 for a 5 pack of canned chicken at Sam's club but I probably had enough chicken off the 3 chickens to fill 10 cans.  So buying my own whole chickens and cooking them up made it a lot cheaper.  And I helped fill our food storage pantry a little fuller too!

I try to pressure can a load of something each week.  It's probably about time for me to go get another load of beef bones from the processing plant.  I get them for about 15 cents a pound and can make lots of beef broth to fill my own pint jars with.  In a crisis, beef and chicken broth can add lots of protein to boiled noodles and rice.  I will continue to buy whole chickens instead of canned chickens and keep filling my jars so we can have food if that rainy disaster day ever hits.


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