Monday, November 12, 2012

Managing Your Food Storage

I am sure some of you are hesitant to purchase large number 10 cans of food for your food storage program.  I know I was when I first started. My thoughts centered around the question "What am I supposed to do with the rest of the can now that I opened it?" If I lived in Arizona or some other 'dry' state, I am sure the plastic top on the can would suffice and it could stay on the shelf in the pantry.  That doesn't work here in the south.  Even in the winter months, the contents of the can will collect moisture and ruin the food in a matter of weeks. It usually takes me four to five months to finish a can. So, what do you do? Let me show you!

I just opened a new can of powdered eggs. To ensure I rotate my food storage, I label the can with the month/year I purchased it.   When I need something, I always take the oldest can. This can of egg powder was purchased in December 2010.

I got what I needed for the recipe I was making and put the plastic top back on the can to deal with later.  My procedure is to leave the can on the kitchen counter where I can see it so I know it needs to be stored correctly (otherwise I would forget about it).  It usually takes me a few days to get to it. This can sat for three days before I repackaged it.

To repackage it, I take some out and place it in a quart canning jar (I have lots of those at my house!) This will go into the refrigerator to use now.

The rest of the can will be repackaged with my Food Saver.  I love this appliance! (I know, it uses electricity!!) I usually reseal freeze-dried fruit in quart caning jars as well as package the onion and garlic powder that I make into pint and half-pint jars. For powdered products like milk, eggs, sour cream, or tomato powder, I like to use the food saver bags. I made four packets of eggs just like the one below.

As you can see, I have a paper towel in the bag with the powdered eggs. The paper towel helps to keep the egg powder out of the Food Saver machine while it is pulling the air out. There is less clean up when you use a paper towel. Each bag is labeled with the purchase date and the date the can was opened. I also use an extra large bag so I can reseal it a few times. That way I only need to take what I want, and then I can reseal the bag.

The packets are then put back in storage. This year I have been trying something new. I have been placing the resealed packages of powdered milk and eggs in the freezer. I thought I would try it as an experiment to see if the food would last longer/taste better by being stored in the freezer.  Normally, I would just place the packages under a bed. I think after my year long experiment, I can honestly say I don't see a difference between the frozen packages vs. non-frozen ones. But for now, I think I will keep the packages in the freezer. However, if it comes to not having any room for the turkeys I purchase to feed Molly, I will move the packages to under a bed.

Now that the packages are put back into food storage, it is time to update the supply list.

And the last thing I do is add the item to my food storage purchase list so I can replace it! 

Oh, on a side note, I thought I would share a picture of the can openers we have at our house.


While we have purchased many swing away can openers over the years, they always end up breaking. We find ourselves coming back to these openers over and over again.  Now, they are the only ones we use. The P-38 on the left side of the picture has been on my key chain for over 30 years and still works great! It only takes a few seconds to open a number 10 can with one of these.

So, with very little effort, you can successfully add number 10 cans to your food storage program! The best part about purchasing number 10 cans is the money you save!

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