Oven Canning

by Woodsbum

My mother actually ran across this great site that covers some information about oven canning food. She knows that I am getting into a lot of these types of things and she thought that I would really like this information. As a matter of fact, I do like the post and thought that I would share.

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I recently was introduced t the idea of Oven Canning by: Deb Shaded Deer Schorzman
Sounded very interesting to me so I proceeded to do a little research via the internet. This was the most informative piece I found. I certainly think this is worth a try. I do agree that I would only use this method for dry goods. I always like when I can find a way to have an item last longer on the shelf and keeps rotation down. Which in the long run keeps food cost down.

Let us know if you have tried this and how it has worked for you.

Enjoy…

I learned from a very dear friend, many years ago. It is called oven canning. She also taught me how to can using a pressure cooker. She was a lot older than I was, and knew so much. I loved canning, but stuck with fruits, jams, jellies and such, as you did not have to use a pressure cooker. I was so scared to use one–I could just picture it blowing up the whole kitchen. She told me, “Kid (she always called me Kid), they are safe to use. You just have to pay attention to what you are doing, and cannot get side tracked while they are on the stove.” So the learning began. And she was right, it was safe, and I have since canned up lots of great veggies.

One day while we were visiting and having coffee at her home, she said, “Well Kid, today I am going to get busy on my oven canning.” I asked, “Oven canning?” thinking she could not really be going to can stuff in the oven. I asked how safe is food canned in the oven? She said it will last for years and years. I thought okay … I will listen to her and let her tell me, but I am sure not going to can any food in the oven.

I told her I had a few hours until the kids got home from school, so if she wanted some help, I would be glad to help her. She started bringing out all the canning jars, and a big cookie sheet. Then she started hauling out cans and cans of stuff. She said she buys things while on sale, and when she gets enough to fill the oven, she cans it.

What she had in the cans surprised me. It was beans, oatmeal, cornmeal, flour, and all kinds of dry items. I know I had a shocked look on my face, as she started laughing and asked, “What did you think I was going to can in the oven?” I told her I had no idea, and was still at a loss as to what she was going to do.

We started filling half gallon, quart and pint jars with different dry foods. When we had the jars filled, she turned on the oven to 200 degrees, and put the cookie sheet in, then put the filled jars on the cookie sheet. She filled it with all it would hold. She said now we can sit and visit for an hour. In an hour she got a damp paper towel and started taking out the jars, one at a time. She would wipe the rim with the wet towel, put the lid on and screw the band down tight. She was working steady and fairly fast. She would get one jar done then put it aside on a towel-covered area, open the oven and get out another jar and do the same thing. She said you have to be real careful and use a heavy cloth or potholder, as the jars are really hot. She used a small kitchen towel, which is what I use all the time now because you get a good grip on the jars, and it protects your hands. She got the jars all out and sealed, and then put in another batch and set the timer for another hour. She said all of her dry foods are now protected from bugs and critters, and will keep for years.

I started oven canning all of our dried foods at that time, and only a few months ago found out how long most of the foods will keep if stored right. Are you ready for this? A lot of them will last 20 to 30 years! I was shocked when I found this out. I know I have used items that have been canned 7 to 10 years or so, and they are great and are fresh tasting, just like when first canned. But 20 to 30 years was a real shock. They are to be stored where it is dry and not over 75 degrees.

I oven can all kinds of dry goods beans, cornmeal, flours, rice, oatmeal, dried onions, dried carrots, dried celery, potato flakes, dried yams and sweet potatoes, cereals, pastas-the list goes on and on. I even oven can our dry boxed cereals, as I was tired of finding bugs in boxes that were unopened but we did not use up in record time. (The bugs were in the foods when packaged, as they were in the sealed bags, but not in the box they were put into.) Most of the cereals are even better once they are oven canned, as they have more crunch to them.

The only thing you can not oven can is dry foods that have oils in them. I oven can almonds, and pecans, but walnuts do not can good at all. They will go bad, but it is due to the amount of oil, so they get tossed in the freezer.

Like my friend of many years ago, I buy dried food when it is on sale, and when I get enough to fill the oven a couple of times, I oven can it. It sure is great having all the dry foods safe and handy to use.

Everyone I tell who has tried oven canning has told me how happy they are to know about it. The best part most of them tell me is not having the freezers filled with all the dry foods, so they now have space for the foods that must be frozen.

You can use most glass jars and their lids, as long as the lids have the rubber gasket inside. Once in a while I will have one or two jars that do not seal; I just put them in the pantry to use, as they are heat treated and in glass, so they are still bug- and critter-free.

Any herbs and veggies that you dry, you can oven can. I dried grated carrots and then oven canned them. I just used some in my homemade soup, and they are fantastic. I hope this is a big help to saving your foods, freezer space and money. It sure helps us each year.

Any questions that I did not cover, please ask via COUNTRYSIDE.COM, and put it under Oven Canning, I will see it and respond. If you leave a phone or email number, I will contact you. I don’t know it all, but what I do know I am more than happy to share.

Using a cookie sheet or large flat container is a darn good idea to set your jars on. When I first started oven canning I knocked over a pint of rice while getting jars out. Needless to say, the clean up took a lot of time and energy.

   Before and After



                        


 Happy oven canning.–Lil Roberts, Manteca, California
posted in COUNTRYSIDE magazine Sept/Oct 2011
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I really am excited about getting some things together to set up some canning sessions. This is one area that I have not been as diligent in preparedness as I should be. It appears that I will need to take a trip over to Bi-Mart and get some canning equipment sooner than later.

Mosin Nagant Scope Installation

by Woodsbum

A couple of years ago I purchased what I would call a “box of guns.” In that box were 2 Mosin Nagants that were lacking several pieces with the stocks being the main part needed to finish the rifle. Because of the multitude of various rifles and configurations I already I had, I was not too sure how these would fit into my gun library. I have finally decided that I will turn these two into variations of the Scout rifle.

The first thing I will end up having to purchase will be stocks of some sort. Once I get that figured out I will create a post about that as well as the final build. What I wanted to post about today was one of the hardest parts of the upcoming Mosin build: mounting a scope.

Today I some ran into a couple videos about drilling and mounting scopes on the Mosin. The first couple are about the old PU scope. This scope relies upon a side mount system to clear the straight handle on the bolt. This guy does a fairly decent job explaining what he is doing and how he drilled the mounting holes in the hardened steel receiver.

https://youtu.be/W26QdEOCH3I

https://youtu.be/xxinTxL-V4o

https://youtu.be/RSXwWQXTkXU


The next video shows the installation of an ATI scope mount kit. It includes the bits, taps, screws and baseplate. He uses hex receiver style Mosins, but you can see how he does the install. I like the idea of having the scope top mounted rather than side mounted.

https://youtu.be/JLqAicvM0FA

At this time I am really unsure as to what exactly I will do for a scope mount. Ultimately, I would love to find some sort of scout style setup or engineer my own if I have to. If I could find something that allowed see-thru rings I would be even happier. I am going to have to do some serious searching for what I want, but this at least gives everyone an idea of how easy it really is to drill and tap your Mosin to accept a scope.

Clover

by Woodsbum

Another plant that is found in the Pacific Northwest is clover. This plant can be eaten in a variety of ways. Here is a great picture of clover in bloom.

Clover

Clover

All above-ground parts can be eaten raw. It is best when cooked or dipped in saltwater to counteract bloating. The flowerheads can eaten raw, dried or cooked. They can also be dried and ground into flour. The seeds can be processed in the same manner. The sprouts actually have the best taste, but even the creeping stems and roots can be cooked.

Clover grows in all sorts of terrain, but look in disturbed soil areas. The four varieties that grow here are the red, alsike, white and springbank clovers. Each one is edible, although red clover should be avoided in fall due to alkaloids.

Just be aware that it can be difficult to digest and can cause bloating.

WASR 10 Update

by Woodsbum

I wanted to shoot out an update on my WASR 10 that I picked up recently. This last weekend I was able to take it out and do some plinking with it. Ultimately, I was VERY pleasantly surprised and impressed by this rifle.

Every other time I have shot an AK, I have complained about the cheek slap and difficultly associated with getting my head low enough to see the open sites. This has always been my complaint about these rifles and I was quite sceptical as to whether this one was going to be the same. With the ATI stock on it, I really had no issues with the cheek slap. I was able to tuck my face down into the stock and clearly see the open sites without the customary smack. It was actually quite comfortable and ergonomic to shoot. The pistol grip is phenomenal and I am going to see if ATI makes a similar grip for AR’s.

The other thing that blew my mind was the rifle’s accuracy. Mind you that I am not a paper shooting type person. As a matter of fact, I have a hard time shooting paper and am MUCH more accurate when I shoot an object or critter. This being the case, it does make it difficult to take a picture of a destroyed piece of wood to prove accuracy. Verbally, I can describe the results……

Anything that we aimed for was hit. Seriously, the sights were dead on and it consistently hit where you aimed it. We were shooting small chunks of wood, soda bottles and beer cans at 30-40 yard distances. It was like shooting an AR or a Ruger 10-22. It just worked flawlessly and hit what you shot at.

Now that I own and have shot my AK, I can see how people fall in love with them. I am not going to sell off my AR’s and probably will not buy another AK unless I get into building them, but I do like the way that mine is set up. Without a doubt, I feel that I chose wisely for a GHB (Get Home Bag) rifle. If I need it, there is no doubt that I can depend on it.

Ruffwear Boots

by Woodsbum

Not only for supreme cuteness factor, but for real reasons I decided that my dog needed some shoes. Since dogs tend to get hurt at one time in their life or another, I really thought that getting mine used to having things on his feet was important. Since I don’t tend to do things very half-assed I went all out and got some Ruffwear Boots for Angus.

Angus with Ruffwear Boots

Angus with Ruffwear Boots

As you can see in this picture, I started him young with the whole shoe wearing thing. Here are a few interesting things that I have learned about dog shoes during this whole training and wearing process:

  • Dogs don’t really like shoes at first.
  • Puppies think shoes are actually boxing gloves so be prepared.
  • Plan on being OVERLY watchful so that your dog doesn’t eat the shoes.
  • Dog shoes are OBSCENELY expensive considering what people pay for Pro Wings.
These Ruffwear do have a few issues that I have run across. The back ones flip over when Angus is running around and playing in them. He will come back with the rubber on top and the Lycra stuff on the bottom. I think that he might need a smaller set for the rear, but at $90 for a set of 4 I am holding off to see if I can find something more hunting style that won’t come off in the mud. Before anyone comments, YES THEY FIT AS DESCRIBED IN RUFFWEAR VIDEOS.

Oh, yea….  The back ones come off in the mud…..

I have also found that Angus actually has a tremendous increase in traction with these boots. He is able to do weird fakes and jukes that leaves our malamute a bit annoyed. It is such an increase that Angus will slip out and fall after I take them off, then come over to me to put them back on so he can mess with our malamute some more.

If I were designing these things I would have made them high tops or something. This would keep them from flipping over on the back feet and help protect the lower leg a bit more.

Here is a good picture of the fit on front and back feet.

Angus Chillin in Ruffwear

Angus Chillin in Ruffwear


As a final comment I will say that both Angus and I like the idea, increased traction, increased protection and comfortable feel of these Ruffwear Boots. I just think that they need better sizing options, such as ability to pick different sizes for front and back for dogs that have different sized feet. I also feel that the back ones need a bit better design so that they don’t tend to flip or come off as badly. Although I do have a few annoyances, I am glad that Angus has these things. If nothing else, they help protect the leather seats in my car….