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Project Wrap-Up

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  • Project Wrap-Up

    The Owl pointed out that I needed to bring some stuff up to date.
    1. How's the cheese?
    2. Canning corned beef
    3. Bread from scratch

    We reported when we canned the cheese, it's at

    But! How's it taste?

    When we went to Sam's Club a couple of weeks ago we found a #10 can of chili for 6.58, so bought one to try.

    One night this last week, I was rumaging for something to cook for dinner and pulled out that can. Boiled up some macaroni and glopped some of that chili on it. I opened one of the cheeses to add. Voila, chili mac!

    Only used about half the jar of cheese, so will have to get some half pint jars for canning the rest of it. Used some more of the cheese this AM in the Owls breakfast of Spam chunks in scrambled eggs. It tasted right good! If you like velveeta, this ones a keeper!

    BTW, the chili tastes so much like Hormel's we were both astonished. We will definately get more to go into our stores. Both took a bowl for lunch and had plain chili with some chopped onions and shredded cheese for dinner one night. Good stuff.

    Canning Corned Beef
    You remember I bought a bunch of corned beefs and threw them in the freezer at St. Pat's day, intending to can them. Thawed 4 of them for this project.

    For some reason, the Owl was fascinated with this project and dove in to help :D, was wonderful to have him heaving the full pots around!

    I put a quart jar beside my chopping board and filled it with corned beef chunks as I cut. Removed most of the fat while cutting them up, which broke my heart because the fat is part of why I love corned beef! When the jar was slightly overfull, I dumped it into my cooking pot. Since my pressure cooker holds 7 quarts, I did that 7 times. Then added water and brought the beef to a boil. Boiled it for about a half hour, just enough to make sure it was hot all the way through.

    Took my hot jars from the dishwasher and started filling them. First, I took the little seasoning packets and used a teaspoon to divvy them out between the jars. Then used a wire mesh basket to scoop beef chunks from the cooking pot, spooning from the basket into the jars. That worked well, could stuff the jars and see how much meat I had in there without guessing.

    I expected the meat to shrink, that's why I overfilled the 7 jars while chopping, but it shrank so much, I only got 6 quarts out of it. :( Then used a cup to scoop out the meat juice I'd boiled it in to fill the jars, covering the meat. Threw them into the pressure cooker.

    Once I got them up to 13 pounds of pressure (we are at almost 5K feet), turned them on low and cooked for 90 minutes.

    Once the pressure came down, pulled the jars out to cool. One didn't ping for me, the bastich! So I only got 5 for the pantry. :mad: The Owl and I took a fork to the other jar. :D

    Bread From Scratch
    And I mean REALLY scratch. The jug to the right is Montana Red Wheat. We started out the morning grinding wheat. We ran about 6.5 cups through the grinder 3 times, once coarse ground, then finer, then finest. Got 7.5 cups of beatiful whole wheat flour. It was a little coarser than the whole wheat flour you buy in the market, but then that isn't usually really "whole" wheat.

    The grain mill we have is a hand-crank job, since we aren't guaranteed electricity forever. The first run through only took about 5 minutes, but that is WORK! We traded off cranking, I traded arms so I wouldn't end up with bulging muscles in only ONE arm :p. The Owl got to looking at the thing about half way through the second run and said, "Stand down, I'll be right back". And disappeared with my crank.

    He came back with a portable electric drill and a big allen wrench bit for the thing that he'd made. Sucker was only gone 5 minutes, he's amazing!

    The rest of the 2nd run and all of the third only took about 3 minutes! Now he's got to figure out how to always have battery packs for that drill or it's back to developing muscles.

    Didn't think until afterwards that I should have taken pics of the grinding, will show them next time.:o

    Made the bread in the usual fashion, with all of the necessary kneading and "resting". More muscles! Have the recipe I used if you'd like it.

    Once the loaves came out of the oven (and they were beautiful, if I do say so!), we cut off a heal to split and slathered it with butter for the taste test. The consistency of the loaf was very nice. Even grained and smooth, without being dense.

    Both of us agreed that it was very nice, but somewhat bland. We are used to my bread-machine french bread, I guess. I'll put in a little more salt next time. Will also add some Italian Seasoning or even some dill. This was a basic recipe to try with the ground wheat, so was not unhappy. It was very filling and we only had a half a slice each.

    So! We were so pleased with our results that we threw 9 trays of veggies into the dehydrator and the Owl disappeared into the mancave and I made a cup of tea and sat down to write this book. Cheese is a keeper, thawing 2 more corned beefs and a pork loin to can tomorrow, and smelling bell peppers drying.

    Good stuff and I'm beat! :eek:
    "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012

  • #2
    Yay Wife and Skyowl!! It all looks wonderful! Thanks for the update on the cheese. I will have to give it a go. I was thinking of using the half-pint jars as well.

    And yes, please share your wheat bread recipe! :)

    Everything looks so good!! I am proud of you guys!!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lostinoz View Post
      And yes, please share your wheat bread recipe! :)
      2 tsp yeast
      7 1/2 C whole wheat flour (divided)
      3 C warm water (divided)
      2 tsp salt
      2 T honey
      2 T oil

      1. Put honey in large bowl, add 1 C. warm water, sprinkle yeast on top, agitate a bit to dissolve. Put in warm place for 10 minutes.

      2. Add other 2 C warm water, beat in 3 1/2 C flour. Stir in salt and oil.

      3. Add rest of flour 1/2 C or so at a time. When it gets too stiff to mix, turn out on a floured surface and mix in most of the flour by hand, saving some to use while kneading.

      4. Cover dough with a damp towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.

      5. Knead dough 20 minutes, using up most or all the remaining flour. Cover with damp towel (the dough, of course) and allow to rest 10 minutes.

      6. Knead a few times, make ball, and put in oiled bowl. Cover with that damp towel and put in a warm place to rise 1 1/2 hours.

      7. Knead gently a few times, return to bowl, cover, put in warm place for 1 hour.

      8. Divide dough in half, knead the dough balls a few times, cover with the damp towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.

      9. Form loaves and place in well greased (or Pammed) pans, cover with damp towel again, cover, put in a warm place for 1 hour. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

      10. Slash tops of loaves. Bake 45-50 minutes. Turn out on a rack to cool.
      I used olive oil, both in the dough and olive oil-flavored Pam for my bread pans. I combined steps 8 and 9, when I kneaded that time, I let them "rest" in the bread pans, figured they were going to get spoiled with all the attention I was lavishing on them! :p Is a good basic recipe, will have to tart it up! :) Any suggestions will be appreciated.
      Last edited by Skyowl's Wife; 05-10-2009, 01:46 AM. Reason: Showing recipe mod
      "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


      • #4
        You have been a busy bee with wonderful results.


        • #5
          awesome looking canned beef!ummmmmm bet thats good for a sandwitch!!


          • #6
            Originally posted by themachenic, View Post
            awesome looking canned beef!ummmmmm bet thats good for a sandwitch!!
            It's cut up pretty small, would have to shred it for a sandwich and glue it together with mustard or mayo or something.

            When we took a fork to the undead jar, the Owl rolled his eyes and moaned something about it melting in his mouth. :rolleyes: To me, that means it's a success since that's always the affect I shoot for when cooking - making his eyes roll and putting a smile on his face!

            I put the rest of it into the fridge (WAYYYYYY in the back so there'll be some left!) until I can get a cabbage to cook for tomorrow. Would eat it tonight, but the Owl has offered to take ALL the local family women to dinner, since we are all mothers. That's me, our daughter, my mother and her sister. With our gdaughter thrown in, these are the 6 I'm putting together all these supplies for.
            "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


            • #7
              wow amazing job guys! Thanks for sharing

              The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)


              • #8
                And finished the last two corned beefs and another 2/3s of a monster pork loin today. Three quarts each!

                "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


                • #9
                  I've refined the wheat bread recipe and use the bread machine to mix the dough, saves on part of the muscles! The whole famile LOVES this bread, even my eldest who would never eat wheat bread. The son-in-law has been calling me a Goddess whenever I give him a loaf of this to take home. :D

                  Honey Wheat Bread

                  16.5 oz warm water
                  2.25 tsp salt
                  3 Tblsp butter
                  1/2 cup honey
                  2.5 Tblsp vital wheat gluten
                  5 cups fresh ground WHOLE wheat flour
                  2 tsp yeast

                  Throw it all into the breadmaker in the order given and run it, using the whole wheat dough setting. When it's done, dump it out on a lightly floured board and knead the air out of it (about 3 minutes). Divide into two loaves. Use 2 breadpans sprayed with PAM. Form into loaves and put into the bread pans. Put into a warm spot to rise, I cover them with a dishtowel. When it's doubled in size (about an hour for me, will depend on how warm your "warm spot" is), put them into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. To see whether it's done, tap your loaf while in the oven, it should be hard.

                  Don't forget, that the bread is still cooking when you take it out of the oven. Let it cool on a rack (take it OUT of the breadpans or the bottom and sides will get soggy!) for an hour. During that hour, it re-absorbs the steam inside that helped your loaves rise. The crust holds that in, if you cut it before it cools, that moisture will escape and your bread will be dryer (also spoils faster) than you will like.

                  Yum! :)

                  We have been canning everything that has come into season this summer, including GRAPES. Have bananas (.33 a pound!) dehydrating, now. Going to buy more blueberries this afternoon. Skyowl said to can, not dehydrate them, and I believe he's right (Lord, don't tell him I said that about a cooking thing! :p), so will be putting them up in pint jars.

                  Also found a plan for a "wheat grinder" to use in case you don't have one or yours breaks. Will spelunk around and if I haven't posted it, will do so.

                  P.S. Since they have confirmed bird flu in turkeys in South America, watch for the price of turkeys to drop (people afraid to eat them). I've found that an 18 lb turkey will fill 7 quart jars very nicely. Remember, you CANNOT get the flu from eating the animal!
                  Last edited by Skyowl's Wife; 08-22-2009, 04:04 PM. Reason: Added my P.S.
                  "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


                  • #10
                    You got me in the mood for Bread! Thanks alot Sky Owls Wife! LOL Now im off the the Kitchen.


                    • #11
                      Hail to the skyowl clan

                      WoW you sure put a huge effort into this thread on here with all the recipes and writing it up for us. We are all lucky to have you here. Im getting some bulk dry goods packed now but I will soon start the corned beef canning.

                      Thanks a TON
                      You can not multiply wealth by dividing it.:cool:


                      • #12
                        Great post. Just a suggestion, if you like BBQ, you can put your favorite sauce in there before canning. Yum.
                        G.I.H.S.O. Going In Hot, Safety Off.


                        • #13
                          Thank you, both!

                          Will fill you in on the apples next!
                          "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012