"I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way…gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Bartlett pears are considered the best for canning. They have a sweet taste and are readily available. Although Kieffer pears and other similar varieties will work if properly ripened and cooked in water until almost tender (i.e. takes a lot more time and effort). Pears should be harvested when they are full grown and stored in a cool place (60-65F) until ripe, but not soft. Ripening pears in a controlled environment also eliminates some of the characteristic grit that forms in the meat of pears.  Because pears tend to ripen from the inside out, it's best to check the pears often if they have been ripened indoors. A ripe pear can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week without spoiling, but pears that are green will not ripen properly in the refrigerator.

Pears are one of the most delicate of fruits-even a slight bump will cause bruising. When picking pears for indoor ripening, pick fruit that separates from the branches easily or wait until the fruit begins to drop naturally. Never use soft fruit or fruit that is overripe when home canning. Canning pears that are overripe will change the acid level in the fruit, causing spoilage and the possibility of botulism poisoning, which is deadly. Instead, select firm, ripe fruit and follow all canning instructions completely.

Gather your ingredients:
pears- 2-3 pounds per quart
sugar, water, lemon juice, 1 large kettle,1 large pot, water bath canner, slotted spoon or skimmer

- Prepare your jars first
Peel, core, and cut into halves about 17 pounds of pears for 7 quarts. place pears in a large pot with  8 cups of water and 1 cup of lemon juice to prevent browning after being peeled.

                                                       (an awesome coring tool)
Once you have about 17 pounds prepped, make an extra light syrup in a large kettle. For every 5 1/2 cups of water add 1 1/4 cups of sugar. You want this syrup hot, but not boiling. Using your slotted spoon transfer the pears from the lemon juice bath to the syrup and cook one layer at a time until they are hot throughout.


Pack hot pears into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup (what you just cooked your pears in) over the pears leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove all the air bubbles. Wipe the top of your jar clean with a wet rag.

                                  Place the lid and ring on the jar and tighten snugly.

                                  Process for 25 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

                                        120 pounds of Bartlett pears yielded me 78 quarts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

52 Weeks to Preparedness-Week 19

Non-fat dry milk 2- #10 cans
1 pound of yeast, baking powder and baking soda
Flashlight with extra batteries, spotlight, chemical light stick, reflective road hazard sign, road flares
Have on hand enough cash to solve emergency situations. Start with $20.00 in $1.00 bills. Keep it safe and dedicated to emergencies. It could save your life. Gradually add to it, keeping savings in small bills (ones, fives and tens) to be able to make change. This should grow to at least $500.00. Some suggest a month's pay on hand in cash.
Read Alma 34:32-34
Re-evaluate your life. If there is something that you need to repent of or do better at, resolve to take care of it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

52 Weeks to Preparedness-Week 18

8 cans of soup
2 month supply of laundry soap
Fire extinguisher, jumper cables, tow strap, 1 quart motor oil, container of HEET
Give every member specific safety tasks to do in an emergency. For example, designate one person to be in charge of turning off electricity, one to collect the emergency container, one to take charge of any pets, etc.
Read and discuss as a family, "The Family, A Proclamation to the World."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dry Pack Canning

Dry pack canning is the best way to maintain a long-term food supply. Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more. While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many home storage centers located throughout the world. Whether you are a member of the church or not, you are welcome to come to the home center and can items. It is preferred that you attend with a member, but there are plenty of helpful people at the home storage center. Visit the provident living website of the church to find a location near you.  

I have been to my local center many times, but with a baby at home I was finding it more difficult to coordinate naps, extra hands, and dry pack canning. So for members of the church you can borrow a sealer from the home storage center. Call or visit the center and ask to be placed on the list to check out the sealer. There was a two month waiting period for the sealer when I called, but that gave me plenty of time to accumulate the product that I wanted to can. All of the things that you need for dry pack canning are available for purchase at the home storage center with an order form.

So, for the week that I had the sealer I was able to seal 72  #10 cans of a variety of food. Some of the food I purchased from the home storage center, some I purchased in bulk from other sources. Since I had two months before I could check out the sealer I was able to get some really great prices on things. If you go to the home storage center to seal your cans you must purchase the items from the home storage center. (Side note: the home storage center prices are excellent.)

This is the sealer I checked out. A bonus to this sealer is that it is silent, so I could work during nap time.

All food items except for sugar will need an oxygen absorber added. Don't open the absorbers too early and make sure to reseal the bag they came in after each opening. They activate fairly quickly and you want them to activate in your sealed can, not in the bag. 
The can on the left is not sealed. The can on the right is sealed.  Be sure to label everything BEFORE you seal it or you will have a great guessing game to play. 
This is one closet where I store our food storage. But under the bed, behind the couch, all other closets are other places I have things stashed away.  Remember the biggest thing is to maintain a cool temperature to ensure that the food lasts as long as it can. 
ROTATE AND USE your food storage!
If you are new to dry pack canning and are unsure how to start I would be more than happy to help you.

52 Weeks to Preparedness-Week 17

8 cans of meat
8 rolls of toilet paper
A couple pairs of safety glasses and gloves for working on the car. Find your jack and tools to change a tire, check them out and learn how to use them.
Pick the smallest debt and make a dedicated effort to pay it off. Apply any spare money to this goal. When it's paid off, apply its payment amount, plus what the next smallest one requires, and any spare money to pay the next smallest one off. Continue this plan until the Prophet's council to be debt free is accomplished.
Gather your family together for family prayer morning and evening. "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." 3 Nephi 18:21