Tag Archives: holiday

  • This post is part of our 2013 12 Days of Christmas, 12 Days of Giveaways series. This series will run from December 3rd to December 18th, 2013. Each giveaway is open for three calendar days. Special offers are open as long as supplies last.   Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Mountain time on the 3rd day. This Giveaway is Closed.

    12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

    On the first day of Christmas my true love . . . I mean, Emergency Essentials . . . gave to me:

    Emergency Warrrr-mth (warmth) Items!

    Today’s giveaway features the Hotspot Holiday Gift Combo and an Emergency Sleeping Bag. This is the gift that literally keeps on giving (well, at least until you’ve given away all the HotSpot gifts . . .). Here’s a brief summary about each of the products: what they can do, why you want them, and how they work. (Reading this summary will probably help you to answer the quiz below—hint, hint.)

    12 Days of Christmas: HotSpot Combo & Sleeping Bag

    HotSpot Holiday Gift Combo: This item includes 10 HotSpot hand warmers, 10 bags, and 10 bows to make your holiday shopping quicker and easier—10 instant gifts for FREE. These are the perfect gifts for anyone who loves building snowmen, snowboarding, skiing, sledding, or anything cold. They’re also great for emergency kits. They stay heated for up to 2 hours. Unlike other hand warmers, you can reuse it by boiling the pouch (covered in a cloth) on a stove top or in a microwave, preferably right after use. The HotSpot™ Reusable heat pack is easy to use: just flex the metal disc and knead the pack to intensify the heat.

    Emergency Sleeping Bag: This compact full-body-coverage emergency sleeping bag, will keep you warm and dry during an emergency or while camping or hiking in the cold. This bag is designed to reflect up to 80% of radiated body heat to help preserve crucial warmth and keep warmer longer. This bag could help prevent hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold-related concerns. It’s the perfect item for emergency kits or to store in your car’s glove compartment. This bag will cover you head to toe, but is small enough to fit into your pocket.

    Enter to win these products by taking the quiz below and get a second entry by sharing today’s giveaway post that’s up on Facebook. You have until Thursday, December 5th, 11:59 p.m. Mountain time to enter this giveaway.

    Good luck!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: giveaway, Survival, emergency preparedness, holiday, 12 days of Christmas

  • Mountain House Sale 2013

    As Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!” The same principle applies to the Mountain House sale—it’s not over until December 5th, 2013 (while supplies still last). There are still plenty of great Mountain House products to choose from at great prices. You can get up to 25 to 50% off of these excellent products! So even if you missed out on our Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, you can still get a great deal for these Mountain House products.

    The best part: unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can order many of these sale items online, by phone, or by mail! (Those labeled “Special Buys” are only available online.) But in order to get these special prices, make sure you meet the following deadlines before the sale ends:

    Your phone call must be placed by 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (Remember 6 p.m. MST is—8 p.m Eastern Time,; 7 p.m. Central Time, and 5 p.m. Pacific Time); The phone lines tend to be very busy at times like this, so skip the wait and place your order online if you can.

    • Your online order must be placed by11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on Dec. 5th.
    • Your mail order must be postmarked by December 5th. Please note that some items may be sold out before we receive your mail order.

     

    Click here to see all our Mountain House items on sale, or check out some of the most popular Mountain House Items on sale below: http://bit.ly/1eMBs3A

    Beef Stroganoff for $20.25 (regularly $28.49)

    Beef Stroganoff

    Granola with Milk and Freeze Dried Blueberries for $28.12 (regularly $39.99)

    Granola w/ Milk & Blueberries

    Freeze Dried Chicken Dices for $34.50 (regularly $48.99)

    Chicken Dices

    Creamed Beef for $36.75 (regularly $51.99)

    Creamed Beef

    Raspberry Crumble for $19.50 (regularly $27.49)

     Raspberry Crumble

    Special Buys--online only. (These items were produced in 2011 and 2012 and therefore have a slightly shorter [shelf life].)

    Sliced Bananas for $18.80 (regularly $34.49)

    Sliced Bananas

    Green Peas for $10.49 (regularly $20.99)

    Garden Green Peas

    Granola with Milk and Blueberries for $25.99 (regularly $39.99)

    Granola w/ Milk & Blueberries

    Green Beans for $11.99 (regularly $23.99, a saving of 50.02%)

     Green Beans

    Remember, when these and the other sale items sell out, they will no longer be available to order at the special price, so keep in mind these other old sayings: “The early bird gets the worm,” and “He who hesitates is lost.” These bargains will be flying off the shelves, and this is an excellent opportunity to add to (or begin) your food storage at great prices!

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, mountain house, sale, emergency preparedness, freeze dried, #10 cans, freeze dried food, holiday

  • Sign up for our email list to be the first to know what great Black Friday deals we have for you!

    It’s almost here! With all the preparations, planning, and travel for Thanksgiving, don’t forget the exciting day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday, when all the amazing sales happen! They’re happening here, for sure. You won’t believe the door busters and other bargains—up to 70% off on selected items!

    But until then, you’ll want to become familiar with our Black Friday rules to get the most out of your shopping experience.

    Here are the rules:

    1)      Door buster and special pricing are limited to one order per customer. Subsequent orders won’t qualify for these discounts.

    2)      Order early in the day, as our door buster and special pricing will end when the product sells out. Once a product has sold out, it will no longer be available to purchase. Sorry, no rainchecks!

    3)      Door buster and special prices apply only to the 48 contiguous states.

    4)      These sale prices apply to online orders only, placed on Friday, November 29, between 8 a.m. and 11:59p.m. Mountain Standard Time. (For the corresponding hours in your time zone, see below.) NO phone or mail orders, please, on this promotion.

     

    In Eastern Time Zone, the sale hours are 10 a.m. to 1:59 a.m.

    In Central Time Zone, the sale hours are 9 a.m. to 12:59 a.m.

         In Mountain Time Zone, the sale hours are 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

    In Pacific Time Zone, the sale hours are 7 a.m. to 10:59 p.m.

     

    5)      Some items may have “per-customer” limits. Items must be added to your shopping cart after 8 a.m. MST to receive promotional pricing. If the pricing doesn’t appear to be correct, you will need to refresh your browser before submitting your order. (To do this for a PC, click on F5; for an Apple, click on Apple + R.)

     

    Come back to our blog and follow our Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter to watch for more information on these great buys! 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: black friday, sale, Emergency Essentials, holiday

  • Holiday Gift Guide: $50 and Under

    The holidays are just around the corner, but there’s still time to get a jump on your holiday shopping this year.

    Over the past two weeks we’ve given you gift ideas that’ll help your loved ones get prepared. You’ve seen options for gifts $10 and under and for gifts between $10 to $25. Here are some ideas for gifts between $25 and $50.

    My family is crazy into outdoor adventures—rock climbing, backpacking, skiing/snowboarding, canyoneering—all of it. We’re always looking for new gear that’ll make our trips more comfortable. Whether your loved ones are diehard adrenaline junkies or just love the outdoors, these gifts will bring a smile to their faces.

      1. Suisse Sport K-2 5° Sleeping Bag-- $49.99

         

        This sleeping bag is perfect for three-season camping (fall, winter, and spring). The Suisse Sport bag features a durable outer shell, with an inner double layer quilting and insulation to provide maximum warmth. It also has a full chest battle and draft tube to keep your body heat from escaping.  So if you enjoy winter camping, or hate being cold even in the crisp temperatures of spring and fall, this bag will keep you toasty warm.
      2.  

        Holiday Gift Guide: Suisse Sport K-2 5° Sleeping Bag

         

      3. Castlepine™ Internal Frame Backpack (green)--$34.95

         

        When you have to carry all your gear on your back (I’m thinking 50 milers, campouts, or other backpacking trips), it’s important to have a pack that’s strong enough to hold the weight you need, and durable enough to last as long as you do (and likely longer). This pack is great for backpacking trips or larger-scale emergency kits with its 3,200-cubic-inch capacity. Available in red and navy.
      4.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Castlepine™ Internal Frame Backpack (green)

      5. Gerber Gator Combo Axe II with Saw--$50.00

         

        This combo is great because in one compact item, you get an axe and a saw. The Gerber Gator Axe II is longer than the original, giving you a stronger striking force. The handle is covered with the Gerber Gator texturing to give you a better grip, even in wet conditions. This is a gift that can be used in an emergency or in your regular outdoor adventures.
      6.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Gerber Gator Combo Axe II with Saw

      7. Katadyn MyBottle MicroFilter--$49.95

         

        Having clean water is essential no matter where you are. The Katadyn MicroFilter is a great filter for on-the-go expeditions because you can filter water as you drink it. The microfilter removes bacteria and pathogenic cysts (such as Giardia and Cryptosporidim).  This MicroFilter gives you clean, fresh-tasting water.
      8.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Katadyn MyBottle MicroFilter

      9. Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent--$49.99

         

        This is another great gift to give outdoor enthusiasts. Tents can be complicated, intricate, and just plain user-UN-friendly. But this lightweight, easy-to-set-up tent provides a quick shelter for 3-4 people. On backpacking trips, a quick set-up is ideal for when it starts to downpour before you’ve had a chance to set up camp—or if you just want to get through setup and focus on the fun stuff.
      10.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent

      11. Goal Zero Rockout Speakers --$39.99

         

        When we go climbing, my brother always brings along his phone and speakers to pump us up. These Rockout Speakers would be the ideal gift for him. They provide a great experience during outdoor adventures, playing your music while keeping your device nestled safely inside. These portable and lightweight speakers have an internal battery that prevents it from draining your device’s battery, so you don’t have to worry about your phone or other device dying so quickly.
      12.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Goal Zero Rockout Speakers

      13. Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove--$39.95

         

        This lightweight stove is ideal for when you’re on the move. Being able to eat well when outdoors is great; being able to eat well in an emergency is luxury. This high-quality stove is built to last whether your loved ones need it now for adventures, or to store for future emergencies. Within 3 minutes, this portable stove can boil 1 liter of water—that’s pretty quick!
      14.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove

      15. MyChoice™ Hot Cocoa Combo (4 cans)--$25.95

         

        My family loves to drink hot chocolate with our dinner when we’ve just gotten off the snowy slopes and need to warm up. This combo gives you four delicious flavors (French Vanilla, Mint Truffle, Milk Chocolate, and Raspberry) for one price. This gift is a great option for all of your loved ones—whether or not they’re outdoor enthusiasts. Hot chocolate just makes the evening complete when you cuddle up to watch a movie or read a book with the snow falling outside your window.
      16.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: MyChoice™ Hot Cocoa Combo (4 cans)

      17. Goal Zero® Switch 8 Recharger--$49.99

         

        This power pack is fantastic outdoors or in emergency uses. The Switch 8 can power smart phones, flashlights, GPS, tablets, laptops, or anything else that powers with a USB. It can be charged with a USB plug or a solar panel, and is no bigger than a fat marker. It’s simple to use for when you are canyoneering, skiing, or need to charge your device on the go.
      18.  Holiday Gift Guide: Goal Zero® Switch 8 Recharger

      19. The Reliance Fold-n-Filter--$47.50 

         

        The Fold-n-Filter is water storage with built in water treatment. You can filter up to 200 gallons of water by simply squeezing the container to dispense the water you need to use. It even rolls up for storage and weighs in at just one pound. The filter is great to hang from a tree when camping, or to have on hand during an emergency. This is a great way to store clean, filtered water for you and your loved ones

      Holiday Gift Guide: The Reliance Fold-N-Filter

      So there you go—a few gift ideas costing between $25 and $50. Preparedness items (and the principle itself) are the gifts that just keep on giving.

      If these ideas don’t seem to be quite what you are looking for, check out beprepared.com for all of our products or our Pinterest gift boards for other great ideas.

      Happy shopping!

      -Kimberly

       

       

       

       

       

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, gifts, preparedness, emergency kit, emergency preparedness, holiday

  • Thanksgiving Made Easy

    In my family, my mom’s usually the one caught up in the kitchen all of Thanksgiving Day making the holiday memorable. And we all know that cooking Thanksgiving dinner takes a lot of hard work. With so much needed preparation, and so little time to pull it all together, we, here at Emergency Essentials, want to help with your holiday feast.

    The Thanksgiving Dinner Combo, only $126.04, gives you all of the delicious flavors of Thanksgiving, but with less work and less stress; making your cooking time shorter, and giving you more time to spend with family and friends.  Succulent, tender turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes, crunchy green beans, and a sweet, decadent raspberry crumble—all memories of holidays at home—are included in this new combo.

    Here’s What We Did

    Freeze Dried White Turkey

    Thanksgiving Dinner Combo:White Turkey

    A dish that usually takes all day to cook, took me less than 10 minutes—of course, it wasn’t a whole turkey needing to roast.  The freeze dried white turkey is precut into pieces to make your job simpler. This dish tastes great on its own or even in a turkey casserole. Simply follow the instructions on the can to reconstitute and voila!—you have your main dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

    Spice It Up:

    I added Provident Pantry Iodized Salt and Provident Pantry Black Pepper to my turkey to give it a little more flavor--you’ll also want to add the chicken gravy that comes in the combo so don’t worry too much about the turkey flavoring yet.

     

    Instant Mashed Potatoes

    Thanksgiving Dinner Combo: Mashed Potatoes

    These are the easiest mashed potatoes I've ever made. Simply follow the instructions on the can, adding the right quantity of potatoes for your guests to boiling water.

    When the water begins to boil, pour your instant mashed potatoes into the water, immediately stirring them together. It will foam a bit and then turn into fluffy mashed potatoes. Personally, I’m not a potato type of girl—I can’t ever eat potatoes plain. If you’re like me, or would just like to add a little flavorful kick to your potatoes, try spicing it up some.

    Spice It Up:

    I sprinkled on some Provident Pantry Ground Black Pepper and Provident Pantry Garlic Powder to give my potatoes a flavorful taste. Add as much flavoring as you and your family would like, taste testing it every once in a while to make sure you have your desired blend of seasonings (Hey, there’s always an excuse to taste test . . .)

     

    Chicken Gravy Mix

    Turkey and mashed potatoes are just not the same without gravy. Simply add water to the gravy powder, mix, and you’ve instantly made traditional gravy that adds moisture, flavor, and overall satisfaction to the two most crucial dishes of your Thanksgiving dinner.

     

    Freeze Dried Green Beans

    Thanksgiving Dinner Combo: Green Beans

    Simply reconstitute your beans, and enjoy the familiar taste of this fresh, crunchy vegetable.  These green beans are great to use as a side all by themselves, or to create a fun, tasty dish. These green beans will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal and to your table throughout the year as well.

    Spice It Up:   

    My family’s favorite way to spice up green beans is to add some Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Mushroom Slices.

    While my green beans reconstituted, I sautéed the reconstituted mushroom slices and Provident Pantry Minced Garlic over medium heat. After sautéing them for 3-4 minutes, I added my green beans. I sautéed them for another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms turned golden brown.

    This dish is unique and flavorful, giving your dinner a tasty surprise. (Be careful, even a little too much garlic can be overwhelming.)

     

    Corn Muffin Mix

    Thanksgiving Dinner Combo:Corn Bread

    Provident Pantry Corn Muffin Mix is great for making individual muffins for every member of the family. I love this food storage item because you can choose exactly how much you want to make.

    I made half of a batch (6 muffins) which was eaten up immediately! Simply follow the instructions on the can for a delicious, fresh out of the oven side dish. After 20 minutes, my batch came out golden brown on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside.

    Spice It Up:

    To mix it up a little, try adding Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Red or Green Diced Peppers before baking for a spicy taste. You could also add butter and honey afterwards for something a little more sweet.

     

    Raspberry Crumble

    Thanksgiving Dinner Combo: Raspberry Crumble

    After dinner is all cleaned up, who wants to spend even more time cooking over a hot stove for dessert? This decadent dessert is created by simply adding boiling water and letting it sit for a few minutes.

    Spice It Up:

    To make a complete, beautiful dessert, add some vanilla ice cream to the side. Mmm!

     ***

    This is what I did to make a complete Thanksgiving dinner using the Thanksgiving Dinner Combo, but you can also supplement other side dishes to go along with the combo to give you the perfect Thanksgiving for your loved ones.

    For a more complete meal, try adding sweet potatoes, veggies, or rolls.

    So however you celebrate the season, enjoy this time with your family, friends, and loved ones.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Kimberly

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, preparedness, dehydrated, freeze dried, #10 cans, holiday, Thanksgiving

  • Holiday Gift Guide: $10 to $25

    Gifts Under $25

    “Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat,” goes the old song—or maybe it should be “Christmas is coming, and the days are flying fast!”  When I was a kid, Christmas took forever to arrive, but now the days between October 25 and December 25 seem to telescope into a blur. We’re already well into November and holiday shopping is in full swing. Doing our best to help you out with yours, we offer here some fun and practical holiday gift ideas that fit into the $10 to $25 range of your budget:

     

    1. Warmth Emergency Kit--$14.92

    For those on your list who are all-weather campers, winter sports enthusiasts, or faithful football game attendees, this gift is ideal to keep them warm.  With 6 Hand and Body Warmers, 4 Adhesive Body Warmers, and 2 Hand Warmers, your gang will be toasty no matter the weather. This holiday gift is also nice for just walkin’ in the winter wonderland!

     Holiday Gifts: Warmth emergency kit

     

    1. 4-Tray Seed Sprouter -- $13.95

    Know a frustrated gardener who’s waiting impatiently for spring? Give the gift of indoor gardening all year long with our 4-Tray Seed Sprouter.  Perhaps couple it with a copy of The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore on sale during November for only $10.99 (regularly $11.95)—or a 1 lb. packet of “Savory Salad” Organic Sprouting Seeds for $6.50.

    4-Tray Seed Sprouter 

    1. Extra Large Backpack-- $19.95

    This holiday gift could be very useful to get someone started on their prepping by encouraging them to fill it with food, water, first-aid supplies, tools, and more for a bug-out bag (72-hour kit, emergency evacuation kit, etc.) Or they might want to use it for a car emergency kit, with tools and supplies for road emergencies.

      EEI Extra Large Backpack

    1. ASAP™ Silver Solution--$25.00

    Give the gift of enhanced health with this safe, bacteria-killing liquid that boosts the immune system and helps fight off sickness and disease. Silver has long been used by doctors and hospitals to prevent infection and aid healing. More effective than traditional colloidal silver, this solution is useful for both children and adults in fighting off bacterial infections of all kinds. It may be silver, but as one happy customer puts it, it’s “worth its weight in gold!”

     ASAP Silver Solution

    1. Kitchen Plus™ 2000 Hand-Powered Food Processor-- $16.95

    Practically any cook would be delighted to have this food processor in their kitchen anytime, and not only when the power is out. This handy appliance has dozens of functions, including whipping, beating, chopping, slicing, grating, citrus-juicing, and more. It’s easy to use, with rustproof, stainless steel blades and a safety handle to protect fingers. Rave reviews from customers mention the versatility of the food processor in using it to make salsa or hash browns.

    Kitchen Plus 2000 Food Processor

    1. Marlene’s Magic Food Storage Book--$24.95

    Do you know someone who’s new to food storage, and seems a little bewildered about what to do with all those cans and pails? Give the gift of knowledge this holiday season with Marlene Peterson’s 260-page cookbook, Marlene’s Magic Food Storage Book. Full of easy to prepare recipes such as English muffins, homemade noodles, cottage cheese, tortellini shells, and much more. This book gets great reviews from customers—even those who don’t like to cook. 

    Marlene's Magic with Food Storage

    1. Nokero™ N200 Solar Powered Light--$19.99

    Give everyone the gift of light for a time of darkness with this high-efficiency, portable, solar-powered light bulb. Once fully charged with its built-in solar panel, it provides six-plus hours of rechargeable, directable, adjustable LED light in a dark room. It automatically turns off in bright light to conserve its charge.

    Nokero N200 Solar powered Light

    1. Solar Spray™ Portable Shower--$11.95

    Your gang’s been camping for a couple of days, and they’re beginning to smell as smoky and gamey as last night’s barbecued pork. Ah, for a warm shower—but alas! They’re roughing it, and no facilities are available. They’ll never face that situation again with a Reliance™ Solar Spray Portable Shower. The lightweight, leak-proof tank holds 5 gallons of water. Set it in direct sunlight for about 2.5 hours, and three people can grab a quick, warm shower.

    Solar Spray Portable Shower

    1. H-25 Strike Master™ Fire Starter--$12.95

    This is a safe, dependable fire-starter, with shavings from the handle acting as excellent tinder to catch the sparks. It’s a great back-up when you have no matches, and in fact, some people prefer it to matches. Each flint gets up to an amazing 25,000 strikes. So whether you’re camping or in an emergency, this fire starter will provide you with the necessary tools you need to stay toasty warm.   

    H-25 Strike Master Fire Starter

    1. Champion™ Lid Lifter--$14.95

    A true champion among tools, this multi-function aluminum tool opens any storage bucket, unscrews most bung nuts on water barrels, and turns off your main gas valve. When you need a tough job done, the champion has got your back.  It’s sturdier and longer lasting than plastic versions.

     Champion lid lifter

    If none of these gifts strike you as just right, take a few minutes to look through our print or online catalog for more holiday gift ideas in this price range.

    Happy shopping!

    Sharon

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: gifts, preparedness, family, Survival, emergency preparedness, holiday, holiday gifts

  • With Halloween over and Thanksgiving soon to arrive, before we know it Christmas will be here and those who start prepping for it now will have an easier, less stressful holiday season.

    The Christmas season is a time of parties, a stream of festivities, a never-ending row of colorful lights, and a lot of fun.  Start preparing now so that you can enjoy the winter wonderland that surrounds Christmastime without being overloaded and overstressed. One huge stressor during the holidays is trying to get gifts at the last minute—this is never a fun way to spend the few weeks before Christmas. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out what gift you’re giving all of your friends, neighbors, and family members this year.

    Usually for Christmas we all seem to get the cookie platters, baked goods, or holiday decorations. Although these standard go-to gifts are fun (and for some of us, allow us to indulge in our weakness of candy!), why not step away from the crowd and give an inexpensive, unique gift to those you love most?

    My sister actually gave me a fantastic, delicious recipe that will both sweeten and spice up your friends’ holiday—Pepper Jelly.

    Small colorful sweet peppers isolated on white background

    Mmmm! Pepper jelly matches sweet with spicy in a delicious blend of flavors using bell peppers, jalapenos, and a few other ingredients. This recipe is easy to make in large batches, and only uses a few ingredients per batch, making it perfect for a holiday gift.

    Pepper Jelly

    Yield: 8 ½-pint jars

    *You could even do both colors (in separate jars) to create a Christmas season feel

    1. Combine peppers, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne in a large pot
    2. Cook on medium until it boils
    3. Add the Certo, boil 5 minutes (let it boil for the full 5 minutes, or it won’t set.)
    4. Remove from heat
    5. Add food color
    6. Pour into jars

    Pepper jelly is a unique recipe that a lot of people haven’t tasted before, but is savory nonetheless. If sweet and spicy aren’t quite your taste, other traditional jams and jellies make great holiday gifts as well. For a variety of delicious recipes see our Jams and Jellies that please post.

     

    Storing your Jam/Jelly

    Short-term storage is a great way to seal your jelly, protecting it from bacteria until you are ready to dive into it. There are three ways to package your jelly for short-term storage: Traditional Canning, Freezing, and Storing to eat.

    Traditional Canning

    Traditional canning involves cooking your ingredients before sealing them in their individual jars by processing your batch in a boiling water bath. This process takes longer to do because of the cooking time, but ensures that all of your ingredients are clean and ready to eat.  As soon as the jelly is poured into their individual jars, cap them and place in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.  Remove jars and set aside to cool. Soon after removing from the boiling water, you should hear a ‘pop!’ indicating that the jar has sealed itself. If you are unsure as to whether or not it sealed, just poke the lid. If it concaves and then bounces back at your touch, then it did not seal properly. In that case, store it in your fridge and eat within the next few weeks.  You can store traditionally canned jelly for up to a year.

    Freezing

    Freezing is another way to package your jelly for storage. This process takes much less time than the traditional canning method.  After the jelly has been poured into its individual freezer-safe containers, let it cool before capping it, and then place it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Freezer jams can last up to a year in the freezer or a few weeks in the fridge.

    Store to Eat

    The last way to store your jelly is to store it to eat. Once you have poured the jelly into its individual jar and have let it cool, cap it and place it in the fridge. The recommended storage life is about a month, but I have had my Pepper Jelly in the fridge for two and it still tastes delicious. This type of storage is perfect if you plan to eat your scrumptious jelly right up.

     ***

    Jams and jellies are fantastic gifts to give anytime of the year because they’ll last. When you give jam as a gift, your friends can either break into the bottle immediately or save it for a time when their own sugary supply of holiday goodies gets low.  Jams and jellies are able to store for up to a year depending on how you seal it.

    Jams and jellies give you an inexpensive option when you want a unique, desirable gift for your loved ones. Freeze dried and dehydrated fruits and vegetables are perfect for adding into your jams/jellies without having to break your bank, just use a little here and a little there and still have plenty for later.

    -Kim

    Sources:

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/storing_jams.html

    http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2011/07/27/how-to-make-homemade-jelly/

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, recipes, skills, baby steps, preparedness, Budget, freeze dried food, holiday

  • Jams and Jellies are great additions to your food storage

    Nothing in the pantry or storage room looks more attractive than a shelf of clear, jewel-like jellies and jams. There’s also the satisfaction that you’ve preserved summer’s fruit in delicious spreads that brighten winter meals, whether a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich or an elegant conserve to go with a holiday ham dinner. Once you learn a few basics, they’re easy and fun to make, and don’t require a pressure canner.

    First, let’s get our terms straight!

    • Jam is made from chopped or ground whole fruit
    • Jelly uses only the extracted juice of the fruit
    • Preserves typically contain larger chunks of fruit or even whole fruit as in strawberry or gooseberry preserves
    • Conserves are fruits mixed with raisins or nuts
    • Marmalades are based on juice and finely-chopped orange or other citrus peel
    • Butters are spiced, long-cooked, smooth spreads

     Traditional jams, jellies, and preserves require long cooking times and the natural pectin that occurs in some fruits. I warmly recall dark, syrupy preserves of the hard sand pears that grew on our property in Florida. They were heavenly on hot biscuits or with bread and cheese! It seemed to me that Mom cooked those fragrant preserves all day to get them tender and perfect.

     Quick-cooking or freezer jams and jellies need added pectin in order to achieve a “gel.” They’re easy to make—just follow a dependable recipe to the letter!

    You will need:

    • A heavy pot such as a flat-bottomed Dutch oven or the pot of a stainless steel pressure cooker. It’s best not to use aluminum, as the acid in the fruits and lemon juice can react with it, giving a metallic taste to your product and perhaps ruining the pan
    • Hot, clean jars—probably pints or smaller—to bottle your product
    • A wide-mouth funnel
    • Hot, clean, new lids and rings
    • Ladles, jar lifters, pot holders, a clean kitchen towel, and (if you like) a candy thermometer
    • For jelly: a colander, cheese cloth or jelly bag, and large bowl
    • A water-bath canner to properly seal the jars
    • Probably bottled lemon juice or vinegar (don’t ignore these; they brighten the color and flavor, help the gel to set, and help preserve the product)
    • Sugar (unless you have a sugar-free recipe), which preserves the color of the jam or jelly, enhances the flavor of the fruit, helps the gel set, and gives a glossy sheen to the product
    • Fruit.  Choose ripe fruit, but not overripe and mushy, for best results. Some cooks feel that jam is what you make from the overripe fruit that can’t be bottled, and that all they need to do is trim off the bad spots—but the truth is that unseen colonies of bacteria have reached deep into the fruit and can cause spoilage on the shelf. Also, overripe fruit has less pectin than slightly-under ripe fruit. A good ratio is 1/3 under ripe fruit to 2/3 ripe fruit to guarantee a good set.

     

    Jelly challenges? We’ve got you covered.

    It can be tricky getting jelly to set properly. Some jellies gel at once, while others seem a bit loose but firm up after a few days. If it never gels, use it as a yummy pancake syrup. Put a bow on the lid and give it to friends, letting them think syrup was your objective all along! You could also reheat it, add a little more liquid or powdered pectin, and try again!

    Another challenge is keeping jelly clear and jewel-like. Cloudiness in jelly can often be avoided by warming the fruit gently before attempting to strain the juice off, then using several thicknesses of damp cheesecloth or a jelly bag in a colander to filter out pulp. Try to resist the impulse to squeeze or mash the softened fruit very much as that can produce cloudy juice. If it still clouds, don’t stress! It may not be as pretty, but the flavor will not be affected.

    If you’re making a jelly without added pectin, such as one including apple juice, there are tests you can apply to see if your hot jelly has reached “gel” stage:

    • Watch the bubbles. Tiny bubbles mean you’re not there yet. When they get larger and more numerous, you’re approaching a gel.
    •  If you’re using a candy thermometer, 220° F is the magic number.
    • Or, you can dip a spoon into the jelly and see if it “sheets” together when you drip it from a spoon. When it coats the spoon, and the last two drops merge into one as they drip back into the pot, you’re there!

     

    JAM AND JELLY RECIPES

    Traditional-style Apple Jelly 

    1. Wash and stem the apples, but leave the peel and core.
    2. Cut into chunks and put into a large stockpot. Add enough water to barely cover, bringing to a simmer.
    3. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
    4. Pour into a dampened jelly bag or a colander lined with dampened cheesecloth (dampening the cloth keeps it from wicking up and holding the apple juice) and allow the juice to drain into a large bowl overnight in the refrigerator. Do not squeeze or press the bag.
    5. Measure 1 quart of the resulting juice and add it to a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a full boil that you cannot stir down.
    6. Continue to boil until the gel stage is reached.
    7. Remove from heat and quickly transfer to clean, hot jars, as apple jelly sets up fast. Cap and refrigerate or process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
    8. For a boiling water bath, turn off heat and allow jars to rest in water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours, then check seals and store for up to a year.

    Nice to do: Add a few fresh mint leaves to the apples as they cook for a delicious mint jelly.

     

    Red Currant Jelly

    If you’re fortunate enough to have access to fresh red currants, you can make this beautiful and delectable jelly for your own table and as gifts. For Christmas, consider giving a small jar of this red jelly and a matching one of green pepper jelly with a package of cream cheese and some crackers—delicious!

    1. Place the currants into a large pot and crush them with a potato masher.
    2. Pour in 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
    3. Simmer for ten minutes, and then strain through a dampened jelly bag or cheesecloth.
    4. Measure out 5 cups of the juice into a large saucepan and stir in the sugar.
    5. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat and stir in the liquid pectin. Return to a full rolling boil for 30 seconds.
    6. Remove from heat and skim foam from the top.
    7. Ladle into clean hot jars and wipe rims. Cap with new, sterile rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

     

    Green Pepper Jelly (Paula Deen’s recipe)

    1. Process bell pepper and hot peppers in a food processor or blender until finely minced.
    2. Combine pepper mixture, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
    3. Remove from heat and add pectin and food coloring.
    4. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and cap, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

     

    Rhubarb-Orange Jam 

    1. In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and water.
    2. Bring to a boil, and then cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick. (It will thicken more as it cools.)
    3. Ladle into hot, sterile jars and seal with lids and rings.
    4. Store in the refrigerator.

    Makes 2 pints.

     

    Mixed-Fruit Jams

    One of the most creative and fun things to do in making jams and jellies is to mix compatible fruits—and most fruits are compatible! Some popular combinations are apricot-pineapple jam, cherry-apple jelly, currant-apple jelly, and apple-grape jelly. If you are mixing fruits without a specific recipe, your safest bet is to be sure that you are using the amounts of pectin and lemon juice called for in the recipes that come in a package of pectin for whichever fruit in your mix requires the largest amount of each. For example, if you’re mixing plums (which are naturally low in pectin) with peaches (which are high in pectin) use the amount of lemon juice and pectin recommended for the plums to be sure of a good set.

     

    Golden Mixed Jam 

    1. Mix the juices, fruits, and sugar in a large, heavy (non-aluminum) saucepan; let stand one hour.
    2. Bring to a full, rolling boil and boil 1 minute.
    3. Remove from heat and immediately blend in the pectin. Stir for 5 minutes.
    4. Ladle into hot sterilized jars and seal.
    5. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

    Makes six half-pint jars of jam.

     

    Cherry-Blueberry-Rhubarb Jam (so good!)

    1. In a heavy pan, combine rhubarb, blueberries, cherries, lemon juice, and water.
    2. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add pectin, and stir thoroughly.
    3. Add sugar, stir well, and return to heat. When it reaches boiling, allow to boil for 4 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat, skim off any foam, and ladle into hot, sterilized jars.
    5. Cap and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

     

    Pear Preserves

    Use a variety of hard pear, such as Kiefer, Southern Sand, or Chinese Sand Pears, as they will keep their texture in a preserve and not turn to mush in the cooking process. The ingredients are simple:

    1. Layer pear pieces and sugar in a heavy pot and allow to sit overnight to release the pear juice.
    2. Place over medium heat and simmer, stirring often until desired color and consistency is reached. Color can range from pale to dark amber.
    3. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath to seal.

     

    Strawberry Freezer Jam 

    1. Mix lemon juice into strawberries. Sprinkle pectin over berries and stir well to dissolve.
    2. Add Karo syrup, stir in.
    3. Add sugar and mix well until it’s dissolved.
    4. Ladle into clean jars or plastic freezer containers and fill to within ¾ inch of top.
    5. Cap, allow to sit on your counter for several hours, and then freeze.

     

    Traditional Cooked Strawberry Jam 

    1. Mix berries and sugar and allow to sit for a while on your counter and then overnight in your refrigerator to allow the fruit to soften and the juices to be drawn out.
    2. Transfer berries to a large stainless-steel or enameled pot and bring to a boil, crushing and stirring the berries. Add lemon juice and stir well, continuing to cook for about 20 minutes or until the jam reaches the desired consistency.
    3. Remove from heat and allow jam to sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, cap, and either refrigerate or process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

     

    Jam and jelly-making is as much an art as a science, and with practice, you’ll soon gain confidence in your ability to create colorful and delicious spreads!

     

    Sources:

    www.nchfp.edu/how/can7_jam_jelly.html

    www.southernfood.about.com/od/jamsjellies/Jams_Jellies_and_Preserves.html

    www.simplycanning.com/jam-or-jelly.html

    www.pauladeen.com/index.php/recipes/view2/pepper-jelly

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, recipes, freeze dried, Emergency Essentials, holiday

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