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Food Storage: Thinking Outside the Box

2525 Views 22 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Annie
Storing staples long-term isn't difficult to do, and many of these staples have a shelf-life of Methuselah. It gets tricky when looking for a solution for specialty items like butter, cheese and eggs, especially considering how the price of these items, packaged in #10 cans, has skyrocketed.

The following suggestions have worked for me and waxing cheese is my all-time favorite, and will preserve cheese for years. However, shortcuts aren't recommended. Although paraffin wax is cheaper, it isn't a good substitute for cheese wax as paraffin doesn't give, thus is more likely to crack, allowing air to reach the cheese and start the molding process. Hard cheese like Cheddar will keep for years and is fairly affordable when purchasing mild cheddar--it will continue to age behind its cheese wax coating.

• Waxing Cheese: One of my favorites! YouTuber Katzcradul gives excellent step-by-step instructions on waxing cheese here:
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any YouTubers mentioned here and do not stand to gain any monetary benefit--just happen to love their down to earth, careful, and concise how-to's.
• Home Canning Butter. Warning: The USDA does not recommend home canning butter. I did it anyway, happily becoming a test monkey, and have consumed home canned butter for years to no ill-effects, but its imperative to follow safety guidelines shown in the following video by Katzcradul:
Note: There is a part 1 & 2.
• Home Canning Bacon: Another one of my favorite YouTubers is BexarPrepper who gives a step-by-step on home canning bacon here:
• Preserving Eggs: A recent find I mentioned on another post is preserving eggs for one year (and possibly longer) in a mixture of hydrated lime and water. This was a significant find for me because the price of powdered egg was outside my budget while scrambling to get a few other "must haves" in place. There are other methods to preserve eggs, most notably coating fresh (not store-bought that has the bloom on the outside of the egg washed off) with mineral oil. But the eggs need to be turned over every 2 weeks and the shelf is 6-9 months. Townsend does a great job on his videos demonstrating how our forefathers got by, including how they preserved eggs BEFORE electricity. Note: the last part of the video shows the hydrated lime in water method. This method has not been tested, long-term, by me, but I now have a couple of Home Depot Paint buckets with lids filled with eggs.

Note: To test a preserved egg, set it in a pan of room temp water. If it floats, it should be tossed. If it rests on the bottom, it's safe, and if it hovers under the waterline, but doesn't stay at the bottom, it is probably safe to eat. You'll know for sure by breaking it into a separate bowl and taking the sniff test--trust me, you'll know!
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I do understand your concern, but I will say that no other country in the world has an FDA or USDA to approve of their preservation methods, that they've been doing probably for as long as Americans have. If you are an experienced canner and know the in's & out's and have successfully canned meats & vegetables...….then it's all about common sense with other products that aren't 'approved'. But do your research too, to make sure others have successfully done it. Mostly your resources would be YouTube or family or friends, so just watch their methods.

Another thing to consider is the fact that botulism is killed at 240(without oxygen) AND any low acid foods should be cooked after opening, before eaten...…..has to do with the bot spores(?) with oxygen are killed in the reheating process (212)…...sorry, that is a bit confusing, but as I had always canned everything in a WB, I finally found someone to explain how botulism worked. I don't remember all the details of the explanation, but it did include the differences in changes of the botulism(germ vs spore) in an oxygen vs no oxygen environment and the amount of heat needed to kill it in each stage (yes it's killed in a pc at 240 in a no oxygen environment, but as precaution against any possible sneakies, to boil after it's opened (212 with oxygen)...…..even USDA/FDA says to boil any low acid foods after opening and before eating. Just sayin

ps...….actually that's probably why I and my mother & Aunt had survived for so many years when WB canning....we never ate low acid foods straight from the jar and always boiled it first. Just a guess, but makes sense.
To each his own. I figure butter's gonna just be one of those luxuries we will do without if I can't buy it. We can eat bread like the Greeks: dipped in olive oil. Or else there's always peanut butter.
Baking powder makes cakes rise. Eggs help hold the baked goods together. It's worth having a jar of Knox around if you don't keep chickens.

As an aside I remember back in the day there was a rumor going around that it made your fingernails stronger and my mom would drink it in a glass of plain water. Yuck! :vs_laugh: Don't know that it worked, but that's what the ladies in town said to do.
Actually that may be kinda sorta true...…..gelatin, both Knox & Jello are or used to be made from the bones, cartilage, collegen from animals, like when you make homemade broth that has cooked for a long time and it will gel when cooled. It is good for your bones & nails.
Actually that may be kinda sorta true...…..gelatin, both Knox & Jello are or used to be made from the bones, cartilage, collegen from animals, like when you make homemade broth that has cooked for a long time and it will gel when cooled. It is good for your bones & nails.
Maybe I should try it. My nails are a wreck. Haven't bee to the nail hut for months. It's shut down. Not sure when it'll reopen. Those poor people. I hope they can hang onto their biz. Hard times for so many--as you know.
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