Monday, 20 February 2017

08:51 – It was 39F (4C) when I took Colin out this morning, but with no wind. Today I’ll be working on taxes and Barbara will be filling containers.

There’s been a lot of email back-and-forth between Cassie and me about canning meat. She’s decided to go full-speed ahead with it, but I’m still not convinced it makes sense. It’s perfectly safe, assuming one follows official instructions to the letter, but what I question is the cost of canning meat. When you add up the cost of the meat itself, the canning jars and other supplies, the fuel, time, and effort, commercially-canned meat starts to look better and better.

That said, I do keep six dozen new quart wide-mouth canning jars. Those are there only for an emergency, when I’d use them to rescue the meat in our large freezer. With 72 quart jars, I can can about 150 pounds of meat, which is about the most that we’d have in the freezer.

I recommended the Keystone Meats to Cassie. They offer ground beef, beef chunks, pork, chicken, and turkey in 14.5-oz and 28-oz cans. All have a best-by date five years out and in reality will remain appetizing and nutritious far longer than that. Walmart sells all of them on-line at $6.28 per large can except the beef chunks, which are $7.74/can. All with free 2-day shipping. If you compare the price of their canned meats with that of fresh meat, you’ll find that the canned stuff is pretty competitive.

So far, we’ve used the Keystone canned ground beef, chunk beef, and chicken. Barbara prefers fresh, but agrees that the canned stuff is fine, particularly for stir fry, casseroles, slow-cooker meals, and so on. Since I was thinking about it, I went ahead and ordered 12 more cans of the beef chunks, along with a fresh small can of Nestle Nido dry whole milk (to compare with the older can that’s a year past its best-by date), another tub of lard, a box of Walmart dry instant mashed potatoes to try, a #10 of Augason non-fat dry milk to try, and another 10-pound bag of Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix.

And, in a breakthrough, Jen has finally agreed to let me post one of her emails to me, which I’ll post as a separate article after I post this one. She asked me to clean it up before I posted it, but all I did was fix a couple of typos. She’s also concerned that her writing style might be identifiable to people who’ve read other stuff she’s posted on the Internet, so I went through her post and changed some of the phrasing, although not the meaning.

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23 Responses to Monday, 20 February 2017

  1. lynn says:

    BTW, Sams Club is now selling Chicken Breasts in a 50 oz can for $9.48.
    https://www.samsclub.com/sams/dc-chicken-breast-50-oz/prod6790291.ip?xid=plp:product:1:2

    I have not tried it yet but the wife uses the 13 oz cans all the time for King Ranch Chicken, cool chicken salad in the summer, and chicken based soups in the winter XXXXX spring and fall. I keep on forgetting, we don’t have winter in south Texas.

  2. Dave Hardy says:

    “I keep on forgetting, we don’t have winter in south Texas.”

    And no white Christmas, no skiing, no snowshoeing, no ice fishing, no skating, no wind-surfing on skates, no snowball fights, no snow forts, oh, the list goes on and on.

    But you do have rattlesnakes, coral snakes, copperheads, water moccasins, Gila monsters, hurricanes, tornadoes, mind-bending heat and mandatory A-C, George W. Bush, and bugs.

    31 here with sun and blue skies and no wind. 40s the rest of the week and it might hit 50 on Thursday. I’m still on kitchen, cellar and back porch cleanup operations. Exciting.

    HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY!

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    we don’t have winter in south Texas

    Yes, you do. I have experienced a couple of those winters in San Antonio. 10F (pipes breaking everywhere), 12 inches of snow (took three hours for what used to be a 30 minute drive). But it only lasts about 2.3 days. So you do have winter, just extremely short. Short enough that if you are not paying attention you will miss it.

  4. Dave Hardy says:

    “Short enough that if you are not paying attention you will miss it.”

    Like our summer.

    Which usually takes place on the July 4th holiday weekend.

    Hey, don’t laugh; one summer a few years ago we had to light up the fireplace on the July 4th for out-of-town guests who were cold. Temps had plummeted to around 60!

  5. nick flandrey says:

    One year we had snow right around christmas. i’ve got a pic to prove it….

    everywhere has bugs, most have snakes, some have scorpions too!

    Chicago summer is hotter and stickier than here AND they have winter so cold your eyeballs will freeze.

    We can VISIT someplace for winter sports.

    We DON”T need to shovel snow (#1 killer of late middle age white males), scrape ice off our cars, have our cars rust from salt on roads, or worry about slip and fall in the driveway!

    My hips, fingers, knees and back don’t ache from the cold most of the time either. That alone is worth the summer………

    n

    ADDED- I was in Dallas the year we got 14″ of snow in one day….

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I think we need to keep in mind the difference between climate and weather.

  7. nick flandrey says:

    Russians cleaning house? Or are we headed back into a 1970s level of political assassinations?

    Russian Ambassador To UN Vitaly Churkin Has “Died Suddenly” In New York; Putin “Deeply Upset”

    Vitaly Churkin, who served as Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations since 2006, “died suddenly” in New York, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced. Churkin died one day before his 65th birthday. Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, told AP that Churkin became ill and was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where he died Monday.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-20/russian-ambassador-un-vitaly-churkin-suddenly-dies-work-new-york

    n

  8. Dave Hardy says:

    “…some have scorpions too!”

    Oh yeah, that’s right; I forgot about the friggin’ scorpions!

    “…or worry about slip and fall in the driveway!”

    Hah! Some of us have to worry about slipping and falling on our stairs, let alone an icy driveway! Or tripping in the dark over shoes and other stuff that our SO has moved around again.

  9. SteveF says:

    I think we need to keep in mind the difference between climate and weather.

    They’re easy to keep straight:
    Unseasonable cold: weather
    Unseasonable warmth: climate (specifically, climate change)
    Normal temperature: climate change
    Strong storm: climate change
    A bit of Spring rain: climate change
    Clear sky: climate change
    Clouds: climate change

  10. Dave Hardy says:

    And if you disagree with the prevailing consensus by, IIRC, 90% of all scientists who ever lived and who live now, you should be at the very least, imprisoned, and quite frankly, executed.

  11. Dave Hardy says:

    WTF is in the air and water down in Mordor? Just as I figured…

    http://buchanan.org/blog/trump-putin-detente-dead-126561

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    And even more stupidity…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-20/meanwhile-rioting-breaks-out-sweden

    Bring them in by the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. Idiots.

  12. Dave Hardy says:

    A dozen or more typos but still worth the read:

    https://virginiafreemen.com/2017/02/20/enemy-of-the-people/

    It sucks being a recovering English major; these things just leap out at me.

  13. Dave Hardy says:

    R U a loner?

    http://shtfschool.com/survival-psychology/going-it-alone-some-things-to-consider/

    If I wasn’t married I guess I’d be one. Up here. Probably wouldn’t last long. Go out in a blaze of glory!

    Pax vobiscm, fratres…

  14. lynn says:

    And no white Christmas, no skiing, no snowshoeing, no ice fishing, no skating, no wind-surfing on skates, no snowball fights, no snow forts, oh, the list goes on and on.

    We had a white Christmas in 2004. I remember well since my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer on Christmas Eve day of 2004. We got six inches of snow that night and slipped and slided down the coast highway on Christmas day to my parents who only got four inches of snow. But in total shock.

    But you do have rattlesnakes, coral snakes, copperheads, water moccasins, Gila monsters, hurricanes, tornadoes, mind-bending heat and mandatory A-C, George W. Bush, and bugs.

    You forgot the feral pigs, eight million deer, rat snakes who look like copperheads, milk snakes who look like coral snakes (red and yellow kill a fellow, red and black friend of Jack), mountain lions, bobcats, roof rats, and no geese this year. But I did see a three inch Monarch butterfly yesterday.

    The mind bending heat is not so bad but the humidity makes you want to lay down and take a nap. 90 F and 80% rh is to die for.

  15. lynn says:

    Took the day off, drove down to Victoria, and saw “John Wick – Chapter two” with Dad. Extreme shoot-them-up movie with a body count of 120+. There will be a third movie, somehow John Wick survived the 100+ assassins. And, there should be a law against totaling a beautiful 1969 Ford Mustang 427 in a movie.
    http://www.schlockmercenary.com/blog/john-wick-chapter-2/
    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/john_wick_chapter_2

    Then we went home to their house in Port Lavaca and Mom made us some awesome spaghetti. I can tell that she is feeling better because she is cooking again. She goes in for testing on Thursday to see if the tumors have shrunk, or please, gone away. Mom has stage 4 endometrial cancer.

  16. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] milk snakes who look like coral snakes (red and yellow kill a fellow, red and black friend of Jack), [snip]

    Around here, it’s “Red, black, & yellow, leave the fucking thing alone!!!” (And it’s king snakes with the same banding as corals.) And it’s been so warm here this winter that my azaleas have already bloomed and are mostly gone by now. Personally, I like 95*F and 85% humidity; it lets a person work up a good sweat when outside.

  17. MrAtoz says:

    Mom has stage 4 endometrial cancer

    My best for her, Mr. Lynn.

    I saw JW2, also. A great popcorn movie.

  18. Dave says:

    Around here, it’s “Red, black, & yellow, leave the fucking thing alone!!!” (And it’s king snakes with the same banding as corals.) And it’s been so warm here this winter that my azaleas have already bloomed and are mostly gone by now. Personally, I like 95*F and 85% humidity; it lets a person work up a good sweat when outside.

    Call me a city boy even though I have moved to a small town, but I think all legless reptiles belong at the Zoo!

  19. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’ll never forget our first trip up to New England, back in the late 80’s. We spent most of a day at LL Bean in Freeport, and then stopped at a park, where we met Joan Benoit, the first winner of the Olympic Marathon. We walked around looking at flowers and plants. Barbara wandered off by herself and returned to find me lying on my stomach focusing the macro lens on something. She leaned over to see what I was shooting a picture of. It was a snake, about 2 inches from my lens. She screamed “SNAKE!” and took off running in the opposite direction. The snake screamed “WOMAN!” and took off slithering in the opposite direction. Barbara was so frightened it gave her a nosebleed. I’m not sure about the snake.

    Then there was the time in Winston when she came rushing into the house screaming “SNAKE!” I went out on the front porch and found what was probably a 3-foot water moccasin coiled up in the corner. I probably should just have killed it, but instead I put it in an old 5-gallon pail, intending to take it down to the creek a block behind us and turn it loose. But Barbara was really, really upset. She was yelling “KILL IT!” and hyperventilating and looked like she might pass out. So I called Mimi, who lived two houses down from us and asked if she’d mind coming up and sitting with Barbara while I disposed of a live snake. She came up and said she’d be happy to take the snake down to the creek and release it. I told her it might just be a black snake, but it might also be a water moccasin. I hadn’t actually seen a WM in many years, and it hadn’t opened its mouth so I couldn’t be sure. But WM’s are famed for their vicious, snaky temperament, and this one was repeatedly making striking movements before I pailed it, so I told Mimi I wasn’t comfortable with her doing it. She said she’d be careful, and carried the snake off. (And, yes, I called Animal Control, who told me it wasn’t their job and suggested I contact an exterminator. Geez.)

  20. Dave Hardy says:

    I saw enough snakes in TX and SEA for a lifetime and now I don’t have to see them anymore. Cool.

    And feral pigs are spreading all over the country.

    http://www.alloutdoor.com/2017/02/06/new-study-predicts-spread-wild-pigs/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2017-02-21&utm_campaign=Weekly+Newsletter

    Including parts of VT and NH but by that time we’ll probably all be long dead. So no fun pending for me shooting them from a helicopter.

  21. pcb_duffer says:

    Water moccasins, like all pit vipers, are all easy to identify by their triangular heads. I’ve been fairly close to mocs & rattlers, and I make it a point to leave them alone, but not to panic. They don’t want to strike a human, because we’re far too big to eat, and therefore not a productive use of venom. I’ve also been close to a coral snake, and applied the advice I gave above. They’re so small, and have such tiny mouths, that you’d have to be trying to get struck to actually get envenomated, but you’d be in a whole lot of trouble if you did. I’ve never seen a copperhead in the wild here.

  22. Dave Hardy says:

    During my sentences in east TX I got to see all four venomous snakes out in the field during training exercises, and a coral snake one time about three feet in front of me. He was leaving and I said “buh-bye” and left him alone, even though I had an M16 with grenade launcher attached.

    In SEA I had cobras and kraits also within three or four feet and with the exception of the king cobras, they all left in a hurry. When the kings were getting that close we had to blow them away. Sorta gives me the willies even 40+ years later.

  23. lynn says:

    But you do have rattlesnakes, coral snakes, copperheads, water moccasins, Gila monsters, hurricanes, tornadoes, mind-bending heat and mandatory A-C, George W. Bush, and bugs.

    You forgot the feral pigs, eight million deer, rat snakes who look like copperheads, milk snakes who look like coral snakes (red and yellow kill a fellow, red and black friend of Jack), mountain lions, bobcats, roof rats, and no geese this year. But I did see a three inch Monarch butterfly yesterday.

    How did we forget the alligators and turtles ? When the tornodos happened last week, there was a 15 foot branch blown into the north office. The turtles are using it for a sunning deck today.

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