Archive for the ‘ Food Preservation ’ Category

In less than 5 minutes you can convert a simple head of cabbage into your own tasty  sauerkraut!  With this simple recipe you’ll never need to buy commercially made kraut again.

By processing and storing in mason jars, the prep and create time is literally 5 minutes!  (though you’ll have to wait  a week or two for theMaking Sauerkraut fermentation to complete)


  • White cabbage heads (qty varies by how many jars you want to make- 5lbs should make 2 quart jars)
  • Salt- sea, kosher, pickling etc.-  NOT iodized table salt! (3-tablespoons per 5lbs or cabbage)


  • Clean mason jars with lids
  • Bowls to place under the mason jars while the ferment


  • Weigh your cabbage heads
  • Wash and remove outer leaves from the cabbage (set aside, you’ll use some of these later)
  • C082ut the cabbage in quarters and remove and discard the core
  • Slice the cabbage in very thin slices- as thin as possible, and put in a large glass or stainless mixing bowl
  • Mix salt into shredded cabbage- based on the weight of the heads, add the appropriate amount of salt.  i.e- 5lbs add 3 tablespoons (9 teaspoons), 2.5lbs- add 1.5 tablespoons (aka- 5 teaspoons), etc.
  • With your bare hands scrunch and mix the cabbage and salt mixture until the cabbage breaks down- the water will be extracted, resulting in a puddle in the bottom of the bowl and you will be able to squeeze a handful of cabbage and the water will wring out.
  • Pack the mason jars with the cabbage mixture, leaving 1inch of head space- pack as tight as possible so the water mixture covers the top of the cabbage mixture
  • Tear or cut the extra cabbage leaves into 4 inch squares and coat in the water solution remaining in the mixing bowl
  • Top the cabbage mixture in the jars with a piece of leaf, pressing down firmly to ensure the water solution covers it
  • Pour remaining water solution left in the bowl, in to the mason jars- this should result in all cabbage mixture and leaves being covered- being sure to leave at least 3/4 inch of head room.
  • If you don’t have enough water solution- create some extra brine by dissolving some more salt in water, and add the jars
  • Loosely attach the mason jar lids- do not tighten down!  The gases created during fermentation need to escape
  • Place jars in a cool/dark place (65-70 degrees F) for 1-2 weeks to allow fermentation to take effect- place jars in a bowl to capture any liquid solution that gets pushed out during the fermentation process
  • Discard the pieces of leaf and any layers of scrum that may have formed on the top of the solution
  • Taste after one and two weeks- when you like the texture and taste move to the fridge to slow the fermentation process.

It’s as simple as084 that!

This recipe shows the most basic 2-ingredient recipe (cabbage and salt), you can expand the recipe very easily with the addition of onion, garlic, carrots, etc., being sure to include the additional weight in the salt calculation- the salt is critical to the process.




Making Beef Jerky

Homemade Beef Jerky

Making your own homemade beef jerky is a quick, fun,

Dehydrator Beef Jerky

Tasty Homemade Beef Jerky

affordable, and tasty project well worth trying.

Once you’ve tasted your first batch you’ll never look at commercially made beef jerky the same.

We have tried several different jerky blends but like the Nesco/American Harvest Jerky “Original” flavor the best.

Here’s the process we use for making ours… (check out the video, and/or read below)…

Here’s the process we use for making ours…


  • Lean cut of beef (we usually use Bottom Round), cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.- 2.25-2.5lbs (should net approx 2lbs when trimmed down)
  • – Nesco/American Harvest Marinade Packets- 2-Seasoning Packets, 2-Jerky Packets (one-each per pound of beef)
  •  Warm Water- ½ cup (1/4 cup per set of packet)


  • Trim any excess fat from the beef
  • Cut beef into 1-1/2 inch strips, across the grain
  • Place beef into large zipper top bag
  • Combine marinade packets and water in a bowl (mix well)
  • Add marinade to and seal the bag
  • Shake beef and marinade in the bag very well to ensure even coverage
  • Refrigerate in bag for 2-8 hours


  • Load dehydrator trays- laying beef in a single layer
  •  Dehydrate at 155degrees F, or highest temperature
  • Every couple of hours, dab off any liquid that forms on the top of the jerky and turn the jerky, and/or rotate the trays to help ensure even drying
  • Continue drying until leathery and dry throughout (but avoid overdrying)

Drying can take from 2-15+ hours, depending on your dehydrator and how heavily it’s loaded, the thickness of the meat, and the humidity.

Storing your homemade jerky

Jerky should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably in a refrigerator or freezer.  We usually vacuum seal and freeze half (to prevent it from getting gobbled up so quickly) and store the remainder in the refrigerator in a clean zipper top bag.


One of my favorite foods also happens to be one of the quickest and easiest to dehydrate- mushrooms!

From time to time the grocery store will run some awesome sales on fresh mushrooms.  Why not take advantage of these opportunity buys and stock up?

Can’t eat them all before them start to go bad- no problem-dehydrate them!

Dehydrated mushrooms will store for a long, long, time and take up very little room.  The process is quick, easy and inexpensive.


To clean the mushrooms rinse them with cold water, wiping off any remaining growing medium. Quickly wipe them dry using a cotton cloth or paper towel. Leaving them wet may result in the mushrooms turning a little brown while drying.  This is just cosmetic but can easily be avoided.  An alternative to rinsing is to wipe them off with a damp paper towel.

Slice the dry mushrooms in one-quarter to half-inch slices and load a densely packed single layer on each dehydrator tray.

Run the dehydrator at 95-100 degrees for six to twelve hours, checking them every few hours. They are ready when the mushrooms are light and brittle and snap when bent.


Your tasty mushrooms can be stored in any type of moisture proof container. I prefer to use wide mouth mason jars for the mushrooms we keep in the kitchen pantry. For long term storage I prefer to store them in vacuum sealed bags.

Your supply of freshly dehydrated mushrooms can be stored for a very long… Enjoy!


What are some of your favorite things to dehydrate?  Please leave a comment and let me know!