How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

So That Didn’t Go Well…

So today is one where I discuss one of my failures!  It wasn’t drastically spectacular but it could have been.

Like I said last week, we rendered out a bunch of lard.  About half of the pig fat we had in the freezer, in fact.  We had all of the rendered lard chilled down in a small stock pot.

My wife is heading out of town for the day tomorrow, so tonight we figured we’d can it up real quick.  No problem, right?

Well, enter a comedy of errors and lack of foresight on our part.

The other day I had grabbed a box of jars out of the garage.  A giant cardboard box still packed from the move, of course.  So tonight while I got the pot with the chilled lard in it on the stove to warm up, my lovely wife dug out a bunch of wide mouth jars. These went into the dish washer to get washed since they were a bit dirty.

And here’s error one.  We had been doing canning already after the move, but it was all standard mouth jars, not wide mouth.  And so we assumed we had the lids handy, but didn’t actually verify it.

Soo … with the jars in the dishwasher and the lard on low on the stove top, we sat down to watch TV a bit, stirring the lard during commercial breaks.  A little while later, we were about ready to go.

And that’s when we discovered we didn’t actually have any WIDE mouth lids on hand.  They’re all in the garage in a box somewhere.

Well, I then spent a half an hour in the garage looking through the boxes that were not sufficiently labeled and found … nothing.

So off to Walmart I go … not my first choice, but it was 10pm and there wasn’t anywhere else that was open that would actually have the lids.

At this point my wife is getting tired and ready for bed, but she agrees to stay up until I get home with the lids.  I’ll be on point to do the actual canning since I stay up late and write these posts for you guys at night.

Well, I get home and smell a distinct burnt porkey smell.  That can’t be good.  And that lard looks darker than it should.

Now where’s the thermometer so we can see how hot this is?

Well, one of our kids cleaned up the kitchen today.  And now we can’t find the thermometer.  Unfortunately way too common after we moved – Kids can’t seem to figure out where stuff goes.

Anyhow, ten minutes later we find it.  And then find out that the lard is well above the smoke point, and is upwards of 395 degrees.  Not sure how far above it since the thermometer doesn’t go higher than that.

So much for that batch.

Lessons Learned?

  • Make sure you have everything on hand BEFORE you start a big project.
  • Make sure you know where your backup supplies are.
  • Pay attention and don’t get too distracted by circumstances.  I didn’t think that the lard would get THAT hot just on low.
  • Communicate!  My wife could have checked the temperature if I’d told her we were after a 250 degree lard, instead she was working on other stuff since she didn’t know.
  • Take things slow … I’m glad we didn’t render ALL of our lard before canning, because now we still have more to go, even though we ruined this batch.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

6 Responses to So That Didn’t Go Well…

  1. I hate to give you some more bad news but you are not supposed to can lard. It’s very simply, as the lard heats in the jars the lard creeps up the side of the jars, through the lid, and outside of the jars. Let me find my grandmother’s cook book or call an Amish farmer down the road. They preserve lard all of the time.

  2. PS you can buy cases of lids like 60 cases of lids (720) on ebay for under $100. You bring up a good point, if you don’t have jars and lids readily available if you depend on a freezer and the power goes out, guess what?…your food is spoiled. I keep cases of jars and lids readily available for canning my meat.

  3. There is a site called Nourished Kitchen, she has a step by step preparing lard. I believe she canned hers, like you were going to do before the oh-no happened.

    Just a note to let you know, Wal-Mart in our area started carrying Auguson Farm products. I purchase the potatoe gems for my husband since he needs the extra calories. The last two times I have been in our local store about two weeks apart that shelf was bare.
    Makes me wonder if the citizens where I live are waking up to what is going on, or if the are buying into the Mayan calendar. I hate to say whatever it is, they are a little late making it to the party.

  4. Tad off topic, though this does go to making sure we’ve thought things through before taking action….

    If anyone here is worried about a financial collapse shouldn’t we NOT be shopping at Wal-Mart since pretty much everything they carry is manufactured in China, and China makes money off of pretty much every step of any process Wal-Mart is involved in?

    Prepare for the collapse, yeah, but let’s not help it along…..