Using Home Canned Salmon

I recently canned some salmon that had been sitting in the freezer for about six months.  pressure canning pacific salmonLearning how to can beef, chicken, pork and fish with a pressure canner has been on my list for a while now. To see how I canned the salmon, click here.   Although we will be able to keep a lot of food in our freezer while living on our future homestead, I would prefer to use the freezer mainly for vegetables.  Why?  Because I like frozen corn much better than canned corn.  Ditto with green beans.  Have you ever canned zucchini?  It isn’t pretty – think mushy.  But if you freeze it either in thin slices or shredded, you can make zucchini bread or zucchini muffins even in the dead of winter.

But – you need to eat what you can to make it worthwhile!  Sure, I was proud of the fact that I actually canned my own salmon, but the only thing I have ever made with canned salmon before has been salmonMaking salmon patties from home canned salmon patties!  However, if we had salmon patties every week, we would get mighty tired of them!  So I went on a search for some other recipe using canned salmon. My first thought was to find something like a tuna casserole, but since I don’t like tuna casserole, I skipped over those recipes. I might look into one of those later.  Then I found this one for Salmon Chowder and then another one from Whole Foods, which also sounded really good.  Since hubby and I both love Clam Chowder, I thought I would give it a go using both recipes as a guide!

So, If you know me, you can expect that I tweaked these recipes together into one and omitted or added some ingredients.

How to make Salmon Chowder

Bacon cooking in butter. MMMMmmmmm….. bacon…♥♥♥

I started out frying the bacon with the butter.  After the bacon was browned, I took it out of the pan to save for later.  I added the onion to the pan and let that saute for a few minutes until it was translucent.  Then I added three tablespoons of flour and stirred, stirred, stirred. This quickly made a fairly thick rue, and I let that bubble for a minute or two while I stirred.  Next, I added four cups of chicken broth, a little salt and some pepper.  I wish I had only added three cups of the broth, but the potatoes needed to cook in the broth/rue mixture and I needed another cup of the broth to cover the potatoes.  Add the potatoes. After about 15 minutes the potatoes were getting tender, so I added the flaked and chunked salmon, along with the corn that was thawed.  I brought this up to a boil, turned down to a simmer and let it bubble away for about 5 minutes.  After the 5 minutes I added 2 cups of half and half.

Canned Salmon Chowder

The salmon flakes up pretty well. I left some chunks also, but I removed the skin.

That’s it!  The Salmon Chowder was absolutely delicious!  It wasn’t too salmony (if you know what I mean) nor did it have too many potatoes.  The broth was a bit thin, though. I crumbled the bacon on top of each bowl and served with fresh from the oven french bread.

Here is what I will do next time.  Cook potatoes separately until almost tender (maybe 10 minutes) before I add them into the chicken broth/rue mixture – that way I will only have to use 3 cups of the chicken broth.  Also, I will add celery.next time.  I didn’t add any the first time simply because I didn’t have any!  Also, I only had one cup of the frozen salmon and potato chowdercorn and I think it could have had a lot more, may be two cups.  This was the last of the frozen corn I grew in my garden last summer and froze. It was still delicious! Oh – and onion – a bit more onion! I need to trust recipes more because I only added 1/2 of an onion instead of the whole onion as suggested in the first recipe. Next time I will add the whole onion!

As you can see, I omitted the carrot and dill that the recipe from Whole Foods suggested.  I’m not a huge fan of dill unless it is a dill pickle, and I just don’t think carrots belong in a chowder.  I may be wrong, but it’s my chowder.  You have my permission to put carrots and dill in yours!

Salmon Chowder Recipe

Here is a jar of my home canned salmon. It isn’t very pretty, but it sure is good! However, it is almost impossible to get out of the jar!

Another thing I have learned from canning the salmon and then using it in a couple of recipes, is that I need to can it in smaller wide mouth jars!  The salmon chunks would be much easier to get out that way, and the smaller jars would also be just the right size for hubby and I.  This salmon chowder recipe made enough to fill the bellies of at least four adults, and the salmon patties I made previously made four very large patties.  So, using the smaller jelly jar size to can the salmon would make the perfect proportion for one meal for my hubby and I.  I might still can some in pints, just in case we have company.

recipe for chowder using salmon

This was so good! As hubby says “that’s a keeper!”

If anyone has another recipe that uses canned salmon – speak up please!  If you have a post about it, please include a link in the comments.  If you just have a recipe, you could type that into the comments as well!  If you have a recipe similar to tuna casserole….   well, ummmmm.. ♥♥ 🙂 ♥♥  no thanks.

The site for our future home!

The site for our future home! We are working on the plans right now!

As you may know, our plans are to move up to our future homestead, grow and raise most of our food, build our home off the grid using solar and wind power, and live as simply and happily as possible.  That is why I am learning how to can, freeze, dehydrate, ferment and store food.  I am trying to learn as much as I can about sustainable and organic gardening along with permaculture techniques.  I have been doing research about heirloom vegetables and heritage chicken breeds.  I am convinced that the trick is to learn as much as possible before we move up to our future homestead, because once we move up there, we plan to hit the ground running!

001

 

Here are some of the fun linky parties I attend: Down Home Blog HopThe HomeAcre HopShare Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThusdayCatch A Glimpse PartyCreate it ThursdayThink Tank ThursdayFreedom FridaysFriendship FridayFrom The Farm Blog HopEat, Create, PartyFriday Flash Blog PartyWeekend re-Treat; Family Fun FridayFriday’s Five FeaturesFridays Unfolded; Inspired WeekendSimply Natural SaturdaysStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday SparksSaturday Show & Tell;  Show and Tell SaturdaySpotlight SaturdayMy Favorite ThingsGet Schooled SaturdaySerenity SaturdaySimple SaturdaysFrugal Crafty HomeThat DIY PartyNifty Thrifty SundayDIY Sunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySuburbs MamaSubmarine SundaysSimple Life SundayThink Pink SundayHomesteader’s Hop

Light My Fire!

♪♪♫♪♫ Come on baby, light my fire ♪♫♪♫♫

Uh –      but please don’t try to set the night on fire!   🙂

We have been busy at our future homestead, preparing for the coming spring and summer. One chore is to clean up all the brush we trimmed from trees last summer and fall, to make our property more fire safe.  We have a chipper/shredder that works well with the small stuff, but sometimes we just get too inundated with all the debris and choose to burn what we don’t shred/chip.

We wait for rain to burn.  Why?  Because around here a forest fire is probably #1 on the list of bad things to happen – even in the winter!  There is a lot of forest duff on the ground, dead trees, and low lying brush that could catch with just a small spark.  One of the worst wildfires that have happened in our area in recent years was during a dry January.  And with the current drought we have been having, things are drier now than we have ever seen!

♫♪♪♪♫    I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.  I’ve seen sunny days                                       that I thought would never end  ♫♪♪♫♪

Great song!  Anyhow…………

With rain in the forecast (finally!) we called our county’s Air Quality Board to make sure the next day would be a burn day.  Since it was, we traveled up to our future homestead to do some burning!

How to burn brush

You can see some of the brush we needed to burn, and the tarps that we cover the brush with the night before it rains. The black ash is the spot where we do all of our burning. It is a large clearing, right where we plan to build our future home!

The night before we burn, while it is still dry, we pile up some of the dry brush and then put a tarp or old plastic tablecloth over it.  We also keep some dry kindling in our tool shed, and use this to start the fire right in the middle of the dry brush.  I like to use wooden matches to start the fire.  It’s almost like having small branches already burning inside the kindling!

As the fire gets going, we continue to add onto the pile, never letting it get too big or out of control.  We usually burn the leafy branches first, because we usually don’t get much of a breeze in the morning.  If there is a breeze, then we try to burn the leafy stuff when it is really burning hard.  That way the burning leaves that rise from the heat of the fire don’t travel very far.

Burning brush in the forest

Here is our burning brush fire. You can see some of the plastic gallon jugs full of water. Our neighbor’s dog, Louie, loves it when we burn brush on cold winter days!

We have an inground pool in our valley home and save all the empty gallon chemical jugs and take them up to the future homestead.  We fill those with water and set about 20 or 30 of them around the fire, just in case.  We also have a rake, shovel  and a pitchfork and are constantly patrolling the perimeter looking for branches or logs trying to roll out.

It only takes a few hours to get this job done, but we are pretty tired, sooty and wet when we are done. You notice there aren’t any pictures of us!  Ha ha.

This time we didn’t find any large critters in the pile.  Usually we find wood rat nests or deer mice. Once there was a small jack rabbit in the brush pile.  Rue the day when we find a skunk! 🙁

Safely burning brush in the forest

Once we are done burning, we spread out the coals then pour water on them until they are out and cold! Isn’t Louie cute?  He got too hot and had to lay away from the fire. 🙂

Since we don’t live up on our future homestead just yet, we ALWAYS make sure the fire is out before we leave!

ALWAYS

I know some seasoned veterans will leave their brush piles smoldering for days, but we just don’t feel comfortable doing that.  So, once the burning is done and there are just a few coals left, we rake the coals out and pour the water from the gallon jugs on them.  The coals snap and sizzle and steam while we do this.  Since we are burning mostly hardwood branches and twigs, I plan to someday gather all of the ash before we pour water, so that I can try my hand at making lye for soap!

After all of the water has been poured on the pile (along with the rain!) and we know the fire is dead, we gather up all the gallon jugs to fill for the next time.

Burning in the Forest

001

I attend these parties:   Freedom FridaysFriendship FridayFrom The Farm Blog HopEat, Create, PartySmall Footprint Fridays;Pinworthy Projects PartyFarmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog PartyWeekend re-Treat; Family Fun FridayFriday’s Five FeaturesFriday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired WeekendAnything Goes LinkyShow Off FridayCraft Frenzy FridaySimply Natural SaturdaysStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday SparksSaturday Show & Tell;  Show and Tell SaturdayMy Favorite ThingsGet Schooled SaturdaySerenity SaturdaySimple Saturdays;  Nifty Thrifty SundayDIY Sunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySuburbs MamaSimple Life SundayThink Pink SundayHomesteader’s Hop;  Thank Goodness It’s Monday;Homestead Barn HopClever Chicks Blog Hop;Homemade Mondays;  Natural Living MondayGrand SocialMix It Up Monday;  Amaze Me MondayMotivation MondayMega Inspiration Monday The Backyard Farming Connection HopThe Gathering SpotTuesday Garden PartyTuesday GreensTuesdays with a TwistThe ScoopTwo Cup TuesdayTweak It TuesdayInspire Me TuesdaysTuesdays at Our Home

 

The contents of this site are the property of  Building Our Sustainable Life©.  Please be aware that all content contained herein is copyrighted. We love when you share but a link back to the original post is appreciated.  Making Our Sustainable Life © does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any information, content or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked with downloaded from any of the services contained on this website, nor the quality of any products, information or any other material displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information’s or offer in or in connection with this website.

Volunteer Almond Trees!

We have an almond tree in our backyard that we didn’t pay for.  We didn’t plant it either!  We have either the crows, jays or mockingbirds to thank for our almond tree.

At first we didn’t even know it was there, tucked in behind our orange tree by the back fence.  One day while weeding around the orange tree I noticed this little sapling that was growing and thought it looked a lot like an almond tree, but I wasn’t sure.  Hubby and I decided to leave it alone and see what it turned out to be.  But then, we forgot about it.

Our cat, Shadow, in the orange tree.

Our cat, Shadow, in the orange tree.

The next year, there it was in the spring sunshine sticking it’s head above the orange tree foliage!  It was about 3 feet tall and had little pinkish white flowers!  We determined at that point that, indeed, it was an almond tree.

Several friends and family members (who usually know more about these things than we do) said  that we should probably pull it out because most likely it would be a bitter almond.  Sweet almonds, they said, have to be grafted.  We considered pulling it, but then figured it would make a nice tree nonetheless, so we left it.

Growing almonds from seed

Our mature, volunteer almond tree, tucked behind our orange tree.

Now, about 15 years later, it is a wonderful SWEET almond producing tree!  We are so glad we left the tree now.  I have been enjoying making almond milk ice cream using fresh, home-made almond milk with our organically grown almonds! You can see the process HERE.  I have also been experimenting with making my own almond flour and have baked several recipes with it!  You can see how to make almond flour and almond flour bread HERE. The almond tree has also become a haven for some of the most beautiful songbirds in the spring and we often wake to their wonderful melodies!  ♫♪♫♪   ♪♫♪♫  ♪♫ 🙂

Now, as hubby was preparing last year’s garden area to become lawn again (I know, I know, this is actually not fun for us either, but the real estate agent said it must be so), he came across this:

Almond saplings

A new baby almond tree!

Baby almond trees!!!!  He had pulled a couple of them out of the ground, thinking they were weeds, but on further inspection saw the nut hanging off the roots and knew immediately what they were!  So, hoping that the roots weren’t hurt too badly, I immediately put them into water, to see if they would survive over-night.  They did!

Almond Saplings

The almond saplings survived the night, so we decided their roots couldn’t be too damaged and planted them in pots.

I decided to pot them up right away, into some worm compost soil (we have a small worm farm – see here) and a little native soil.  Hopefully these trees will mature into beautiful almond trees that we will plant at our future homestead!  After doing some research on the internet (such a wonderful tool) it is likely that these will also turn out to be sweet almond trees, just like their mother!  Thank you, birds.

Baby Almond Tree

All potted up and looking healthy and happy! 🙂

Have you ever grown an almond tree from the seed (which of course, is the nut!), or any kind of nut tree?  Do you have nut trees that sprang up out of nowhere?  I would love to hear your stories – please share in the comments!

001

 

I party at these fun places:  The Backyard Farming Connection HopNifty Thrifty TuesdayThe Gathering SpotTuesday Garden PartyBrag About ItTuesdays with a TwistThe ScoopTuesdays TreasuresTwo Cup TuesdayTweak It TuesdayInspire Me Tuesdays; Tuesdays at Our Home;  Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopCottage Style PartyWildcrafting WednesdayWhat I Learned WednesdayWicked Awesome WednesdayWhatever goes WednesdayShow and Share WednesdayWined Down WednesdayWhat We AccomplishedMoonlight & Mason JarsLovely Ladies LinkyWake Up WednesdayFluster’s Creative MusterThe HomeAcre HopShare Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden ThursdayFabulously Frugal Thusday;Thriving ThursdaysSimple Lives Thursday;  Catch A Glimpse PartyCreate it ThursdayTime Travel ThursdayThink Tank ThursdayGreen Thumb Thursday;   Freedom FridaysFriendship FridayFrom The Farm Blog HopEat, Create, PartySmall Footprint Fridays;Pinworthy Projects PartyFarmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog PartyWeekend re-Treat; Family Fun FridayFriday’s Five FeaturesFriday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired WeekendAnything Goes LinkyShow Off FridayCraft Frenzy FridaySimply Natural SaturdaysStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday SparksSaturday Show & Tell;  Show and Tell SaturdayMy Favorite ThingsGet Schooled SaturdaySerenity SaturdaySimple Saturdays;  Nifty Thrifty SundayDIY Sunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySuburbs MamaSimple Life SundayThink Pink SundayHomesteader’s Hop;  Thank Goodness It’s MondayMore The Merrier Monday;  Homestead Barn HopClever Chicks Blog Hop;Homemade Mondays;  Manic MondayNatural Living MondayGrand SocialMix It Up MondaySweet Sharing MondayPin It MondayCreate, Link, Inspire;  Save Money MondayAmaze Me MondayMotivation MondayMonday FundayMega Inspiration Monday

Paid Endorsement Disclosure:  One way I support my blogging activities is by receiving monetary compensation or other forms of payment for my endorsement, testimonial, recommendation, and/or link to products or services from this blog.  I promise to only post links, endorsements or recommendations that I truly use myself and/or believe in!

Water Storage Tank

Where we live here in California, we have been experiencing a terrible drought.  During our rainy months of December, January and most of February we were dry, dry, dry.  The weather was beautiful – in the 60’s and 70’s – so at first no one was complaining.  Then the news reports began to show the level of our reservoirs, and let me tell you, it’s not pretty.  It’s actually kinda scary! On our way up to our future homestead, we pass over one of California’s major reservoirs and recently got some sad pictures:

Lake Oroville during drought

This whole area should be full of water, not a little creek down at the bottom!  There are many exposed items of interest that haven’t seen the light of day for years!  Below is a picture of a wall built by the Chinese during California’s gold rush days.  The park rangers have also had to patrol areas where Native American artifacts have been exposed because ignorant (the nicest word I could think of) people have been vandalizing and stealing them! Chinese Wall at Lake Oroville

Our biggest concern is that our well will dry up this year.  The likelihood of this happening is pretty good because of the drought and the fact that the neighbor to our south has been farming a crop that takes a lot of water these last two years.  Last year his generator ran pretty much nonstop to pump water out of his well, which is directly below ours, to irrigate said crops!  Of course, there really isn’t anything we can do about this (at least I don’t think there is) except prepare for the worst!

A couple of weeks ago, our storm door finally opened!  Yay!  We have actually had a few rainy days!  Since we had planned to eventually place a water storage tank behind our new outhouse, to collect water from the metal outhouse roof, down the gutter and into the storage tank, and our other two tanks were finally full (finally!), we decided now was as good a time as ever!

We checked around for prices and, of course, the price had gone up everywhere! Apparently a lot of people have had the same idea. I understand the principals of supply and demand, but that is just so unfair!  When we found the most reasonably priced tank nearby at 1,100 gallons, we loaded it up on our truck (they fit perfectly in our F150 pickup) and headed up to our future homestead. Installing a Water Storage Tank

The first thing we had to do was clear an area behind the outhouse to place the tank.  We measured the footprint of the tank to determine how big of an area that needed to be cleared and leveled. The area was full of decaying wood, small bushes, poison oak and little critters.  Of course, two days later I found a few spots of poison oak on my arm, just above the area protected by my glove!  Grrrrrrr.  Right now is the worst time to get exposed to the nasty stuff because as the poison oak is just starting to sprout new leaves, the resins are flowing quite freely in the vine!  One think I have noticed over the years, however, is that lavender essential oil takes out some of the itch.  Luckily I only got a few spots this time.

orange and black salamanderWe found several critters when we moved a decaying stump to clear this area, and the first was this little salamander.  Salamanders live in cool, moist areas.  I am not sure what type of salamander this is, but judging by it’s coloration and from what I have read on the internet, this one might have some poison in it’s skin as a defense mechanism. We spotted a total of five of these little critters and relocated them to a safer place.

Another critter that we found in A millipede in forest duffabundance were millipedes!  We must have found at least two dozen of them in this small area!  We also saved the millipedes as we found them because they are wonderful composters of all the leafy duff found on the forest floor.  Even though they look big (some are easily 6 inches long) and scary, the millipede is perfectly safe to pick up with a bare hand – unlike a centipede!

Saving Rainwater in a TankOnce the area was cleared of duff, downed wood, bushes, poison oak, millipedes and salamanders, we needed to get the base leveled.  We dug dirt from the back and threw to the front and added just a bit extra to the lower front half, because we knew that the weight of water in the tank would squash down the freshly fluffed up dirt.

After just a few hours of preparation, we were able to roll to tank into position.  These plastic water storage tanks are surprising light and easy to handle!  Just tip on it’s side and roll wherever you need them to be!

Water Storage Tank for collecting rainwater

We haven’t attached a rain gutter system to our outhouse yet, so right now the new tank can’t collect rainwater.  But, since another storm was on it’s way, we decided to pump the water from the middle tank, which collects rainwater from the tool shed roof, into this new water tank.  That way, we can collect more rainwater in the middle tank.  Pumping the water took just a few hours.

So, we now have three 1,100 gallon water storage tanks:  One right next to our fruit and nut orchard, another behind our tool shed, and the third (the one we just installed) behind the outhouse.  We have a spot to put a fourth tank, near the orchard and above the first orchard tank, but that may have to wait until this next fall.  These water storage tanks provide water for our fruit and nut orchard through a gravity fed automatic watering system, which is necessary because we don’t live there yet and can’t be there to water the trees as often as necessary.  If you would like to read about how we set up our gravity fed automatic watering system, you can click here and here.

The morning after we set up this new tank, as we were preparing to leave, it started to rain!  Cool. 🙂

I party at these websites:

Farmgirl Friday;  Friday’s Five FeaturesFriday FavoritesSimply Natural SaturdaysStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday SparksSaturday Show & Tell;  Show and Tell SaturdayMy Favorite ThingsGet Schooled SaturdaySerenity SaturdayNifty Thrifty SundayDIY Sunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySuburbs MamaSimple Life SundayThink Pink SundayHomesteader’s Hop;  Thank Goodness It’s Monday;  Homestead Barn HopClever Chicks Blog Hop;Homemade Mondays;  Manic MondayNatural Living MondayGrand SocialMix It Up MondaySweet Sharing MondayPin It MondayAmaze Me MondayMotivation MondayMonday FundayMega Inspiration MondayThe Backyard Farming Connection HopNifty Thrifty TuesdayThe Gathering SpotTuesday Garden PartyBrag About ItTuesdays with a TwistThe ScoopTuesdays TreasuresTwo Cup TuesdayTweak It TuesdayInspire Me TuesdaysTuesdays at Our Home;  Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopCottage Style PartyWildcrafting WednesdayWhat I Learned WednesdayWicked Awesome WednesdayWhatever goes WednesdayShow and Share WednesdayWined Down WednesdayWhat We AccomplishedMoonlight & Mason JarsLovely Ladies LinkyWake Up WednesdayFluster’s Creative MusterThe HomeAcre HopShare Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden ThursdayFabulously Frugal Thusday;Thriving ThursdaysSimple Lives Thursday;  Catch A Glimpse PartyCreate it ThursdayFrugal Days Sustainable Ways;  Time Travel ThursdayThink Tank ThursdayGreen Thumb Thursday

The contents of this site are the property of  Building Our Sustainable Life.  Please be aware that all content contained herein is copyrighted. We love when you share but a link back to the original post is appreciated.

Making Our Sustainable Life does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any information, content or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked with downloaded from any of the services contained on this website, nor the quality of any products, information or any other material displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information’s or offer in or in connection with this website.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...