Winning over the next generation!

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Well-known member
Feb 9, 2014
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Western Washington
Here I am, up again in the wee hours, and another long day tomorrow - I have mayofascial pain syndrome, which means the fascia on pretty much anything in my body can contract and exert I think 2,000 psi of pressure wherever it darn well pleases. I've been having random knots and spasms in the arches of my feet, on my shins, randomly all over the backs of my legs and my hips for 9 days now, which makes sleep hard!!

So anyway, my mind is wandering over events from this year, starting in January when our son, age 20, moved back in with us. When he first got here he made fun of our organic/whole food way of life, and acted like our organic food was going to poison him. So funny, because we always cooked quite a bit from scratch, and my kids grew up eating more than the recommended amount of fruits and veggies and like pretty much any healthy food! He does like to try to get a rise out of people with nonsensical things, just his bizarre form of humor I guess! Anyway, he is just starting his career as a personal trainer, so is also studying (informally) nutrition and is also into body building for himself - he wants to eventually compete in body building contests that are limited to people who train naturally.

Recently he asked me to get him some quick oats, vs. the steel cut that we typically use. His disbelief when he found out how much lower in calories and protein/fiber they are was comical, since he needs to eat 3,800 calories a day and has a hard time consuming that much food! So he said, ok, no more quick oats! He also asked for a bunch of brown rice and beans, because he wants to start putting together a diet that is affordable and healthy for when he moves out - we did also teach our kids how to manage money!! Over the past few weeks I had pressure canned 22 pints of beef & 4 bean chili, 18 pints of chicken & navy bean soup, 9 pounds worth of shredded beef with BBQ sauce, plus quite a bit of stock and also made him some 2 cup sized portion of dinner items that I batch cooked for the freezer. A little over a week ago he had a light bulb moment - said that he really liked being able to open a jar vs defrosting/heating, and knowing that the foods aren't processed down, so they still have all the calories, protein, nutrients, etc. His desire for those things comes from a different angle than mine, but he now sees the benefit!

So at that point he said when he's out on his own he's going to can everything because he doesn't like to cook (just like me :lol:), and said - so I just need to buy some jars, right? I said no, you need a pressure canner too. He looked at my canner sitting there on the counter and got a worried look on his face. So I said - Or, you could just come do a canning day with your mommy every now and then and stock up! He thought that was a great idea. Of course, he will need to buy his own ingredients then!

So I found some recipes for a couple kinds of vegetarian chili (white & red), instructions for canning cubed sweet potatoes, etc. He was a little dismayed that I expected him to help me put it all together, but since these items would be for his extra meals... the boy eats six 600 calorie meals each day plus a few snacks! So we ended up with 44 pints of the two kinds of chili and just 7 pints of sweet potatoes (as a trial) over the course of a couple days. Even with all organic ingredients the chili ended up costing 62 cents per jar (plus the flat canning lid), and that wasn't even with bulk prices, I buy a variety of beans in 5 pound bags! He was pretty excited about how easy it really was, even though it seemed intimidating before we did it.

We decided that we are going to place an order for 25 pound bags of several kinds of beans, as well as rice and oats and maybe some grains for sprouting! We will try sprouting some barley and wheat first, since I have those already, and see if he minds the process and likes the taste. I've never sprouted anything myself as yet, but I just bought a small sprouted to try it out. We'll buy a bunch of 5 gallon buckets to store all the food in- we just found some at WalMart that have screw on lids!!! Who knew? Then when he moves out he will just pay us the pro-rated cost for whatever he uses in his recipes when he comes home to can with me - for now he is eating for free. :cry:

He has really been loving eating the chili, and the sweet potatoes take him less than a minute and he can eat them straight from the jar! He loves that he can be lazy and still eat healthy food, vs. microwavable Costco food that he won't be able to afford later anyway. I keep telling him to make that rice, and if he poured the chili over it he would have a complete protein AND hit 700 calories if he added a glass of milk. I discovered tonight that he's intimidated by making the rice, so we'll be doing that tomorrow. I hate rice and never cook it, so I will have to look it up lol.

So then tonight he came to me and said that for his birthday (November) and Christmas presents this year he wants a big pressure canner and a ton of canning jars! Whoah! This young man is going to make a fine husband some day. :rotfl: Chances are the woman he marries won't know how to can or maybe even cook using whole foods!

Now I am on the hunt for healthy, inexpensive, whole food pressure canning recipes so that we can create a nutritious pantry for the boy! And you better believe he will be doing 90% of the work, and I will be supervising! Wow, sorry for the book - this has just been such a big change for him in the space of less than two weeks - it's going to transform everything about the way he approaches food, and he's only 20! Any time he wants to add a new element to his diet he is going to be confident that he can do it in an economical, efficient and healthy manner! What more could a mother ask?

If anyone has any ideas for pressure canning recipes, I would love to hear them!

So far I have what's listed above:
vegetarian chili
beef & chicken chili's (with beans)
sweet potatoes
BBQ pulled beef/pork (meat sales)
chicken & bean soup (not quite enough calories)

Plus the following that I have found recipes for:
potato soup
sloppy joe meat
taco meat
apple butter pork (sandwiches or main dish with the sweet potatoes)
pot pie filling (if he's willing to make a crust - I need an easy way for him to do that)
beef with barley soup (low calories again - not so good for him!)
spaghetti sauce with meat
beef stew
hamburger stroganoff (with clearjel)
canned meat - pretty much any kind

Any ideas to add? He's envisioning have hundreds (he actually said 1,000!!) of jars in his pantry, since he might eat 5-8 jars worth every day! Did I mention he doesn't like to cook, and wants pretty much instant eating on a day to day basis? I think it's going to be an adventure helping him get it set up!