The thermometer hit 46° F above zero this afternoon and we are just dancing around, enjoying this warm, sunny day. Whew, what a break. I’m sure the temperatures will drop for awhile, but it sure gives you hope for spring.

Yesterday, the replacement struts for our Subaru wagon came via USPS in the mailbox. Last week, the old ones suddenly crashed and I could hardly open the tailgate, let alone hold it while I loaded sacks of feed. So Will went online, found the struts, and ordered them. As you can imagine, we were glad when they arrived. Will actually read the directions before starting the replacement.

Will replacing the worn out struts on the Subaru’s tailgate

Of course, the job went slower than planned. He had to remove the tail light assembly in order to remove the old struts as well as some inside trim pieces. But when we went to town today, the new struts were in place and the tailgate actually stayed open!

Our local market had 3# bags of pepperoni on sale so I bought two. I started canning them up yesterday. The first batch is done and later on today I’ll do the second batch. They are so handy when I want to make a homemade pizza. One half-pint jar holds just the right amount of pepperoni, which I can up without liquid, just like many smoked foods such as fish. I can grab a few jars and have a pizza in the oven in less than 15 minutes. And there are never leftovers.

Here’s the first batch of canned pepperoni cooling.

I also found 5# bags of cooked, coarsely-ground bacon which I’ll also can up. Last night I used some of that bacon to mix with our first beef of the year and turned out the best hamburgers we’ve ever eaten. Why just put bacon on top of the burger? Mixed with the ground beef, it was awesome! — Jackie


    • Canning pepperoni is simple. I just lightly pack the slices down into a half-pint jar, leaving 1″ of headspace. Then, without adding liquid place a hot, previously simmered lid on and screw the ring down firmly tight. Process as any meat; 10 pounds for 75 minutes. The pepperoni slices do kind of cling together, but you can easily get them apart to put on your pizza along with any “gobs” of fat; just sprinkle them around for flavor…or not if you’re avoiding fat.

  1. Glad your warming up and getting things taken care on the homestead. I never thought about canning pepperoni and bacon. You all take care of each other.

  2. Hi Jackie and Will so much fun to read your blog. Weather here in Southern Wisconsin has been somewhat more forgiving ie less snow but cold. I have a great mental image of your homestead and enjoyed my time there. I have 3 gardens and have been increasingly disturbed by the local wild life. You have 2 x 3 in mesh fence I believe and I need to know if that was plastic or metal and where do you get it? Also did you put in 7 foot T-posts? If you could let me know this would help. Everett Lindsey stay warm, I too heat with wood and what I thought was a 2 year supply will not be but is enough for this year. Time to cut some more dead/fallen trees.

    • We fence all our gardens with 2″x4″ welded wire that is 6′ high. It is metal and we’ve bought it at L &M Fleet Supply, Menards and Tractor Supply. We use 8′ high steel T posts and it’s always kept out the deer and larger varmints. With outside stand-off plastic insulators and two rows of electric wire, it’ll also keep out coons or possums…and black bears.
      Yeah, we’ve used more wood than usual, but we still have tons and are so glad to have it all split and dry, inside!

  3. We shop mainly at our local store, Zups Market in Cook, Mn. It’s a family run store and often has better deals than the big box store….and much better meat!

  4. Oh my…82 here in Tampa today, and the next 5 days. Roses blooming, fruit trees budding.

    Haven’t tried canning pepperoni Jackie. Sounds like my next project! You are a canning wizard. Blessing through the Lenten season.

  5. Miss Jackie, We too are having a warm spell. Went to the dentist this a.m. and when we came home it was 67F in the shade. Now that is unusual, but welcome. It may be short lived as Weather channel indicated we may get some snow for the weekend. How ever my tulips on the closed in porch are looking good, the bottom leaves are unfolding Blessings Rick

  6. So happy that you’re getting this taste of spring. It’s wonderful even if it’s just a tease of what’s to come. Love it that you’re always canning something up! You’re such an inspiration. Thank you for the update. Enjoy the weather while it lasts!

    By the way, we’re reading your book “Homesteading Simplified” and learning from and enjoying it!

  7. Wow! You always find good deals! I would never have thought of canning bacon or pepperoni. Can you tell me what store you shop at?

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