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Moving food across country

I hope everyone is doing well

I thought I would share a story with you that I have shared with a lot of people. Some people think it is funny, others think I’m crazy. I just look at it as a way of life.

When we decided to move to California, Mitzi and I had to make a lot of decisions. We were going from acres, out buildings, a garden, and about 20 chickens to a complete new way of life.

We had to decide what we were going to keep / give away, how much room we would have on the moving truck, and what we were going to sell. We thought about new jobs, doctors, automobiles, etc… But, my biggest worry was how were we going to get our food across the country. We have canned just about everything from lamb and beef stock to venison chili and spicy pickled beans. We also had a lot of meat in the freezer including venison I butchered myself, and I love venison.

My biggest concern for our move from Ohio to California was transporting the San Marzano tomato puree we had canned. First of all we had to babysit the tomatoes until they were perfectly ripe, then cook them, separate the skins and seed away from the pulp and then can the tomato. It was a lot of work and the puree is amazing. If you are going to cook Italian food, San Marzano tomatoes are a must.

We always tried to can enough tomato puree to stay a year ahead in quantity just in case we had a bad crop.

Well… it’s a good thing, because we just moved, and we don’t have the time right now to plant a huge garden We did plant about 60 running feet of assorted greens, some herbs, a couple tomato plants and a pepper plant, but not nearly the amount we planted in the past in our 2500 square foot garden in Ohio.

You may just think it’s just okay to throw the canned foods in boxes and put the boxes on the truck, but I felt like I had gold in a jar and I was not willing to just assume everything would be okay. So my biggest moving research project was coming up with a plan to get the canned foods and the 50 pounds of venison we had in the freezer safely to California.

Moving the meat was not a problem because coolers and dry ice quickly solved that issue. It was the canned food. We had about 20 gallons of gold to transport (San Marzano tomato puree). I called the Ball Canning Company because I was concerned with the pressure changing when driving though the Rocky Mountains. They let me know it would not be a good idea to transport the canned items through the Rockies because as the pressure changes the jars could unseal. Oh boy… here we go! We had to make a quick alteration to a straight line across country.

To make a long story short, we had to add about 400 more miles to the trip to go around the mountains. The tomatoes did make it safely along with everything else. I am so happy. I am not sure what we are going to do for next year, but we do have a little time to decide.

I have been a little busy traveling the past couple weeks. I did do some food styling in Columbus, Ohio for a nutrition bar company as well as Sbarro. If you go to a Sbarro or to their website, you will see a lot of my styling work. I just worked on their next limited time offer (LTO). It’s a good one!

Hopefully everyone is doing well. I wish you all a great week.

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