Saturday, July 24, 2010
Please Pass the Salt
Salt is one of the basic recommended storage items for a years supply. There are several reasons for this. First, food tastes bland without it. Second, everyone needs some salt in their diet and third, it is used to preserve food.
It is a no-brainer that we all like things to taste good. Salt is pretty inexpensive to store and should be one of the first things we add to our storage. However, if it isn't stored properly it can take on moisture and harden. Make sure to store your salt in a moisture proof container (not the sack or paper can it comes in). It will store forever if it doesn't get moisture or absorb the flavor or odor of whatever it is stored near. It may turn a little yellow if it has iodine in it, but it is still good to eat. Salt with iodine is the preferred storage salt, because it is good for the thyroid unless there is someone in your family whose body can't tolerate iodine.
Salt is a vital substance for survival of all living creatures, particularly humans. Water, salt and potassium together regulate the water content of the body. Salt is a natural antihistamine. It can be used to relieve asthma. Salt is a strong anti-stress element for the body. Salt extracts excess acid from inside the cells, particularly the brain cells. Salt is vital for maintaining muscle tone and strength. Lack of bladder control and involuntary leakage of urine could be a consequence of low salt intake.
Think of the recipes that you use when canning items on a regular basis. What types and amounts of salt do they call for? Make sure that you have enough salt in your storage if you plan on using it to cure meats also.
I am a little distressed by the fact that most salt contains aluminum, as an anti caking agent. I prefer to use the "Real Salt" brand in my cooking and in my shakers. If you haven't tried it yet, you should. It is a little more pricey but if you buy it at a food storage outlet rather than off your supermarket shelves, you'll save money. It comes in larger size packages than the shaker bottle pictured above. Give it a try!
One of my favorite recipes ever, I received from a friend who passed away several years ago. I look forward to the fall when cucumbers are on so I can make this relish. It doesn't use as much salt as some pickles but it is a to-die-for sweet pickle relish that is wonderful on burgers, tuna sandwiches or mixed in any kind of a sandwich spread.
12 large cucumbers
4 green peppers
1 red pepper
4 large onions
3 c. vinegar
5 c. sugar
2 T. salt
4 t. celery seed
4 t. mustard seed
3 t. turmeric
¼ t. cloves
Grind cucumbers, peppers and onions; sprinkle 2 T. salt over mixture and let set overnight. Add 1 qt. water. Boil 15 minutes. Drain and wash. Add vinegar, sugar, seeds and turmeric. Cook 20 minutes. Seal in jars. Y: about 8 pints.