Casey Wilson A look into my world.

Home Canning

Written by Casey Wilson on January 30, 2014.

Here recently I've been slightly obsessed with canning. It takes me back to my Grandma's house. We always had glass jars on hand which contained a variety of foods. My favorites were Green Beans and Sauerkraut.

She'd ask me to go into the cellar, and pick out some jars. I'd run down happily into "that" side of the basement. It was a small room built into the side of the basement. You'd walk in and to your right were these deep shelves.

Sometimes what she needed was right up front, while others called for me to crawl inside and fish around. I loved it.

She knew it too. I'd come back, sometimes dusty and she'd brush me off and ask if I wanted something to drink.

She had these small yellow cups that the kids used. When she passed away, I was asked if I could have one thing from her, what would it be? I asked for a yellow cup. The one she handed me, with a smile on her face with calm reassurance.

I digress. I've begun my canning career with "Boiling Water Baths". It's a technique used to can high acid foods like Jam, Jelly, Pickles, etc.

Now with that under my belt, I soon realized that I wanted to can MEAT. Oh yes, you heard me. I don't have a large freezer here, and unlikely to get one soon. We just don't have the space. However we do have some room for some jars...

With this new found desire I bought a pressure canner. It's a Presto 23qt (The one pictured), and it came from I found the same one at Ace Hardware for $109, but on Walmart it could be purchased in a bundle for $80 and came with 12 Ball pint jars. Shame on you Ace ;)

Kendra bought some hamburger, and we canned it up. We had about one pound of cooked hamburger to pint jar. I used the wide mouths to make it easier to pack and use.

A week later we popped open our first jar of canned meat to make some tacos. It was amazing! The texture, taste, etc. Kendra said she preferred it to that of cooking it fresh.

I think the only thing I'd change next time I do hamburger would be to try to drain and possibly rinse the meat prior to packing.

Composer Power to the Rescue!

Written by Casey Wilson on January 11, 2014.

I friggin' hate downloading and installing libraries. How many times do we do the same thing before we come up with a better more efficient way?

Composer to the rescue!

Composer is a Dependency Manager for PHP, and a pretty fine one I might say.

I inherited a few projects a year or so ago. At that time they used downloaded copies of various libraries and were all committed to the VCS. It gives a nice boost to developer stats for committing so much code, but is it really necessary? Nah.

I quickly started finding the versions we used of various projects on Github. At that point I was able to create a simple composer.json file and quickly add them all in. Once complete, I could update the autoloader to use that of Composers, and remove all the committed libs.

A caveat here is during deployment. If you don't have a good deployment strategy, than pulling this code directly on prod could break things. Consider your deployment strategy, and adjust according.

For me I get around this by having a deployment being pointed to with a symlink. Saves the day in many ways.

I've talked to much, and I think you get the point. I'm a composer fan. If you aren't I'd highly suggest you give it a try.