Monday, March 21, 2011
Cleaning out the pantry and freezer!
This weekend I got into a "nesting" mode as my husband likes to call it and went through all of our pantry and freezer space to really take inventroy of what all we have left from last year. This serves a couple of purposes: 1) is to see what we have an abundance of and use it up before our canning season starts so we will have space and 2) to see what we ran out of early so I'll know if there are things we need to can more of of.
Things that I still have an abundance of from last year:
- apple mint jelly
- pear preserves ( 25 pints of this alone)
-green tomato chow chow
-canned diced and whole tomatoes
-salsa ( mild)
-I still have plenty of dried herbs, including lavendar to work with
-corn on the cob
-ground deer meat and deer steaks
Things that we ran out of, or are almost out of and I should do more for next year:
-bread and butter pickles
-cherry jelly ( I only had enough to make 3 pints and those were gone fast!)
-plum jelly ( made about 8 pints but this is my Dad's fave, so he ended up with about 5 of them)
-dried apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, etc. ( I was just perfecting my drying technique and didn't do a whole lot of those)
-corn off the cob
-deer stew meat
-purple hull peas
One thing that we really enjoyed this past winter ( which seemed to be particulary cold for our area) was the vegetable soup. We really enjoyed a big bowl of that with some homeade bread, biscuits or cornbread on a cold day. All of the frozen fruit was used quickly also, in smoothies, pies, cakes, ice cream etc.
As far as the pecans go, I couldn't really have put up any more than I stored. I picked every single one up off the ground. We used them in trail mixes, cakes, pies, cookies, etc. Mainly around Christmas baking time.
I'd also like to put up more green beans this year, they aren't that hard and we enjoy them a lot.
I want to encourage you all to take an inventory of your pantry and freezers and really take a look at what you need and want for this next year and plan accordingly. If you put up 100 pints of pepper jelly, and still have 98 left, perhaps you skip that this year :). Of course the point is to enjoy it fresh as much as possible, and beleive me, during the summer we eat most of our meals all completly from the garden, but we of course have excess and it's so soothing knowing that in the dead of winter that apple butter , soup or other veggies will warm your spirit!
What about you guys? Any funny stories of over zealous canning? What do you always run out of?