Thursday, October 19, 2006

Busy Storing Food For The Winter

Today has been quite a busy day for me, so I don't know how I found the time to write this for my blog. I was given 6 Butternut squash by my friend and was keeping them in my pantry. But our New York weather is just so unpredictable, and it warmed up. Usually, by this time of the year our big wood heating stove is going full blast. We are just heating with the cookstove for now. So anyway, my pantry is not as cool as usual for storing squash and apples. My house does have a big bin in the root cellar, but I'm afraid that mice rule down there. So I have to store them in my pantry, where I can send my three cats in to keep things in order.So the squash started molding on the stem. Better get them canned today!

Yesterday at my local Price Chopper, the produce manager was so kind, to put over 5 pounds of bananas in a brown paper bag on sale for ninety-nine cents. They were all singles and their time was almost up. But they were very eatable. And this morning I made a banana pudding trifle. I make it with homemade vanilla pudding, and instead of Cool-Whip, I make my own from a topping mix, I get from my local Mennonite store. So that'll be our dessert tonight. Now, I may have passed up that bag of bananas and bought a small bunch for us, as there is only the two of us. But my Homesteading Today forum members, Tightwad Tips thread, has been teaching me a thing or two. They would have bought them and some of them would have froze them. But I do not have that option. My freezer is too small for much good use. But I made the dessert, and we both did eat a couple of bananas yesterday, and my husband had a couple this morning.

Less than a month ago, I purchased a 50 pound bag of carrots at my produce market and canned 39 quarts. So I figure, I need double that amount. I used carrots in many of my recipes, it is afterall, my favorite vegetable. So if I canned more, that would give us a quart a week for a year and some for the horses, and some for using in various dishes. Since I have not had much success with growing carrots, I can get them stored in this manner. This is not to say, that I will quit trying to grow my own. I will keep trying. The other vegetables that I would like to can for the year in this manner, that is, enough for one quart a week would be green beans, corn (both creamed & regular), zucchini and tomatoes, but for cooking. Apples made into applesauce, would be another welcome addition to our table.

I like to can meats also. Whatever I can find on sale is fine. My favorite is stew of course. Since I can dried beans so they are more convenient to use, I will be not be canning chilie for the time being. Since I like to can ground beef, I can just make the chilie from scratch since everything is already canned. It will be easier that way and I think it will taste better too. Well, I'll see. Every time I grocery shop, I plan on purchasing a big package of some kind of meat and then can it. So it will not be something I plan on cooking soon. Pretty soon, we're going to have add on to my pantry. Or find a way to use my root cellar without having mice all over our food. I thought about getting Rubbermaid containers and storing canned jars in them down there. I always like being able to look at all my shelves of canned foods, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
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