Sunday, September 5, 2010

catching up

Well, I am trying to play catch-up.  I will be freezing my peaches my neighbor gave me.  I made beef patties and froze those this morning.  Some of my barter beef that I barter for.

It seems from the blogs I read or follow, the weather is into play  this year.  My garden didn't do too well, but I am getting produce, but it is slow and somewhat strange in its growing pattern.  My theory is a combo of the gulf spill dispersant's, and chemicals and the Icelandic volcano.  I am not a scientist, but I am old enough and have some brains to tell me that the weather is changed and it is maybe not for the good.  I also think that a possible shift in the Earth's orbit from some of these earthquakes may have shifted things around some.  This morning it was 48*, which is great, but I recall last year, we had 2 30" blizzards in October and quite a bit of snow to total over 70+ inches last year alone.

From my last posted blog, I was going to touch on the stocking of the pantry for winter.  I keep a full stock pantry most of the time, and I keep a tally in the pantry to replenish what I have used.  I look at the sales flyer's that come out, to re-stock major things like broth, which I do keep on hand as I use it quite a bit for flavor and cooking.  I like to make my own broth, and really a vegetable broth is very quick to make, and makes a nice finale to dinner. But a beef or chicken broth takes a little more, and when you plan meals, especially when cooking any meat,  plan on a little extra from the pan to freeze and add to your stash of broth in the freezer.

When you stock your pantry, this is a very personal and taste driven endeavor, as it depends on what you or your family eat.  I keep broths, herb salts, herb mixes that I make, rice, pasta, soup bases, tomato sauces, both home canned, and tomato paste when I run short.  I keep my potatoes and carrots and cabbage for a while in the frig ( I have 2 frigs) , and then as it cools down really good at night, usually later this month, I use a ice chest with a few holes drilled into the top and sides, as a makeshift cellar.  That is one thing I miss from my grandmother's day, a root cellar and vegetable storage cellar.

I eat pretty simple, potatoes, carrots, and I try to eat with the seasons, as I cannot afford too much salad from the store, and I do grow my greens if the weather holds, in cold frames, if we don't have any snow or cold, but I did get spinach til Nov then it got really cold and I did not disturb the frames until Feb as  I took off the the heavy covers I had on my frames and my greens and spinach survived the -30+ below wind chills I had here.

How I stock is how I can afford things and I generally buy 2-3 extras if I can to add to the stash.  I really hate shopping, as for one, it is a little hard for me to get around, and I can only afford to run the car 1-2 days a week because of gas costs for me, sometimes I utilize the handy bus that we have here, and take my little hand buggy for groceries but I can only get so much in my little buggy, so, I try to plan a monthly run for groceries to really stock, and I put extra cash away, in my jar for these extras I need.   I also save on fuel and running for my green footprint.

I also make my own bread, and if I get caught not being able to make bread, I do buy the frozen loaves of wheat bread and I do those up, when I get behind, and I also make cinnamon rolls from these also, and dinner buns.

Stocking is all about just keeping things in order, and not running around like a chicken with your head cut off.  And where I live, the weather can change in a New York minute and I do not like driving or running around in 30" of snow, when you can't get around at all anyway, and everyone else is running around and can't drive in the weather.  Stocking is just being able to come home from work and have things ready to go, and you can throw soup or a stew, or veggies in a crock pot when you go out the door on low and dinner is ready when you get home.  I am a great fan of crock pots  and use several crock pots in my home during the winter.

This is where my herb mixes and dehydrated soup mixes come into play for dinner also.  But again, it does take planning, and time to do these.  This simple lifestyle isn't so simple when you cook from scratch.  It takes some discipline on your part to do them, or again, you fall off the wagon and purchase MSG laden mixes with a ton of poison preservatives in them, it's your choice.

Well, who know what I'll talk about next.  We may have a snow storm next?
Everyone, please have a great weekend, and Labor Day holiday


  1. Great post! I love to read about how others stock up and make ends meet.

    You made a good point - the simple life really is not simple. Definitely not easy-that's for sure.
    When I fall off the wagon and buy premade junk I always feel horrible and weighed down. When you normally eat healthy you really can tell a difference when you don't.

    Can't wait to see what you'll write about next!

  2. I admire what you do! I wish everyone could have access to your Blog. Probably those that need it the most would be the least interested in reading it though.
    I keep a fully stocked pantry too.

    I try to keep a running list beside the frig and when I see something is low I add it to the list.

  3. Snap - we have to keep well stocked up too, as we are a 20 mile round trip from the nearest town, and even the nearest small and not very well stocked shop is a 6 mile round trip. I always try to keep a spare of things like sauces, salt, stock cubes, treacle, syrup, sugar packs etc and as I start on the spare I note down I need another. We stock pile on tins and stuff in case we can't get out, or have a hand-to-mouth week. Freezer is full of fruit and veg and a couple of lamb carcasses jointed up, and various other trays of meat. We live on a steep hill which freezes in winter, and just an inch of snow means it's hard to get out (unless you have a 4x4), and sometimes we have flooding when the river in the valley floods.