Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pantry Stocking


Before the garden comes in I have been using my time inside wisely by working on stocking and organizing not only my canning supplies but my pantry and freezers as well. I took advantage of sale prices around the 4th of July and purchased some large (25 pound) bags of flour for a good price. (Gold Medal is NON GMO! ) Had some great  sugar coupons one week in the Sunday paper and was able to snag about 40 pounds of sugar for cheap between the sales and my coupons. That sugar will come in handy for canned grape juice, apple sauce, canned peaches and pie fillings, pickled beets and sweet relish. Also found a printed coupon for jar lids buy 2 and get one free that I was able to use. I always try to stock up on those to have on hand from year to year.


Once my big bags of flour made it home they go in the freezer for a couple weeks to freeze any critters that may be in there and then get separated into smaller containers. O Wise One buys these large mayo jars for 10 cents from a local deli. They make great storage containers for the flour and then they go back into the freezer until I need them. The sugar I leave in the bags and simply set down into gallon vacuum seal bags and seal. Once sealed the ants cannot get into them and they go into large rubbermaid tubs to be stored into the pantry ant proof and ready for fruit season.
 


 When you make so much of your food from scratch it is so much easier for me to shop those staples than scattered boxes of prepackaged food. The backbone of my pantry are my containers of flour, sugar, oats, rice, pasta, and beans.  


When you add to that my bulk spices.
 


A pantry full of canned fresh foods

Two freezers full of frozen prepared dishes for those emergencies and frozen produce from my garden.



 Homegrown and cured meats


  
And dehydrated herbs and vegetables


These all add up to the convenience of always having healthy and plentiful food on hand regardless of me shopping regularly. Add to that some powdered milk for emergencies and some butter, lard,  shortening and oils and regardless of storms of shortages my family always has a healthy meal at my fingertips.


Just as my mother and grandmother before me, always working to prepare my family for that hard winter or crop that may not come in. Not a fad movement for us but rather an age old way of farm life. Living as frugally and sustainably as possible while being at the mercy of the whims of the wind, weather and seasons. Never knowing when that wind may turn and blow in that storm, drought, recession or illness. Just like education, retirement, marriage or death, preparation and planning may be the key.

This life is not for the faint of heart. There are no days of basking in the luxury of idleness. Instead a life of hard work, exercise and more work. But a satisfaction of self reliance and an honest endeavor well done.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter 




12 comments:

  1. Your pictures are beautiful - made me hungry :). Your article is wonderful and beneficial. Thanks for the heads up on the Gold Medal Flour not being GMO.

    I encourage anyone who has a yard to turn it into food production. I won't plant any tree or bush that does not produce edible food. Even most of the flowers I plant are edible in salads and delicious.

    Many people think that if they have a small yard they can't produce food - not true. Even people who do not have large acreage can produce alot of their own food. We only have 1/3 acre in a VERY small town out West. We have dwarf fruit trees, but last year off of three plum trees we got 250 lbs of plums which I canned into preserves, conserves, dehydrated, and used fresh. We have many raised beds and grow alot of our own vegetables and herbs.

    My husband is about to increase our raised bed count and in "an enclosed area away from my neighbors" I am going to plant a bed of Dandelion and other edible and delicious foods (what others call weeds). Dandelions are very nutritious (exceptionally beneficial for the liver and kidneys), will grow easily without care, come up every year, and aren't picky about growing conditions. Our ancestors used "weeds" regularly for food. We garden organically, so nothing is every sprayed and it is protected from the street and other yards by solid fencing.

    It is alot of work to produce one's own food, and it is definitely not for the lazy. It is, however, most satisfying and worthwhile. We are far from self-sufficient, and are in our 60's, but do the very best we can with our yard and buying bushels of "in season" fruits and vegetables from the organic market. We can, dehydrate, freeze, air dry (herbs), and purchase in bulk and quantity.

    Planning ahead and stocking up on necessities saves money, time, exasperation, and provides the CEO of Household Management (that's us ladies)peace of mind that we can provide nourishing and satisfying meals for our families, regardless of whatever comes along.

    Your blog is the best and I look forward to it each day. Thank you so much.

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  2. Wonderful post and photos . I am hungry now lol ! Papa and I are building our raised veggie garden for next season . I am slowly getting back into this kind of living as I had done when on the farm as a kid and mum did all of this for our family to lived off of our land and live stock ! Thanks for sharing and may your crops be good and plentiful ! Have a good weekend !

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  3. great post! I have the same mind set-with my two commercial freezers-one is mostly all my whole grains and gluten free flours etc, and I have ready my canning items too-passed down from my grandma and mom to prepare food at home-no convenience foods here except for a gluten free cake mix to have on hand for something quick.

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  4. You are super woman just like my mom and granny were. I know how but do not do it so much any more.

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  5. I would love to see more pictures of your pantry!! I'm trying to organize mine a different way, but don't quite have it figured out other than I want it to be different....

    Do you grow cilantro?? Or mint?? If so, how do you preserve it?? Dry or freeze?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grow both and dry them. I use the cilantro to cook with and the mint for my own tea!

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  6. Also, how do you dehydrate and store your potatoes? I tried it in the dehydrator and the into jars, and the molded. What did I do wrong? Not dry enough??

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    Replies
    1. If your potatoes molded I would venture to say that you did not dehydrate them long enough. I store mine in jars with rings and lids with oxygen absorbers to seal them. I don't think I have ever lost a jar.

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  7. [Quote:]

    Just as my mother and grandmother before me, always working to prepare my family for that hard winter or crop that may not come in. Not a fad movement for us but rather an age old way of farm life. Living as frugally and sustainably as possible while being at the mercy of the whims of the wind, weather and seasons. Never knowing when that wind may turn and blow in that storm, drought, recession or illness. Just like education, retirement, marriage or death, preparation and planning may be the key.

    This life is not for the faint of heart. There are no days of basking in the luxury of idleness. Instead a life of hard work, exercise and more work. But a satisfaction of self reliance and an honest endeavor well done.
    [Unquote]

    Well said, CQ!!

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    Replies
    1. Hugs from the holler to you my sister : )

      Delete
  8. Just found your site and I love it!! We have been working hard to get back to basics, our garden is just coming in with produce, mainly zucchini and cucumbers so we are starting with those, green beans should be following soon behind, love the wire racks for you pantry..loved the idea with the flour and sugar too. Just bought my first dehydrator and am making zucchini chips right now. I will be checking back!!

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please. Also I am not a free advertisement board if you want to push a product on my comments I will delete you fast !!!

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