Tuesday, March 7, 2017

From the Pantry :: March

Fall storage items we are still eating from the pantry:

Winter squash (some are getting wrinkly)
Potatoes (beginning to look a little alien)
Garlic & shallots
Red & yellow onions
Sweet potatoes (bought from another farm)

Summer produce items we are still eating from the freezer:

Shredded zucchini
Various fruit - rhubarb, strawberries
Other items below these, yet to be discovered...

Side Track!

Redefine what you think of as eating seasonally! YOU define the season, if you start preserving for year-round/extended consumption. Part of this may also include redefining what you think these items may look like - octopus sprouting potatoes, wrinkly spuds and squash. YuM.

It's Pantry and Freezer Clean Up Time

With spring and farming season just around the corner we have been putting priority to cleaning up our pantry and freezer. Focusing on prepping items for our busier times. This is the first time we have been so successful at this, during this time of year and it feels great. 

Potatoes: Our storage potatoes may indeed last us until the summer's new potatoes come in! With our potato stock we have been making twice baked potatoes with the larger, better looking tubers. Along with these we also continue to freeze portions of mashed potatoes.

 Twice bakers and mashers headed to the freezer. This is one way to redefine how we eat seasonally.

Winter Squash: We have butternut and acorn squash in the pantry and because of the wet WET fall they are not storing as well as normal. We have been roasting and freezing portions of puree and I still aim to can some (cubed) before we are done. P.S. Another reason I have really been enjoying this is because I have been adding squash to the dog's food and they love it (well Odin loves it, Hazel tolerates it).

Chicken: We put fifteen stew hens in the freezer in November and we have slowly been putting up shredded chicken and stock/bone broth. The chicken, veggies and herbs sit in the crock for a day, before shredding and canning. Then, the bones, skin, etc. goes back in for another day to make bone broth for cooking and using as a healthful drink (which I also put in the dog's food sometimes). I'll add apple cider vinegar to help extract beneficial minerals from the bones and sometimes I toss in a beef marrow bone to increase the benefits. After it's done I strain the broth and pressure can it (then sort out the 48-hr cooked veggies/skin, etc. to throw in the dog food). ;)

Organs: We always get back our pig organs when we harvest and since we aren't super good at eating them they have sort of piled up in the freezer. While one of us likes liver, the other doesn't, so we have resolved to dehydrating these items (if they don't get put into sausage) for dog treats. This is proving a great way to clean up the recesses of the freezer.

Still on the List

Lard: crank out a bunch of rendered lard. (Try making some soap?!?)
Garlic/shallots: freeze some olive oil/garlic balls; ferment some for holistic farm management.
Zucchini: I always freeze too much! I should crank out some breads to stick back in the freezer.
Freezer excavations: what is hiding at the bottom of the freezer? (Usually way too many frozen peppers.)

Lard, beautiful lard!

What's Missing?

It's a great time of year to check in and see what you are missing - what do you need to preserve more of next season? For us, celery. Darn it! Every year we run out. Okay, I'm going for an ice cream bucket full this year! Also, we need a new salsa to put away, one type is not enough. It would also be nice to have some canned beans.

What's on your list?

Resources & Other Interesting Things...

Why is organic food so *#@! expensive?? | Ali Partovi | TEDxManhattan

Bone Broth, Broths an Stock

8 Bits of Plastic You Can Quit Right Now

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