I started this blog to journal, and to share with family and friends. What I have to share is my gardening, and food preservation techniques.
I plant something every 2 weeks, and harvest something everyday of the year. So even though we are just starting, my report will be about something that is already in progress.
In January, I am harvesting carrots, celery, chard, endive, green onions, kale, lettuces, peas, radishes, tomatoes, turnips and their greens.
My freezer is full of butternut squash soup, tomato soup, chili, bean soup- whole tomatillos, whole tomatoes, chopped peppers, assorted herbs, and frozen green beans.
Just like anywhere else in the country, hot soup is nice on a chilly evening for a light dinner. A vegetable packed soup can be a way to get a lot of nutrition without all the calories. After our hearty-high calorie meals throughout December, these lighter dinners will help us to regain our girlish (and boyish) figures without starving ourselves of the vitamins, and minerals that we need.
My mom is a widow who recently had a heart attack. She raised 5 kids, and sometimes misses cooking large meals. She says that it is hard to cook for just one, and much easier to open a can of soup, or a TV dinner. But now that she has started reading labels, she is concerned about the salt, and preservatives that they contain. I suggested that she make a big pot of soup 2 times per week, and freeze the soup in individual BPA free plastic freezer bowls. She can control the amount of salt, and only include good ingredients. Over time, she will have a freezer full of a variety of individual servings of delicious homemade soup. She can take one out to thaw a little, and heat it up in a pot. She can add a salad, or splurge with a roll, or piece of fruit for dessert. Now she calls me to tell me that since showing off her full freezer to friends, they are asking her for her recipes, and doing the same thing. Guess what that means? She is sharing life’s abundance in her own way! That makes HER happy. She does not have a garden, but the same things that I am growing right now are available at farmer’s markets for her to purchase fresh. If she just cannot get to one, then she can find these in season veggies on sale at the store. If you pay attention to the seasons, and cook accordingly, you will save money, no matter where you shop.
MONTHLY PANTRY REPORT
From 6 hens, I recieved 57 eggs this month.
I am part of a herdshare for jersey milk. I get a gallon or two every week. I skim the cream to make butter. I make cheese, yogurt, homemade ice cream, and kefir with the raw milk.
I have canned beets, and made beet juice to freeze. Next year I would like to learn to ferment beets.
I have bartered for, and gleaned oranges, tangarines, and tangelos. I squeeze them, and freeze the juice in wide mouth quart jars that I have placed in my freezers.
I have volunteered to help in backyard meat processing projects. So I have recieved, grass fed beef, pork and poultry for my freezer.