Saturday, June 15, 2013
Living the Pantry Lifestyle
Gosh but change is difficult. It's still odd typing the new title of our Saturday pantry posts but I know I'll get used to it eventually. Stephanie and I talked about the pantry posts when she was here. There is only so much one can say over and over about stocking up and such... but I can think of all kinds of ideas for a pantry lifestyle! :)
This week's pantry ponderings have been about buying in season. For one thing, it is easy to think about such purchases when the Spring produce is beginning to flourish. Especially if you do any canning, freezing, drying, etc... one must seize the season before it passes!
My experiment with drying the apple mint in the oven seems to have succeeded. I also have some hanging to dry slowly as I usually do for my herbs. By harvesting some now, I hope to have one or even two more harvests before the heat might affect the quality of the mint.
I'm paying the price for not seizing the season from last year as I ran out of local raw honey and I didn't stock up on cranberries to freeze before they were gone (I can't find them frozen around here). Now, both instances were only because I didn't have the extra funds necessary at the time but still, if I had planned better...
We were able to purchase two more jars of honey directly from the beekeeper during the winter but she ran out of her supply before February. We'll be certain to check the Farmer's Market for a new season of raw honey and perhaps purchase one pint or quart when possible to put back for winter.
In one of those amazing ways God provides, I had just ran out of local raw honey when a sweet friend asked if I needed honey! While not local, it is tasty and works great in my bread.
By the way, did you know raw honey solidifies quickly? The beekeeper told me I could keep it from solidifying if it bothered me by wrapping it in something to protect the glass and placing it in the deep freeze. I don't bother, I just place the jar in very hot water until it liquefies. Or... if I'm in a huge hurry... I (gasp)... nuke it in the microwave. Yes, I know... the healthy raw honey molecules probably do not like that.
Speaking of purchasing "in season", this is also the time to stock up on canning supplies even if you only use canning jars as containers for Christmas food gifts. It is much easier to find what you are looking for now and cheaper. The only place locally I know of that usually has Ball jars during the Holidays is at my grocery store... and they are very pricey!
Have you seen the cute vintage reproduction Ball jars (shown above)... info here. So cute! I'm thinking of using my Amazon credit to purchase while they are available. Which reminds me... THANK YOU when you enter your Amazon.com shopping by clicking on a product in my Amazon widget. You bless me...
Okay, my computer time is up but I think I have said what I wanted. It is a very good thing I'm a fast typist!
Note: In Thursday's post I talked about the lovage vine. It's actually the stalk but it feels like a vine after drying. Sorry for the confusion. ;)