Saturday, June 29, 2013
Living the Pantry Lifestyle
This week I've been pondering how one needs to let go of any sign of perfection when living a Pantry Lifestyle. If one waits for perfect circumstances, they can miss their immediate opportunities to stock their pantry.
I'm dedicated to the "do the best you can" philosophy of pantry deepening.
For instance, the organic farmers my husband helps in exchange for produce, etc. had him go over to their farm and pick all the organic strawberries he wanted as they had a huge harvest this year and they were getting over ripe.
Since he can only eat organic strawberries, he was thrilled with the offer and picked on two different days.
As it turned out, those two days were also the worst for the vertigo I was experiencing. So instead of turning down the offer, I propped myself up against the kitchen counter (literally) and poured the strawberries onto a rimmed baking sheet.
All I could manage was to pick out those that were in bad condition... take the sheet pan to the deep freeze to flash freeze the berries about five hours... and then transfer them to sandwich size Ziploc bags. Since these were not freezer bags, I slipped four or five small bags into a gallon size Ziploc bag for protection and labeled the larger bag June 13.
Now, my husband knows before using these strawberries they need the green stem cut and should be rinsed but he doesn't mind at all. It was freezing them "as is" or not at all. We prefer imperfection to nothing.
He also came home from two food pantries this week with three large bags of frozen blueberries. Both pantries had handed out the berries and he was given another by a friend who didn't want their bag (after he reminded them it was a power food!!).
Since I still wasn't feeling well, I put all the bags in our deep freeze until yesterday. The antibiotic makes me slightly queasy but it is nothing like the vertigo (when the room seems like it is spinning around!).
Soooo.... I quickly poured frozen blueberries into smaller Ziploc bags (so none defrosted) and once again slipped the small bags into gallon size Ziploc bags. I did this with two of the large bags of blueberries but kept the third in its' original bag ready for blueberry pie and smoothies soon.
As before, the process was not perfect as I used to carefully measure one or two cups of blueberries in each bag before storing. This time I just filled each smaller bag most of the way full. If I don't need that many for a recipe, they will still get used!
I also had a lesson from last year's harvest.
This past week we had corn on the cob with dinner, the corn had been frozen from last August's harvest. I remembered how I almost didn't bother freezing that corn, it didn't look like the highest quality and corn is one area in which I am a food snob! But at that time I decided what the heck... it is food.
Well, it wasn't the best corn I've ever eaten but it was good... even to a corn connoisseur.
I think you get what I'm saying that we do the best we can with what we have... and when we have to do it. Even if it means processing just a few jars of jelly or freezing one package of green beans... or purchasing a couple extra items at a time to deepen the pantry.
It all adds up!