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!


lynneinMN said...

isn't it the truth. I've thrown out way too much food, 'cause my train of thought is such that if it isn't enough to concern myself with, I won't concern myself with it. thank you for motivating me to get out the dehydrator to take care of some cilantro that is starting to wilt. i'll throw on a tray of celery tops, too, and whatever oddball remnants I find in the fridge.

Anonymous said...

I love this post! It is always better to do something imperfectly rather than not at all. This last year has been hard for my family. Relocation, two house payments, new job, small living quarters. In January when everyone was thinking of a word for the year, I picked "better", to encourage myself to keep going even though my life, house, cooking, homeschooling, etc. were much less than perfect under our circumstances. Now our house has sold and we'll be moving to a larger one. I'm so glad that I didn't waste this year pining for a different life! :)


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I am the daughter of a woman who always said, "Something is better than nothing," yet I struggle with this perfectionism which almost prevents me from beginning to act. It is something to always reconsider, for me. The flylady idea of doing just 15 minutes is one that works for me more than most others. If I can get started, I can continue.
Thank you for your continued blogging. And please say a prayer for my infection to be overcome. I've been on antibiotics since June 1st!

Vee said...

So is food and wasted food costs big bucks. I remind myself of this when we're eating chicken for the fourth day in a row.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...


This year I was so busy I didn't get to go pick strawberries. But we did buy some and our plants produced pretty well, and so we enjoyed what we had.

We do the best we can and trust the Lord with it all.


Nana said...

Hi Brenda;
What an excellent post! Years ago I put up enough fruits and veggies for my large family, but have almost stopped all of it. We are once again a large family (how does that happen, kids keep moving back home with grandkids and even great grandkids) You have given me the incentive to once again make use of summer sales to freeze as much food for the winter as I can. Thanks for you post. Love and Hugs, Nana

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

What a great post Brenda!

So true food is food and something is better than nothing!

I don't know what I'd do without my freezer! The things I throw in there....