Saturday, July 20, 2013

Living the Pantry Lifestyle

Beauty from the garden
I don't care for hot, humid weather but my garden certainly appreciated all that sunshine!  Folks around here talk about hearing corn grow in the fields in such weather.  I believe it.

Every year since Hubby and I built the small raised bed garden (he builds and occasionally weeds,  I do everything else), I have learned something.  For no two years are all the conditions the same.

One lesson learned a few years ago (which as I look back should have been obvious) is the easier I make using items from the garden, the more likely I will!  Now, if one has energy to spare then this is not necessary but when one does not... every thing done to simplify life is welcome.

This is especially true recently when my husband brought home a lot of veggies from the organic garden where he trades work for organic veggies.  By the way, that has turned out to be a huge win-win situation for us and the elderly farmers.

When I have a lot of vegetables to clean, I fill the sink with cold water before going out to the garden (or Hubby bringing them home) and place the veggies in the water when I return to the kitchen.   If their cold bath is ready, I am more likely to immediately wash them and set them drying.

Most of the time I only have a few veggies or a small amount of herbs so I use my pretty plastic red dishpan purchased for a dollar or two years ago.

Pretty makes everything easier.  ;)

The veggies get placed on the dish drainer to dry or on a clean towel.  These are all from the organic farm.

I have a small compost bin on my kitchen counter that is fine for the usual coffee grounds and egg shells but when there is a lot to be taken out, it goes in the thrifted metal bowl.

Those big chunks of green pepper in the bowl don't show it but they were badly bruised, just in case you are wondering why I sent them out to be recycled into compost.  ;)

We used most of our veggies last week but Hubby brought home a lot of organic bell peppers, which were sliced and then flash frozen in the deep freeze and later divided between smaller Ziploc bags.

I'm usually a bit more precise about my slicing but the humidity had me literally under the weather.  Once again... work does not have to be done perfectly to be good.

I know come cooler weather I will be happy with imperfectly cut organic green peppers to use in my chili and stir fries.

I also traded my friend Sheila green beans for rye bread and she also threw in some matzo ball soup... yum.


Vee said...

Shelia and the elderly farmers sound like wonderful people to know! I'm sure that you and Mr. Coffee Tea Books and Me are wonderful people to know as well. You are so right. Pretty makes everything go better, including meals that may not be perfect, tasks that are not fun, etc. Music and wonderful scents help, too!

rebecca said...

"Pretty makes everything easier" -- I SO agree.

And yes, the more I follow your directions here, the less waste we have in the food dept.

Anonymous said...

Do green peppers need to be blanched before freezing like some other vegetables?

Here in Toronto it was 34 C (about 95F) the last 3 days. Hope you weren't out working in the garden if it was that hot where you are.

You always have great ideas in your pantry postings. Thank you.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

"Work does not have to be done perfectly to be good." These are the words I need to keep hearing in my mind! And "pretty makes everything work better" or whatever you actually said. What wisdom and what help, Brenda. Thanks.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

My Dad and I were just talking about bartering Thursday. That is a neat thing.

So glad that you are getting such great produce! In this heat we are all moving slower. Take it easy.


Brenda Leyland @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Always enjoy your pantry postings.

Lovely provendar...

tpals said...

I know how much of an effort it can be to get the basics done (let alone blogging) when you're dragging. I like your organic arrangement.

Anonymous said...

I sure learned it is better to pitch in and just get it done then to wait. Even if you have to do just a bit at a time. Waiting here means sometimes rotten produce. :( All your veggies sure look pretty don't they! Thanks for another inspiring pantry post Brenda! :) Sarah

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

What a great arrangement to have with the organic farmers!

Dealing with the veggies and fruit is the hard part of gardening for me. Fortunately we make smoothies for most breakfasts and lots can go in a smoothie. I am being deluged with cucumbers. I can only make so much cucumber salad or sticks. They have cleansing properties so they go in the smoothies.

Pretty does seem to make things more pleasant. :)

Karen Andreola said...

I like your basket of edible flower petals, and your red pan. I'm partial to red.
How nice to have such an arrangement with the local farmers. My husband also brings home organic produce from our local farm stands.
I agree with your wisdom about not having to do something perfectly for it to be done well. "Anything worth doing, is worth doing imperfectly" I say.
Have a lovely Sunday tomorrow,
Karen A.

Anonymous said...

Brenda I could hug you for the ..
"Work does not have to be done perfectly to be good.". Far too often when I don't have time to do things "perfectly" I feel I have not done a good job. I feel guilty or frustrated instead of thankful that at least it got done! I'm going to post this bit of wisdom on my frig where I will see it often. And yes, pretty makes everything easier and nicer :)

May God be with your always, Marsha

Theresa Lindamood said...

I was surprised to see that little white dish with the sweet flowers around the edge. I have one from my Grandma. She said she got it at a thrift store in Everett, in the 1960s. Sadly it has a little chip in it. When I ate at her house, it was my favorite dish to use! I now have it on a plate rail above my bread baking area. I haven't been on your blog for a long, long time. I have enjoyed reading/viewing tonight!