Saturday, August 01, 2015

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - A Little "here and there" Pantry Building

This past week, I worked at chipping away my Procrastination List.  It was too hot and humid most days to work outside.  Not to mention the bugs.  Oh, my.  I've never seen it like this before.  But then again, it is reported to be a record breaking month of rain.  More rain in July than... ever before.  Since they started recording amounts, of course.  Noah's flood doesn't count.

Sometimes you just have to ask for help, which is what I did to defrost the freezer.  By husband is 6'2".  He is much better than I am at getting to the bottom of the freezer.  So we unplugged the freezer yesterday morning and I was able to remove most of the ice build up by late afternoon.  He is going to drain what is left and give the freezer a good cleaning.  It would not be a pretty picture if I were the one hanging over the side of the freezer trying to clean the bottom.  Although he could definitely use such a photo for blackmail!

Many of the remaining items on the list were accomplished sitting at my desk.  Pushing my furry helper's tail away from my space.  I think her absolute favorite place in the world is to be on the desk when I'm at work.  Sigh...  Anyway, there is about one day's work to do on my old list.  Then I will write down a new one with overdue Gotta Do's.

This week, although the budget is low, I added to my Emergency Pantry by purchasing one can of coffee and one jar of good jelly.  Actually, I tried a new-to-us preserves that a man told me about when I purchased the lemon curd a couple weeks ago.  He was from the South and was at Meijers to purchase Braswell's Fig Preserves.

He said I must try it someday and when I did... just a little dollop for me and a thick layer of preserves on an English muffin for my husband... it was delicious.  So a jar has been added to my Emergency Pantry with perhaps more to come.  Apparently it is quite famous in the South.  For good reason!

Just a little at a time here and there does make a difference.  I was thinking recently how our grandmothers (and great grandmothers for those younger than I am) would stock their pantry for Winter.  They depended on canning their vegetables, making jam and preserves and juice, drying food, pickling food, fermenting food, etc.  As well as laying in flour and other baking supplies to last for months.

There was not a huge variety in their diet during Winter months but we now know how healthy it was.  Those pickled and fermented items were just what the doctor ordered... literally.

I can't do a lot of my own preserving but I can take a page out of Grandmother's kitchen book and stock items that... should I once again have to live out of my pantry... would give nutrition and work well with everyday foods.  For instance, a really good quality preserves to be used with bread and good maple syrup for pancakes (think "The Long Winter").

When our Social Security check arrives this month, we are going to add a mega package of paper towels to the pantry (we use them sparingly so they last awhile).  I long ago learned if I can't do a lot, then I can do a little!

I used Amazon credit to try out an item that will fill a definite need in the pantry... cream!  I can drink tea without cream but I need a little cream in my coffee.  I also use cream to make scones and a couple other baked goods.

I had tried all kinds of things but they either had 1) too many chemicals, or 2) tasted awful.  So when I saw this while doing some Amazon research, I had to try it.  It is only a little over $8.00 as an "Add On" item, which means you can only get that price if you add it to an order.  Sometimes you also must have an order totaling over $35.00 but not with every item.

So... I added it to my last Amazon credit order (The Foyle's War DVD that was on sale) and couldn't wait to try it when it arrived.  It is really good!  I will definitely add another can here and there as I have the credit.

Although it is a powdered cream, it is instant so you don't need any special equipment to mix it with water (it can be added to hot beverages straight from the container).  This would work great for making hot chocolate mixes.

It is a product of Holland.   It has a minimum two year shelf life unopened although I read online it can last for years.  Once opened, it does not have to be refrigerated. More information is available... here.*

I've been listening to more podcasts recently, with my iPad sitting on the desk as I work (away from the cat's tail!) or safely in a corner as I do dishes.  Yesterday I listened to a podcast on the Slow Your Home App, an interview with Rhonda Hetzel of the Down to Earth blog (one of my long time favorites).

You can catch it online... here.  You can listen to it on the website by just clicking Play.

*Most links to are Associate links.


Lee Ann said...

Brenda you are a rock star!!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy all your posts. But the pantry/kitchen ones are my favorites! Thanks for the heads up on the canned milk. Ive been looking for something I could keep on hand when I needed real milk since we use mostly almond and soy for cereal. Thanks again for the wisdom you share with us! Blessings.....Dawn

Angela said...

Braswell's is located in Statesboro, GA. I lived there for 11 happy years. They have many good products. My favorites are the green and red pepper jellies. I still have friends that work there:)

Deanna Rabe said...

Thank you Brenda for the link to that whole powdered milk. My inlaws who are missionaries in Africa have had access to whole powdered milk for years, but here in the states its all non fat milk. ICK!

I've been stocking up a bit at a time too, and am going to be doing more. I bought extra TP this week!

Love you, friend!