Saturday, December 08, 2018

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - A pantry disaster and a few cookbook suggestions

It is the kind of thing you hope never happens even though you know from past experience such disasters are a possibility.  One learns that when mice eat their way through the pantry in the garage (lesson learned... Rubbermaid style containers!).

This past week, I went to put a couple items in our deep freeze and when I opened the lid, the aroma was horrible.  The flat container of ice cream was the second indicator that something was seriously wrong.  It turns out that the deep freeze had become accidentally unplugged and everything in the freezer was ruined.

My husband thinks he knows when it may have happened, although the plug had to have been loose.  So all the contents were placed in trash bags and put out with the trash just before the pickup so no forest critters would be lured by the smell of rotting meat.

The freezer has been left open to hopefully get out the bad smell, then it will be thoroughly cleaned before we plug it back in.  This time the plug is going to have a strip of duct tape over it to keep it from happening again.  Hopefully.  Sigh.

On a happier note, I thought I'd share a few more cookbooks that are my favorites.  

My son and daughter-in-law gifted me with a Netflix app for my birthday in July and that is where I watched Salt Fat Acid Heat, one of the best cooking series I have ever watched.  It consists of only four shows but there is so much to learn, I could watch them over and over.  I've only watched them once so far. (Vee, is this the show that reminded you of An Everlasting Meal?)

So I was happy to see there is a cookbook by the same name.  It has come down in price a lot so I bought it for my son's Christmas gift (he does not read my blog) and I was tempted to keep it... but I won't.  It is seriously good, like having a cooking teacher in the kitchen with you.  My son is learning to cook so it will make a perfect gift for the science minded and the illustrations are so beautiful they are making some of them available as prints.

Honey & Jam by Hannah Queen has been my favorite baking book since it came out about four years ago.  It is hard to believe Hannah was only in her early twenties at the time.  This book has popped up as a favorite by world renowned cooks.  I'm not surprised for it is full of delicious recipes, given seasonally which I find helpful.

Hannah originally had a blog by the same name but stopped writing after her mother's sudden death in December around the same time her cookbook was published. We started corresponding when I suggested she contact Lanier, who had recently gone through something similar when her father died.  They are also both Georgia ladies, albeit Hannah lives in the northern Appalachian mountains of the state.

The recipes are delicious and the photography is beautiful. Not surprising as she is also a photographer.  I go to this book first when I want to try something new.  My favorite so far is her Cranberry Orange Cake, which I have made numerous times.

Farm From Home: A Year of Stories, Pictures, and Recipes from a City Girl in the Country is my next recommendation.  I know I've mentioned this book before which is part memoir with gorgeous photos and part recipe book.  It is pricier than the other books but it is worth it for those who love this genre.  Of course, I can say that since it was a gift.  ;)

My daughter gave this to me as a birthday gift, it has everything I love... recipes and a story about an American career woman who begins farming in England with her family.  It is exceptionally enjoyable reading (except when it first arrived, I could not see at all out of my right eye!).  I have not tried any of the recipes, yet. 

This has become my favorite cookbook for everyday home recipes.  It is the latest book by Lovina Eicher called The Essential Amish Cookbook.  I believe I recommended it when it first came out.  I followed the column written by Lovina's mom and was saddened when she passed away.  Lovina has written the column since then and now she is a grandmother (time does go by quickly).  

I was surprised to find out this was the first cookbook Lovina wrote alone, which is why it contains many of her favorite recipes.  The photographs are also beautiful (I do like cookbooks with photos or illustrations). I have a link to her weekly column on the sidebar.

So I leave you with these yummy recommendations.  I have to help clean out the freezer this afternoon.  Yet another sigh...

Mentioned in this Blog Post
Salt Fat Acid Heat - here.  The price has come down considerably since it was first offered.  If you have Netflix, do not miss her series by the same name!

Honey & Jam... here.

Farm From Home... here.

The Essential Amish Cookbook... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.  I thank you.  Very much.


Vee said...

Oh no! I am so sorry about the freezer. Just the kind of interruption that is very difficult to welcome. Wish I could pop over and help you scrub it up.

Yes! That is exactly the show I loved and could not remember! I ordered the book just now because I so enjoyed the author. Thank you for the link. I also ordered Keurig cleaner and Stretch-tite wrap based on Mrs.T’s recommendation. I am so tired of food wraps that don’t work well. They frustrate me so much that I feel like pitching them right into the trash.

All the best as you go stand on your head to get the freezer cleaned. Sigh. Maybe Mr. Coffee will do the headstand for you. 😁

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Oh, I am sorry about your freezer mishap. Hope the icky smells will dissipate.

Your books look so inviting. I'd like to leaf through the Honey & Jam one as well as the Farm from Home.

Wishing you a beautiful day, Brenda.
Brenda L. :)

Anonymous said...

oh , that the freezer thing is so discouraging ...we had ours flat out die ( it wasn't very old either) we had just put a half of beef in there , which our in- laws raise and gift us as payment for farming our land...and I went into the basement and saw blood pooled ..I sat down and cried what a waste of food and life .....but we bought a FREEZER ALARM !! so that should never happen again !Karen Jones

Debbie said...

Happened once to us! Please check with your homeowner's insurance--they covered our loss up to a set amount, with no deductible applied. Also, try charcoal briquets, b and w newsprint, and baking soda for smell

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

So sorry to read about the freezer! Terrible when such things happen, but I try to remind myself they are only things. Not so easy, but you will overcome and get beyond this.

Where did you find the photo at the beginning? This woman looks so much like my mother, even her shoes are like the ones my mother wore. Be well, dear Brenda.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I’m so sorry about the loss of all that food! I’ll have to check out that Netflix series. Sounds good.

Anonymous said...

So sorry must feel like crying!! Only duct tape dear? I wonder if there is a way you could somehow put a cored block of wood around it that is screwed into the wall or some such!! How upsetting...but am alarm might be a good idea too... If you searched online there might be some very excellent ways to prevent this happening again too. Some friends of ours were worried about loosing one of their freezers due to a circuit quitting or some hubby installed a light up high on the wall that was plugged into the same wall socket and had them screw in a red light into that all they have to do is look up and see if the red light shines...hope you find a good solution!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your freezer problems., the same thing happened to me one year,. The best way i found to get the smell out was to put a small bowl of coffee in the freezer (just coffee straight out of the can), that did the trick. Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

I too just had this same freezer dilemma. A un-named kitty who likes to sneak into the garage stepped on the surge protector strip button and put it in the "off" position! Thankfully I was in the "use it up" mode. However my pre-made meals were lost. I was able to save a few things that I cooked immediately. I guess the freezer is ready for Christmas and the new year: )