Saturday, November 16, 2019
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - More ponderings on the Holiday pantry
I still can't get over how cold it has been here. It feels more like January than November. While none of us appreciated getting plunged into the deep freeze, it was nice to once again be able to cook meals that require extended time in the oven. Oven stew was definitely on the menu this week, as was a slow roasted butternut squash.
I've begun stocking cranberries for the freezer already with a couple bags purchased on my stock up day. I use them in recipes all year long and they are only available during the Holidays here. I used to wait until they went on a deep discount after Thanksgiving. But by then, many bags were already showing their age so now I get a bag here and there while they are fresh. I simply put two or three bags in a gallon size Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer. They keep well this way for a year.
I use the gallon size Ziploc bags in the freezer all the time. When I arrive home from the grocery store, most meat purchases (in their packages) can slip into the Ziploc bags with no problem and they go straight to the freezer. If I buy a family size package of meat, I divide them into the Meijer brand Storage Bags (with twist tie closure). Then I will put those bags into Ziploc bags, keeping the far more expensive Ziploc bags clean for another use.
Only the whole chicken gets double wrapped with plastic grocery bags. The gallon size Ziploc bags can be used over and over again if you take the meat out of them before defrosting. I store those I just use for freezing in the freezer.
I have extra butter in the freezer all year round but especially at the Holidays. One does not want to think how much butter is in the various meals and treats but it is a time of feasting. When I opened the deep freeze to put ice cream in it recently, just seeing the butter there waiting to be used in favorite recipes made me happy.
I will purchase a turkey for the Thanksgiving meal but hopefully I can also purchase a couple smaller turkeys for the deep freeze for other winter meals. Last year they were less expensive than whole chickens.
Recently I had to go to Meijers for just a couple items so I took advantage of not having to rush home to look at their aisle of various Pyrex and Anchor Hocking baking dishes and those of other brands. I just wanted to price the items for possible gift giving.
One of my favorite gifts for people is to bake a pie in a pretty pie plate and Anchor Hocking has a beautiful pink/rose shade glass pie plate that is made even more special a gift if you include an actual homemade pie in it! It is so pretty, it has that vintage look about it while being dishwasher safe. They make a rectangular dish, too, in that same pink/rose color.
Of course, the regular Anchor Hocking and Pyrex glass pie plates are much cheaper and would still be a great gift with a homemade pie in them. I have found these pie plates at Goodwill but they are almost as cheap brand new at the grocery store.
I used to collect baskets through the year from Goodwill and other thrift stores to put cookies and homemade candy in at Christmas. I don't do the baskets these days but I still have some tins and a lot of the round metal trays from Goodwill, often with pretty Christmas scenes on them. They are perfect for gifting baked goods.
Hmmmm... now I am hungry for Christmas cookies and orange cranberry bread. Maybe I will make the orange cranberry cake from Hannah's wonderful baking cookbook this week. Only if I can use restraint and that is hard at this time of year. ;)
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Anchor Hocking Pink/Rose Pie Plate... here.
(It is more expensive here than at the store due to shipping costs being included.)
The pie plate also comes in a set of four baking/serving items in the pink/rose pattern for a whole lot less per item and it is available for Prime shipping.
More info... here.
My favorite baking book is Hannah Queen's lovely book called Honey & Jam.
More info... here.
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