Saturday, June 15, 2013

Living the Pantry Lifestyle

Gosh but change is difficult.  It's still odd typing the new title of our Saturday pantry posts but I know I'll get used to it eventually.  Stephanie and I talked about the pantry posts when she was here.  There is only so much one can say over and over about stocking up and such... but I can think of all kinds of ideas for a pantry lifestyle!  :)

This week's pantry ponderings have been about buying in season.  For one thing, it is easy to think about such purchases when the Spring produce is beginning to flourish.  Especially if you do any canning, freezing, drying, etc... one must seize the season before it passes!

My experiment with drying the apple mint in the oven seems to have succeeded.  I also have some hanging to dry slowly as I usually do for my herbs.  By harvesting some now, I hope to have one or even two more harvests before the heat might affect the quality of the mint.

I'm paying the price for not seizing the season from last year as I ran out of local raw honey and I didn't stock up on cranberries to freeze before they were gone (I can't find them frozen around here).  Now, both instances were only because I didn't have the extra funds necessary at the time but still, if I had planned better...

We were able to purchase two more jars of honey directly from the beekeeper during the winter but she ran out of her supply before February.  We'll be certain to check the Farmer's Market for a new season of raw honey and perhaps purchase one pint or quart when possible to put back for winter.

In one of those amazing ways God provides, I had just ran out of local raw honey when a sweet friend asked if I needed honey!  While not local, it is tasty and works great in my bread.

By the way, did you know raw honey solidifies quickly?  The beekeeper told me I could keep it from solidifying if it bothered me by wrapping it in something to protect the glass and placing it in the deep freeze.  I don't bother, I just place the jar in very hot water until it liquefies.  Or... if I'm in a huge hurry... I (gasp)... nuke it in the microwave.  Yes, I know... the healthy raw honey molecules probably do not like that.

Speaking of purchasing "in season", this is also the time to stock up on canning supplies even if you only use canning jars as containers for Christmas food gifts.  It is much easier to find what you are looking for now and cheaper.  The only place locally I know of that usually has Ball jars during the Holidays is at my grocery store... and they are very pricey!

Have you seen the cute vintage reproduction Ball jars (shown above)... info here.  So cute!  I'm thinking of using my Amazon credit to purchase while they are available.  Which reminds me... THANK YOU when you enter your shopping by clicking on a product in my Amazon widget.  You bless me...

Okay, my computer time is up but I think I have said what I wanted.  It is a very good thing I'm a fast typist! 

Note:  In Thursday's post I talked about the lovage vine.  It's actually the stalk but it feels like a vine after drying.  Sorry for the confusion.  ;)


becka said...

A beekeeper once told me to store honey in a warm place to keep it from crystallizing. I keep mine in the cabinet above the stove and it keeps well. She said she kept hers near her hot water heater.

Echoes From the Hill said...

I ordered some from and they are a beautiful aqua color.
This week our Kroger affiliate store has them on sale for $8.99, so I think I will get some more to use for gifts, with homemade mixes, canned fruit, applesauce, etc.

Anonymous said...

I saw the blue jars at Target - I think it was a 4-pack for $10, which seemed a bit steep. But my regular grocery store doesn't carry the fun sizes or colors - the hardware store does, though.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We use raw honey and only have trouble with it crystallizing when the amount of honey is low...we love raw honey!

I love those Ball jars too!

Did I mention I can't see your widget? I see the space for it but not the widget itself? Don't know why.


GrammaGrits said...

Our local Fred Meyer also had them on sale through today for $8.99 - great price and I got some!

Anonymous said...

Our Target had the blue Ball jars for $8.99. In the housewares department. They had some other canning things too but Walmart was cheaper on canning basics than they were. Our Walmart now seems to have canning thing almost year round...but more things in the spring/ summer. Many have been cleared off the shelfs and replaced several times. Yea! Many are now canning. I have a chance to get some honey this week and hope I can. Sarah

Vee said...

Our honey man, stop me if I've already mentioned this, ran out of honey this year. It was a shock to go up there and learn this horror. Something got his bees and so he's starting from scratch. I was able to find some thank goodness. My allergies really rear up without it. Did I tell you also that I'm using your method of setting cans aside based in date to use first? Such a simple and doable thing!

JoannaTopazT said...

I just saw the canning jars at my hardware store (when I was buying a shop vac filter). I don't know if there's seasonal there or not, but they are sold there.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I know you were thinking of using your Amazon credits for the jars but I got mine at Target. I see other people have already mentioned it :)

I got a really good deal on fresh strawberries last week. So we ate a lot fresh but I also froze some to use in smoothies. When I come across them again I'll make some jam (we don't use a lot of jam - we have smoothies every am). I'll do the same with all the summer fruit I can get at a good price.

I freeze cranberries too! Luckily my Korean market had them for $1 a bag at the end of Christmas. I never did see them get discounted at Kroger or Publix.