Saturday, October 03, 2015

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Checking the pantry for the new season

I can tell we are now transitioning to full fledged FALL.  Because that pesky back muscle kept me up part of the night.  Every time it gives me trouble, I have such profound respect for people who live daily with pain.  This will pass.  I just need to move slowly and stay still.  A chat with my daughter over iMessage this morning brought about the decision to watch Cranford this afternoon as I heal.  ;)

This past week I went through my vintage recipe box to pull out some cold weather favorites.  Perusing those cards are like going down memory lane.  The recipes themselves remind me of certain periods of time in our family, favorite foods, and the people who gave recipes to me.  Most of the typed recipe cards were those slipped into letters from my mother-in-law.  ;)

I made oatmeal cake for the first time since it was cool in the Spring.   Goulash was served for the first time since the weather turned warm, too.  I do my best cooking in the cooler weather months.

So, of course, I had to look through the pantry to see what was there for the new season of cooking.  A list has been made for those items I need to restock... slowly but most certainly surely.

Our once-a-month trip to Sam's Club was yesterday.  Thankfully when my back was just aching a bit and before muscle spasms began.  Although the cold, wet weather may have been what triggered them.  But I digress...

There are a few items purchased every month at Sam's but most are on an "every two or three months" cycle.  For instance, last month I had to buy a large bag of confectioners sugar, semi sweet chocolate chips, and rice.  This month I bought brown sugar, milk chocolate chips, and whole black pepper.

This month it was time again to buy a mega package of TP while two months ago we bought paper towels.  I always look to see if there are any specials we can use.  I have the same Sam's budget each month but by spreading out purchases over a few months, it works. 

There haven't been any specials I needed the last few months but I was thrilled to be at Menards (where we buy kitty products cheaper) when they had half gallon canning jars on clearance.  And the cost was easy on my budget.  I use those large size canning jars for bulk items.  I bought one case of them and tucked them in the Study at the time.  Last week they all were washed and dried and ready for filling for the pantry.  Talk about mouse proof!

At the grocery store this month, I bought one box of kosher sea salt and one can of baking powder for the pantry. Most of the time that is how I deepen the pantry, just one... two... or three items at the time. I stocked some items at Aldi's, including three cans of pumpkin, a few boxes of tissues (cold and flu season coming up), and some other paper products.  And my favorite chocolate.  It is cheap and it is delicious, quite the dangerous combination.

My favorite historical reenactment is this weekend but the decision was made to take the money we would spend to attend and use it on the pantry.   Otherwise we would not have been able to have a Sam's Club outing this month.  That's okay for there have been other years I chose to go to the reenactment instead.  Life balances out...

Okay, now I have a link for you!  One of my long time online friends is Holly Deyo.  She literally wrote the book on preparedness, my very favorite book on the subject is her Dare to Prepare... a huge volume that has pictures!  She revises it every few years but my copy has a personal note and is one of my treasures... so I have an older version but it is still excellent.

I met Stan & Holly when they still lived in Australia in the 1990s.  They are good people for whom the Lord has given much wisdom and a passion for preparedness.  Holly was recently interviewed about the subject on a radio broadcast. She provided an mp3 link to it... here.  She talks about the need to prepare and provides great advice.

Now, I need to do some gentle housework and then plump up the pillow and return to the sofa.  A little reading is first.  Next is Cranford. 


Vee said...

A cozy read, Brenda. It is better to do the shopping your way, I do believe. No more one-stop shopping for us. We spend all the budget and then can't push the cart! Far better to divide the store visits and ease into the month purchasing what is truly needed. I have a big culling to do in my pantry. Way too many foods that I have no intention of preparing. (Gifts from an overzealous family member who works in a food pantry.)

Feel better soon. Do you have a heating pad or a bean bag that can be warmed in the mocrowave? Your plans for the afternoon sound very pleasant.

One day soon I'll be back to listen to Holly.

terricheney said...

Sometimes the universe just keeps tossing you the same thing over and over again. It started last Sunday when a friend came to spend the day with me. We spent time doing handwork sewing and had a simple meal of vegetable soup and cornbread. "I miss my mom's Goulash", she said, "but I've no idea how she made it." I asked if it was made with macaroni and she said it was. I've never had it, nor made it, but I somehow knew what she meant. Perhaps it was served as part of a school lunch in my youth? I don't know... Later in the week a friend brought it up in a homemaking group and it turns out that all but two of us have the recipe in some variation. Now you mention it, too!

mdoe37 said...

I hitched a ride today north to Newaygo to a "produce store" /hardware/dollar/junk store. I purchased a 50 pound sack of red skin potatoes. I will can them for to use for another year. American fries or even into a crockpot or roasting pan (although who can afford beef roast?!?!)

I wish I had a root cellar. I've tried in the basement cistern room...I've insulated it and installed a vent window, squash yes, maybe onions.....apples and potatoes no.

I usually purchase carrots at this store as well....deer carrots, perfectly good, but to weird sized for regular stores. They can up wonderfully and at $3 for 30 pounds or so. I did need any this year, nor onions. Last time they accidentally threw in a 50# bag and I didn't notice that it was twice what I had paid for until I got home. Too many onions is not a good thing!

The store also has those plastic bottles of spices for a buck. I picked ground mustard, mustard seed and dill weed....none of which I usually see at regular stores.

I'm finding myself deepening things up just a bit. That way I don't HAVE to get out during a Michigan snow if I don't need to. And it must be fall, I'm doing to try making some Crazy Dough....its blustery and cinnamon rolls sound really good. Just don't tell my waistline.

Thanks for reminding me.....I need pepper. :) I'll hit Menards Monday as I have a couple of returns that just might be enough to score me some of those jars.

Anonymous said...

Brenda We're getting an Aldi's closer to us ( 30 miles ). What kind of chocolate do you buy? I stocked up on canning salt this week, didn't realize I was so low. Hope you feel better soon.


Karen Andreola said...

I am tickled to see your recipe box. I like reading through the recipe cards kept in my wooden box, too. Most of the family recipes that were handed down to me, however, are in my head because I've made them often (except cakes which are particular in more ways than one). Autumn is my favorite time to cook.

Keep your muscles warm, dear. I can sympathize with your pain. We are having November weather here in Pennsylvania today. I put on the portable radiator by my desk and sewing machine. Get well. Karen A

Mary said...

I enjoyed this cozy post, Brenda, and the comforting old faithful recipes you mentioned. The other day I used your recipe for Amish Oatmeal Cake and it was fabulous! My husband kept saying how good it was ;). I'll be making that again. Surely hope you get relief in your back very soon. Keep warm and cuddle with Victoria ;)

Annabel said...

Here we are gearing up for the hot weather and I am adapting my pantry and fridge towards BBQs and salads etc. I still need things, it is a non cooking season as there is just less cooking where as winter I cook cook cook!
For now I add to the pantry tinned beetroot, corn, pineapple, beans etc that can make a quick salad plus dressings, croutons and so on.
I love your recipe cards! I find them very romantic and sweet and lovely.
Thank you for the information about Dare To Prepare... I have gone and looked and also found the website. This looks excellent.
Many thanks! xxx

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I love goulash! One of my childhood favorites, don't eat it much now because of the pasta but oh, I'd go off plan for some! :)

I buy a bit extra at a time as well. That's the way to do it. I organized my pantry as well, and it is so much better now! I need to go through the freezer and write a list of what's in there!

Take care - these rainy days are perfect movie watching days.