Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Winter Pantry

A few items we'll enjoy this winter...

Much of the local foods season is winding down, unless you were diligent this summer by canning, freezing and dehydrating all the great locally grown products available in our area.  Chris and I did our best, but we definitely aren't up to the standards of Barbara Kingsolver in her book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle."  Her family survived an entire year on locally produced products - plus one splurge item for each person (fairly traded coffee or chocolate, for example.  I'd have definitely chosen chocolate!)

Here's what we have in our winter pantry: 

Fruits:  Frozen mulberries, blueberries, blackberries, apricots and apples; Dried apricots; Canned apricots, apricot jelly, mulberry jelly and rhubarb jelly.  I canned June Berries but the canning process was flawed so we ate them soon after canning.  We've got some pears in the fridge, but those will be gone soon.

Veggies:  We didn't do so hot in this area - we have canned relish, beets, hot green pepper sauce and pickles.  A few butternut squash and two tomatoes await their consumption, as well as turnips, beets and a pumpkin we received from a friend Sunday evening.  We are still working on the last of the Swiss chard and we've still got carrots in the garden.  Chris froze a bunch of pesto.  We've got garlic and are drying beautiful peppers in the sun room.  Chris dried some beans - we're not sure what type of beans but they're brown.  :)  Hopefully next year we'll get to freeze corn, peas and other whole vegetables.

Meats:  We've got locally grown whole and parts of chickens as well as locally grown cuts of beef in the freezer.  The chickens have stopped laying for the season - shortly after our new puppy tore one of their chests open, ugh.   :(

Breads:  We've got our stock of wheat to use for bread products all winter.

Spices:  Chris dried dill seeds, and we got two large chunks of salt when we visited the Kansas Underground Salt Museum last weekend, but I doubt we'll be eating that! 

Beverages:  Apricot brandy and apple brandy - but since I'm pregnant, I doubt I'll be having much of that!

And so the planning and dreaming begins...we've got all winter to come up with our list of hopes for next year's garden.  I'm happy another chance to put away as much local food as we are able is given to us each year.  I expect every season we'll get better at doing this - the summer of 2010 was our first experience, and what a fun learning experience it has been!


  1. Enjoy what you have from summer. Next year, you can always do more!
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Thanks - I told Chris by the time we're 70 we'll have a huge winter pantry! Each year learning new skills. It's fun to look forward to :)

  3. Impressive pantry, if you ask me. About all we have stored up would be some pickles. We did well with pears, you seem to have scored with apricots. Maybe we should share next year? Did you guys make your own apricot / apple brandy? Impressive.

    Our goal, someday, is to raise our entire Thanksgiving meal ourselves. It's a small step toward sustainability, but a good one.

  4. Thanks for the comment, dejavaboom. A little is better than nothing. My aunt has an apricot tree near Inman, so we did get plenty. I saw someone "freecycle" apricots this summer - what an idea - sharing the harvest.

    We did do apricot & apple brandy - Chris just cracked into them recently. I will hopefully post about the results soon.

    What a happy meal you have when you reach your Thanksgiving goal...and to think, this used to be common practice!