Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mid-Winter Check of Supplies Put By

It's hard to believe our winter is halfway over already.  I know it's strange behavior, but each year after the garden harvest and all the preserving and canning is done, I'm hesitant to actually use the bounty stored for fear it will all be gone by mid-winter!

Happily, that's not the case this year, nor is it any other year despite my (unfounded) apprehension.

I just made an inventory of pantry shelves and freezers and found we're not close to running out of anything at this point.



Onions, both yellow and red, are holding out well even though I use A LOT of them in everyday cooking.


The bulbs of garlic are still plentiful, too.  They may not be purdy, but they are firm, keeping well and full of flavor.  Plus, they do their job of keeping vampires away.


Not only do we still a few eating apples left, but also plenty of the less flavorful varieties for cooking and baking.  This corner of the root cellar shows just some of the boxes.  Jars of applesauce will last until a new batch is made at the end of this coming season.

In recent years, the only jams I've been making are blueberry, my fave, and strawberry which is Papa Pea's choice.  I thought I might have to make another canner load of blueberry jam from berries in the freezer, but at this point I think not.

There are probably more containers of smooshed strawberries in the freezer than we need.  We use them primarily in fruit smoothies, but in the cold weather fruit smoothies aren't appreciated as much as other times of the year.

All veggies, both in the root cellar and freezer are still in good supply.  Who knew I'd get such a good harvest of cauliflower when I struggled so much with the plants last season.  The green shell peas will probably disappear first as they always do.  We love 'em, but I'd never be able to grow enough for a family larger than the two of us.

I didn't grow any squash this past season because of lack of space and because dear husband isn't crazy about it.  However, I do have an ample supply of pureed pumpkin (which is technically a squash) available which Papa Pea will gladly eat when made into a pie or baked goodie.

After making my mid-winter check, I feel confident I can delve into the supply of all things yummy (eat with abandon, we will!) and we'll not starve in any way shape or form before another gardening season starts presenting us with more good food.

How're your pantry shelves looking?  Anything you wish you had more of?  An over-abundance of anything the poultry or other animals are going to be happy to see come their way?

26 comments:

Theresa Young said...

I live in the city, and so I have to improvise when it comes to storing my produce. My potatoes did not store well. It was a dark place but I think it was too warm. I need to think of an alternative way to store those. Freezer is looking good. And the fruit I dehydrated is almost gone. Not too bad. I just need to find good cool places to store.

SmartAlex said...

I thought I did really well on peas last year, but obviously I like them best because, like you, that's what will run out first. They are one of my favorite topping for garden salads

wisps of words said...

Hmmm, it happened again here! I write part of my comment, and it jumps and comment disappears. ??????

Would love a real root cellar and pantry. But we are not dry here.

quick send this!

Susan said...

My onions were only so-so, storage wise. May I ask what type of onions you grow? I did not grow many potatoes this past year and may remedy that this season. I have lots of blueberries still, and strawberries, too. I am still going through applesauce from three years ago! Never mind the canned tomato sauce. Geez. What I miss are fresh things - like cabbage and kale. I don't raise cabbage due to small sized garden, but I also don't have the right storage place. I have a big list of must-dos for my next and final home!

tpals said...

Susan, if you put kale in a pot you could haul it inside for the winter. I've got some growing under led shop lights in the basement and it's doing great.

tpals said...

Sigh, root cellar envy strikes again.

Carrots, mine were a flop last year - really could use a good harvest.

Mama Pea said...

SmartAlex - Why is it that the favorite veggies (to get in quantity, that is) are the most difficult to obtain? If only the whole pod, shell and all, tasted as good as those little green nuggets inside!

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - Isn't this commenting problem AWFUL? Same thing is happening to me when I try to group all my comments together at the bottom. Which is better? Waiting to be able to comment for minutes each time to each individual . . . or losing my all-together comments when half through and they disappear? GRRRR!

There are many places where a root cellar just isn't possible. I guess that's one advantage we do have up here near the tundra!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - We have hardly made a dent in our potatoes. Too bad they're kinda heavy to ship. Otherwise, I'd share! Can't tell you how many times we've tried to store cabbage and ended up with a slimy, moldy mess. And that was even in the root cellar! We just have to keep experimenting when it comes to finding just the right storage area for things.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - On our first piece of land here in MN we had a good root cellar also, but in the winter (duh, when you use it) it was too far from the house and the door drifted over with about 5' of snow frequently. (Shovel, shovel, shovel.) Plus, after a couple of years, it collapsed. (Was dug into a hill.)

Lots of folks had trouble with carrots last year. Kinda suspicious, if you ask me. Did you see many chem trails over your place??

Rain said...

Eat with abandon! I love that! :) Well, as you know Mama Pea, I don't have a root cellar, but...I did can all those 60 pounds of termaters last September and we've already gone through half the stock, eek...The apple sauce is halfway done too. What I wish for is my own land and my own root cellar! ;) That day will come! :)

Mama Pea said...

Rain - YES! The day will come when you have your own land and root cellar. And a whole lot more of your dreams, too!

Leigh said...

What a happy blog post. I love seeing all the photos and am glad to hear it is all holding out well. I can very much relate to sometimes wanting to wait on certain pantry items for fear of running out. I've just started another round of canning to restock shelves, all from the freezer: bones for stock and lots of fruits of sauces, jams, and jellies. Still have plenty of eggs and meat, and the grocery bill stays pretty small. :)

Michelle said...

I have decided that it is better to use stuff up than to the total waste of having it go bad.

I can't EVER grow enough tomatoes in our climate and patch to can enough for our needs!

Mark said...

Lots of green beans and tomato products left. I'm pretty sure there is pear sauce and a little sauerkraut left. There are a very few onions and sweet potatoes too. Considering the circumstances, we're feeling pretty good about what we have left!

Anonymous said...

Mama Pea, Read your blog daily. Can you ask Papa Pea what year his Gravely tractor is? It looks like a 1955 model LT model I have. I collect the old Studebaker type T 6.6 horse motor units Pre 1972. Does it have a right hand or left hand 30"bush hog mower. Glad to see that he gets much use out of it even in the winter time. Is it hard to start in the cold weather you have? Hope he is coming along in his healing process. Love your blog. Keep warm!!
Alvin45

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Yes, the blood, sweat and tears (but we love it, don't we?!) we all put into producing as much of our food as we can truly does pay off financially. We just finished a dish tonight that I made using 1 lb. of ground beef. It made 3-1/2 meals for the two of us. Side dishes (green veggies, potatoes, applesauce, etc.) were from the garden. I often wonder how the average family with three kids has enough money to buy adequate food at the grocery store. Nearly anyone has enough room to grow some of their own food, but so many choose not to.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - A very wise way of looking at it!

YOU can't grow enough tomatoes to can? *I* can hardly grow enough to put in a salad!! :o}

Mama Pea said...

Mark - Ha! I have more green beans than any other vegetable. Always do!

Considering your circumstances last gardening season, I'm amazed you had ANY harvest. De must have done a herculean job, plus making sure you didn't over-do it!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Alvin45 - Thanks for commenting!

Papa Pea says he would have to go check his records to say for sure the year of that particular Gravely. (He has several!) But he knows it's a 1950's vintage, Model LI with gear reduction wheels. Yes, he has both the right hand and left hand 30" bush hog mower.

It starts right up down to about 20 degrees, when it's colder than that and we think we'll need the snow blower on it, we put it in the semi-heated garage.

He still has the 1954 Gravely (he bought with his dad) purchased when he was 12 years old!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Your winter stash is holding up very well :-) I'm sorry to say, I don't really have much of a stash from last year due to the move. I do however, have canned pinto beans, pickles, and a few jams left from 2 years ago. I guess you could say I'll be starting fresh this spring.

Strawberry Rhubarb pie used to be a favorite when we lived up in Michigan. My Grandmother had a recipe she refused to share with anyone, she went to the grave with it..... Just a thought for those extra berries in the freezer.
Sending hugs and love your way.
Sandy

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Considering your move last year, it's a wonder you have what you do still in the pantry!

Hmmm, Strawberry Rhubarb pie, eh?? I have rhubarb, too! :o]

Anonymous said...

Mama Pea, Funny that you should mention that, as I bought my first unit, a 1955 LI back in the eighth grade with my dad for $75. Ran it for years before I learned how to rebuilt it and found that most of the crank bearing bushing was worn away and missing but the crank pin did not need replacement. Since Studebaker used a full flow oil systems with FL1 spin on filters they just last and last. I have gone thru it and repainted it and it now sits in my basement. Had not started it for 12-14 years, put in a new spark plug and new gas,it fired up on the first pull. My dad and I collected and rebuild them as our hobby together before he past 25 years ago. Tell Papa Pea if he has an offline email I would love to converse with him. Thanx Alvin 45

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Alvin 45 - Papa Pea says he'd like to correspond with you re Gravelys. If you would go to my Contact button over on my right hand side bar and send me a note, I'll send his e-mail address back to you and the two of you can go at it without me being the middle(wo)man!!

gld said...

Isn't it a great feeling to know that your are well-supplied and grew it yourself!

Back when I was gardening more, I had trouble keeping onions until I started growing Candy and Super Star. Last year was such a flop year for me health-wise that I didn't grow much of anything....hoping for a better year this year.

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - We all have "those" years we'd just as soon forget and get on with a better one! I think, especially with gardening, we always say, "Next year will be better." And it's always an experiment. The weather and sometimes I think even the seeds (!) change from year to year. Throw in the fact that our specific climates are changing and . . . well, it's a real challenge! I know you'll have a better year this year and I sure hope we up here in northern MN have a warmer spring to start things off with. :o]