Squirreled Away for Winter

Posted on January 14, 2009 by Allie

Yesterday afternoon, I sat down with a cup of homegrown mint tea that I dried myself on our clothes drying rack this fall, and a few mini zucchini muffins I defrosted from the freezer. 

On Fridays, we have gluten-free pizza topped with the peppers I roasted and froze, and I’ve been cutting up the peppers I dried to use in recipes.  We’ve worked our way through a lot of the vegetable lasagna I made, and we’re still enjoying blueberries from the farm market this summer.

While I was preparing and freezing food, I have to admit that it felt like a chore.  But now that we’ve been enjoying it (and watching our supplies begin to dwindle) I have a new appreciation for the work I put in.  I’m excited to preserve the heck out of our local food next summer, and be more on top of my food preserving efforts.  Every time I enjoy a food I’ve stored for winter, I’m so proud of the effort I put into growing and/or preparing it to keep for winter, and it all tastes so much better than pre-packaged or out of season food from the grocery store.  This, will be my motivation when my garden and kitchen chores start to seem overwhelming next year.

What did you put away for winter?  What do you plan to preserve next year?

No Comments +

  1. How do you freeze it? Bags? Containers? Curious as we are going to start doing this next fall…

    January 14th, 2009 at 7:12 pm
    Comment by David
  2. I did preserve a lot this year (not bad for my first year). Some of it I grew myself much of it came from the local farmer’s market.

    Here’s what I have in jars:

    Here’s what I have in the freezer:

    January 14th, 2009 at 8:13 pm
    Comment by Susy
  3. I do use a mix of bags and “safe” plastic containers. I’d like to build up a collection of stainless steel containers too, but they are on the pricey side. Things like lasagna, I freeze in containers in portioned sizes, then pop out of the container and store in bags when frozen, b/c bags are cheaper than containers. My favorite thing to do is freeze in ice cube trays – great for stock, etc. but also great for things like strips of roasted peppers – two cubes of peppers is just enough for a sandwich topper and four or five work great for a pizza. And I reuse the bags whenever possible. We bought a deep freeze several years ago and it has turned out to be a great investment. It doesn’t use much energy, and it freezes things better than the kitchen freezer. Plus, it’s totally quelled the temptation to get a monster fridge.

    January 14th, 2009 at 8:14 pm
    Comment by Allie
  4. Cool, thanks Allie!

    January 14th, 2009 at 8:33 pm
    Comment by David
  5. Sounds good. I like fresh or frozen food much better than the grocery store kind. I havent’ put away anything this year, except for herbs.
    Next year I plan to freeze baby carrots. I love the fresh taste of these little gems, but rarely do I think of freezing my own.
    Time I got started!

    January 14th, 2009 at 10:43 pm
    Comment by wendy
  6. We didn’t preserve anything so we are trying to be good and buy only local produce. Next year we would like to try dehydrating and canning.

    January 15th, 2009 at 12:14 am
    Comment by N.
  7. I prepared and froze applesauce, salsa, corn, green beans, blueberries, and spaghetti sauce last fall.

    I loved the preparing.

    In the winter, I make waffles and freeze them. Cheaper and healthier (and better!) than regular frozen waffles. But when I get to eat waffles on a work morning (or, okay, for dinner), I am so happy I spent a Sunday morning slaving over the waffle iron. Yum!

    January 15th, 2009 at 3:10 am
    Comment by ashley
  8. Because our garden didn’t do well due to the 45 days of rain and the lack of money from my long term unemployment (which meant no bulk buying at the farmers market) I didn’t preserve as much as I wanted. But I do know the feeling you’re talking about.

    Once you start making your own it’s hard to go back to the store bought stuff. I’d rather starve than eat store bought spaghetti sauce. Eww. Yuck. Gross.

    Hopefully this year will be better.

    January 15th, 2009 at 12:52 pm
    Comment by Howling Hill
  9. I just felt very shallow with my Starbucks coffee when I was reading about your homegrown mint tea! But those peppers look amazing!

    January 15th, 2009 at 2:04 pm
    Comment by nancypearlwannabe
  10. No garden this year, but I always make double batches of soup, marinara sauce, etc. and freeze them–keeps the convenience food away and helps when the offspring are crazy-busy.

    Have you ever done home canning? That’s what I’d like to try someday, but I’m a little intimidated.

    January 15th, 2009 at 4:12 pm
    Comment by Amy
  11. Next year I am definitely freezing/canning food for winter. I’ve read too many posts like this that make me wish I had done it this year.

    January 15th, 2009 at 10:18 pm
    Comment by Vanessa

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