Do you remember Rosanne and how she found so many apples in a car park? She sent me this picture of the results for her pantry and her two Grand Children who helped her achive this by helping her all day in the kitchen. This is Kyle and Trinity with the apples...
Rosanne said how hard these two worked! I thought this was just wonderful. Thank you for letting me share this Rosanne and well done to you Kyle and Trinity! Look at that quantity of apples! There is so much you can do with them. What a good addition to your pantry. Many people passed those apples by.
For the last weeks Teri has been busy. She said to me she had no time to write as she was up to her eyeballs in free produce. My reply was that we have to get busy on it when it comes in! There is time for other stuff later and the priortity is using the produce while it is fresh and good. And thats what she was doing!
Teri does everything she can to build up her pantry. She said to me that she hoped she was prudent with the food that came to them through God's grace. I really love that and yes she was! Free produce really helped her this summer. I will let her tell you...
WAYS TO USE SUMMER HARVEST
This summer, we have been blessed with an abundance of free and
nearly free food! We plant a garden each year and do pretty well.
This year, even though we struggled to get it growing (weather kept
things interesting), we prayed that our little garden would provide
us and our family with lots of fresh veggies. Seeds were replanted
several times but our prayers were answered! We have been eating
fresh; and processing yellow summer squash, beets, green beans,
onions, cucumbers and Swiss chard. We usually grow several
kinds of herbs from seeds but this year they didn’t grow. The sage
we have from year to year is doing well and our peppermint and
spearmint also have done very well.
One of the things to remember about receiving a small or large
amount of food is it needs to be processed quickly. So knowing
different ways to preserve food helps. When someone asks me if I
would like ______, I always say yes. Even if I don’t know just what
to do with it or how I can deal with a large quantity at one time, I
gratefully accept it. Then, start working! First, we always try to
share with our family and neighbors. Then, I look over my recipes
to decide how to process the food and then get started!
This year, and for many, many years, I was never sure how all my
jars would be filled. But every year, God provides! And, this year,
we received boxes and boxes of green beans, tomatoes, peaches and
corn all at once! Oh my! Yet, at the end of each day, I always say a
prayer of thanks! After sharing, this is what I did with our free
food. I hope it gives you some ideas.
1. Tomatoes- I decided to quarter and can lots of them. I also
made tomato sauce. I decided to can all of them plain (just
adding the lemon juice and a bit of salt and sugar). This way,
I can use them for many different dishes and add seasonings
and herbs when I open a bottle. (We use our tomatoes/sauce
to make spaghetti sauce, macaroni and tomatoes, soups,
stews, chili, etc.) I also dehydrated lots of sliced tomatoes and
dried the tomato peelings from the sauce, to grind into
powder. (tomatoes can also be frozen, but I didn’t do that this
time). Our grape tomatoes are also being dried. And I still need
to make salsa!
2. Green beans- cleaning and cutting beans takes some time but
is so worth it! We froze lots, dehydrated some, canned 22
pints and made dilly beans.
3. Cauliflower- This was from our garden. I pickled most and we
ate some fresh.
4. Corn- We blanched and froze our corn this year. Other years,
I’ve canned and dehydrated it. We shared most of it with
5. Yellow summer squash- This is from our garden, also. We
have enjoyed a great deal fresh, shared with family, made
yellow/zucchini relish and dehydrated a bunch. We will
continue this until it freezes.
6. Zucchini- Our seeds didn’t come up this year, so when my
friend asked if we would like a few from her garden, I said
YES!! Lol (And, yes, they were huge but I didn’t mind)! I
peeled and grated 12-2 cup bags for the freezer and blanched
chunks for the freezer. I used 3 medium sized ones to stuff
with ground beef mix and then used some in my relish. This
was a wonderful blessing!
7. Peaches- Even though I still had some peaches still canned, I
didn’t want to say no. We had used all our jam and pie filling,
so I made lots of both of those. I still put up 21 quarts of
peach slices after making pie filling and jam! I also canned 7
quarts of peach nectar. Plus, a lot were eaten fresh!!
8. Beets- These are from our garden. We picked close to 50 lbs.
Again, we ate some fresh but canned most of the lot. I still
have a few jars of pickled beets from last year, so I just
decided to do plain this year. I did put 1 container of
sweet/sour beets in the freezer. I still have a few in the garden
(we planted seeds several times about 2 weeks apart) but most
likely they will be eaten fresh.
9. Cucumbers- These are being enjoyed fresh. Our temps.
dipped last night and the vines got nipped. So, hopefully it
will warm up a little and we can enjoy a few more. (I won’t eat
the cucumbers from the store, ever)!!
10. Carrots- They are still growing but we have pulled a few
and they are yummy!
11. Plums- My friend shared her plums. I was all out of
plum sauce, so this was a real blessing! I cleaned and cooked
two huge pots of plums to make the sauce with. I also canned
14 quarts of juice from the simmering plums! This was a
bonus and it’s delicious. (I don’t have a juicer, so I just let the
juice run through my hand food mill into a separate pan and
then push the fruit through the mill into another bowl). These
plums were extra ripe and made a deep purple juice and some
very tasty sauce! Again, I left the sauce plain and will season
it when we use it. That way, we can eat it like a fruit, season
it for chicken or pork, or I can put some in the slow cooker
with apples and make butter.
12. Acorn squash- This was a volunteer plant from the
compost pile which I am very happy about! We will gather
them all and put them in our cold storage room to use all
We also received several boxes of cantaloupe and some
watermelons! Whenever someone gives you free food, please find a
way to use/preserve/share it! Annabel has told us lots of different
ways to receive food. She wrote how she has asked neighbors with
fruit falling to the ground, her grandmother asked strangers and
ended up with fruit/flowers and friends! Letting others know you
would love to have any “extras”. U-pick and farmers markets are
also ways to increase your pantries, though a bit more expensive.
Local fruit stands can be a way to get fresh fruit and veggies; and
growing a garden (big or small) is one more way. Our garden is a
few grow boxes placed in the front/side yard instead of lawn.
Planting veggies/herbs in-between flowers or in pots is another way
to have some fresh food. I pray for guidance, I let family and friends
know I will take any extras and I pray for my garden to grow and
give us fresh food! Ask and you shall receive! God blesses us and
I’m so grateful for each thing that comes my way!
This year, my husband helped clean and cut beans, and cooked all
our meals. It sure helps to have the extra set of hands, so if you
have a family member or friend helping, it goes much faster. Also,
if you have children old enough, let them help! Our kids still talk
about the tons of peas THEY shelled several years in a row! LOL
This is just one more way we can fill our pantries! As some of us
are going into spring/summer, others are headed into
autumn/winter! It’s so important to get our pantries full! One of
the most important things about having food storage is having the
foods your family eats! Store what you eat and eat what you store
is such sound advice! Rotation is key to keeping a stocked pantry.
You will have less waste and be able to fill your pantry with yummy
and, sometimes, free food!
Have a lovely week! Teri
Thank you so much Teri. What a lot of work and how beautiful to have all those full jars and such abundance!
Next I want to mention Cath is writing a series How to build your Stockpile. I am thrilled about this and will be following.
Brandy from The Prudent Homemaker has had some very interesting things to say in recent posts about her panty and preparedness. I am following along there also.
My Aunt held a garden party and the idea was to come along with produce, plants and cuttings to exchange. I was unable to attend due to my dash to the farm. I had planned to take bunches of Bay Leaves, Parsley and succulents as these are things I have to swap. At the right time of year this could be a friends, neighbours or church group way to swap your excess and share produce. What a good idea! It could be extended to include pantry items too. I just think what a way to have an afternoon cup of tea and share. This is my Aunt with some of the plants and cuttings and then some of the produce.
If you have pictures of what you have been cooking, canning etc please show me! Isn't it just beautiful to see! There is encouragement just in looking at them!
Have a wonderful week. Be prudent and diligent! xxx