Filling The Shelves

Picture 1586The pantry shelves are filling up. We are trying to be more thoughtful about the amounts of vegetables and fruits we are canning this year (and freezing). Though it is true that we are often visited by “shoppers” who may come and fill their “to go” bags with goodies (our occasionally returning children), we don’t need as much as we have in the past. Instead of 30 jars of bread and butter pickles, 15 will be enough. The same for dilly beans, sour pickles, relish, and ketchup. Tomatoes and salsa are still being put up in greater quantities. Peaches and jams, we are happy to have enough to eat through the winter and give some as gifts. As our household grows smaller ( boo hoo), we are trying to rein in our efforts to grow and preserve what we actually need instead of preparing for the thoughts of feeding an army. Don’t worry, I haven’t even come close to mastering this concept. It’s a slow process. It is almost painful to put limitations on how many jars of pickled mixed vegetables I make. Are you sure we don’t need a few more quarts of frozen broccoli? Hot pepper jelly? How do I decide which peppers make it into the jars and which ones get offered up to non-hot pepper growing neighbors? And chickens? Every year we raise anywhere between 75-100 meat birds. This year we are scaling down to 60. Geeze! This cutting back makes sense, I know this. With fewer mouths to feed on a regular basis we just don’t need as much. Also, guess what? After years of canning for a full table of eaters, our shelves and freezers still have food from years past. O.k. I’ll just go ahead and admit it, I haven’t seen the bottom of at least two of our freezers in the last couple of years( We have 4 freezers, is this bad?). I’m hoping there may be some chocolate zucchini cakes resting on the bottom. If I stick to this plan of reducing what goes in there, I may reach that cake by February. Just in case, I’ll sneak in a few fresh ones on the top!

18 comments on “Filling The Shelves

    • Oh thanks! Here I was thinking I was off the hook from canning 7 families worth of food! I am probably exaggerating my ability to” cut back’, my instinct is… plow ground, plant seed, grow food! Don’t worry there will plenty, come for dinner, you’ll see! ( and bring your family!!)

  1. I’m glad to see you tackling your ‘right-sizing’ problems with a sense of humor. It’s hard in many ways to see the brood spread beyond your own larder. And what a shock for one of them the year they come expecting ‘take out’ and you’ve finally right-sized to the point you say, ‘Sorry, I’ve only enough fot THIS house.’ (Of course the four freezers will have already had to make their exit!!)

  2. When you enjoy something, it’s hard to stop doing it! I make candy and often have boxes of chocolate-covered caramels all over the place–a person could have worse problems!

    • Chocolate covered caramels!!? You have boxes of these stored away!! How about a trade…… a nice chocolate zucchini cake or some bread and butter pickles for a box of chocolates ? Some pesto ? Some hot pepper jelly? Chocolate caramels a hot commodity for sure, a high valued barter you have there! I would be thrilled to have chocolate stored around the house, found perhaps while vacuuming some cold day in January…..when no one else was home..ha, ha.

    • We’re working on this. We won’t be cutting back in the nursery, but the areas we grow vegetables need downsizing. At least that’s what my mind is telling me…we’ll see how that works out! Thank you Marian for being supportive and reminding me that less in one area may very well increase our pleasures in another.

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