Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Is your pantry prepared?

No, this isn't my pantry, but I wish! It's courtesy of Living Off the Grid and is worth checking out! The title of their post with this photo is "Being Snowed In Is Different When You're Prepared." Ain't that the truth!

I'm in the throes of harvesting and preserving too. Already I've canned 14 quarts of apricots and 12 pints of apricot-pineapple jam. The fruit cost me exactly ZERO dollars. While we were in Utah, my cousin's 94-year-old sweetest lady of a neighbor was desperate for someone to clean off her apricot tree, so I stepped up. :-) Not sure what to do all depends on if our tomatoes decide to turn red. If so, we're in for a bumper crop!

In case you want a source for food preservation trouble shooting, check with your local extension office. Sure, you can use your trusty canning recipe book for the how-to, but the experts at the extension office will be able to tell you everything from why your dill pickles aren't crunchy even though you put alum in the jars, to why your peach jam went dark, to really just how long to process pears so they don't cause botulism but aren't cooked to death and mushy (yes, I've called them for all of these issues and they were super helpful).

Finally, I found a helpful checklist of pantry staples to have at all times that will help you make a variety of different meals. This list includes not only pantry items, but refrigerator, freezer and produce items as well. I edited it just a little bit for my family's preferences. Like, I took off the Dijon mustard and added sour cream and cream cheese to the fridge list. You could also make changes based on the season as well. For me, it came in handy having these things on hand the last few days when it was SO hot here that my menu plans containing anything cooked were abandoned. Because my pantry and fridge were stocked with the essentials, I whipped up some pretty darn tasty impromptu alternatives.

What are your trusty go-to pantry items that you always have stocked?

1 comment:

  1. I always have onion soup mix, different oils/shortenings, spices, cake mixes, baking items like baking soda and powder, dried buttermilk, and a bunch of stuff I forget I have and never use. :) Like sardines--good protein source though!