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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Store Cupboard


This year I worked out that we had put up more than 100kg of food. Sounds like a lot but we'll go through it by the end of the year. The bulk is tomatoes as we use so much of them in cooking over the winter. We save hundreds of dollars alone just by bottling our tomatoes and we have the added satisfaction of knowing our food was grown without genetic modification and without chemicals. Our freezer is only small so we do a lot of canning and with us being empty nesters, I have the spare room cupboard for storage. The shelves are stocked with filled and empty bottle and lids with the weight adjusted evenly so as not to stress or over burden the shelves. There is a lot of weight there!
I have cherries, apples, plums and blueberries for my Weet-bix in the morning or for an impromptu crumble for dessert with guests. Those dark jars are Fowler's amber glass jars.
I have dried crystalised peel, jams, chutneys, relishes and sauces (plum and tomato)
There are lots of beans from a bumper season and even some zucchini soup. We started out gradually, each year buying more jars. I source them from thrift shops and markets and I make an annual trip to the Exeter hardware store (support the little man, locally owned and operated) for sealing rings. I am usually going past at the beginning of the season when Craig is doing tractor work up and down the Tamar Valley and there is a "little old lady" sells plums for a couple of dollars from her garden and also Huon Pine shavings to put in the hen house as a natural insect repellent. Being thrifty does mean being organised or planned or more simply it is looking for opportunities to make the most. Every time I go out in the car I look for other opportunities that maximise the fuel output and try to cluster errands together.

One of my favourite blogs for "putting up" is Saving the Season. Always a good read and plenty of recipes and interesting combinations. It's where I got the recipe for Blueberry Jam with Coriander.

6 comments:

  1. There is something so satisfying about looking at a full store cupboard. Next season I hope to be doing exactly the same thing.

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  2. You have a lot in your store cupboard......doesn't it feel good to have it full.

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  3. Wow that's some pantry! I have a large collection of jars just waiting for a good harvest - hopefully this summer!

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  4. I've just been reading back through your blog, and had a huge light bulb go over my head when I saw that you've been canning zucchini soup. How inspired! And as I picked a dozen zucchini yesterday, timely!

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  5. A very inspirational post. I envy your supply.
    Good on you. Well done.

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