This week, I was really busy, but I still managed to use up a few items that needed to be used. I got some help from the girls.
I used some cauliflower that I preserved in the fall. I used some green beans from 2014. I always have a carry-over and use the oldest jars first. When all of the ’14’s are used, we will start on the ’15’s. My husband thawed some lunchmeat of undetermined age and we ate it. I used some home-canned grape juice from 2009. It was great. I found a few more jars down there in the basement, where I keep my canning, that will be used soon.
One daughter used 2 containers of gluten-free pizza crust I had bought quite a while ago at Grocery Outlet. They were expired, but were still fine. We used the rest of the personal-sized pizza bread rounds that had been purchased as a school fund-raiser, as well as the rest of the little packets of sauce, pepperoni and cheese that came with that kit. There were some really, really old packages of sliced salami buried in the freezer–like 3 years old or older. I wasn’t sure if they would be eatable, but they were.
My older daughter used the croutons I had made a couple of weeks ago in a salad. She made Caesar Salad with homemade dressing. She also used some bananas in a chocolate-banana cake and used a 1/2 package of milk chocolate chips as well as some of that huge box of bananas we were given. She also made a white-bean, sausage soup that used some canned white beans we’ve had for ages. Some of the garden carrots from last summer were used in that soup as well. She informed me that the remaining carrots are not in good shape, which makes sense–they’ve been in there for months, so I’d better put them on the list to sort this week.
I have a very large amount of food storage. I save a lot of money and we eat very well. I have a basement full of home-canned items. I have a garage with shelves of food, and several freezers. Right now, those freezers are stuffed with home-grown turkey, turkey burger, and chickens, as well as fruits and vegetables from the summer. Each year, we buy 1/2 beef, and we have most of that right now. I also store loaves of bread and other baked goods in the freezer. That way, I can cook from scratch when I have time, and use it up on days when I’m busy.
I buy in bulk and when things are on sale. It is not uncommon for us to buy 25 pound bags of things like beans, sugar, or rice. I have many plastic ice cream buckets I have saved over the years that I fill with these bulk items. I also use old tins, Tupperwares, and plastic zip-top bags, and anything else I can find. I also buy cases of things like canned mushrooms or mandarin oranges if I find an excellent deal.
We grow a huge garden. Right now, I still have carrots and cabbage in the fridge in cold storage from that garden. I still have squash and onions that are keeping fine at room temperature in the garage, shop and front room. The rest of the garden I preserve or eat fresh. It is normal for me to can 100 quarts or more of green beans alone. That is only 2 jars per week and we regularly eat that amount. Canned peaches, pears and applesauce are a regular part of our meals around here.
So, as you can imagine, it is easy for something to “get lost” in that amount of food storage. I work pretty hard at not letting that happen, but sometimes a few things get away from me. I am very happy with the amount of things we are using up this month, and can’t wait to see what else I can clear out during the rest of the month. Since I preserve so much, it is a natural thing to have an overabundance in the fall, and makes sense for me to bring that amount down to a smaller amount during the winter. After all, that’s what it’s for!