In June of The Simple Home Rhonda discusses food preserving and food storage. Preserving can be a big deal, I think many of us who live simply have a mental image of a lovely huge pantry filled with colourful jars of preserved food but we may not have the time and the resources to produce this. Similarly, food storage can suggest a massive prepper-style stockpile which isn’t my personal goal although it is for some, as always, Rhonda encourages us to preserve and store what is right for us.
Currently my time is limited by my outside job so I preserve less than I’d like, all the same I do make small batches of jams/marmalades, pickles etc. As we don’t produce large amounts of fruit and vegetables my preserving produce comes from buying cheap end-of-season produce at the greengrocer’s or markets, or the bounty of kind friends.
With small batches we can enjoy eating or giving away superb food items, there is simply no comparison between home preserved and bought items.
I also use the freezer as a preserving tool. For us it’s not worth investing in sides of meat but it is worth occasionally doubling a purchase if the price is good (particularly at the fishmonger’s), double cooking also means that I have a meal for another night (no prep!) or multiple single portions for lunches.
A couple of months ago a friend generously gave me a few kilos of black cherries which are still languishing on a freezer shelf as I didn’t have time to make jam then but they are waiting to become a winter treat. Over at the Forum I learned that I could simply pack them tightly in a sturdy plastic bag and flash freeze for future cooking. No blanching!
I have a good dehydrator but am yet to exploit it thoroughly, I’d be interested to know if you have tips in that area.
My stockpile consists of pasta, grain, flours, tinned items that help me to cook well and easily from scratch. I rarely shop for supermarket items more often than fortnightly, sometimes less often, which saves my time, sanity and money.