1.12.2012

Planning to Preserve in the Coming Year - Part 1 of 3


Last year I didn’t have a plan when it came to putting up food. I also had a full time job. This year with more time, at least for now until the peanut comes in June, I’m making a plan. It’s going to be a flexible plan as who knows what fun birthing plus baby will throw in the mix.

I would like to put up more than I did last year. By putting up more food I will reduce the miles our food travels, I’ll know exactly where the food came from and what’s in it. This will contribute to a lower food budget and a healthier diet. All good things right?

I have divided my Plan to Preserve into five steps:
  1. Decide what we would actually eat by looking at my notes from what we put up last year and what we would have used if we had it
  2. Calculate quantities that we would conceivably consume in a year’s time
  3. Check and see that we have the capacity to can, freeze or store all this bounty
  4. Make a chronological list of when these foods are ready to preserve
  5. Put it all together and make a calendar of foods with their quantities and check it every couple weeks as the season progresses to make sure I’m on track
Over the next three posts I'm going to write up my plan.  It was getting a little long for a single post.  If you are putting food by in the coming year, I'd love to hear how you think about preserving.  Let me know in the comments what you are going to can, freeze or dehydrate in the coming year.

Let's get started.

Step 1: Make a list of what we would eat if I take the time to put it up.

I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself. First I should look at what I did last year:
5 dozen ears of frozen cut corn (frozen in September gone by November)
6 pints of frozen sliced strawberries (we’ve got 1 pint left in January)
3 pints of frozen wild raspberries (untouched, I think the seeds are throwing me)
8 cups of sour cherries (Put up in June, made into 2 pies for dad over the summer)
8 pints of grape jelly (made in September, mostly gifts we kept 1 quart)
15 meals worth of pesto (put up in August and September, we have 10 left)
12 pints of tomato sauce (using about a half pint a week for pizza sauce)
12 quarts of dill pickles (down to 8 quarts)
4 quarts of dehydrated cherry tomatoes (3 quarts remaining)
Now for the wish list, what would I like to put up that I didn’t last year? I’m consulting the Ball Blue Book of Canning as well as my Freezing and Canning Cookbook by Farm Journal. It is from 1964 and smells like mold but it is still highly useful. Then I visited Punk Domestics, a website that show cases home food preservation and Spain in Iowa.
Sweet peppers, frozen chopped
Apples, dehydrated
Peaches, dehydrated
Dill pickle relish, can
Kale chips, dehydrated
Beet chips, dehydrated
Butternut squash, dry store
Garlic, dry store
Limoncello, Italian lemon liquor
Mustard, can
Enchilada sauce, can
Herbs (Basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley), dehydrate
Apple sauce, can
Wild Grape Jelly, can
I am beginning to wonder if this plan is a little overly ambitious, but that is what the next steps are for; to make sure I have the time, space and jars to put up all this food.  Part 2 and Part 3 can be found here.

This post was featured on Simple Lives Thursday.

9 comments:

  1. great post. I love kale chips but never thought of beet chips. Since I love beets, I think this would be a winner. I shop mostly at farmer's market, and then have access to home-grown at a friend's place. This gives me some great ideas for joining up with the friends for putting up food this next season.

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  2. Love your list. We tend to go overboard with some of our preservation (like the 19 pounds of frozen raspberries and blueberries that I NEED/HAVE to do something with soon!) I look forward to following/copying your lead here.

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  3. Some of my friends canned peaches this summer when they were delicious and cheap, they are super yummy! Are you going to have a garden next year? I'm thinking squash, potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, etc. You don't have to do anything to hang onto them besides find a cool, dry place to keep 'em. How easy is that? PS pickled aspargus is delightful!

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  4. This looks like a good start to your plan. I can't wait to see the next couple of installments! Last year, all I put up was apple chips and jam (blackberry, apricot and peach). I made applesauce and stock, but I let both of them go bad before I actually canned them. I'm hoping to put away a lot more produce this year (and have a better garden), but I also have a baby coming this year--in March, so we'll see how it actually turns out!

    Came over from Simple Lives Thursday!

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  5. Daamn, looks like a good plan, hope you manage it! I daydream about doing preserving, but never actually manage to get around to it. I feel lucky if I manage to remember to cut herbs and hang them to dry before the weather gets too wet and awful.

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  6. I am looking forward to reading your plan and creating one of my own. For years I have made jams and pickles, but have never put up other fruits and vegetables. When I became a mom, I started making my own applesauce and putting that up as well, and its already gone. I definitely need to look into making a plan and following through this year especially since we are putting in a garden for the first time. The more I can grow and put up over the summer the better prepared we will be for the winter months.

    Now to start dreaming and planning with you :)

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  7. I love your list of things you're going to put up! Definitely a great idea =)

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  8. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing information that is actually helpful.

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  9. I read that you have unused raspberries in your freezer...the seeds throw me off too. Or at least they did, until I tried this recipe:
    http://plain-jane-remembrances.blogspot.ca/2012/06/so-easy-and-tasty-i-had-to-share.html
    for seedless raspberry sorbet that is super tasty.

    I plan to put up more canning this summer too...we ran out of things way too early. Your plan looks excellent. Thanks for sharing.

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