Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Preparing for Winter

First off, Lost Arts Kitchen is officially open for business! While visiting my family in October, I was came up with a name for my new business, wrote a business plan, and built my web site, which is now up and ready for constructive criticism. I will begin offering classes in January, though I may offer a holiday food-gift-making session before then if there is interest.

On to the topic at hand. The New York Times did a piece on root cellaring in its Home & Garden section today. My friend Harriet Fasenfest, a local restaurateur turned urban homesteader and owner of Preserve, is pictured and quoted in the article, which offers some good tips on storing vegetables over winter. We didn't grow or put up nearly as much food as I would have liked this year, but considering my health issues, I'm pleased I was able to do as much as I did. I've been building up our stores with food from local farms, markets, and Azure, and I am glad, with Mike out of work and prospects being slim, that we have a house full of food.

In the pantry we have or will have after today's Azure Standard delivery:
  • 10 quarts home canned tomato sauce
  • 10 quarts home canned peaches
  • 20 pints home canned apple sauce
  • 10 half-pints home canned raspberry jam
  • 10 half-pints home canned strawberry jam
  • 5 pounds black beans
  • 2 pounds lentils
  • 1 pound dry garbanzo beans
  • 50 pounds rye berries
  • 25 pounds wheat berries
  • 12 15-ounce cans pumpkin
  • 12 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans
  • 12 15-ounce cans black olives
  • 5 28-0unce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 18 6-ounces can tuna
  • 5 pounds brown basmati rice
  • 5 pounds brown jasmine rice
  • 10 pounds whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound dried cranberries
  • 20 pounds unbleached white flour
  • 10 pounds unbleached pastry flour
  • 1 gallon olive oil
  • 2 pounds tapioca pearls
  • 1 pound milk powder (I use this to thicken yogurt)
  • 1 pound cacao nibs
Most everything in the pantry is organic, local and/or fair trade, except the black olives and tuna. In our "root cellar" (that is, the basement bathroom) we have or will have soon:
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 5 pounds beets
  • 5 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 5 pounds russet potatoes
We store alliums in the stairwell to our basement. It's quite dry there.
  • 12 pounds yellow onions
  • 1 pound garlic
Since I'm getting pretty good prices on these bulk produce items from Azure, I haven't felt compelled to buy say 50 pounds of potatoes. I might next month though, just to see how well they last in our cellar. I would like to get fresh apples and pears soon to store as well.

In our freezer, we have or will have within the next couple weeks:
  • 90 pounds grassfed beef
  • 90 pounds pastured pork
  • 50 pounds venison
  • 10 pounds grassfed lamb
  • 5 whole pastured chickens
  • 9 pounds halibut filets
  • 9 pounds salmon filets
  • 10 pounds butter
  • 10 pounds beef bones
  • 2 pounds chicken feet
  • 2 pounds leaf lard
  • 5 pounds cocoa powder (hot cocoa season is almost here!)
  • 5 pounds sunflower seeds
  • 2 pounds pecans
  • 2 pounds walnuts
  • 1 pound almonds
  • 3 gallons blueberries
  • 2 gallons green beans
  • 4 quarts asparagus
  • 3 10-ounce bags cranberries (I plan to can cranberry sauce with these soon)
  • 20 pounds white whole wheat flour
  • several pounds miscellaneous flours and meals
  • several gallons berries that have been in the freezer for over a year that I plan to turn into syrup or jam soon
All of our meat is local. The beef and pork comes from the Deck Family Farm. The chickens come from Deo Volente Farm. The lamb comes from a friend in Happy Valley. The venison comes from my husband's first Oregon deer, that he finally got last weekend after seven years of hunting here. Yay, Mike! He butchered it yesterday afternoon. Yesterday morning, he helped slaughter and quarter our lamb from Mary. He and I will butcher that today. We have so little room in our freezers now that we will be selling some lamb to folks in our buying club. We also have a pastured turkey on order from the Decks, which we will have to cook whenever they deliver it because we won't have space to freeze it whole.

And in our pickle fridge, we have:
  • 2 half-gallons sour cucumbers
  • 3 half-gallons sauerkraut
  • 1 quart pickled beets (plus more that I will pickle soon)
  • 1 quart sauerreuben (pickled turnips)
  • 5 pounds raw cheddar
With all this food in storage, plus what we have in the kitchen cupboards, refrigerator and freezer, all I have to do is buy fresh fruits and vegetables every week or so and milk every two weeks. Buying groceries in bulk from Azure and buying meat in bulk direct from local farmers is saving us both money and time, and gives me piece of mind. Come what may, my family will at least have plenty to eat.


Erica said...

Wow! You have a great pantry there. Good for you!

Chris said...

Thanks! On a night like tonight, I'm especially glad for it. Dinner was fingerling potatoes, boiled with sauerkraut and sauerreuben, then topped with some sausages we bought fresh from the Edelweiss German deli this weekend. With a side of applesauce, dinner was done with virtually no work for me, besides cleaning taters.