Pantry Update..going very well
Since I finalized our list a couple of changes have happened that I didn’t count on and this leaves a few items such as the very lean red meat, chicken and pork on the low side. This is due to a change in the menu because we had to adjust Dick’s diet a bit since the meal plan was finished.It will work out because I just traded a bunch of our ground hamburger for some nice pork roasts. Friends of ours are up to their ears in pork. They put 2 full grown pigs into their freezers this fall, and she was more than happy to make the trade for a bit of red meat.
We are a bit low on the home canned soups. This is because I it is so easy to open a jar of soup vs cooking an actual meal when I was so tired I couldn’t see or think straight…homemade convenience food is a wonderful thing. I will be making another few batches and will get the pressure canner out again. Of course the ingredients will come from the pantry and I have new lids here that I bought on sale at the end of the canning season last fall. End of the season sales are when I stock up on canning supplies.
We have another new food plan in the works and it is a joint effort to produce meat for both farms. This is a promising adventure for both of our families. I know others in the past have tried it and have run across problems and the venture ended badly. Yet I also know families who do it year after year with no problems. Our families have worked together, been friends and raised horses together for years so I don’t see any problems for us.
I’m not sure this will save any money in the long run but the purpose here is to have the quantities we need and the quality I want. This will divide the labor a bit and spread out the costs of housing the animals. Around here pigs, chickens and turkeys are seasonally grown so neither of us will need to worry about caring for them over the winter.
We are working out the details:
At the other farm- they will raise for us 1 additional pig. We will be buying the feed and be paying for the processing in the fall for this. Then we will be trading with them most of our bacon and hams for the roasts and chops that better fit our diet.
At our farm-we will be raising turkeys and meat chickens. We don’t have the quantities worked out yet but their family is as large as ours. I know the chicks have to be bought a dozen at a time.
When we were first talking about the turkeys the first though was how on earth are we going to eat 6 full grown turkeys over the winter! (Assuming we will split them evenly.) Then I thought how on earth would I find space in the freezer for 6 large birds. You see I was thinking roast turkey, thanksgiving style…But then it dawned on me, we have a meat grinder! We love ground turkey and it will take much less room in the freezer and can even be canned in jars. Problem solved, ground turkey works just like ground beef in so many recipes and turkey Dick can eat. Another plus is with the intention of grinding the turkey we won’t have to worry about the messy job of plucking feathers, the bird can simply be skinned and the meat ground… Piece of cake….
Other plans are coming along too. This week I will be starting the layout for the garden and ordering our seeds. In a few weeks it will be time to start our seedlings. This is always an exciting time to have a bit of something growing when there are feet of snow covering the garden. Actually just now I can’t even see the fence around the garden because the snow is covering it. My inventory count will come in handy once again when deciding on how much of each crop to plant.
And lastly I started the list for the coming canning season. New this year and I will need to find the recipes for is beef stew, chili and turkey stew. I also know that I will not be canning so many quarts of potatoes, the pints are a better size for our family. The canned potatoes have come in quite handy for tossing into soup and even work like “instant potatoes” for topping one of our favorite dishes, Shepherd’s Pie, so easy. I heat them, mash them then top off our casserole, no peeling or cooking needed, they are already cooked. More “convenience” food!