"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Monday, December 5, 2016

Winter Stores (First World Problems)

I feel pretty good about the state of the larder going into winter this year. I had a very successful canning season and as you can see, my indoor pantry is pretty well stocked.

 I think I have about twenty quarts of tomato sauces, half Mexican and half Italian flavors. I use these for all sorts of basic applications - cooking Mexican rice; simmering chicken thighs; dressing pasta. My tomato preserves are part of the hardworking, everyday dinner rotation. If I could can three times as many, I'd use three times as many. 

Other canned goods in the pantry include pickled jalapeños (also a staple); bread and butter pickles (more likely an ingredient or a gift); pepper jelly (Christmas gifts); and blackberry jam (destined for use in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all school year long). 

There are six or eight small jars of cajeta (goat's milk caramel) left over from 2015. Not sure what to do with those. Maybe send them out as Christmas gifts, or maybe open them and start using as coffee sweetener and pancake topping. 
In the "Christmas gift" category, I still plan to can some small jars of lemon curd , which is delicious and can also be made from ingredients I get from the gleaner's pantry. 

Besides home canned goods, the indoor pantry is pretty well stocked with store bought dry goods. There's a case of canned black beans, ditto garbanzos;
A twenty pound sack of white rice and a ten pound sack of brown rice. Five gallons of dried pinto beans. Ten pounds of lentils. A case of canned tuna. A shelf full of condiments like soy sauce and vinegars and Thai curry paste and mustard. 

The freezer is crammed full. We bought a lot of beef this year, and then there was an amazing bounty of frozen fish from the gleaner's a few weeks ago. The freezer is so full that we have put off butchering the
young wether goat because there is simply no place to put him. Ditto a half a dozen young roosters we were recently gifted. They are alive simply because we don't have the space for their carcasses. 

This is the definition of a first-world problem. "I have so much food that there's no place to store it all!" I don't enjoy just basic food security - I enjoy layers of food security. I have ready to cook food staples in my pantry, AND a bunch of live on-the-hoof protein that I could call on if the need arose. I'm rich beyond the dreams of previous generations. 

Thanks be for all the abundance in my local food-shed. Lady of abundance, help me make the maximum use of all that comes my way and to be generous and open-handed. Let all this abundance serve the greatest number possible. Let it
Inspire me - and all those who have similar abundance - to invite others into their homes and to sit at their tables. Let it be a medium of friendship. Let us all break bread together. Amen.