Archive for January, 2009

It’s Okay To Let Go

Food Storage Tip #14 – Rotate and Remove

January has begun and until Valentine’s Day, there is not much going on.  I have started my annual clean everything and toss the crap mode.  The Goodwill box has been submitted and the empty is being refilled.  Every closet is subject to my ransacking and hope for order.  My mister is scratching his head as to where the heck is his somethingorother he used to have around here somewhere.

The pantry is one of my clear out stops.  I found some cans of pumpkin pie filling from two years ago that I should have used instead of the new ones I bought last month.  Why do I have so many snack crackers?  and ketchup?  A few hundred cans of mushrooms that the kids don’t like.  Unidentifiable canned goods my mother gave me years ago.  What the heck?

My home canned goods look respectable in their shiny mason  and I’ve been stingy with them.  All are bright and polished to be admired in a nice straight row forming a block.  There are wide mouth quarts of peaches in one area; narrow mouthed pints of light and delicious apple sauce in an other.  Lovely pickles that remind me of the friend I picked them with.  Between you and me, there is still a flat of canned pears I am hiding under the guest bed.

Yes, I get attached to my wares.  It is all psychological, really.  But here’s the bad news.  Peaches change color and though edible, aren’t as appealing.  Nothing can save old flour that smells funny after several years of improper storage.  Homemade grape juice, my jewel, my prize, can lose color if held back for too long.  Then you wonder if it is grape juice at all. 

It is hard, but I am giving myself a little permission slip to go ahead and release the canning I created this summer.  The following are ideas to keep things in order, and make the most of your items you either don’t want or really use.

  • Plan meals with the items you find that remind you of why you bought it.  Use what you have and make a note to replace as desired.
  • Keep things tidy.  Organization (ugh.) is hard sometimes, but it will keep things fresh.
  • Teach kids and husbands (argh!) to write incidental items on a list.  Then you don’t overbuy.  Include things like soap and shampoo.
  • Home canning is best if used the year it was preserved.  Let it go.
  • Move.  Nothing like having to pack stuff up to discover what storage is most important to you.
  • Give good items you won’t use to friends, or better yet to charity.  Even if the scouts don’t come around until November, I am certain there is still a food bank in your town.

As for my ketchup, my four sturdy jugs of ketchup – I could have given everyone in the extended family a bottle for Christmas if I had been thinking.  They are nice BIG bottles.  Door stops?  Maybe they could be balloon weights for my next party.  I’ll find a way.

Proverbs 31:21:  (A virtuous woman) is not afraid of the snow for her household:  for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Assignment A:  Organize your pantry.  Decide about items that need to be eaten soon.  It even might give you an idea of what to cook for dinner tonight.  or B:  Let your family use some home canning.  It is hard at first, but you can do hard things!

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January 29, 2009 at 9:58 am Leave a comment


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