10 May 2010

Stocking Up or Putting Food By

"Stocking up" or "Putting food by" are old expressions used to denote canning, preserving, pickling, freezing, drying, etc. to save food for use at a later time. When I was growing up I helped my grandmother can and freeze things every summer. I also helped my Mom and my other grandmother put up preserves every year. There is such a satisfying feeling knowing what is in the food your family is eating. And I just adore hearing the pings as the jars seal when they are taken out of the canner. Today I have been very busy using things from my CSA box, supplemented with a few herbs from my container garden and few add-ons from the grocery store to put food by.

First I had a ton of bell peppers. Didn't count them, but they filled up my sink. Also had some a few New Mexico peppers and jalapeños. The hot peppers and some of the bell peppers got minced in the food processor and put in the freezer to make pepper jelly later on. I froze enough for three batches of the jelly. And I still had over a dozen bell peppers left.

Cucumbers - made one quart jar of pickles, using my great-grandmother's recipe.

I think I had at least as many spring bulb onions as I did peppers and I used them in several things.

Green beans and onions. There were enough beans to fill two baking sheets, so I added some onion to those, tossed with olive oil and some salt, and roasted. Those are now frozen to pull out for a few easy meals.

Summer squash - a mixture of yellow crookneck and zucchini. I sliced those up with some of the onions and cooked them. Now there is a quart bag of those for a later meal or two.

The TRINITY - a necessity for Creole and Cajun cooking. I filled a four cup measure with chopped onions, bell pepper and celery. Sautéed that and froze for the next time I want to make gumbo or étoufée. I think I will make another batch of that as there are still nearly a dozen bell peppers to use.

I also mixed up a batch of Easy Stuffed Crabs to put in the freezer. (2 fresh crabcakes from Publix, 1 lb fresh lump crabmeat, Creole or Old Bay Seasoning. Today I used Old Bay. Mix together and fill 8 vintage McKee Glass Crab Dishes. Set on a tray to freeze, then store in Ziploc bag in freezer.)

Strawberry Ice Cream. This won't last in the freezer as long as the other things, but what a great way to use some ripe, fresh-picked strawberries.

Add to that the Strawberry Mango Jam I made Friday, and I've already gotten a good start on putting up this year's bounty.

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Mary said...

You are going to wear yourself out. You've been very busy :-). Becky, you asked about the rice with Asian-style salmon. If it has a teriyaki glaze I'd say no. The rice would be terrific with plain grilled salmon, however. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Hi Becky! Thank you for coming by my blog and for leaving such a lovely message. ((hugs))

Wow, girl~ You have been busy! I'm so happy you are "preserving" the tradition of putting food by.

I have fond childhood, and early married-life memories of doing the same. Now that our family is grown, we've reduced the amounts of preserved foods but I still appreciate that satisfaction of seeing the cupboards filled with the jewel colors of canned foods, and the freezer stocked with good home grown/prepared food.

That is a fantastic idea of roasting green beans and onions, then freezing. May I borrow your idea? :)

9am here and I'm drooling over your pickles, stuffed crabs, strawberry ice cream and the descriptions of everything else. Great photos!

Thank your for the idea of using biscuits for the base for dressing/stuffing, I'll be trying that, for sure.

I hope you like the results from subbing whole wheat flour for some of the all-purpose. I'm going to increase the amount of ww proportiona a bit next time and hope they still stay light and tender.

It's so great to see you back and going STRONG in the kitchen Becky!

Becky said...

Mary, I've had to rest up most of this week. Just got out again today. But it was great fun doing all those things! Thanks for your thoughts on the salmon. I will just grill it plain to go with the rice.

Mari, feel free to borrow any ideas you see here and like. Because I have up days and down days, on the up ones I like to try to prepare some food ahead that will make for easy meals on the not so up days. I've already pulled out a couple of the stuffed crabs this week.

Haven't made the biscuits yet, and it looks like that may be on tap for Sunday. DD#2 wants to take me out for breakfast tomorrow. How sweet is that?

Thank you both for stopping by. I appreciate it, along with the good thoughts and support you've continued to send me.

Margie said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your "putting food by." I couldn't bookmark the recipes fast enough. I bet your strawberry mango jam would make a lovely sauce for your strawberry ice cream. It'll be a few weeks till we have local strawberries in WI. Thanks for all the inspiration, culinary & otherwise!

Becky said...

Thanks Margie. Have fun! I was just thinking this morning the strawberry mango jam would be a good filling in sticky bun type breakfast rolls. I may give that a try later this week using the dough recipe for Ellen (Moomie)'s buns.