Author Topic: Prepping your pantry for winter  (Read 1521 times)

Offline Cheryl

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Prepping your pantry for winter
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:29:05 AM »
Is anyone prepping their pantry for the winter?

Normally I'm canning all I can get my hands on and storing it away, but after seeing how much we had left after last winter, I decided to go easier this summer and use up what we have before canning more.

We had several jars of jellies and jams so I didn't make any of those this year.  We planted just enough green beans to eat fresh because I have lots of canned ones.  I also have enough canned tomatoes to get through the winter, along with tomato juice, tomato puree, salsa, and my homemade Rotel.

It's a good thing I hadn't planned on canning a lot of tomatoes because ours aren't doing so great.  I've been freezing a bit too.  I've put up blackberries, squash, a few peppers, and made freezer spaghetti sauce. 

Are you planning for winter yet?  I'd like to hear how others are filling their pantries and/or freezers.
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline MissMandy

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 06:39:29 AM »
Halfheartedly :)

We've had a huge influx of cucumbers (our own and some given to us), so I've been making pickles.  I also stocked up a bit on a couple of canned items (tomato paste and black beans) from Aldi yesterday.  Also, picking and freezing the blackberries around our yard and watermelon chunks when we find watermelons on sale.  Lastly, Jean and I were just talking about any bigger or unusual purchases we want to make before the first snow flies, such as a snow blower, chains, extra grill propane.

Love planning this sort of thing and hear how others are prepping!

Mandy :)
Mandy, wife to Jean, furmama to Irish Wolfhound Grimmauld (Grimm), living in the mountains of Virginia.  Childless by circumstance and loving it! ♥

Offline Cheryl

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 06:53:19 AM »
Oh yeah, I forgot about our cucumbers.  I made refrigerator pickles out of them and also froze some cucumber chunks.  This is the first year I've tried that.  I got into putting cucumber slices/chunks in my ice water and loved it, so I froze some to use in the winter like this.

I used to do a six month stock up of basic items.  I'm planning on doing that in October.  I need to work on my lists and would love to hear ideas.
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline Alice

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 07:30:06 AM »
So this year for the first time we are not going to "fill the pantry". We will be living with just the two of us and the grocery store is only two minutes drive in any direction! We've decided it's not really worth stocking up. We still have a good freezer full that I keep adding to and going to the store once a week for our small shopping will be easy. When the college kids come home during Christmas we'll just get the additional stuff as we need it.   When we lived in the country (35 minutes from a store) we HAD to stock up and fill the pantry since we couldn't get to the store just for a can of this or that. We also use very little when cooking for two so I just don't want a pantry full of stuff that will just sit there and get stale in some cases. Going to get fresh stuff is better for us at this time.

Alice
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Offline MissMandy

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 07:42:53 AM »
I got into putting cucumber slices/chunks in my ice water and loved it, so I froze some to use in the winter like this.

GREAT idea!!
Mandy, wife to Jean, furmama to Irish Wolfhound Grimmauld (Grimm), living in the mountains of Virginia.  Childless by circumstance and loving it! ♥

Offline lovin my dogs

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2014, 03:13:57 PM »
We ran out of deer meat this year.  This first time in a very long time.  I know it's not the pantry, but having that deer meat sure makes me feel secure. 

Jon just didn't do much hunting last year.  The boys went, but now that they are both married....what they harvest belongs to them.

Maybe this year we will have lots of luck and be able to stock up.

Love,
Cathy

Offline gaggleofseven

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 05:17:37 PM »
I've been trying to think of ways to shop "smarter" and keep well-stocked for about two weeks worth of groceries. I'm not doing so well on the "cold" items--milk, cheese, etc. I'm thinking of supplementing fresh milk with reconstituted powdered. I would like to reduce my number of trips to the store because I know that will also reduce my grocery expenses as well.
~Jennie~
Wife of R.J. for 29 years and Mom of five blessings

Offline Alice

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2014, 05:59:18 AM »
Looks like we changed our mind a little bit about filling the pantry. In our case it is filling the freezer. We had every intention of eating it empty this summer but because our budget will be very tight this year we kept finding deals on meat at the grocery store and decided to buy when the prices were low. We ended up buying a lot of chicken breasts with the bone, a lot of ground pork, mild italian sausage and some ground beef. Along with all the veggies my parents gave us from their garden, we have a FULL freezer to choose from this winter.

I am happy with this since I don't love grocery shopping.  We don't, however, have the house pantry filled with too much. We have enough to choose from to supplement what is in the freezer.  We will be eating every meal at home made from scratch this next school year and have vowed to turn down every "eating out" opportunity as it is not budgeted for. I just don't have money for that this year. We had our first "turn down" last night as my parents asked us to join them for chicken dinner with my brother. We had to say "no" and they didn't press us on the issue.

My husband lost his job last week so paying tuition for three kids on very little led us to where we are right now. I'm certain we will get through this but it does force us the watch where every penny goes even closer than ever. 

I was going to begin to buy bread but the first time I did that (there's a day-old bread store nearby) my daughter opened a bag of bread and it was moldy. That was the last time I bought bread at that store and now I am back to baking all my bread.  I really have a wonderful sourdough cracked wheat whole wheat bread that is terrific! So we will continue to make our bread and a side benefit is that it is super healthy.

Alice
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Offline Cheryl

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2014, 06:20:32 AM »
Alice, I'm sorry to hear your husband lost his job.  Good thing you have a full freezer with lots of meats and vegetables. 

Do you use a bread machine for your bread?  I'd love to have your recipe if you don't mind sharing it. 
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline Alice

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2014, 07:04:15 AM »
I have a bread machine but for this recipe it is the KitchenAid that does the mixing.

Cracked wheat sourdough bread

3/4 cup cracked wheat
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup margarine
2 T molasses
2 T honey
3/4 cup nonfat milk (this was confusing but I use regular fat free milk--not powdered)
1 to 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 T. yeast
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups white flour

Pour hot water over cracked wheat in your mixing bowl. This doesn't have sit very long--maybe 5 minutes. Add the margarine in 4 pieces so it will melt. Add molasses and honey. Then add the nonfat milk, sourdough starter, yeast and salt.  Let this sit for just a minute to activate the yeast. Then add the gluten and the the 2 cups whole wheat flour. Begin mixing and gradually add the white flour. You might not need all the 3 1/2 cups and sometimes you might need more so add it gradually. I always make sure to add enough to only get a sticky dough but yet it comes together in a ball.  I like a slightly wetter dough as that makes a better loaf. Let the machine run for 6 to 8 minutes to really develop gluten and the dough will come together in a nice soft ball. Put this in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled. Then lightly push it down and let rise a second time. After this I divide it into three pieces and place in well-greased bread pans. Let rise again. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Sometimes I only make two loafs but I prefer three slightly smaller loaves.
Also, this recipe originally didn't use yeast nor salt but I felt I need to use both to make a good loaf.  We love this bread.

Alice
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Offline Cheryl

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2014, 08:05:57 AM »
Thank you, Alice.
 
I have a Kitchenaid.  The reason I asked about the bread machine is because I have an old shoulder injury that flares up if I knead dough by hand.  I can't wait to try your recipe but I need a couple ingredients first.
Cheryl in Alabama
Wife to Tony
Mother to Lana & Emily
Nana to Logan & Madilyn

Offline MoWin

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2014, 08:42:35 AM »
   We have some prepping done, but not like I planned earlier in the spring. It has been a really tough year for us. First MIL getting sick and us losing her, having to pay half her funeral costs, Kevin turning 60, his job being phased out. Yep, just rough. Since I am only part time, I don't make much. Kevin gets unemployment, but that isn't much either. So we are doing the best we can. I have a few jars of relish canned, some green beans, and lots of potatoes and peppers dehydrated. Wednesday is the only day I have off in 10 days, so I hope to pick the rest of the peppers and either dehydrate or chop for freezer. Tomatoes did not do much this year, so no sauces.
   We made the decision to not keep most of the chicks and no ducks. I think I am keeping 4 or 5 pullets and a rooster. I am kind of sad about the ducks, but I hope to find them a good home. We will not be keeping rabbits. I will never go through that again. If I ever mention raising meat rabbits again, someone please slap me upside the head.  ::) It is just costing too much to feed everything. I have a bunch of roosters to butcher, but not sure when I am going to find the time. Really not looking forward to that either. I have lost my nerve for butchering. Don't plan on doing it any more. Butchering deer that we have harvested is different than butchering something we have raised.  :'(
   Alice, I am so sorry about your husband's job. I know how that feels. Praying he can find something else, soon.
Blessings,
Winona
Winona in northwest Missouri
Wife to Kevin
Mom to Carolyn, Cathryn, Isaiah, Hazel, and Jon
Grandma to Ashton, Ava, Noah, Izabella, and Maddison
Furbabies: Aeris, Buddy, and Callie

Offline sbdriver

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2014, 01:23:27 PM »
Cheryl have you tried letting your bread machine mix the bread dough for you then putting it in your pan and baking in the oven? Thats what I do as I have no strength in my wrists now due to 2 surgeries. Hope this helps  :)

Laurie
Many hands make light work

Offline Alice

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2014, 05:11:58 PM »
Looks like old (but good) habits really die hard! My freezer is almost full to the brim! So, I ended up getting enough fresh veggies from Mom and Dad's garden to freeze for the winter. We also have been buying some meat on sale, I have made peach jam and froze enough for more this winter. Same with strawberries--made some jam and froze enough to make fresh jam this winter. We bought a large bag of flour to continue making our bread and now we're filled up!

It's getting cool here and it sure is nice to pull something out of the freezer without having to leave the house. We have had such good meals with our freezer stash! We've had creamy chicken soup, pumpkin apple streusel muffins, homemade pizza, homemade chicken ravioli with basil butter sauce--all from stuff in the freezer!

So prepping the pantry is a good thing, ladies!

Alice
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Offline bobbie78

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Re: Prepping your pantry for winter
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2014, 07:18:07 PM »
Alice, that is quite a blessing isnt it? I like it when I know I have a stocked pantry/freezer.  Feels nice and cozy to me. I know...I'm quite weird lol. We havent had a lot of money to stock up much. But, I have been scouring the ads and have been able to get more for my money! Canned veggies went on sale for .38 a can. So I got several cases.  I have been getting green peppers and tomatoes out of the garden, so what I dont use for salads goes in the freezer. I also went to Sams and stocked up on rice, flour, sugar, etc.
~Bobbie from southern Ohio. Living life with my partner, Chad and two furbabies Punkin and Jade.