Category Archives: Freezing

First day of fall and we are not ready for winter.

I mean, our pantry/freezer isn’t ready for winter. I have 12 jars of canned peaches, 6 salsa, 13 of the sweet pepper and onion relish (they are small jars) and 9 canned tomatoes, some frozen corn and beans. It will not get us to spring.

I don’t have a root cellar, so I can’t store the root veggies. The farmer’s market goes thru November here, then there is a winter market on Tuesday’s that I might be able to talk Boomer into going to and picking up something local. I feel a bit frantic and nutty.

We haven’t bought meat from the grocery store since May. I shop at Kroger only when I need something I can’t get elsewhere. The produce stand down the street brings food in from NC and GA, not local, but at least it is something. I don’t know how to stock up on vegetables. Since my canning can only be high acidic items, I am limited. I want to do apple sauce but there is another gadget that needs to be purchased. If we were in Spokane I would head over to the White Elephant and pick up everything I need including a toy for Madigan, but I don’t have that here. I don’t know where to go locally to get canning supplies. People tell me this store called Wal-Mart has everything, but you know how I feel about that Corporation.

When I hear myself whining about all of this, I do point out that my/our problems are really not problems, they are inconvenient. If there were no other options, and my choice was to starve to death or shop at Wal-Mart I would walk right in and buy what I needed, but thankfully we have better choices, we have the luxury to have the kinds of problems we do. We aren’t wringing our hands over how we are going to keep the lights on or how to pay a doctor’s bill. We are fortunate to have kinds of problems we have. It does sound very trivial in the grand scheme of unemployment, low wages, high costs of healthcare, abuse, hate, war– you know real problems.

With that said, we are not ready for winter.

I got my freezer

Friday I was writing a blog post about wanting, dare I say, NEEDING a freezer. I really want to stock up on chicken in October so we have enough to get us through the winter…visions of us being vegetarians come February put the freezer on the front burner. The fridge/freezer we have can hold 4 containers of sauce, the door storage gets packed with veggies, 3 chickens, and enough beef and pork to get us thru about a month.

When we want something, we prioritize it. My big three these days have been small chest freezer, juicer and pressure canner. All over 100 bucks, so it has it be a decision that the whole family can get behind. I looked at all the available stores where we could get the freezer that we wanted. 5.0 cubic feet. Small enough for our apartment, but could hold at least 10 chickens. (I know I am focused on the chicken, but it seems like we won’t have access to chicken from about November thru April.) They all seemed to be priced from 170-220. Not unreasonable, and I felt a great investment in what we are choosing for our life.

We headed over to Home Depot, the GE had the best reviews and the price on the lower end. The sticking point for me was delivery. When Eddie came over and helped us he pointed out how light it was. Even saying he could lift it up using just his thumb. Boomer told me we could handle it. After struggling with the bench seats in the van for a minute or two, made enough room in the back for the little freezer. We bought it and got it home.

It fits nicely in out apartment kitchen. Bramble Hollow will be at the Grandin farmer’s market this weekend, so this will fill up quickly.

And a by product of buying an appliance in a big box?

Something for Madigan to do all afternoon. A house of boxes.

Chicken stock

After saving chicken bones from the last few chickens in the freezer, it was time to make some stock. I tossed in celery, an onion, some carrots, half a dozen peppercorns, some parsley, two bay leaves and all the bones. I got three 4 cup containers.