Sunday, April 17, 2011

Taking Stock I: What’s Left?

As spring makes a strong attempt to push through this blustery weekend, I took stock of my 2010 food stash. Late summer and early autumn last year I had canned sauces, jams, and vegetables. I had dehydrated cherry tomatoes and apples. And, I had frozen peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, fruits, roasted garlic, green beans, corn, herbs, squashes, spinach, and spiced peaches. I even froze a large batch of stuffed peppers.

This work – which for me is a labor of love – kept us fed this winter. It contributed to holiday meals and to parties. I just made a list of what we have left. I helped me to plan meals for the week. Our meals will include:

- Squash risotto with butternut squash from the freezer
- An Indian rice dish made up of green peppers and cauliflower from the freezer with my own home-canned Indian spiced sauce – and fresh potatoes from the farmers market
- Spaghetti with my home-canned marinara-style sauce and roasted garlic topped bread
- Stuffed peppers with a side of delicate squash

This food preservation was all done last year the midst a demanding full-time job and everything else that comes with adulthood. It did not take up a lot of extra time really. It’s a hobby. I do it a bit each week as the fruits and vegetables arrive to the farmers market at their peak of freshness and vitality.

The mission of this blog is to educate readers on how to find, prepare, eat, preserve, and enjoy local food. You only have to do as much as you want. I hope that you will start to consider preserving more of Michigan’s bounty. Maybe this is your first time and you select two foods. Or, maybe you have been canning and freezing regularly and want to add more to your stash. Last year was my first year of freezing herbs, eggplant, and cauliflower. It was also my first year of canning Indian sauce. As I make my list for 2011, I will for sure freeze cauliflower because it went great with the Indian sauce. The sauce recipe needs some tweaking – you will know when it is ready to be posted.

No matter how much local food you eat now, I invite you to start to think about eating more of it.

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