Last Thursday, Kathy mentioned her Aunt Shirley’s canning record for 1935 on her Homestead Happenings blog. As I was reading it, I was feeling a bit wistful thinking about all of the canned peaches and pears my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother would can every summer. There was something nice about going to the pantry in the middle of winter and pulling out those quart-sized jars.
Perhaps I’m feeling a bit overly-wistful because I’m still in the process of rebuilding my food supply. I didn’t realize how much I relied on my well-stocked freezer and pantry until after the move. I couldn’t just reach into my freezer and pull out a homemade “planned over” frozen dinner to reheat in the middle of the week. And after forgetting to buy it for the past month every time I went to the grocery store, ketchup finally made it home with me this past weekend!
My “frozen larder” (aka the freezer) has started filling up again. Last week, the leftover dijon chicken went into a plastic freezer box to be enjoyed in the future. I made some beef-vegetable soup over the dreary weekend and filled 1-pint jars with it to put into the freezer (I find the wide-mouth ones are better than the “jelly” ones but I use both kinds). I made chili last night and three pint-sized jars joined the soup and the chicken.
One of the things I love about filling my freezer with my leftovers is that I essentially only need to plan meals for half of the month. The second half of the month is just a repeat of the first half. And, since most recipes serve six and there are only two of us, each recipe will make three meals. Eventually, I only need to buy food for a few nights each week because I can pull the rest from the freezer.
During the two months where neither of us had the tools to cook meals, we relied on either store-bought frozen meals (me) or take-out (him). Last night we both agreed that it is nice being able to have home-cooked meals again. I am looking forward to having a well-stocked frozen larder again!