Monday, September 25, 2006

New Best Friend

I have a new best friend. It is my pressure canner. I was given one by my mother before she passed away, but never used it. I guess I thought "what is the use? I can just go to the store." Well, now I use it!

Yesterday was a busy day for me: I canned 7 pints of beets (some red and some candy), I also canned 7 pints of carrots. I made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread and 2 loaves of wheat bread. I also flash froze a bunch of veggies.

It feels great to know that I have all of this food available now and that I will be able to feed my family throughout the year with foods that are locally grown.

The other day I walked to the store (yes, another effort to start labor). We had some people over who were helping us with some projects. These are picky eaters, so J and I decided that brats were a safe choice. Well, as I was in the store I realized that it was the first time I had been in a grocery store in about a month! I have become so accustomed to purchasing foods from the farmer's market or getting items out of my own food storage or garden, that it felt odd to purchase food at the store! Actually, I loved the fact that I have not been in a grocery store. Between bulk beans and wheat and fresh or home canned foods, I have it made!

The other day I received an email from the 100 mile food group. The email asked about plans for Thanksgiving. Actually, it was a challenge to come up with a menu based on local foods. At first I thought "I can't do that." Then I thought a little more. Of course I can! I have a freezer full of only local foods, I have started to can foods, there are local farmers from whom I can get a free range turkey. Wow! I CAN do this! It may mean planning in advance (which is fine). There are sooo many local foods to choose from. I will be canning some squash and pumpkins soon. I do already have some frozen. I am looking forward to this challenge.

Want to join me? Make your Thanksgiving meal using only (or mostly) local foods. Menu ideas?

On another note, no baby yet.


Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Thanksgiving is potluck for my family, but I will make my dish from mostly local foods. Adding local sugar or salt is more difficult, but using local produce is easy--you're right about that.

Emme, will you share some of your bread recipes with tips? When I try to make bread, I fail miserably, unless it's quick bread.

Emme said...

I know - sugar and salt are tricky! I can substitute honey for sugar, but cannot find a good substitute for salt. Well, I figure that if I get bulk salt, then at least I am not using as much energy (packaging).

Of course! I will sit down and share bread tips. There are different tips for different types of breads. I believe I have an oatmeal bread recipe posted here (check under the food category).

What types of breads are you trying to make?

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I have given up on making breads because they always suck! But I want to make whole-grain bread--some that we can cut for sandwiches, and some that we can eat with soup and such.

Jenny said...

What a beautiful idea: a local Thanksgiving. We're doing a potluck Thanksgiving with a friend, I'm going to try to talk her into celebrating the holiday with local fare as well.

teripittman said...

That's an easy one for me. The turkeys are out in the yard. We are keeping the hens and will eat one of the two toms. We do a big potluck with our neighbors and we provided one of the turkeys last year. We do like our turkeys and it's a little sad to eat one. But we have two hens we kept from last year and bought five standard bronze turkeys this year so we really do need to thin these out a bit.

We moved in too late to get a garden in, but I'm hopeful that we can provide even more next year.

Ali said...

What a neat post. I'm embarking on my one year of no shopping starting on 10/01--it'll be an interesting journey, for sure!