I haven’t been blogging much lately, but I’ve been keeping busy. It’s canning season so my mornings before work, my evenings after work, and my weekends find me at the kitchen counter, the stove, or elbow deep in the dish sink.
Filling the pantry is a big priority with us. We set a little money aside monthly throughout the year so that we’ll have the money to stock up when food is at its peak during the harvest season. Come July, August, and September, we buy - and put by - a huge amount of food. So much that it won’t all fit in the cupboards. Boxes of food get tucked under beds and in the bottoms of our clothes closets, under my craft table, and pretty nearly anywhere else it will fit.
We’ve had our share of tough financial times in the past few years and this pantry stocking habit has stood us in good stead. There have been months at a time when we’ve had little or nothing to spend on food and, without our full pantry, we’d have been in big trouble. I’m always grateful to have our little stockpile. I feel more secure knowing it’s on hand.
All this canning is exhausting work. It doesn’t leave me with much energy or enthusiasm for day-to-day meal preparation, or for making and photographing recipes for my blog.
After hours of standing at the stove, the temptation to buy some take out or, better still, to head out for a quick meal so that I don’t have to do the dishes, can be almost overwhelming. Our budget doesn’t allow for much take out or restaurant food though so, whether I feel like it or not, meal preparation is on the schedule.
Our meals during canning season tend to be quick and simple but we’ve managed to keep them pretty interesting. Here’s what we ate last week:
Monday, August 20:
- I was sick that day so no cooking was done at all. My fella foraged for himself and I stayed in bed, where he kindly brought me tea and toast.
Tuesday, August 21:
- Breakfast – Peaches and homemade yogurt
- Supper – Turkey scaloppini, tomato basil salad, peach and blackberry pie
Wednesday, August 22:
- Breakfast – Homemade granola bars, prunes
- Supper – Stir fry of spot prawns (from the freezer), broccoli, carrots, and onion served over rice, blackberry sorbet
Thursday, August 23:
- Breakfast – Oatmeal and applesauce
- Supper – Bean Bolognese, salad of romaine, pickled red onion, and cubed yellow zucchini with homemade thousand island dressing. Fresh peaches and homemade yogurt for dessert.
Friday, August 24:
- Breakfast – Peanut butter, marmalade, and raisin sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread
- Supper – Puffy omelette with cheddar and chives, green bean salad with honey mustard vinaigrette. We walked to the Dairy Queen and treated ourselves to ice cream cones for dessert.
Saturday, August 25:
- Breakfast – Apples, cheddar slices, whole wheat toast
- Supper – Slow cooker roast chicken, carrots cooked in the slow cooker, steamed cabbage, barley and onions cooked in homemade stock, blackberry curd tarts.
Sunday, August 26:
- Breakfast – Upside down cinnamon apple coffee cake
- Supper – Salad bar: Romaine lettuce, sunflower shoots, sliced red onion, shredded carrot, shredded beet, celery, radishes, cubed chicken, cubed cheddar cheese, chick peas, green goddess dressing. Blackberries and yogurt for dessert.