Mid-Winter!

Greetings from Big Oak Ridge…we are now entering our third year as locavores. Growing and processing 85-90% of our our own food is sometimes challenging but always worth the work. When my daughter came home for the holidays, she remarked how easy it was to prepare a meal when  all of the food was before her eyes on the canning shelves. We have to agree, the hard work of summer pays off when the snow is flying and you don’t have to travel more than a few feet for your groceries But some days there is still work to be done.
Since we do not have a root cellar yet, the things we keep in our garage start to wither just after the holidays. The down time in January gives us an opportunity to  check our storage crops and process them if necessary.
On Saturday, I sent hubby to bring up a squash so that I could make butternut chili…he returned with the remaining eight squashes, declaring that they needed attention. At least it wasn’t several bushel like last year. 🙂 I was able to  take care of the squash quickly- I just steam and puree them and package the puree in zip bags.
Yesterday I checked on the sweet potatoes…there were about 15 pounds in the bin and they were just ever so slightly starting to wither…so….I filled the stock pot with potatoes and boiled them for a few minutes and slipped off their skins. We had company for dinner last evening so I candied a large bowl of sweet potatoes and put the rest in the freezer. Today I am working on the second pot.
There were about 10 pounds of red potatoes left so I just brought them upstairs to the kitchen bin. It seems very early for the bins to be empty but our freezers are full of butternut and spaghetti squash which we like to use as a potato substitute. It’s all about eating what you grow.
I did a bit of digging and rearranging in the freezers too…always good to find out what’s down in the bottom and pull it to the top.
We’re still waiting on Lucky and Ariat to have their babies…it could be any day now.
Until next time,
Paula


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