Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cleaning out the Freezer

My first thought for my Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard post was to talk about my recent trip. I ate out the whole time and with my eating issues (no nightshades) it is hard to find things to eat on the menus. What is the fascination with putting peppers in everything? Normally when I go out this is fine, but this time it meant I had little to no vegetables for five days. I was in deprivation mode. Though to be fair I had plenty of fruit. The convention had marvelous fruit platters and lots of bananas and apples.

So when I got back I had to eat my veggies. Breakfast was veggies with a little egg to hold it together.

I skipped lunch as my system was all out of whack (conventions are germ incubators), but for dinner I had scallops pan fried in ghee. I used the drippings to do my stirfry. At this point on day three of coming back my system isn't screaming for me to eat veggies any more. I still want them, but I like a bit more balance. So this morning I had some cantaloupe with my veggies and eggs. The Ambrosia cantaloupes were sweet as candy, but didn't have the overall flavor as the Halonas. The Halonas were much less sweet, but more flavorful in my opinion.

Anyway I digress. I was going to tell you about all that, but Robin decided to defrost her freezer. Mine was long overdue so I had to. It led to me taking stock of everything I'd stored and what I still needed for the long cold winter. So since I haven't put anything up this last week I'll ignore what I've been eating and give you the state of my pantry and freezer.


  • Basil, both chopped in oi and whole leaf
  • Bok Choy 16 servings
  • Broccoli 8 servings
  • Carrots none yet, still to go
  • Celery none yet, still to go
  • Chinese cabbage 8 servings
  • Corn 3 servings
  • Gooseberries 4 x 1 cup
  • Green beans 4 servings
  • Spinach 42 Servings
  • Strawberries overstuffed gallon bag
  • Zucchini 4x 1 cup and 14 x 1 1/2 cup


  • Relish 5 cups
  • Pickled bok choy 2 pints
  • Dill pickles 7 pints
  • Bread and Butter pickles 6 pints
  • Rhubarb 2.5 pints
  • Plum Sauce 3 cups
  • Canned beans 2 pints, will can more when the beans are all harvested and cleaned
  • Blueberry Peach Jam 1 cup
  • Plum Jam 1 cup
  • Strawberry Jam 3.5 pints
  • Strawberry Syrup 3.5 cups
  • Apple Sauce none yet, still to can
  • Tomatoes, I still have a lot of tomatoes canned. I've sent out an email to friends to see who wants home canned sauce, because frankly they shouldn't be in MY pantry

Herbs and Spices

  • Mustard brown and yellow
  • Garlic powder
  • Dill Seed
  • Dill Weed
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Coriander
  • Sage, but not nearly enough, it was a bad sage year


This is my freezer area. I hang my storage onions and garlic here. I also have a spot on the top of the basement stairs for a smaller amount that I can get to easily from my kitchen.
  • Dried beans, not yet weighed
  • Garlic, almost 9 pounds
  • Onions, 50 pounds
  • Squash, not yet picked
  • Sweet Potatoes, I've got my fingers croseed
  • Carrots, not yet picked
  • Cabbage, not yet picked

So as you can see I still have chores to do. I have carrots and celery to freeze. I have applesauce to can. I might do some pickled onions too. Not on the list is the mustard to make. And of course I need to can more beans. I don't can all the beans I use, but it is nice to have a selection that is quick cooking. A lot of the fall storage crops are still to be picked and stored. I will start picking butternut squash soon though. Many of them seem ready to come off. And the big question is when I harvest my sweet potatoes. Any clue? It is going to get less summer like next week. They need to be cured before eating or storing. Curing takes a hot humid room for a week which we won't have anymore. Should I make a plastic box to put by the window? Hmm I probably have one somewhere. They will be at 100 days of growth on Saturday. Should I can some? Should I freeze some? Will they store long enough in my basement that is guaranteed not to be in the perfect storage range (55F-60F) for most of the winter.

As you can see my kitchen cupboard is filling up. My hope really is to be able to eat a lot from my storage over our winter. My main veggies are spinach (twice a week), carrots (twice a week), brassicas (twice a week), squash (twice a week), onions and garlic all the time, and the new one is sweet potatoes. It would be nice to have those twice a week too. So I'll be green and orange all year long. It would be really cool to have enough to have both a green and yellow veggie from storage every dinner over the winter. It is looking almost doable at this point. But four months is a long time. I'm guessing I'll run out or decide I want fresh veggies and go to the market at some point.


  1. thank you for the inspiration! I want most if not all our produce to come from our yard! and thank you for all your updates, i love seeing your awesome garden and appreciate you sharing your knowledge!!!! :) grow on!

  2. Daphne, I have most of the answers to your sweet potato harvest on my blog. If you go to my blog and click Sweet Potatoes in the right side bar, you can scroll through the pages until you get to the entries with the same titles as in these links.

    My weather is not very different from yours so I have the same problem with low humidity and temperature at harvest time.
    BTW I usually harvest all my SPs just before the first frost but I have friends who are digging around under their potatoes and finding nicely sized SP. Norma at looks for raised lumpy areas at the base of the vine and removes the biggest SPs without disturbing the rest. This works great with Georgia Jets.

    1. Thanks. And interestingly enough half of my sweet potatoes are from Norma. I just hope they did well.

  3. Daphne, I am so happy I inspired you to defrost your freezer! Your onions look great, so perfectly braided and hung up. Mine were a complete failure this year. They were so so small.

  4. How beautiful everything looks that you have stocked up! There is nothing more satisfying than seeing all that neatly stored food. Now you have inspired me to go neaten out all my storage areas!

  5. so impressive. only in my dreams, never my pantry.

  6. I just got home from the community garden where my neighbor is digging his SPs. One of his Georgia Jets produced 3 big SPs, looked to be about 6 pounds total. So go ahead and dig.

    One advantage to harvesting sooner rather than later is you have less rodent damage. Right now they are not damaged but in this garden they are often nibbled by mid October.

  7. Your pantry looks good. My green beans are on and I have been canning, and canning. I love this time of year as the weather cools and the harvest is waning.

  8. So wonderful to be stocked for the winter, like money in the proverbial bank! I'm envious of your large chest freezer — we made the mistake of buying the smallest size, barely big enough to held veggies and not much else, but probably not a bad idea to have a limit...