Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Storage Update

We're a couple months into the Winter food storage experiment. Almost exactly halfway so I wanted to try and update on where things are at.
Things that have been nice: watching the price of onions, garlic, winter squash and potatoes climb and knowing that I don't need any, making quick meals out of cheap good supplies, watching the snow fall and knowing I don't need to go anywhere.

Meals I've been making out of our storage food
-Pasta and white sauce; this one doesn't get mentioned much, but pasta is one of those things I store a lot of. I'm trying to keep 2 months worth, (or about 25 pounds) of various types and shapes. I stock up when I find some well below the 1.20 average price per pound.
-Roasted root veggies; I've posted this one before and it's still great. With or without meat, it always gets rave reviews from the men-folk.
-Roasted Squash; just the basics, cut it in half, put it cut side down in some water and roast it for 40 minutes. I do this with acorn squash, then add butter and a little brown sugar and spices. Mmmm. Easy meal, literally 1 minute of prep, then I have 40 minutes to clean or play with Rowen, which ever seems most pressing. :-)
- Potato Soup, nothing more than stock, onions, potatoes, carrot, garlic and spices. I add in some condensed milk and cheese at the end, salt and pepper to taste. Reeeeally good.

State of the Storage
- Apples 24 left of the original 60.
- Onions 27 left, (15 pounds) of the original 80ish that I started with. (35ish pounds)
- Squashes, all 3 of the zucchinis are gone. 2 of the 6 Acorns are left , 1 of the 3 Butternuts is left. I think I still have 1 pie pumpkin left too. (I should eat that soon, it won't last much longer.) I also have that giant hubbard to do battle with. It'll probably deserve a blog post of it's own. :-D
- Carrots, as I suspected were very unhappy in my dry basement and didn't last even a couple of weeks. We did eat a dozen or so, but most became worm food.
- Garlic, 10 of the 24 remain.
- Sweet potatoes, 12 of the original 25 are left, plus my southern relatives sent us up another 20 little ones that are quite tasty.
- Red Potatoes, I think there's about 12 pounds left of the original 36 lbs. This is a guesstimate.
- Russets - 8 of the original 20 pounds remain, again an estimate.

So, with everything but sweet potatoes, I'm more than half-way through the stores. That's ok. I'll still get good information about our usage rates, and I'm learning good stuff about storage.
I'll post some of my thoughts on that as I get things organized in my own mind. I'm still crunching some numbers for the useage rates and estimated dates for "shortages." (In quotations, because I want to assure my readers, I can and will be going to the store to replenish our stocks when I run out. In past times those dates would be when shortages would start, leading into the traditionally lean time of early spring.)

Anybody else storing food this winter? How's it going?


hornblower said...

Hi - I'm here from Casaubon's book. Really interested in your storing & esp the econ of it.

I've only been doing canned/dry goods as we have had an on again & off again rodent issue (despite cat & 3 dogs) so I'm being a bit paranoid about that....

Jennie said...

Yea, we've been really lucky with pests. I'm pretty sure there are bats in the attic, but we haven't seen any evidence for mice/voles/etc.
I have a cat, but she doesn't get much free time in the basement, I think the over abundance of half-feral neighborhood cats keeps the local rodent population really low. I don't have problems with rabbits either.

There are ways around rodent problems. Boxes that close tight enough to keep them out, made out of something strong enough they can't nibble through. Hanging produce in bags from ceiling beams could work too. (I know one guy that swears by old panty-hose to store onions, nailed up to his ceiling beams.)

:-) Canned and dried are awesome, but nothing's easier than cold storage of winter keepers. Cheap and wholesome without any additional energy use. Pick a couple of local favorites and try a bit of storage this next winter. Figure out solutions as you go, it doesn't have to be perfect the first time you try. :-D