Sunday, September 13, 2015

Storing Food for the Winter

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters, December, 2012.}

If I got up in the morning and said to Jim.."Honey we need a miracle today." he would say, "Well we have needed one before..."

Well, yes we lived in a nest planted on a branch that hung over troubled waters........As long as ya didn't look down you were ok.. God often made a way for us where there was no way...Often I prayed for food.  We had 6 children to feed..One day in prayer the Lord told me to clean out my cabinets as the Lord was going to give us a lot of food.  And that was when I started buying the fruit and vegetables at the back of the store that was outdated...  I would pay like a buck or 2 for a box filled with lettuce..Most of it would be good but some of it not so good.  So I would throw the rotten parts on my compost pile. . I would have a garden in the summer with mostly tomatoes and green peppers..and cucumbers.. I always grew herbs and country flowers around the house.. I dried some of the herbs and some I froze..I loved the different basils and I would plant them in pots and then bring the basil pots into the house when the weather turned cold.. The basil would last a few months in the house by a sunny window..

At times I would get up to 15 boxes of produce from the back of the store..You had to take all of the leftover produce or not at all.  Once we got about 4 boxes of bananas..Oh mercy the boxes wouldn't even fit in the car..So we took all the bananas out of the boxes and stuffed them in the car in every available place..I had this huge freezer we had bought for a song...So I froze a lot of the bananas just as they were in the skins..  These are good for banana breads..or I would just put them in regular yeast bread.. Now this was back in the 1980's.. But we lived on about 50 bucks a week for food. . In the produce boxes I would maybe get a whole box of grapes.. I would just freeze these .. I would take the grapes off the stem and put them in Ziploc bags... I made grape juice by putting the washed grapes into a gallon jar..Then I poured boiling water over the grapes..Then a few cups of sugar..Then you just let it sit for a few days .Then sift the grapes out and throw on the compost pile. You could make a lot of grape jam too.. But I had grapes growing in my backyard and so I used these for making jam in the Fall.

I got a lot of fruits like apples and all kinds of different fruits..So I would freeze the fruits in Ziploc bags..And then in the fall when most everything was stored away, canned or dried.. Then I would make jams and jellies..We had a wild plum tree and in the Fall I would make plum butter..and can it..I didn't can the stuff from the store because they spray a lot of it ..And washing the fruit doesn't get all the spray off.  So to store the produce from the store I would freeze that..  But I made ketchup and tomato sauce etc. from my fresh tomatoes from my garden...  And about my tomatoes.. If I was real busy and didn't have time to can my tomatoes ..then I would cut them up and freeze them..Then I would use these tomatoes for chili or any kind of tomato based soups.. You can just throw these tomatoes in frozen.. I didn't even peel them if I was in a hurry, because the peeling will float to the top in the hot soup anyway and you can just ladle it off and throw the peeling away..

I guess I think to write this as winter is coming. . And it was always harder to feed my children in the winter then in the connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 


The Farmer's Wife said...

Lovely to read this this morning. No complaining, just the how-to--it's so inspiring. I have been canning, dehydrating, and freezing for what feels like sun-up to sun-down for a couple weeks, and found this inspiring this morning. Thank you for that.

JES said...

Thank you for sharing this Connie. I really enjoy learning how others put food up for their families. Thank you for sharing these practical ideas on The Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

doodles n daydreams said...

This is a great 'how to' post. I'm the oldest of 6 kids and I know Mum found it hard to make ends meet at times too, but she did it :)


Stephanie said...

My dear Connie, what a wonderful and helpful post! And plum butter...yum! I have made plum jam but not butter. Thank you for sharing this with Roses of Inspiration. I hope you're able to join us again this week. Hugs and blessings!


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