After we roast our chicken I make broth from the carcass in the same roasting pan. I recently learned that adding salt too early in the broth process is crazy bad for you and so now I don’t add salt to my broth until it goes into the jars for the fridge or freezer.
Here is a beauty of a recipe from Claire’s Holistic Pursuits I will admit that I have never added more than an onion to my bone broth.
- Grass fed + free range or organic bones – I normally use beef bones from the butcher or a left over chicken carcass ( you want chemical free here so you aren’t drinking those toxins in concentrated amounts)
- 1 -2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (acid thats needed to leech the mineral from the bones)
- Filtered water (again, we want low levels of toxins)
- Any chopped vegetables you care to throw in – potatoes, leek, celery, onion, carrot. I save up all my vege scraps from the week + use them too.
- Desired herbs + spices: bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, peppercorns, parsley etc.
- Place your bones in a slow cooker or pot
- Cover with water + add in the Apple Cider Vinegar
- Let this sit for 20 or so minutes so the acid can set to work removing the minerals from the bones
- Add in your veggies, herbs + spices
- Place on a low heat for up to 48hrs if beef bones or 24hrs if chicken bones
- Remove from the heat + strain out the (now sad looking) veggies + bones, discard.
- Bottle the broth to keep in the fridge or store in ice-cube trays or in serving portions in the freezer for up to 3-4months.
Strawberries are the first fruit that you need to catch if you are going to preserve any sort of quantity of. They come ripe in about the middle of June but are VERY weather depending. If you miss them you are likely out of luck unless you live somewhere that grows the ever bearing variety that produce smaller quantities all summer long. We LOVE strawberries and you can bet that I never miss strawberry season. We almost always head out to a u-pick to save ourselves $1 or more per lb because we buy at least 30lbs of strawberries every year.
Almost all of those strawberries get frozen to use in smoothies and jam if you can believe it. Nearly every smoothie we make around here has strawberries in it. To ensure that they last until next year I split them up into 10-11 ziplock bags and label them with the month we are going to use them in. Once the strawberries for that month are gone, they are gone. This seems to work really well for us and sometimes we even find that in April or May we have a bunch of November or October strawberries to use up!
Strawberries get frozen on trays first and then put into bags afterwards. This prevents clumping and a giant block of strawberries in the freezer. I even actually lay the ziplock bags flat in the freezer as well to maximize storage space. It can get pretty crowded in there come October!
If smoothies aren’t your thing and you have a dehydrator strawberries are just about the tastiest dehydrated fruit going. Make sure you hide that jar from the kids though or they will burn through your precious store in no time flat! I know, it’s happened to us more than once.
Remember all those greens I helped dry last year? I never tasted any of them. I never even heard how it went other than, oh yeah it was awesome. So, note to self, don’t work with that person again if you’d like to actually learn something.
Fast forward to this year and I have been eating lettuce for the past two months like it was going out of season. Because it is. The one thing I noticed last year was a significant lack of green things in our winter storage. So this year I intended to change that and have been dehydrating and blanching up a storm. Sort of, not really. Continue reading Drying Greens
We had a bit of a cold snap here this past week. It got more than a little frosty (-20ish C ) and while I am in a new place I was also out of my home during much of the cold weather and neglected my food storage situation. I have been using a covered porch that has been closed in as additional storage and a mud room. The room was pretty much just as cold as outside but not as exposed to the elements. I should have known better but alas I did not and much of my food froze. Continue reading Frozen Food Anyone?
This past Tuesday I helped a friend of mine with a bit of an experiment. She harvested all of the greens from her mother’s garden and instead of freezing them she is going to try drying them to store instead. We have a lot of the same mindsets when it comes to food storage. The main one being that we would like to rely less on our deep freezes and more on our pantry’s or cold rooms. Continue reading Dehydrating Greens
Fall is harvest time. There is something truly magical about it and I love hearing about the many ways in which people prepare for the coming cold season. Here at home we continue our path of exploring food storage and choices that we make.
I was fortunate enough to inherit a large box of pears and apples earlier this month. The apples were easy they went into small shallow boxes and in the root cellar. I was then posed with the daunting task of what the heck to do with 50+ lbs of pears! I cold packed and canned half of them, dehydrated half of what was left and the rest we ate. We must have eaten at least one or two pears a day for two weeks. There are still pears in my fridge that I have been told to make pear sauce with. Oh yeah pear sauce is really really good.
Urs Bauman of Quail’s Farm has been so kind as to supply my flour for years now. Fall is when I buy it and the night before I pick it up is when he grinds the grains. I purchase 10kg bags of rye, spelt and wheat flour and then store them in large rubbermaid bins, in my cellar.
What I am interested in sourcing locally is nuts and seeds. Being vegetarians we eat a lot of these and so finding a local source would be beautiful. Currently we order them bulk through a wholesale food order that gets put in twice a year. They get stored in the freezer.
Frost hit rather suddenly this year and I know that a few farmers were hit somewhat unexpectedly which resulted in loss of crops. I remember a recent cold market morning chatting with growers who frantically picked the last of their produce late the day before and what they could salvage that morning.
One thing we’ve loved in exploring food storage is how it is bringing us in touch with where our food comes from. We are also discovering how ‘convenient’ our world has become in such a short time, how we are about to lose an entire generation of knowledge regarding food storage and household husbandry skills that our grandparents took for granted. It makes me thankful that I have had the realization to bring it back so that I might pass it along to my children maybe even living to see a shift in how we all think about food.