Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding My Way

It has been quite a while since I have posted. I have come a long way and want to go a long way yet! I have had Traditional Foods on my mind lately. Local eating is a big concern. Organic...well, we can't afford it but when we can, we try. Food storage and emergency preparedness is still on my mind.

We have had a big problem I am having to deal with. Our food storage. There is a lot of food we will never eat. Remember to store what you eat because you will be eating what you store!! Now grated, I did not know I would be gluten free. I didn't know when I stored BPA would be a big concern. I didn't know a lot of what I canned we would never eat. I didn't know that I would buy too many beans and my intentions of using them would go awry.

I have been going through our stores and picking out what we won't use that is still good to donate to the food bank. This still leaves us with a lot.

Today, I went through our basement freezers and condensed all the food into one. I have a lot to toss that is no longer any good. I also kept track of everything so that I can meal plan. I want to eat the freezer down so we can invest in the side of beef and side of pork again this fall. I don't want to keep relying on the grocery store for our food and want to get it from the farmer where ever possible!

So, here are the contents of our freezer. I didn't write every little thing down (like the popsicles, juice and seed/nut meals).

1 large bag of woods strawberries
2 bags raspberries
1 bag jumbleberry mix
2 jars strawberry freezer jam

3 1kg bags of broccoli
4 1kg cauliflower
1 1kg peas
1 1kg peas and carrots
4 bags of veggie blends (500-600g)
2kg bag california mied veggies (I don't know if these are still good)
300g package of spinach (may not be good for use)

Cheese and Dairy
4 110g packages swiss cheese
2 pkg provelone
3 blocks cream cheese
6 180g pkgs organic feta
1 jar 100% fresh parmesean
2 large packages of mozza cheese strings (I use these to make low carb garlic "bread")
2 200g packages of organic sharp cheddar
1 cup grated mozza
3 500g blocks mozza
5 1lbs blocks of butter

3 shoulders, approx. 1.5kg each
2 small packs of pork chops (0.5 lbs each)
5 large packs of pork loin chops
11 packs of loin roast (these are all about a pound each)
4 smoked shoulders
1 rack of ribs (2kg)
1 pack larsens sausages
13 packs of bacon

Hamburger, 2lbs natural, 0.5lbs pack, 2kg pack and 1.40kg pack from store
2 packs of liver (about a pound each)
1.125 pot roast
1 small steak

1 large pack of breasts (1.25kg)
2 small packs of breasts (0.65kg each)
3 bags of 4 quarters
4 small whole chickens

4 whole turkeys
1 pack of 2 small turkey drumsticks
1 small pack of turkey tenderloin slices (1lbs)

Hot Dogs 5.5 packs of 12
1 1lbs package of moose meat
1 3.5 oz pouch of scallops
1 small whole wild salmon (2 or 3 lbs)
1lbs pack of wild salmon
2 frozen pizzas
1 small garlic fingers
4 tubs of 150g slivered almonds
1 pouch minced onion

Whew. That doesn't include what is in the fridge freezer. I know there is some in there I need to toss.

Here are some things that I have learned today:

Today I have learned today is not to prepare food for the freezer unless it is part of a meal plan. I am going to have to toss a lot of soup and other things I made that didn't freeze well.

Another thing is that some foods do not freeze well. For instance, I bought and froze a lot of cottage cheese over a year ago. It doesn't freeze well (unless you use it in a recipe, but I know I won't. Good thing it was really cheap).

Only buy items out of the ordinary to freeze if we plan to use it soon. Sometimes Mark or I will buy something different and it never gets used. We will save a lot of money by doing this.

Use older things first. I have a lot of food that is a lot older than recent items that we have eaten. Rotating is especially important for freezer food.

Only buy frozen veggies as I need them. These get freezer burnt pretty fast. I have a lot of cauliflower as I planned to make a lot of cauliflower crust pizza. I probably still will. It is yummy :)

I couldn't help thinking of my Great Grammy D who used to joke about having food that was old enough to vote, lol! I hope I never get anything that old in my freezer. She would of happily used up any old thing as she let nothing to waste.

So I need to come up with a meal plan to make sure we use our food before we start bringing more in.

I also want to be more accountable for what we buy and use as food. I need to keep better track of how much money we spend. I have been doing a lot better. We cannot afford to waste food.

I have so much to write about so I won't write it all today. This will be fun again!