Hibernation Preparation

Well, I finally did it. The larder is stocked. In fact, it’s so stocked that I currently have a bunch of dry goods sitting on the counter at the moment. I have no idea where I’m going to put it all – I’m going to have husband help me reorganize the upper shelves of the cabinets so I can fit in these additional things later this afternoon.

We popped over to the Evanston farmers market yesterday to see Stovers for our annual supply of honey. To add to the five pound (half gallon) jug I bought earlier in the summer, I bought three more. So we’ve got twenty pounds of honey, which should be enough to last us about to when next year’s comes in sometime in the early summer.  I thought about getting some jams and jellies as well, but decided I could make my own quick versions with the fruit I’ve got in the freezer already if I’m so inclined. I did pick up a single jar of pumpkin butter though, for a little treat to stick in the fridge – so tasty on freshly baked bread when the weather gets cool. I also wanted to get a garlic braid from Henrys, but they’re not quite ready yet. Looks like I’ll have to pick that up after the baby is born. But I did get a pair of tiny, amazingly sweet yellow-fleshed watermelons there. I plan on eating one today. 🙂

This morning, we went to our own market and picked up another dozen ears of sweet corn for the freezer. The blueberries are done, so no more of those this season, though we have a respectable supply for pies and whatnot in the freezer already. For fresh eating, we picked up a pint of cherry tomatoes and a trio of hot peppers from Midnight Sun, and a pint box of McIntosh apples from Earth First. Husband tried to talk to me out of the apples since we’re getting a few bushels in October, but I couldn’t help it. I’ve been craving apple pie, and yesterday I scored an awesome Nordic Ware pie mold at Target for only $5.00 –

I couldn’t resist. Apple hand pies are definitely on the agenda for this weekend. We didn’t really need much more this week for fresh eating, since we still have a good supply of potatoes and onions from last week, so that’s all we came home from the market with.

Yesterday when we stopped at Target, I got more than the pie mold. I received a gift card from my coworkers as a baby present, so we wanted to finish our bulk shopping extravaganza. We got shampoo, paper towels and aluminum foil to round out the household goods we needed. I also found a good deal on ten pound bags of flour and sugar, Zatarains Spanish Rice, tomato paste, iced tea bags and pasta. So we really loaded up on those. Today at our regular grocery store, we laid in a serious supply of chicken stock, beef stock, soy milk , egg noodles, white rice, dried kidney beans and dried pinto beans. And since our cow and pig purchasing fell through for this year (we waited until the last minute for this year by virtue of necessity and then couldn’t find anyone to split with) we stocked up on some meat as well – ground beef, ground pork, chicken thighs, chicken legs and bacon. I also wanted a couple pork shoulders and beef roasts, but they didn’t have any at all. Weird.

Paired with last week’s shopping excursion, we’re all set. Literally all done. We have everything we need in this house to get us through at least the end of the year with household goods and toiletries, and about six to eight weeks of food, at least in dry goods and meat. We’ll have to buy the usual perishables like margarine, egg replacer and fresh produce, but it’s so liberating so know we don’t have to worry about doing big, regular grocery shopping.

So now I can relax for the entire rest of this weekend. The only “projects” I have planned are a double batch of Super Pumpkin-Pumpkin Bread,  Crumb Coffee Cake and 15 Bean Soup for the freezer, to round out the freezer meal project. But that will literally take me all of 45 minutes to put together, and I’ll like a little kitchen time tomorrow afternoon. It’s cool and breezy and feeling very fall-like this weekend so I figure that’s a good thing to do on work-free Monday afternoon. And a nap or two – that’s a very good thing to do to.