How do you keep your pantry stocked? I do it primarily via canning. I love to can, and we’ve been really putting our pressure canner to good use lately! It’s really simple to do, results in the best food (cause YOU made it, of course!) you know what is in your food, your know how long ago it was canned (unlike the stuff from the supermarket that is sitting in that nasty tin can) and you get it made exactly how you want it! One other thing I LOVE about canning to fill my pantry? The convienence of it–it’s so easy on a busy day (evening–or anytime for that matter), to open a couple jars of soup, heat it–toss in some homemade bread or cornbread, maybe a jar of home canned fruit–voila– SUPER SIMPLE and healthy homemade lunch (or supper). Not only that–but what happens if Mom is sick (it DOES happen on occasion!) or Dad is injured or ? Having a stocked pantry makes it easy on me, my husband or children to prepare a homecooked meal in minutes with ease! Also, compare your costs vs store bought (you can’t compare the health bene’s!) you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Even WITH my best couponing efforts I could not beat the price and I know there is no comparing the quality.
I also hear from folks about the time it takes to can. Really–it is purty simple. Get a batch of chili or soup or stew going (prep is key–the day before I plan to can, I soak my beans, get the burger out of the freezer, chop my onions, etc etc.) on canning day I whip it all up! Let it simmer or cook (depending on what you’re canning) and I either get my canner and equipment ready or have it prepped ahead– and fill my jars, get ’em in the canner and let the canner do the work 🙂 Now–I do stay real close by the canner at all times–for safety’s sake–so I plan to do things close by. My kitchen could always use a little cleaning, I can bake bread ahead to put in the freezer, cook up dinner, do up a freezer meal or 2, bake cookies–(I do attempt to can when I know the little ones (little wee ones that can get burned) will be otherwise occupied)–I’ll even bring my laptop out to the kitchen table and attempt to squeeze in some work while canning!
A little prep and pre-planning and it really is easy–we’ve been averaging a couple batches of soups or chili lately, per week–this week it was chicken vegetable soup & bean soup! This keeps the pantry stocked and makes good use of veggies that we tend to buy in bulk–before they go south, AND with all the new animals and gardening season starting–it’s starting to get really busy around here—having the pantry stocked will be a huge blessing!