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Eating from the Freezer and Pantry, Week 1

So, Stephanie’s Eating From the Pantry and Freezer Challenge has begun, but I have not yet inventoried my freezers for two reasons:

  1. Our dog stripped the bark from our heritage apple tree (yep, chasing a cat), and the only way to—perhaps—preserve the tree was, apparently, to jigsaw-puzzle the bark back on immediately.  Yes, almost 100 pieces, stripped from the trunk and several branches!!  Those hours of  puzzling were my freezer inventorying time.  Aside: Five days later, the tree looks healthy and no leaves are drooping.  What a blessing!
  2. My husband is jackhammering the concrete above our pantry so we had to move out every. Single. Thing.   That was a lot of work and used up my Plan B freezer inventorying time. On the other hand, it really improved the pantry inventory as I now know the total number of empty jars we have as well as what’s in the full ones:  honey, salsa, salsa juice, canned tomatoes, pickled beans, relish, hot pepper pickles, pickled radish pods, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, as well as dried herbs and legumes.  My eating plan for these items is to enjoy lots of tomatoes and to continue eating everything else at our usual rate.

Back to the challenge:  Stephanie lists the savings she expects from this challenge and she also has detailed meal plans.  

I can’t plan savings, because I’m not the only grocery shopper in the family; the other one is a free spirit who despises such schemes.  But we will definitely save a lot. 

Furthermore, we don’t do detailed meal plans, although we do have food goals. For this challenge we have added a few goals to the usual ones of health, taste, and ease of preparation (results so far are given in red): 

  • Our meat will come from the freezer and I won’t buy any meat for a month unless the sales are unbelievable.  I can’t speak for the free spirit shopper, though.  And we will eat that huge frozen salmon I once bought on sale but never have had the oomph to prepare.  My free spirit shopper splurged on meat for a celebration, but it was much cheaper than going out to eat… and it was delicious.
  • I will make pumpkin slice at least once a week. 
  • Each day we will eat at least two packages of frozen or canned fruits and/or vegetables. Tomatoes, red peppers, salsa, relish, pickles, raspberries, squash.
  • On hot days we will enjoy gazpacho made from our frozen tomatoes with our own fresh green onions.  Yes, yum!
  • On cold days, I will slow cook one of our amazing pork roast deals from last winter. 
  • We will make plum jam using some of our huge stash of frozen plums.
  • And we will begin to fill the freezer and pantry with this year’s harvest of asparagus and rhubarb.  Four bags of frozen asparagus so far.
  • Also, I will inventory the freezers and finish the eating charts in the next week.

 At first I thought this was a crazy time for me to concentrate on using up our food stores, since we’re so busy planting the garden.  I’ve discovered, however, that focussing on last year’s harvest really adds impetus to this year’s gardening.

How do you manage your pantry and freezer?

For more kitchen inspiration, see Workin’ It Mondays, Homesteader Blog Carnival,  No Ordinary Blog Hop, Sustainable WaysEncourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers, Simple Lives, and Frugal Friday.


  1. JoannaTopazT says:

    I use the pantry and freezer inventory lists from organizedhome.com — but I’m also way behind on inventorying. Right now, I’m trying to have us eat down the freezer so I can defrost it, before we fill it back up with this year’s strawberry picking, etc. (I think homemade strawberry ice cream with some of last year’s crop is on the agenda for the weekend.)

  2. Annie Kate says:

    Strawberry icecream sounds like a wonderful way to empty the freezer!

    Thanks for mentioning organizedhome.com. I’ve been looking at it and it seems full of useful resources.

  3. JoAnn says:

    I had to look up what a pumpkin slice was, I’ve never heard of that. It sounds yummy though. 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      It is yummy, but I was too busy to make it this week so far. Monday, I hope. And it’s so healthy we can just have it for a meal.

  4. Bonnie says:

    I would love your pumpkin slice and gazpacho recipes. Are they on this blog ?

    1. Annie Kate says:

      No, Bonnie, they aren’t. I should put them up, because they truly are delicious. Thanks for asking.

  5. Kim says:

    I’m getting hungry just reading your list. We never had luck with our garden where we lived, so we just didn’t get to put up food for later in the season.
    I will close my eyes and imagine all the yummy goodies in your pantry and freezer. Thanks for the taste!

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