Get Ready for 2021 Planting and Harvesting

I’m a planner personality. When the pandemic began, I saw the effort for people to grow their own food this year. I anticipated that preserving all that garden produce might prove challenging for newbies. Now I am reading through comments on various Facebook pages and think it will be amazing if there is not a lot of foodborne illness in the next few months. There are SOME safety rules that need to be considered, people, really.

As there are many people who would love love love to preserve their own food but do not have the time nor inclination to do the work, I would like to offer a very limited opportunity for the coming year.

I can help you plan what you would like to eat in late 2021 and in 2022. Do you want canned goods or dehydrated foods or a mixture? Do you want meals that need minimal heating or raw basic ingredients you can mix and match to produce your kind of cooking? Do you want instant meal prep for camping or those days when cooking is just too much?

For our household, we start by thinking about the foods we like to eat. Once we can account for all the pasta, pizza, soups, and more that requires an ingredient, say, tomatoes, we understand the ways to process the garden offerings. We can clearly see what supplemental ingredients we need, such as garlic, and can make decisions NOW about planting our own or making arrangements to purchase from local farmers.

Plan your pantry-what foods do you want to eat? Tomatillos make amazing salsa, but so do tomatoes. Which does your family prefer? Both? How much do you eat? This is the kind of planning that makes an amazing pantry!!

FOUR slots are available to have Can-Do fill your pantry.

IF you live within driving distance to me, you can consider an option where you provide all the raw ingredients and pay me for only those items I supply and my time and expertise.

IF you live more than an hour from me, I can obtain ingredients and all items needed and you will pay a higher fee, of course.

The early bird may not get the worm in this case, but cherry chocolate ice cream sauce is doable.

REDUCING FOOD WASTE: The joy offered by the supermarket roasted chicken

Oh roast chicken: how many ways can we use you? Whether you buy it already roasted at the supermarket or grab a whole chicken there and roast it yourself at home, the zero waste person can get MULTIPLE meals out of one 3-pound bird.

Roast chickens at a Paris marche (open-air market)

First, roast chicken with roasted veggies. Set the oven for 350 degrees. If you have an uncooked chicken, clean it (yes, you really need to wash it) and then season it. That can be done simply with some dry herb mixture your family enjoys or even a liquid cooking sauce. Veggies should be cut into fairly similar sized pieces and also sprinkled with some seasoning. Roast for 45-60 minutes. There are many many many recipes online if you need more specific info to get started.

Second, trim all meat off the bones. Place meat in a sealed storage container in the frig (to use within 2 days) and prepare to make broth. You need a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the bones to the pot. Cut up an onion. Wash and peel a couple of carrots and slice them in. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a slow simmer, covered, for two to five hours (YES! The longer the deeper the flavor!) Add washed and peeled small diced potatoes or pasta or rice, salt and pepper and other seasonings. Veggies will be cooked in another half hour and you have some soup to enjoy!

Third, those meat trimmings. Adding chopped onions for tang, green or red peppers for crunch, maybe walnuts if you are leaning towards something different, and then mayo or your favorite salad dressing for a salad or sandwich filling.

Does anyone have more suggestions???? Add them below in the comments.