Put Up or Shut Up…A P.F. Personal Challenge

Aug 25, 2009 | Uncategorized | 16 comments

This will be the first in a series of…I don’t know how many but I could not resist the name. It sounded like such a curious post title.
I hate running errands.
Every time I start out with a good attitude and every time I pull in the driveway hours later ready for a glass of wine (that I can’t have right now) or a nap (which is how I spend all my free time these days).
Come on. What is not to hate? Insane traffic, crazy women drivers with a latte in one hand and a phone in the other, commandeering a car the size of a trailer and struggling with a serious lack of depth perception and common sense. I live 40 minutes from a decent grocery store…well, you get the picture.
(Ironically I love latte’s …plain, none of that surgery syrup stuff for me, I dream of owning a Silverado again or a giant Suberban both of which I can drive and park better than my husband despite being told women have bad depth perception and, well, we all like to think we have common sense.)
Once again, I digress.

The basil patch will become countless meals for the family. 6 in the freezer so far, each will make two batches of pasta. The basil patch is FULL so I hope to start winter with about 18 half pints!!!

I hate errands. More specifically, grocery shopping. If I could go alone, you know, more of a “market experience” with my menu in one hand and my aforementioned latté in the other that would be a different story. But commuting to Costco and Trader Joe’s with a broken trunk and a backseat full of car seats and sample obsessed children is in a word – taxing. Especially pregnant. Especially during Chicago winters…and swine flu to boot!

My sister asked, “Does this really save you any money?’ And truthfully, I don’t know the answer to that but I know that a pantry full of pickles and dilly beans hits the spot when a salt craving kicks in. I don’t have to worry about chemicals like MSG and partially hydrogenated craziness either! So far we have put up 15 quarts of pickles but it’s those dilly beans that I could devour in one sitting!

As far as saving money, morning sweets are a great way for us to save money. We live too close to Starbucks and Panera that if the fridge or pantry is empty it’s awfully tempting to go blow $15 on pastries. A freezer of baguettes and jam on the shelves will save us many-a-mornings! We’ve got pints of lemon curd ready to go too!!!

For the last couple years I have tried to plan for winter with meals and more in the freezer and the more I garden the more I learn about canning…I still have never really “achieved” that dream inventory for winter that I have always wanted. My stash always seems to run out around February. So I am at it again, planning, canning, freezing and dreaming of a well stocked pantry and freezer, meals ready for those last two weeks of pregnancy when the last thing you want to do is cook and even more ready for those cozy weeks after when all you want to do is cuddle with your new baby.

What to do with all those Zucs? HomeMakerAng, during a visit last year taught me to shred them up and have them ready to make Zucchini bread. I will also make up lots of loaves for the freezer. Great for Coffee Company or savagely hungry children after naptime!
I have my list (I’ll be making a HUGE freezable grocery run in the next few weeks), I have a sketch of my dream pantry that I am praying Joel can get to very soon – so, no more complaining about grocery shopping all over creation in a blizzard.
It’s put up or shut up time!
Here is my rough draft goal list of things I would like to make for the inventory by the times the leaves have dropped…there will of course be dry goods and such to purchase but, it looks like the kitchens about to get really busy!
2 bushel applesauce
4 apple pies
3 peach pies
3 blueberry pies
1 Chocolate cake
25 Quarts pasta sauce
10 loaves zucchini bread
4 lasagnas
8 Chicken soup meals (large tupperwares)
15-20 Pesto 1/2 pints
20 Quarts pickles
4 Frozen bags of garden carrots
10 Quarts jardiniere
12 Baguettes
3 Dozen Cinnamon Rolls
4 Gorgonzola Pork Loin dinners
10 Quarts dilly beans
4 Roaster chickens
11 1/2 pints lemon curd
12 Quarts salsa

I am itching to know…how do YOU prepare for winter???


  1. Jen

    How do I prepare for winter? I make all kinds of plans and lists, then I don’t really do anything! Maybe this year will be different.
    Do you wrap your bread in plastic wrap or what?

  2. Kimberly

    wow this amazes me. I prepare by doing what I do every other day, but then again there are very few days that really feel like winter here. I have two refrigerator/freezers and a deep freeze, and I still would not have a place for all your wonderful things. I wish I could stock up like that!!!!
    xxx kim

  3. Bonjour Madame

    *Hangs head in shame*. I guess it’s not so bad though because my winters here are very mild. I have to do the opposite in summer. You can’t freeze things because of hurricane season and having to evacuate and lose power for a week so for a few months it’s buy fresh and eat it now. No stocking up.

    I would love to have food in the house like this all the time. You get to have summer’s bounty during the cold parts of the year. How great! I don’t even know the first thing about canning. I’m going to have to start making a list of things I want to know how to do and spend some time just learning it myself. Canning is one of them. Gardening is another.

  4. Farmgirl Cyn

    I do a lot of freezing/canning also. Tho, this year, with bum knees and all, I am not altogether certain that I can get everything done that I want. Salsa, most definitely will be on the canning list. Hot salsa. The kids scarf it up, and last year they were going thru a pint a day. Tomatoes, if I can get them at a decent price at the farmers market. My heirloom tomatoes did not do well this year, tho I have heard many of the farmers complain of the same. Some broccoli and cauliflower already in the freezer, and I will add to that when I can. Peaches, canned and frozen. Blueberries are already in the freezer, and I will be picking up some more this week. It’s the last of the fresh tho, so I need to get on the stick! It is what it is, and I will do what I can.
    From the sounds of your list, Joel will have to build a root cellar!!!

  5. Joannah

    We have a few days of winter here and there. So, there’s really no need to do anything out of the ordinary. But your post is inspiring, and I wish I had to do something that resulted in large quantities of delicious food waiting for us in our freezer!

  6. Gwynie Pie

    I am so inspired by this post. I have had a garden this year, the first year in several. But, the harsh Texas heat (day after week after month over 100 ) has just beaten it down. AND, how’s this for crazy — the surprise 26 degrees in April took care of our peach crop. 🙂 I am planning a Fall garden and hopefully we will have good climate for long enough to produce some goodies. I would love to put up veggies and fruit and have spent many hrs. in my childhood summers helping my mother and grandmother put away jar after jar of delicious food. So, I do pretty much nothing different for winter. But — I do have the “want-to”. Great post. Keep them coming.

    Gwyn Rosser
    @The Pink Tractor

  7. Couture Allure Vintage Fashion

    Can you share your recipe for canned pesto? Our basil is doing so well this year, and I would love to put some up for the winter.

  8. Pam

    I started canning last year. So, I’m still on the basics. I have gorgeous basil plants right now waiting to be turned into pesto for the freezer. I’m curious, what are you canning with your basil? I’m also interested in that lemon curd. I need to see if I have a recipe for canning that. Do you grow all of your veggies or do you buy many of them?

  9. Arlene

    It was fun reading this because I’m doing he same thing you’re doing. If you go to my blog you’ll see what I’ve been up to. Making homemade Spaghetti sauce, freezing corn, freezing kale, batches of peach pie filling, because I LOVE peach pie, and I get the peaches locally. Like you, I ran out early and I was determined not to this year. I’ve been having fun, lots of work, but its been fun and satisfying. Although I don’t know how you do all that with kids and being pregnant, I’m exhausted when I ‘m done and I have no kids….sheesh…

  10. Elenka

    I fill the oil tank.

  11. Victoria

    Oh, snap! The last commenter took my mildly sassy comment idea! Oh well I’ll still post mine.

    What do I do to prepare? I buy a hat and gloves and think about getting a “real coat” (but I never do).

    As for food… let’s see I’ve got about 1 1/2 tomatoes I can do something with… Maybe someday I’ll have a real garden. If I can go community next year I might have a chance at canning.

  12. sweettreats725

    If I’m truly lucky enough to join the CSA that I really want to be a member with, then I’ll be learning all about canning! Unfortunately, apartment dwelling doesn’t really lend itself to much space for anything….small freezer attached to frig….teeny pantry closet….lacking completely in cabinet space….and, even more disconcerting, lacking the funds to buy places to store things!

    Prep for winter is to hope and pray I have enough income to cover the gas bill and buy clothes to keep us warm!

    Love your post, though….the abundance is reassuring that we, too, will get through this time!

  13. Maisy

    you are really ambitious. You must have a HUGE freezer.
    I just found your blog. You are so funny. I love the way you write.
    Can’t wait to read through your blog!!!

  14. RobinfromCA

    How do I prepare for winter? Embarrassingly, not even close to how well you do! I am a take-it-for-granted Californian who always thinks that I can get to the store so I have enough for a couple of weeks. Quite frankly, it’s pathetic and shameful since I’ve been taught better! If we had an earthquake that cut off supplies we would be in a world of hurt. So…I need to follow your example and stock up. Keep posting and reminding us lazy people!

  15. Homemaker Ang

    i have 192 quarts from this 2009 garden canned already 🙂
    putting up atleast 21 more quarts today. go to my blog and on the right side you can see the tally.
    godspeed girlfriend!

  16. Kimberly

    Love it! Great list you’ve got. I’m busy canning and freezing and drying over here. I love knowing we’ve got things on hand for the days I’m just not up to it all.
    I hadn’t thought to make a whole list though. I’ve been just flying by the seat of my pants and putting up whatever I come across and it is ripe. A list would be good to not forget anything.
    I’m reading blogs instead of working on the 20 lbs of peaches I’ve got waiting. Not the best choice. Bread’s rising though so I’m sort of productive!
    Come on over for a salt fix: I’ve canned 1 and a half bushels of dill pickles, dilly beans, beet pickles, squash pickles, zucchini pickles, etc.


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