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???