A further peak into my cupboards. Actually, we have open shelves for cupboards, so you really don't have to peak in at all. It's out in the open for everyone to see. I can't hide anything when guests come over! It's sort of like people being able to see your dirty laundry.
Canned Salsa: On the top shelf, we have canned salsa that we made this year from our tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro. It only took an hour from start to finish to make enough salsa to last us through the winter. It's a great way to preserve the fresh tastes of the summer garden. It tastes especially good in the middle of a cold winter when you feel like you haven't eaten anything fresh in months. It oozes summertime and is so simple to make.
Pickled Cucumbers: I screwed up this year and didn't plant pickling cucumbers. I'll be danged if I let that stop me from pickling my cucumbers anyway! This variety doesn't stay quite as crisp as the pickling variety, but never-the-less, it's still a great way to preserve the
Canned Vegetable Soup: You can see next to the cucumbers, barely, our vegetable soup. We used tomatoes, onions, garlic, zucchini, green beans and carrots from our garden to make a nice, hearty vegetable stew that we can eat on through the winter. It's a great soup to just add some shredded chicken in or maybe even some sausage of sorts. Again, another easy way to preserve some of your vegetables through the winter when the garden is frozen solid and a great way to get your vitamins through the winter!
Rye Berries: Rye in it's natural form. It's a wonderful whole grain that not a lot of people use. I like to soak it for a few hours before I cook with it, as it can take awhile to cook. Plus, soaking helps break down the grain so that it is easier to digest. I will do a post on the benefits of soaking grains…it's fascinating (geek alert). Rye is a great grain to supplement for barley, rice, or quinoa in recipes. It's my favorite to use in a really hearty stew, like a lamb or beef stew. It pairs nicely with dark flavors. All my whole grains I get in bulk at the health food store, usually for less than $1 a pound. Very inexpensive for the amount of nutrients you are getting. No empty calories here, man.
Dried Lavender: Stuart harvested this lavender for me this past June, which I then dried. Lavender can be used in teas, sprinkled on ice cream, baked into cookies or short breads, used to flavor water or lemonade, or even used to flavor meats. I also use it as a way to freshen rooms, as if gives you a great, mild fragrance without any synthetic chemicals.
Barley: Another great whole grain that is wonderful for you! So often we get stuck in the rut of just eating rice when there are so many flavorful and unique grains out there! Barley is chuck full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and TONS AND TONS of fiber. We all need more of this for healthy, well, you know. As you can see, my barley supply is running low.
Garlic: This is our garlic that we grew this past year. Garlic must be planted in the fall, and this fall, I decided to have a baby instead of planting garlic – so next year, we shall have no harvest. Growing it is very easy though and it takes almost no maintenance at all. A very easy crop to grow in your home garden.
Dried Green Onions: More dried scallions. I had a ton of these this year.
Organic Sugar: This is a sugar that I keep around to sprinkle on the tops of
Pickled Green Beans: In addition to cucumbers, I also pickled green beans and asparagus. I love love love pickled green beans, so I went a little overboard. However, as others who have grown green beans will tell you, when it rains it pours, so pickling is actually a great way to use up some of the plentiful
I would love to get my storage of food to the point that if we had to, we could eat off of it for a few weeks. Granted, we couldn't survive on pickled green beans and lavender, but it's getting there.
Over the last year, we have really tried to work new grains into our diets, whether it be quinoa (technically, a seed), barley, rye berries, wheat berries, millet, or buckwheat. Plus, we eat wild rice, jasmine rice, and whole grain brown rice. Grains (and seeds) are a wonderful way to lower your cholesterol and up your fiber intake. They are like God's little perfect nuggets of goodness. Yes, I just said nuggets of goodness. I still have a few new ones to try: farro and bulgar. Does anyone use these and want to share some insider information? Come on, help a sister out. I am dying to hear your thoughts on these little pearls of perfection.
Next stop on the Elliott Homestead Tour, “What's In Our Bathroom Garbage”. Kidding. If I ever do a post on that, you have permission to revoke my internet access…and never speak to me again.