This is the ultimate in forethought.
If you are fortunate to have an abundant quantity of fresh produce, make jam, make tomato sauce or
apple sauce. One of the greatest things I’ve learned is to can using a hot water bath to seal the
jars. It’s easy, inexpensive and highly rewarding. Fill your pantry with homemade canned goods.
When you have access to food that is fresh and abundantly available to you, make it work for
you. Stock your freezer with it as is. Make something with it, then freeze it or can it.
Make it a point to cook extra. Cook an extra lasagna or macaroni and cheese. A casserole can
be assembled, then frozen to bake at a later time. Thinly slice cooked meat and freeze it to make
sandwiches. Soups and stews frozen in individual serving containers to take to work or school. Basic
canning jars with plastic lids work great in the freezer. Bake quick breads and make extra for the
freezer—slice it so all you have to do is pull out a slice and put it your lunch container, it will be defrosted by lunch time.
There is no reason why your freezer cannot be filled with fresh fruit and vegetables at summer’s
end. No reason to buy tasteless vegetables from the produce department in winter when you have
frozen flavorful vegetables from their proper growing season. Herbs and peppers freeze well
and make flavorful contributions to our cooking.
Learn to can, it’s one of the greatest, most useful kitchen tasks to do. It can be done very quickly
once you have the process down for yourself. It does not have to be a big production every time.
If you have enough of something to fill six to ten jars, you can make a quick canning session.
Dehydrating and smoking are additional ways to preserve food for later consumption. A vacuum
sealer works well to keep foods for the pantry and freezer. Meat bought in bulk can be vacuum
sealed and frozen in one or two-pound parcels, manageable to defrost and cook.
When you’ve got an abundant quantity of fresh fruit or vegetables or are making something, think
ahead. Put yourself into your future, when you would be happy to have it again.