I just love Patsi at A Working Pantry. Every week she gives updates on what was accomplished the previous week in regards to stocking and maintaining her pantry. But, her pantry goes beyond canned goods. Things which she freezes is also included in her “pantry” list but there is something else which I think is a really good idea. She has a “gift box”. This is a chest in which she places items that may be a good gift to someone down the road. Say a neighbor has a baby, she will go into her gift box and pull out something she has either made or purchased on sale. This is something I would really like to start myself!
There are many reasons a stocked pantry is beneficial. Here is why I do it: 1. It is so nice to just go to the cellar, cupboard or freezer and pull out what I need, be it for a church potluck or just supper for the family. 2. It saves money, especially when you stock your pantry with food you’ve grown yourself. Saves money on food, saves money on gas and saves TIME. 3. In conjunction with number 1, it is very useful in the winter when road conditions may be too bad to venture out. This is reason enough to expand your “pantry” beyond food and include other necessities, such as soap, toilet paper etc.
Our garden is still growing, but I have managed to add things to my pantry this summer and without purchasing anything to do so. We discovered several large blueberry bushes growing on our property and they are just bursting! So far I have added 10 quart bags of berries to my freezer and 10 jelly jars and 3 pints of jam to the cupboard. The jam could also be my first entry into my “gift box”. Who doesn’t like homemade jam?
I got the recipe from A Taste of Southern. To be honesty, this turned out thinner than I expect jam to be. It did not call for pectin, which may be the reason, or I didn’t cook the berries long enough. I don’t know. But, it is still quite tasty. We were able to eat it on biscuits, but it may also be good over pancakes. My mom says she’s going to try it in a cobbler.
Patsi at A Working Pantry is currently doing a series on how to be less dependent upon the grocery store. Check it out. I think you’ll love her site as much as I do!