to take advantage of long-term storage foods as well as foods in season. I already have a calendar of foods in season for my area that I compiled years ago. I had to, I couldn’t find one! Now? Now there are several, but I already have mine.
Between the long-term storage and seasonally available foods, with the cookbooks I have, I’m working out a general, seasonal menu plan which will key to recipes I already have, supply me with staples I already use (and keep me from buying commercial products, whenever possible).
I’ve a list of foods to preserve Jan. – March and another lists foods that can be preserved year round. I’ve been listing new recipes I’ll probably use and the ones I already use, as I’ve been whittling away at this for some time.
Two of the year-round preserving foods are things I regularly buy. A special vinegar and whole seed mustard. Both of them are in the pantry. I’m low on the vinegar, so that’s the first piece of the plan I’ll put in place.
According to various charts I got from the USDA, a lot of my long-term storage foods are past their time, rice for example.
Having just had the freezer disaster, I’m not eager to also toss several $100 worth of dry storage foods. I’m going to be taking some from each location and preparing it to see if I can see, taste, or smell any reason why it should be thrown out. I had cornmeal that was tossed earlier this year it was no longer good, but the time it stored was a lot longer than the time in the charts. Likewise, powdered sugar. I have mostly rice and beans/peas to check.
One book I pulled is a vegetarian BBQ book, which I’ve kept because of its “burger” recipes mostly. Just before I sat down to write this, I decided we’ll have lentil burgers for dinner, use up some lentils, and I can test them beforehand. I have some older brown ones and fresher red ones. The red ones are < 1 year old, I use them in a curried carrot soup, one of my favorite winter dishes. Here's a link to the recipe:
This soup is just exactly the kind of thing I want in my seasonal menu list!