Category Archives: Gardening

Cooking with the Stored Foods

Today’s lunch was mac and cheese, with additions. It was Annie’s shells & white cheddar, as I found these on sale and I added 1 1/2 anaheim chilis from the freezer, the butter recommended on the package to make it richer, the end of the last Monterey Jack cheese in the fridge, and a little of the mixed savory greens from last year.

The anaheim chilis and mixed savory greens are from last years’ farm share. The chilis were roasted and frozen, so that I didn’t have to buy canned chilis during winter. Worked. When canned chilis got to be > $1 a can last year I said “To Heck with that!” and put aside about 4 pint containers of anaheims. This is my last one I think?

The mixed savory greens are what I do with extra spinach, carrot tops, lettuce and other “not-peppy” greens. I have a dehydrator and dry greens we don’t use fresh, hopefully before it becomes green slime in the fridge. (I don’t always make that; it’s the goal, not a guaranteed outcome!). I try and make up 3 jars of the stuff in the spring: mixed greens, savory greens and peppy greens. I add at least one of these to almost every soup, stew, salad, or whatever I’m making. Even something like this where I put just a tiny bit on top as a garnish.

The packaged mac and cheese was bought in January, because it was cheap and used white cheddar. I don’t like yellow cheddar mac & cheese. DH wants mac and cheese occasionally, so I got these when they were .99 each.

The dried greens is another way I use what might become compost while adding something to the pantry. I’ve never seen a cookbook which talked about doing this, but it works for us. Using the dried greens as the primary ingredient in soup doesn’t work, that was a disaster! Adding it to whatever else I’m making? Yeah, that works well and I love that I’m using nutrient dense food which probably would have been thrown away otherwise.


Photo by Bailey Heedick on Unsplash


I find myself these days watching and reading things related to:

  • Permaculture
  • Minimalism
  • RV or van living

Permaculture started because David Holmgren was wondering what the interrelationships were between three things:

  1. landscape architecture
  2. ecology
  3. agriculture

After discovering that, it occurred to me that I’m not really interested only in any of the 3 things I first listed, but the intersections between THEM.

So, I made the chart below in an effort to understand what it was they have in common and what they do NOT!



RV/Van LIving




Yes                         An emphasis of this life

Less Stuff?

Possibly             More reuse/eco friendly and multi- uses

Yes                         An emphasis of this life

Yes               Mandated by space limitations

DIY Food?

     Yes                   An emphasis of this life


No                     Space limitations again

Less Commercial reliance?




Fewer Support Systems?




Lower Costs?




What does this mean, exactly? I guess I’m ready to become a hippy of some sort. As usual, the first step is to continue to get rid of a lot of “things.” And, considering the discussions we’ve been having about aging in place, it seems more likely we’ll end up permaculturists with a possible minimalist bent?

I don’t know of course, but it has been an interesting exploration, trying to find what it is that all of these have which appeals to me so!


Photo by Tania Malréchauffé on Unsplash