My boyfriend and I are pretty honest with each other. We both love to eat and drink and we both have gained weight since meeting each other. As long as we're healthy and active, we just say "more of us to love" lol...Having said that, we often overindulge in fatty foods, especially cheese. So last night's dinner was a homemade chicken soup. We like to give our digestions a little break now and then! (grudgingly, a big cheesy pizza would have been nice!)
For the soup, I used up the last of my freezer celery. It fared pretty well for being in the freezer for nearly 5 months! This is good because now I know that the supply I froze should be doubled the next time celery is very fresh and on sale. We rarely eat it raw so this really works for us. Back in the fall, I just washed, dried and chopped it up; wrapped it in foil and then a freezer bag and this method has been working for all of my freezables. We've had our deep freezer for a year and a half now and it's so wonderful!
That got me thinking about my birthday last year when my boyfriend bought me a water bath canner. I started food preservation probably in the fall of 2015 when we invested in the deep freezer. So far I've only used the water bath canner last summer when I bought 80 pounds of tomatoes at the farmer's market for $24.00.
I was so proud of my canning efforts and I definitely got the bug! We still have about a third of this supply in the pantry for the rest of the winter. It was SO worth it!
I was talking about dehydrating oranges lately. We love our cocktails and go through about a Mason jar of these a year. Last fall I used my dehydrator to dry out all of my herbs that I knew I couldn't use fresh. Since my planned garden probably won't produce enough to can a lot of stuff this year, I'm going to take advantage of that farmer's market so that I can get some fruits and lots more tomatoes to can for next winter. And I am now squirreling away a little bit of money each month to buy myself a pressure canner in 2018! This is very exciting! It's funny when I think back...I thought the whole idea of food preservation was so overwhelming, but if you start a little at a time and buy supplies when you can, you quickly have everything you need!
I'm now doing some research on freezer meals for those lazy summer nights when I don't feel like cooking. I've already adopted a monthly grocery shopping day and it's been really successful! I took a few days and made a meal plan for a month, then wrote my list based on the flyers. I've saved money, not only on food but also on gas and wear and tear on the car. I used to dread shopping day every two weeks. Now I'm looking forward to next month's plans. Actually I still have enough food for another few weeks, so my "monthly" shopping turned into a 6-week endeavor. Nice huh? I stray a little from the plan, but I have all of my ideas on paper. All of this is so rewarding!