UGH. Seriously. Well I knew it wouldn't be easy but I am determined to stick to our plan. I know that most reasonable folks would just suspend the rule during that time but not us loony toons. (Male 29 and female 27) I do think in a way that this is natural. During winter we more than likely went through periods of calorie restriction. We dont want to starve ourselves obviously but we also know that we will be eating less.
As of right now we get a monthly shipment of beef from a pastured/grass fed ranch. It is pretty expensive and we can't really afford to add to it. It also takes up a fair amount of space in our freezer- lets say half to be safe? (standard freezer) Without looking at the order I say it averages to a 3 pound roast, 2 steaks, and 5 lbs of ground per week. Two packages of stew meat and soup bones are misc.
Now Im guessing we will need to go super low carb. And I will fill up the freezer as best I can with stuff. Here are some things I am thinking about
*eggs- the pastured kind. How long do they stay good assuming they are pretty fresh when bought? I could buy a few extra dozen during the last week of the market.
*hazelnuts - I know we can freeze these but freezer space is precious. How long do they stay fresh? What about in the refrigerator?
*maybe a few meat items? But this is not likely to be within price range
*apples- these should last awhile in the fridge right?
Cheese lasts when unopened right?
AS far as veg goes what is the easiest (that is in season) to freeze/store? What lasts the longest in the fridge?
Suggestions? Is this possible??
in terms of meat, i'd suggest adding cheaper cuts to bulk up what you have without raising costs -- try offal (liver, heart, marrow bones) and "lesser" roasts (bottom-round, for example), which are both tasty if you know how to cook them. you can definitely also find dairy, though that can be expensive. how about playing around with ordering some milk from a farm / farmer's market and making your own yogurt? you can easily also transform that into yogurt cheese! eggs are a no-brainer ;-) -- maybe see if you can find duck eggs even!
veggies that are in season right now are root veggies, which you can easily store in dark cool places -- i'm drowning in carrots, turnips, celeriac, beets and onions. other ones that are available are cabbage and squashes. some markets will even have greens like kale, collards and winter spinach.
i get a csa delivery of veggies and apples every 3 weeks, and place a meat order through them as well. i haven't been to a regular super-market in forever and trust me, i don't find myself suffering for it. right now, i have some pork belly roasting, which i'll have with mashed potato and celeriac root, and a cabbage and carrot salad. nom!!!
enjoy your experiment! it has it's challenges but it's so worth it!
If you have a cool dark place to store food, that can save a lot of room in the fridge...store nuts in their shells and root veggies in there along with winter squash, onions, garlic, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, herbs and spices. You could make and can many quarts of bone broth to store in the pantry as well. Stock your fridge with hearty veggies like brassicas, and have plenty of fermented veggies jarred up there...butter would last a long time in the fridge, and eggs can last for months...if you don't have a garden, you can get an indoor garden going with trays of micro greens...good luck with this!
Nuts can be stored outside the fridge. Winter squash, root veggies (parsnips, turnips, carrots) and onions & garlic can be stored in any reasonably cool, dark place that's pest proof, even a cardboard box. I would plan to lean more on those stored veggies for weeks 3 & 4. Cabbages should be in season, I find that a whole cabbage can last about 2 weeks. You could also take cabbage (or red cabbages and beets) and make saurkraut (if you have salt), if you've got the space in the fridge for it that can be a good veggie for later in your month. With vinegar you can also pickle turnips & beets together, that's a traditional Armenian side dish. If you have any canning or preservation skills, put them to use... I've even dried beets and used them later in stews and soups.
Fresh stuff, your celery, your beans, your leafy greens should probably be used in the first week, brassicas might last into week two (cauliflower always turns on me early though, watch out). On the leafy greens front... get your turnips & beets with greens on, chop them off and saute them up as a side dish in your first week, two sides for the price of one. Apples should last up at least 3 weeks if treated gently, and if you get oranges up north, those can often go as long as 4 if kept cool... organic oranges can turn moldy fast though so keep an eye on them.
You're in the PNW area, right? Later in the month you might see if you can get down to the docks and get some fresh seafood... probably not worth a regular trip if your FM was open, but it could fill in your protein options.
If you can get a bunch of cabbage and salt you could have tons of homemade sauerkraut in no time, just requires a little elbow grease for the smashing part. We're getting carrots from our CSA right now, if you have access to them there is a great recipe for fermented carrots in "Nourishing Traditions".
Check out the book "Wild Fermentation" too if you want some other fun ideas for food preservation to get you through the "starving times" of late winter with a little less starving and a little more variety.
It might be too late for this season, but perhaps by next year get a chest freezer. It will pay for itself in a month with cheap pastured meat on sale from farmer's market or online - same for frozen CSA/farmer's market veggies. I learned it this year - wish I had done it last year!vI followed this protocol for the following veggies this Fall 2011:
Cabbage, carrots, beets, apples last a month in the fridge - uncut, unwashed, whole Potatoes, sweet potatoes, Garlic Bulbs - 1 month on countertop - whole
Bagging and Tagging Veggies I would wash and let air dry the veggies - they need to be really dry. Then chop or slice in food processor. Then bag in freezer bags trying to minimize air.
I did this for kale, collards, spinach, leeks, carrots, bell peppers, chilies.
I took whole ginger stalks and froze it. When I need it, I peel the skin while half-frozen, put it into my Cuisinart spice grinder and voila! Ginger paste for recipes!
Garlic can be frozen in peeled cloves or paste.
There are many websites dedicated to freezing and storing food.
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