You work hard all season to grow healthy food, then you scramble to store the excess in your trusty cold cellar. Then spring comes along a few weeks early and tries to rot the last of your hard won apples. That food could be standing between you and the starvation of your children, since the first spring crops won’t be ready for harvest for another few weeks. What’s a prepper to do?
Save what you can – Take a good look at what is salvagable. Usually there’s some part that can be saved if steps are taken. If your onions are sprouting, eat the bigger ones first, they’re the most likely to sprout. If your onions are molding, find the ones that are still good and dry them. Dried onion bits are great in DIY dry soup mixes. Even if you’re throwing out more than you’d like to, keep checking the stores and cull out the bad. Everything else will last a little longer with those “bad apples” gone. Do try to send the culls through the compost pile or worm bin or chickens, to reclaim some of the lost vitamins/minerals.
Get creative with the preservation – Apples that are wrinkling can be dried further in a dehydrator. They can also be cooked into sauces and syrups. Garlic that is sprouting too fast can be diced and stored in oil, or planted in the garden and encouraged to grow, they can be tasty early greens, or if they do really well, they can set bulbs. Potatoes can be dried and made into DIY hamburger helper. (Recipes here)
Have fun with it – When we were faced with the last couple of butternut squash, neither hubby or I was interested in ANY more winter squash. But, we knew our budget would be happier if we buckled down, so we surfed online for something different, and came up the best dish we’d had all winter. (Carmelized butternut squash, all butter and brown sugar and cinnamon.) Trying something different with the old standby storage staples can ease the appetite fatigue that can set in as you try to polish off whatever was prolific and about to spoil.
We’re eating potatoes and onions in every meal right now. What are you trying to eat up? Need any new meal suggestions?
– Calamity Jane