Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pantry Spring Clean

I need to clean out my larder.

That sounds a little gross doesn’t it? Maybe it’s because the word “lard” is in larder and images of globs-o-grease come to mind. A larder is any storage space used to keep food for a long time, usually a cool space in the basement or cellar. These were big before the days of electric refrigeration, but not so much today. Most people go to the grocery store and keep fresh food week-to-week in the refrigerator or in their kitchen pantry. There weren’t any “leftovers” in the old days either.

For those who home preserve, a larder is a place where you keep your canned goods, which just so happens to be that most people do this in the basement. Not too many people have room for 80 quarts of tomato sauce in their kitchen or pantry, so down to the basement they go. It’s also best to keep home-canned goods in a cool space because the rubber seals could weaken in a hot environment.

For me, I turned a small storage closed in my kitchen into a canning pantry. I guess you’d call it my larder since I don’t have any other place I keep my canned goods for now, plus I find that I’m more apt to use what I have when I can see it every day. I’m on the low side of canned goods, as last year’s canning season was a bust due to us buying a house and moving. But this year….THIS year I have big plans. I plan to make additional shelving in the basement for the overflow that will inevitably happen.

In the meantime, I need to cull out the items I’ve canned a year or so ago that we haven’t liked. I’m also doing this to make space for the following goodies I have my eye on for this year:

Salted Cranberry Grapefruit Jam – Doesn’t this just sound amazing!

Fire Roasted Tomatoes – Every year I can tons of sauce and plain pureed tomatoes, so this would be a perfect addition.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars – Another great use for all those jars of jam!

Annie’s Salsa – A staple and we never seem to have enough. Last year I only made ONE batch.

Beekman 1802 Blaak Onion Jam – Onion jams are so versatile and this just sounds so complex and delicious.

Pickle Quest 2013 – A never-ending story…last year’s batch of fermented pickles went bad before I could put them up (due to the move). We still have jars from 2011 and they weren’t crisp. FOILED AGAIN!

Roasted Red Pepper Spread – AMAZING with goat cheese, some crackers, and a bottle of wine. Sigh.

Pickled Pepperoncinis – My husband loves these, but for some reason I’ve never made them. That will change…oh, yes.

Quick Pickled Fennel with Orange – In the past two years, I’ve decided that I LOVE fennel. I think this recipe would be fantastic if you mixed it with some shredded cabbage for coleslaw.

Habanero Gold Jelly – Another favorite I haven’t made in eons.


Clara Ortiz said...

Hey awesome! I am new to canning and just stumbled upon your blog after I googled "What should i be canning right now?" Keep it up!

Clara Ortiz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just the Right Size said...


Thanks for stopping by! March is the time where I typically start prepping for the canning projects to come.

Have fun; you're going to love canning!


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