Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning the Fruit Room



This week I have not been cooking much instead I have been spring cleaning in my food storage room.  It is important to go through organize and inventory your food storage occasionally.  I prefer to do it in the spring before I get busy in the garden and in the kitchen canning. I do have to say that this did not take me as long as I was dreading.  I sorted, threw out the bad, washed the empty jar, and made new labels in about an hour and a half.  The best part is now I am excited for this summers harvest.

Spring Cleaning home canned fruits and vegetables
1.        Inspecting all of my home canned fruits and vegetables.  Throwing away anything that looks funny, is old, or we just didn’t like.  For example;
a.       This raspberry jam is just from last summer but it looks funny.  It should be dark read but it is cloudy and kind of white.  I am not going to feed anything to my family that is questionable. So the weird looking jam got tossed.

Yes this is supposed to be raspberry jam but it should not look like this.
b.      A little while ago I had a crazy idea.  I decided to grow garden huckleberries and then make jam out of them.  They were awesome to grow and all ripened at the same time so were great for making jam.  Too bad the jam was terrible.  Needless to say the jam got tossed.
c.       I love apricots and as I was cleaning out my food storage room I saw that there were a couple of bottles of canned apricots that we had not eaten from two years ago.  Awesome I thought.  Until I got them upstairs and really looked at them.  The apricots had started to deteriorate and turn a funky brown.  So instead of eating them we tossed them.
2.        Making New labels.  The good news is that my oldest can now read.  I love it.  When I send him down to the food storage he can read the labels on things and bring up the correct thing.  Too bad that home preserved fruits and vegetables don’t have labels.  I solved the problem by creating new labels and stapling them to my wood shelves.  I did move things around so that the things I send him down to get are at a level where he can reach them.   The labels I used are from  It’s a crafty life at http://itsacraftylife.blogspot.com/2010/12/ready-to-go.html.  I use these labels all the time.  I love them because you can download them and then in word add whatever text you and  then print them out.  Awesome!   I do love the updated labels. You can tell from this photo that my old labels were somewhat lacking. 
The old labels.  I made them when we were moving in and they are well just barley functional.

Don't you love the new labels?  I do.
3.       Inventory what we have used up already and need to make more of next year (HOT salsa, and grape juice are already totally gone and I’m down to just one or two bottles of chili sauce and mustard pickles). 
4.       I also have been thinking about what I made too much of last year.  Sigh I love to make jam. I always make way more jam then my family eats.  Maybe I should start giving it away as gifts.  I also I like to see what we need to be eating more of.  I LOVE the apple sauce that I have been making the last couple of years. Last year we had eaten it all my Christmas so this year I have been using it sparingly.  But it looks like we are doing okay I still have quite a few jars of apples sauce so I think we can eat it a little more often.


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