"And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth." – Raymond Carver
Holy Harvest Batman!
One of things I am obsessed with is learning how folks store their recently preserved goods and other pantry staples, especially when they have to get creative and don’t just have a traditional walk-in pantry. (Pinterest rocks my world, in other words…)
In our city house, we had to get pretty clever with our limited space, and here in our farmhouse, while we don’t have a formal pantry, there was so much leftover built-in shelving after doing our kitchen remodel that I’d been experimenting for the past year in how I wanted it to look. And the breakfast nook (not currently used for eating breakfast) has become my pantry paradise – not just for all the goodies I can / dehydrate / etc., but also for all the appliances.
To give you an idea, BELOW is how the pantry wall looked when we moved in. Bad paint effects, giant galloping horse stickers, and ORANGE glass on the faux ‘country oak’ (a theme throughout the house) cabinet doors and yeah, the two doors with cowboy boots on them. It was horrifying. And what’s not pictured? The icky, grease-covered accordion-style vinyl “door” separating it from the kitchen. Ew ew ew! Luckily everything got donated that I deconstructed – nothing to the landfill – as there’s something for everyone I’ve learned in my years.
And after several layers of paint (we used locally made MetroPaint made completely from recycled paint), shelves I made from scrap wood and old Ikea wood brackets from our last house that I also painted and repurposed, we now have this:
I constantly go back and forth as to if I want to eventually build some basic doors for the lower section, but it’s more for aesthetics than functionality. Because the fact is, can you imagine going into a walk-in pantry and having to open and close doors over and over? So while this is exposed, and therefore requires utter neatness, I love how accessible everything is.
Our pantry (which would double as a breakfast nook if we had another table, haha) is on the north side of the house, which means it is totally out of the afternoon sun and stays nice and cool – perfect for both the canning jars and the prosciutto that hangs from the ceiling on the opposite side of the room (in May 2020 it will be at the 15 month mark when we plan to slice it for our 6th anniversary).
Here’s some more detail on how it’s organized:
So with that, here’s the list of fresh things we preserved in one way or another this year. Not nearly enough on the marinara side, but I’m pretty stoked with our first year’s harvest on the new farmstead, as my expectations were definitely low as we acclimated…
SALSAS: peach-serrano, and a smoky one from the Tasty ‘n’ Sons cookbook
SAUCES: Marinara, Blueberry chipotle hot sauce, applesauce, pear-chai butter.
DRIED: sundried tomatoes, apple chips, ranch carrots,
FROZEN: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, carrots, peas, pesto…this which joins our existing annual share of Iliamna’s wild salmon, our soon-to-be-processed heirloom chickens, and the half-pig we’re picking up tomorrow in Portland (due to everyone in our area wanting to skin rather than scald/scrape their pigs, we ended up ordering one from our favorite butcher in Portland…more costly but until we have the infrastructure to raise our own, this is what we’re doing for now).
Whew ! So that’s where we are folks! I’m out of canning jars so not sure if I want to buy more to deal with these last dozen or so apples I’d forgotten about, or what. Hmm. Considering fruit leather which I’ve not made in several years, mmm…
How’d your harvests turn out this year?
PS – if you’re curious about any brands, fruit/veg varieties planted, techniques, etc., let me know! Happy to share 🙂