Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stocking Up

Preparing for winter is not only something that squirrels do. People have been known to stock up on occasion also. Everyone has not always had a freezer to pack away food. Before freezers were invented,affordable, or popular, enterprising survivors had other ways of preparing for the lean months. Farm families canned vegetables and fruits in mason jars. They cured pork and beef for consumption during the winter months. Root cellars were stocked with sweet potatoes, white potatoes, turnips, radishes, carrots and other root crops. Corn was dried, shelled from the cob and pounded into corn meal and grits. Before the first frost all remaining tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers and other lingers on were gathered and pickled into a tangy sweet mixture called chow chow that was served as a side dish for the entire winter.

Whenever there is a threat of bad weather the supermarkets are filled to the brim with shoppers who are stocking up. The place is abuzz with talk of not being caught without the staples in the house. Canned goods and packaged goods sell out fast.

I stock up on salmon. I buy over a hundred dollars worth of the smaller cheap ones. According to the experts the smaller younger ones contain less mercury while still supplying the essential omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. The young fish is washed and cut into meal size pieces. The salmon is seasoned and frozen. Lunches and dinners are much healthier and easier when these packets are simply removed from the freezer and baked in a preheated oven with sweet potatoes. Planning for delicious, low salt meals is a cinch, because it is already well marinated in healthy herbs and spices.

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