Get Through the Produce!

I have 100 pounds+ of carrots, potatoes, and onions on our garden cart waiting for me to haul them in and start processing. Part of it will be sold to a neighbor and friend, but I will still have a lot to deal with.

Are you sensing a pattern here? I tend to acquire way too much of almost anything and then have to whittle it down to a reasonable quantity.

With food I’m not sure what that quantity is? Buying this stuff in bulk seems to make way more sense to me than having to go out in a snowstorm in January for onions.

Not sure what the balance is or how you get there, but I’m thinking mightily about it! At one point, I decided I wanted the current thing I’m using and one back. Unfortunately, with carrots, etc. that doesn’t work very well if you’re trying to avoid that trip in a snowstorm. Also, I’m cheap, so I like the idea of buying the stuff for cheap. But… it’s a huge logisitical problem when I get a slug o’ stuff like this!

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The carrots are all inside and sorted by size. I have two 2# bags set aside, one each for the neighbor and friend.

Need to get the rest of the carrots put away, then start on the onions.

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I quoted my neighbor/friend the price and asked them to let me know what they think they want?

That way I won’t scramble to store more than I’m actually going to keep.

I also need to know because I have a tentaive order for more onions set up for 2 weeks from now, and I have to let the farm know if I need them, or not.

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You made me realize I have an admittedly much more manageable quantity of carrots to eat.

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Always glad to be of service.

The carrots are dealt with. Onto the onions!

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It’s done! Boy am I tired…

There’s overflow of everything.

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I am dreaming about sitting in a warm bath. But, while I was finishing up, my BIL called, and we don’t talk enough, so, right now I’m dreaming instead of steaming.

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As a fellow bulk buyer, I’m quite interested in seeing your process for storage and use over long periods of time!

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Two 1.5 pint jars added to freezer. The worst of the carrots, onions, and potatoes are being dealt with today. The carrots and onions have been cleaned and made into sticks or slices, so they can be chopped or used as needed. One jar is mini carrot sticks, the other is mixed carrots/onion/celery, separated into 1C bits.

I may make carrot juice or soup or ? Haven’t decided. Sauteed onions are also on my horizon. After I deal with all of that, potatoes. Probably potato salad, it will also use a little of the celery. Then I can start cooking the other onion mixes: spiced onions, onions & rice.

Then I’m done. Several hours and pounds of veg away still.

I was originally supposed to go to the storage and talk to the bookstore today. DH had another agenda item and that’s picking up his car, if it’s finished. It would be more efficient, less wear and tear on our cars, if I go in the loaner to pick it up on my own, today. As I also have all the produce to deal with, I’d already decided that I really couldn’t just go galloping off to the storage (no room for more anyway) and show up at the bookstore. Having to go the other way, about 45 minutes away, just isn’t rational. I’d have to leave home, travel 1/2 hour one way, then about 1.25 hour another and .75 hour home. Hmmm no.

There was a time in my life I would have done that without thinking about it much, but my time is too stretched as it is, to spend that much time traveling? No.

So, more of the produce is dealt with in its final format.

Tonight’s lunch or dinner is spaghetti squash and some sauce, not tomato based. I don’t have enough tomatoes as it is. Onion gravy maybe? Dunno.

I need to call the garage and see if the car is ready, or not.

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Ha, I am here for this! {eyes 3 gallon bags of garden tomatoes in my freezer that are in need of canning}.

I do a lot better keeping the produce load manageable since the cheap produce market here closed down. I would come home with buckets of whatever was on sale, it was SO cheap. But I also, uh, have a gallon bag of shredded garden carrots in the freezer. I did not grow carrots this year so that tells you how old they are. I don’t know that I am ever going to get through those…

So, like, for the onions are you chopping and freezing? Chopping, cooking, and freezing? Pressure canning?

Onions: kept whole/stored for winter, should be enough to get us through April, I hope. I ran out last year in December.

Carrots and Potatoes: same as above, but I have lousy luck with root cellaring anything.

I cook “stewed” tomatoes in the summer: tomatoes, onion, a little green crunch (celery or bell pepper). Cooked just enough to get steamy. Frozen in quarts. I use this + herb mixes to make Italian, savory, curry, Mexican, or oriental dishes thru April again. I have enough tomatoes to last, if I use them 1 every other week.

I also freeze salsa verde and the onion mixtures. The salsa is done for the season. I also freeze Anaheim chilis. Canned chilis used to be cheap. Then they got to be around $1 for the same thing I’d bought for .50 for a long time and I said, “Nope!” the CSA we belong to has Anaheims, I’ll just freeze them, and that’s what I do. I wash/stem/seed them and freeze those in quarts too, about 3 every fall.

This year, I’m freezing mirepoix too. I have some already in the freezer and just added 1.5 pints more.

I have to cut this short, I have to go check on the onions I’m carmelizing downstairs!

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The onions I’m cooking will be used for lunch with the spaghetti squash (it’s bruised so has to be used ASAP).

I turned them into what I call spiced onions. Original recipe is from Eugenia Bone, onions & marjoram. I mod’ed it of course to suit us. I’d forgotten she serves it on pasta. Since I need to use up that squash, that’s lunch and I’ll make up another batch for the freezer.

Eugenia Bone cookbooks: Kitchen Ecosystem and Well-Preserved. Pretty sure the onion recipe is in both. I have both and get confused. I know it’s in WP as that’s what’s on my table right now… not sure where the other book is hiding?

Note: I checked. The recipe is only in WP.

I don’t can. I dry some herbs, but not veggies. I don’t use a pressure cooker/instant pot either, although I have an early one, a “waterless cookers” which I use every now and then to cook an entire meal in one pot, usually chicken. Chicken on the bottom in the big pot, veggies on the rack in the smaller containers.

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Did something I’ve been putting off: I dealt with the end of the hot peppers. Ended up with a 1.5 pint jar, about 1/2 jalapenoes, about 1/2 other, mixed, hot peppers. It’s in the freezer. Now I can use the stuff instead of just go by it and feel guilty.

The only thing I’m sure of is that we’re having a carrot something for a side dish for dinner. Beyond that? I just don’t know, maybe onion soup. The fridge is literally stuffed full. I had to take a jar of old, supermarket past it peppers out of the fridge to put in the small bag of rainbow carrots. It’s packed!

Problem is, onion soup won’t unstuff the fridge any. We had spiced onions for lunch on the spaghetti squash, don’t want to really do onions, again.

Okay, menu: Curried celery soup and grilled cheese with the carrots.

That will work. I have celery, but not so much I’m drowning in it. I’ll make the carrots, then the soup. No protein in any of it except maybe broth in the soup (not sure), so the sandwiches. Maybe I’ll enlist DH to make the sandwiches. Depends on what’s up when he gets off work.

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We had the soup, etc., but DH opted for thawing/heating rolls I’d bought instead of cheese sandwiches. Since he was going to make it, I had no objection!

We had roasted veggies for brunch this morning: cauliflower, potatoes, onion, bell pepper, and celery. It was good and there’s a tiny bit left.

Today’s lunch-dinner is left overs. There’s the end of all sorts of things in the fridge. I will probably also make a general vegetable soup and freeze it, as there’s just so much at the moment. A dump run also needs to be made, although the compost heap has been getting the veggie debris.

I didn’t cook the lentils I need to to make the last of the onion bases for the freezer, which is the spiced onions + lentils (or rice). It’s good with other beans (usually canned) added or meat on/in it, even just a tiny bit. It’s one of my “go to’s” for LO meats as I know it’s yummy and is a complete protein, no matter how much meat I add to it. It’s also good all by itself, maybe adding a bit more turkey Better than Bullion, which I use in the onions.

My storage is still overflowing. Until I get the bag of ✓onions, potatoes, and bin of carrots off the floor of my pantry, I’ll consider that I still have too much.

For a long time, I had wire baskets (they were supposed to be trashcans) I bought on sale at Pier One. They had half-circle handles and I hung them. I had 2 big ones and a small one. They held my onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. They got ratty, and started falling apart, so I ditched them and bought traditional baskets from Fine Nordic. I still have those, but they wouldn’t hang where the old ones had, as they aren’t cylinders, but lower in front. Raining produce is not a feature I wanted, so I moved the baskets. The Fine Nordic baskets also don’t hold as much as the others did. They’re better for us in our dotage (now, sort of), but I need more storage.

For years I had wooden crates I used for root cellaring. I put veggies in newspaper, sand, or wood shavings. The wood shavings worked best, but still didn’t work as well as I wanted. I got rid of the crates and haven’t replaced them. That’s a problem because it was how I stored the overflow from the daily baskets.

So, my daily. baskets are smaller and my backup storage hasn’t been replaced, except by a freezer. It’s a problem I have NOT solved. The only answer I can see is to use the stuff up/cook it, or partially prep it and freeze it ASAP.

I’m open to ideas?

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Oh man, hot peppers are my absolute least favorite thing to deal with. Good for you! I have a freezer jar of them too.

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A month or so ago, I got a bushel of onions to make onions strings with. The pics I took were taken 9/27. I have 2. I just had to cut 6 onions from them. Three to get at soft ones, and 3 soft ones on the 2 strings. They’re both looking rather ragged now, but that’s okay. I’d rather ragged than rotten!

So, I guess something with onion strings is to check them for onions going soft every 2 weeks. Who knew? I haven’t used them because I had enough, except right after I got them made, and I’ve frankly wanted to keep them til last. I guess that isn’t going to happen, that way.

I got up this morning thinking about potato pancakes, potato soup, roasted veggies with garlic, etc. so the plan is to go to the market first thing this morning and get milk and eggs and newspapers, so I can make Cider Muffins (what DH says we need to make, the cider is getting fizzy), and roasted veggie hash and/or roasted veg for the freezer.

Didn’t make the hash, will today. Made cheese soup which was yummy but expensive, used 1 lb of cheddar :heavy_dollar_sign: :astonished:

Delivered produce to a friend I don’t see often enough, we had a good, long chat. I stayed masked and that was fine with her. Hurrah!

Then went to the discount store and bought various pantry foods. I went for jam, didn’t buy any of that, but I bought chia seeds, vinegar, quinoa, etc. all shelf stable stuff.

Then I took a short drive on the way home, came home, cleaned the incoming groceries.

I will finish up the garlic salt and sauteed onions I started before I left. Also roast the veggies I meant to yesterday.

The toasted veggies and some rice or quinoa or millet or ? will be tonight’s dinner.

DH and I were talking about pizza over the weekend. This is a tomato week. I could take the quart of tomatoes, add a slug of Italian herbs, and some parm, and make pizza for dinner. Wouldn’t be tonight. Haven’t decided. My ancient, twitchy tummy has decided that it hates all commercial pizza these days. Even white ones, which I used to be able to eat, sigh. Actually, it has decided that it hates almost all prefab foods, which means I either have to cook ahead or just cook almost every night.

Ah well, it’s better than being up all night and in pain!

There are reasons, other than financial, I started getting bulk produce. Being up/down all night and in agony makes time spent in the kitchen much easier to deal with.

I always said I didn’t want to do cooking marathons. I still feel that way. But it’s necessary, so I do it anyway!

DH said he’d rather have steamed potatoes with the cheese soup as a sauce for dinner, so that’s what we’re having!

The salt is ready to bottle. The apples/cider is cooking down, slowly to apple butter or sauce or whatever you want to call it. I always called it apple butter, but kept being corrected because I don’t add anything to it, so it was apple sauce not butter. WHATEVER!

So, the potatoes are steaming away, the apple ___ is simmering, and the garlic salt is settling. The dishwasher is going. The laundry (rags) is out of the dryer.

To do? Make the bed, set the table. Serve/eat dinner. Then other kitchen clean up.

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Finished up the apple stuff this morning. It’s bottled and the pot is washed. The sauteed onions were packaged and put in the freezer.

Went off to bookstore, storage, 2nd hand shop,
market. Gave away 2 boxes of books, 1/2 was just a donation, the other 1.5 boxes was a payment for a new umbrella stand/tin bucket thing.

I’m good with trading 1.5 boxes of stuff I can’t sell for almost anything for something that fills a need: concealed, big enough and not huge, waterproof storage for umbrellas, walking sticks and canes, in and out of season. :clap:

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Got up this morning and made a batch of Mexican bulgar. I used to make this as alternative to ground beef for tacos, etc. Recently found 2 jars of bulgar I need to use up + all the veggies = make more!

I liked this well enough that we’ll probably have tostados or tacos for lunch and then I’ll freeze the extra.

Also in my plans today, a layered casserole.

The not-exciting or fun part of the day, but necessary: a trip (or two) to the dump.

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