When She Got There, The Cupboards Were Bare: Assessing Your Larder

How’s your larder looking? Mine is pretty spartan. This is a great time of year to assess your larder and see what you’ve eaten tons of and what hasn’t been a hit. If you make some notes now about what your family really eats, before the furor of canning season comes upon us, there’s a good chance you won’t repeat the great blackberry molasses incident of 2009. (Or was that just me? It turns out there is less use for blackberry molasses than you might think when you are enthusiastically making 18 half-pint jars.)

Here’s where my larder is sitting…scroll down for a free downloadable to help you jot down notes for your own inventory assessment.

Pantry

The pantry looks downright sad these days. The canned peaches? Gone. Pears? Gone. The canned tomatoes: one quart left, and I’m hoarding it for a special occasion. Tomato sauce – gone. Bruschetta-in-a-jar: two measly half-pints left.

Note the single quart of canned tomatoes in the far right corner.

All the dried fruit – plums, peaches, pears, apricots: gone. The only thing left are the dried tomatoes and a small bag of dried cherries.

Jams are still fairly well represented. Yet again my enthusiasm to make jam overreached my enthusiasm to feed the sweet stuff to my family. (My kids would certainly have eaten more if I let them; “JAM!” was one of Oliver’s first declarations.)

We're making a good dent in the Peach Mango Salsa. I made lots last year.

Mostly, my pantry holds store bought stuff at the moment. I’m rarely in danger of running out of standard store bought condiments and bulk-buy items like beans, rice and oatmeal.

Cannot run out of Green Tabasco or Sriracha.

Beans and rice on hand: a different sort of insurance plan

Freezer

The freezers (I have two) are each about 1/3rd full and it is on my to-do list for this week to dig through what’s languishing in there and consolidate the contents into one mostly-full, re-organized freezer so I can unplug the other until it’s next needed.

The fruit is all but gone, except for my lazy-girl peaches. The blueberries went first. Oliver could eat a pound a day.

These shelves used to be full of frozen berries.

The salmon is down to just a few filets, we’ve got one chicken, no lamb and little beef. I have pounds and pounds of ground pork, though. I’m thinking a lot of Asian-style lettuce wraps with seasoned ground pork are in our future this summer. I still have some game because I tend to save elk, boar, duck, venison and the like for special occasions.

Lots of pork and a chicken

A single jar of pesto awesome-sauce will have to last me until the basil comes on again.

Cellar

I finished off the last of the lacto-fermented salsa early this month. I lost a bunch of my sauerkraut to scary mold and the LF dilly beans are but a long distant memory.

The remaining winter squashes are in good shape but I have come to the conclusion that smaller-frame winter squashes like delicata and butternut and buttercup are far more manageable for us to store and use than the big boys like the hubbards and kuris.I have also found the flavor of orange and green hubbards I was so excited to buy last fall to be consistently disappointing.

Onions are long gone, potato harvest was a joke last year and the last of the garlic was tossed out a week ago, too soft and dusty to be used.

Empty jars waiting for their 2012 moment of glory

Lessons Learned

Looking objectively at what’s left here in late-Spring, as we approach the end of larder-eating season, I note the following things:

  • Anything tomato based, savory or pickled goes fast in my house.
  • Dried, frozen and light-syrup canned fruit goes fast too.
  • Jams, compotes, syrups and other dessert preserves are lovely to look at and make excellent gifts but do not get eaten at so furious a pace.
  • Although I adore lacto-fermented pickled products, I should also do vinegar/brined, water-bath canned pickles, kraut, green beans, etc. to have those yummies on hand in the deep on winter, after the lacto-fermented stuff is gone or has gotten so strong that only I will eat it.
  • One cannot ever have enough basil pesto in the freezer.
  • One can very easily have too much shredded zucchini in the freezer.
  • I’ll be sticking to proven winter squash winners like Waltham’s Butternut in the future.
  • Stock is piling up. I make stock and freeze it in gallon ziplock bags. The minor inconvenience of attempting to break the ziplock bag away from all the other ziplock bags that it has perma-frosted too and then thawing the stock is often enough to keep my lazy ass from using it. Investing in a pressure canner to can stocks that are ready to go right from the pantry would likely induce me to use more of my nice homemade broth. This is something to investigate.

Downloadable Larder Assessment Sheets

Want to do your own larder assessment? Well, the simple way to assess is to just look at your food. What are you eating, what are you not. What do you forget you have, what can you use up?

But sometimes it’s fun to have a chart to help with this kind of stuff. You get to feel all official about your home management. If you’re into that kind of thing, I’ve put together a set of Larder Assessment sheets to help you remember what you need to make more of next year. There are three long-format charts, one each for the Pantry, Freezer and Cellar zones of food preservation. There is a forth sheet that combines all three zones onto one sheet.

Larder Assessment Sheets are available for free download on the Downloadables page. Feel free to use them as casually or as formally as you like. For example, you may opt to not list every type of jam you made. Something like:

Jam  |  Made Lots  |  Most Left  |  No More Til We Use It Up!

or

Whole Tomatoes  |  24 Qt  |  Gone  |  Double

is just as valid as super detailed notes. Don’t let perfect become the enemy of a little better when you’re thinking about this season’s preservation plan.

Do you take inventory of your provisions? What food preservation thing will you be doing differently this year?

Battling Mulch Mountain at the Chicken Coop Door
Giveaway: Mother Earth News Fair Weekend Passes

Comments

  1. Very interesting and helpful post Erica…I too have far too much jam, syrup and sweet chutneys and though we like squash, I had far too many of them last year. We’re really low on anything tomato based as well and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve had to buy a lot more of our greens from the shop in recent days.

    Do you place freeze your broth in a baggie in a sauce-pan first? If you do it that way you can pop it out of the pan when it’s frozen and it stacks really easily in the freezer. To defrost it you can pop it into the same pan (with a little water at the bottom) to heat it up slightly before popping it out of the bag.

    • Deborah Aldridge says:

      I freeze my broth like that! I didn’t know anyone else did that. I “stack” a lot of stuff in the freezer. I always break up big packs of ground meat into 1-lb packs, which fit exactly into a 1-qt freezer bag. I put it in in a ball, then smash it as flat as I can get it. I can stack about 8 of them on my bottom shelf. Same with chicken legs (I love them!) when they’re on BOGO. 4 legs fit exactly into a 1-qt. bag, so I freeze them stacked up.

  2. We have lots of miscellaneous jam left, plum, apricot, peach, but absolutely zero raspberry or blackberry. The staples went a little too quickly. Opposite on the canned fruit, still a few jars of pears and apple sauce left. We will probably be right on schedule when the fall comes.

    This year shall be known as the great pickle shortage 2012, in which I rationed out like war time, despite many many requests from friends and family. Christmas, Christmas, wait for Christmas has been my only promise.

    I have so many more canning plans this year! Not just pickles, but tomato products galore, including ketchup, and salsa. And I need to about triple my stash of frozen berries.

    BTW – we freeze our broth in leftover containers, usually quart yogurt or cottage cheese. Then you can pop the whole broth-sicle into the pot for quick thawing. We go through it pretty quickly though, so I’m never worried about freezer burn. Pressure canning seems like a lot of work for broth!

  3. Last year tomatoes took over our house and we still have many gallon sized bags of whole tomatoes in the freezer. Freezing them whole as they come off the vine is easy when you’re busy and tired. I had intended to only freeze them long enough to not be overwhelmed by the harvest, then can them in to sauce, salsa, etc. Didn’t happen. Now getting a bag out and cooking it down is sometimes a pain in the butt that I avoid. This year, we’ve scaled back to just 8 tomato plants, and with one less deep freeze right now, I don’t plan for any of this year’s tomatoes to be frozen.

    When the second deep freeze bit the dust, we lost a portion of our venison, so now we are almost out of red meat in the freezer. We still have pork, but are getting low enough that a lot of it is “seasoning meat” — hocks, jowl, etc. But there’s one loin roast, two hams and some sausage left; unfortunately, the sausage is too hot for Kat to eat. I was surprised that you still have ground pork in your freezer. It was the first of our hog to be depleted.

    We have one turkey, and several pounds of spoonbill (fish) in there, too. On further consideration, we should be able to make it through the summer easily, until it’s time to buy another hog and hunt more deer.

    I don’t have a lot left in the home canning department. A jar or two of pickled beets, some pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas. Canned spoonbill. A couple of jars of pickles from 2010. I don’t even bother with jelly or jam, because we don’t eat enough of it to be worth my effort.

  4. Much as I love making lists, I’ve found that I much prefer reorganizing my shelves by month. That is, instead of storing all my jams together, I put equal amounts of jam on shelves that are marked “September”, “October”, etc. Ditto for soup broth, tomato sauce, etc. Similarly, I used pillowcases in my freezer to divide my bulk-purchased meats into roughly month-sized groupings. This was the first year I did it, but I’m loving it. I have a bunch of jam left over, too, but in general things worked out much more evenly this year.

    I will soon be making lists, however, of all that’s left in the big chest freezer. I find that one last list helps me clean it out so I can turn it off for a few months each summer. Even then, though, I try to assign everything a date to eat it. A different kind of larder assessment! Thanks for the reminder that I ought to get busy on this.

    • What a fascinating organization strategy! Thank you for sharing – I can absolutely see how that would even out the usage of things over the course of the year. Something to consider.

    • Miser, wow, that’s a great idea.

      Erica, I’m starting to work through creating a calendar of what is in season when, not to determine what to eat when, but what to preserve when. It’s almost strawberry season, so I think I’ll try to buy bulk soon, but rather than put it all into jam, I’m going to try to apportion some whole for smoothies, and some for strawberry-rhubarb. And, for tomato season, I want to buy a hundred pounds … but in smaller portions to process some for salsa, some for ketchup, some for sauce, so I can make a year’s worth of ketchup at one time, then the next weekend all of the sauce base. Etc. etc. My brain is percolating ideas right now ….

      • Hi Grace! You might check out Annette’s calendar at sustainable eats. She has a rough outline of her preserving and other tasks. http://www.sustainableeats.com/category/seasonal-calendar/

        I would LOVE to see your finished calendar when you are done. :)

      • We’ve been working on a calendar, too! This has been our first full year here, and last year may not have been representative, though, so I do plan to revise it over time. The crappy part is that seasonal calendars are so…well, local. Most folks are eating rhubarb by now, but mine is only now beginning to push up leaves (zone 2 and all). Regardless, the calendar is awesome, because you can tell at a glance what you should be thinking about picking/processing that month, and can plan ahead, to a degree; we’ve changed some of our planting dates (peas, wax beans, and onions) to try to move their picking times out of ‘high season’ for everything else…

    • I love this idea! I think it would work brilliantly for us as we tend to go in waves of eating lots of meat or lots of beans, etc and then it’s quickly all gone! Sometimes self-regulation has to be planned out a bit ;-)

  5. Arrianne says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I started using your freezer inventory sheets and they’ve been a huge help.
    This year I’ll be doing no pickles, no one but me seems to eat them! I want to dry more of my harvest this year. I did a trial run last year, drying all the extra vegis from the garden we couldn’t eat fast enough and just mixing all the random bits and pieces together in a sealed jar. I used that to make a few Minestrone type soups that winter. Took up less space than jars and was much easier and cooler in the kitchen.

  6. I too made jars and jars of molasses (pomegranate) and have more left than I anticipated. Turns out the kids like it better mixed with bubbly water to make a “soda”, and it’s a lot easier to freeze the juice than to make molasses so I’ll do more freezing next season. Totally agree with you on the pesto! I thought I had lots of that frozen, but we make so much pizza here that it was gone within a couple of months. Will do lots more this time around. Have you ever made Chocolate Zucchini Cake? That’s how I tend to use the extra shredded zukes in the freezer.

  7. I am 1 week away from being out of canned pears, which means I’m 1 week away from epic toddler meltdowns. Going to have to double my canning next year – 4 huge boxes. UGH. Ran out of applesauce 2 weeks ago, so looks like I need to can 6 huge boxes this year.

    Turns out we don’t really care for canned peaches, so I’m just going to freeze 1 box using your “skin on” method. Score. I hate canning peaches.

    Diced tomatoes are holding strong, and I’ll need to make some chicken stock soon.

  8. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been using your freezer inventory method and loving it. I pressure can all of our stock so that it doesn’t take up much needed freezer space. It is a pain, but if I do it in a combo of half-pint, pint, and quart jars then I can always grab a little for wilting veggies, or a lot for soup. The new thing a friend turned me on to this year was to make veggie stock when I’m blanching favas. We now use the blanching water and the little fava skins with all our other stock goodies for a much richer veggie stock.

  9. We should barter! I’ve been out of jam for a few months and getting by with repurposing some bland pear sauce into pear butter. Pesto didn’t go over so great with my crew. I have that and pickled beets(water bath canned). I have some freezer tupperware I bought at Fred Meyer that I keep my stock in. Makes it go fast. Never really leaves the kitchen freezer because I go through it so fast.

  10. So, we ate most of our jam. :) Our blueberries are now gone, too, as is the applesauce and I thought I had made a ton of that (I even got a crate of apples in January and made more… it still wasn’t enough!) Great post and I love the printables. I did a good assessment of everything I put by last year at the end of the winter, but not in such an organized way. I took that and made a plan for this year, which I hope to start following soon.

  11. Canned broth – Yes – and easy. It’s a leftover product from pressure cooking down the meat/game bones, and when I am done canning the meat/game, then I can the broth. I have deer, elk, and goose, and home grown turkey broth canned at the moment….grab a jar and go :) I usually can them in quarts. The canner is already out, so there is little extra work except washing up extra jars, and the dishwasher does that for me :)

    I have 3 pressure canners – 23 qt, 26 qt, and a new one this year that is tiny and handy – will can 4 quarts or 6 pints… and sometimes that is all I have available to can. The two big ones I also use for pressure cooking the bones down after butchering – especially next bones from cow, deer, and elk.

    My jams are on an every other year basis as are my pickles and relishes and corn, oh, and tuna. Just seems to be easier for me that way, even tho it is more at once.

  12. Fruit….there is never enough frozen fruit. Or tomatoes. It doesn’t matter how much I preserve, I am always out by mid-winter. I had too many fridge pickles- but mainly because they are at the back of the fridge.

  13. Ummmm… is that *Ginger Peach Jam* I see? And… Uhhhh… Whole cherries in Grand Marnier?

  14. Deborah Aldridge says:

    Everyone seems to be assessing their stockpile right now. This is the third article I’ve seen today! I guess this is the time everyone’s winter stores run out. I’m restocking my non-perishables too, because I just didn’t have any room before, living in one tiny room. On June 1, my roommate leaves and I get the large room with the walk-in closet and huge bathroom, so I can start stockpiling again…just in time for hurricane season! It’s been rough sticking to my food budget without stockpiling. I can’t wait to start again.

  15. Thanks for this reminder. Definitely need more canned peaches and pears and homemade tomato sauce. Long, long gone. Cranberry sauce? That stuff will be around forever.

    I do HIGHLY recommend getting a pressure canner and canning your own stock. More energy efficient than freezing and SO convenient. I’ve been planning for years to collect turkey carcasses after Thanksgiving from all my friends and coworkers who don’t make their own stock and can ridiculous amounts of it all at once (giving them each a jar or two in gratitude for saving their trash for me) but somehow have never gotten around to it.

  16. Wow, that is a super impressive home-preserved pantry! Last year was my first time doing any real serious food preservation, so my efforts were quite a bit smaller. I’m definitely looking forward to making more this year. Tomato sauce was by far the biggest hit at our house–I bet I could quintuple the amount of tomatoes and we’d still eat them all. I’m looking forward to trying out more pickles, plum jam, and dried fruit next year. Now all I need to do is build a dehydrator… :)

  17. Tanaya Ropp says:

    My freezer was empty almost two months ago, sad to say, but I did take the time to clean it out and even unplugged it for now.

    I found a trick to keep my Ziplock bags from needing the jaws of life to remove them, I lay them flat in a large cookie sheet ’til frozen them place them where I’d like. I try to leave a level spot near the top of my freezer for doing this.

  18. oh you are making me homesick! wait, joy! I am going home in a week and half, where i can use such items as larder downloads.
    really, i think this issue cannot be overstated. using up the food we work so hard for and value so much involves some real organization. freezers are my pet peeve. the kind who’s bottom half is Never Seen Again.
    hey, i don’t know if you ever read Remedial Eating. i love it, some find it trite. but she just posted a delicious looking ground pork recipe. right here http://www.remedialeating.com/2012/05/tip-my-hat.html

  19. I make a lot of homemade stock too. We have a lot of plastic takeaway cups from back in the day when we ate lunch out at work – after the stock cools, I put one cup in each cup and put them all in the freezer. After they freeze, I use a bowl of hot water to dip the cups in and pop the stock out. Then I put all the 1-cup stock pucks in a gallon bag, and it’s really easy to get out how much I need.

    • @Jessie: Thanks, that is a brilliant tip!

    • For even more compact stock storage, I reduce it down pretty far until it will fit in one ice cube tray, then once frozen, the stock cubes go into a plastic bag. 2-4 cubes plus water make one pot of soup; 1 cube goes in a small pan to turn into broth to gradually add to risotto; etc.

  20. Erica,
    I think two of the best cooking/canning investments I’ve made are my 6 qt stainless steel pressure cooker and my big pressure canner. I tend to let my stocks sit in thge freezer, too, but use them up quickly when they are canned. And that stock isn’t taking up valuable real estate in the freezer!

  21. Last year was my biggest canning/preserving year ever and its been an eye opener! Apparently, we don’t like pickles as much as I thought we did. ; ) I’m not even going to bother growing pickling cucumbers. Not enough tomato products. I think I have one jar of salsa left and that is it. Oh, except for a really weird ketchup that was scortched and came out tasting like a smokey bbq sauce. I’ve only found one use for it but it makes the best base for baked beans I’ve ever had! One jar of applesauce, a few jars of pears… I think I turn green just by looking at the green beans left I’m so sick of them. Lots of jams and jellys still but I know I will have to make a couple of favorites that we’ve run out of. My freezer has been neglected lately…I should probably see what is lurking in there that needs to be used too!

  22. I am looking forward to learning HOW to create a Larder, that isn’t from the store! :)

  23. I can never have enough canned tomatoes. Even the year that a farmer friend let me glean freely in his field and I picked about 300 pounds of roams and canned them all up – yup, all out of tomatoes by mid-December. I have found, alas, that it makes sense for me to buy diced tomatoes by the case and then use my home tomatoes for fresh eating, freezing, or making specialty products like ketchup.

    It’s not worth canning rhubarb in any way, shape, or form. Eat it fresh or forget about it. I STILL have several half-pints of lime-ginger-rhubarb sauce circa 2010.

    Pickled asparagus is a hit. All my grownup friends appreciate a quart of bloody mary garnish, and all kids I know scarf it up. Today I canned 5 quarts.

    Don’t bother, on the other hand, pickling snap peas. The shells get slimy and filled with brine. Sounds like a good idea in theory, and the jars are pretty, but no.

    Lacto-fermented kosher dills are a GREAT idea. I have a four gallon glass lidded jar I use for fermenting pickles and not only is it a fantastic focal point on the kitchen table, but the kids love being able to dive in up to the elbow and fish out a pickle. Also, it makes me feel connected to my eastern european jewish roots.

    Berries and other soft fruits I freeze, and there can never be too much.

  24. Yeah…I’ve been meaning to do this ;-) #1 on the canning to do list is tomatoes, of course. #2 would have to be more jams. We can really never get enough of either. The biggest Aha moment so far in the pantry, though? We eat way more relish than regular ol’ pickles! Who knew?

  25. I literally laughed out loud a few times when I read this! Ditto, ditto, ditto. It’s nice to see you and so many of your followers have made the same mistakes as I have. I think I will only can tomato sauce, pickles and salsa this year. Dry everything else. Frozen berries, yum, yum! My kids make sure none of these get left in the freezer for too long!

  26. I loved this post! I hear you on the shredded zucchini; we found a wonderful recipe for zucchini crust pizza to use that in.

    What are your favorite books for putting food up? I like the idea of Brushetta-in-a-jar :)

    Thanks!

  27. I have to do my pantry assessment piecemeal, as things come ripe, as I have a husband who actually rations canned goods. As harvest for tomatoes approaches, for instance, the salsa disappearance accelerates (he’ll ration until about July, then eat it like a madman to make room for the August/September harvest). Having said that, I already know I need to make a LOT more salsa next year, as he’s been grumbling about having to ration for a couple of months already! We also find that our canned fruit (light syrup) lasts very well through the winter, but disappears in a flash come hot weather, as we tend to just crack a jar of canned pears for a light lunch (with cottage cheese or something similar), rather than cooking; right now, we have tons, but in a couple of months, the pears and peaches are sure to be gone.

    We had such a mild winter that I did not cook soup nearly as often as usual, leaving me with a glut of frozen peas and wax beans, so we’ll have to adjust our planting some. I managed to clear out every single last bit of frozen fruit, however, so we’ll be putting a lot more by this summer and fall as I find things in season/on sale…too bad none of our fruit trees are big enough to bear yet…

  28. Arrowleaf says:

    Thanks for the dowloadable sheets, that’s going to be a huge help! I just noticed the disproportionate amount of lamb in the freezer (along with random miscellany) and the massive amount of blueberry jam on the shelves, thinking to myself that I need to plan my summer canning needs now. More veggies and pickled items, less jam. More produce to can planted in the garden, fewer dinner veggies (i.e. more sauce tomatoes, fewer head lettuce varieties). Great post, I love the geeky organizational tasks!

  29. Love this! Do you have a list or post somewhere of what you had in your larder to start the winter?

  30. I just adore this post, Erica. Thanks so much for sharing. It has inspired me to plant a basil-only bed when the time is right.

  31. Ok, I’ve looked all over but can’t find a recipe for blackberry molasses! That sounds amazing. Can you share the recipe or tell me where to find one?

  32. My fiasco was the great Pear preserve fiasco of 2010. We had so many pears that we didn’t know what to do with them. We ate them for breakfast, in salads at lunch, I made breads and cakes, we ate them as snacks, we sold some, we gave tons away, and alas, still we had tons…. So pear preserves seemed like a good idea. Well about 20 pints later I realized that honestly I didn’t even care for preserves. They were good over homeade biscuits in winter, but that was about it.. oh well, you live and learn. Cute post!

  33. “Carnival” has been a winner winter squash for us. Prolific, stores well, excellent flavor, bush plant and good looking. Still working on the gallon of basil pesto I froze. Dill and Tarragon pestos too. I will be growing a lot of these herbs this year just to make frozen pesto. Flavor bombs in the middle of winter.

  34. Erica, is freezing food in plastic bags safe, due to PVC concerns?

  35. I’m thinking of trying to freeze broth in ice cube trays, but this seems like it would be very labor intensive and I’m not sure that they wouldn’t just stick together anyways when I toss them all in a ziplock (after freezing) I got the idea from a friend that process her garlic and other herbs then freezes them to toss into food she’s cooking. Does anyone else do this? does it work for you?

    • Lacy, I learned how to grow and process garlic from a Korean friend and do it her way. When the garlic has been dried two weeks after harvesting, I clean it and place it in the food processor (this year Vitamix!) with enough water to cover and process in bursts till it is chopped but not a paste. She uses more garlic at a time than me and freezes it in 1/2 cup portions but I got some of those little tiny cups at a restaurant supply store that hold about 1/8 cup each. Since the smell is so strong, they then get double zip-lock bagged. This year I puree’d some of the scapes with olive oil and froze them that way and surprisingly the smell is much stronger from them. Each little 1/8 cup usually will last me through 2 recipes and I manage to make it last till the next summer’s harvest. As for other herbs, they all get dehydrated. The taste is fantastic in the winter!

  36. For stocks, I freeze into cubes using a silicone tray (like below) then pop them into bags and just yank out what I need to use. There are ones with bigger compartments too.
    http://www.amazon.com/Tovolo-KING-Cube-Trays-Blue/dp/B00395FHRO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347242306&sr=8-2&keywords=silicone+ice+trays

  37. Stephanie says:

    I know this is an old post but if you see this is may help. You can lacto ferment garlic and it will keep in your fridge a bit longer than just cured in the pantry though both have their place. It makes the garlic sweet and delicious and is quite easy to do. Pinterest has directions.

  38. Too soft dusty garlic makes me so sad! I got inspired by some lovely pickled garlic at Central Market and came up with my own (unsalted) stuff that works with my hypertension.
    6 lb.s peeled garlic , chopped or left whole as you prefer.
    two chopped purple onions
    chopped sun dried tomatoes to taste
    2 C basalmic vinegar
    8 C. distilled white vinegar
    2C white sugar
    1 1/3 C dark brown sugar

    2.In a large saucepan over medium high heat, place vinegar and sugar.
    Bring to a boil.
    Boil 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, onions, and tomatoes
    Continue boiling 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
    3.Place garlic in sterile containers to within 1 inch of the top.
    Fill with remaining liquid to within 1/4 inch from the top.
    Hot bath can as you would any acid fruit.
    Seal and store in the refrigerator approximately three weeks before serving.

    yeild: 9 pints plus one 12oz. jelly jars. I use this in soups, in stir fry, dumped over pot roasts, added to potato salad, in salad dressings, as a salsa…spread on toast.

  39. I make stock on a kind-of as-needed basis. Just freeze bones (and occasional veggie odds and ends) until my current batch runs out, then into the slow-cooker with the new batch.
    I store them in old pasta-sauce jars in the fridge (rather than freezing) because it helps me make sure to actually use up my stock. ;-)

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