Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homestead Eating: From The Freezer

I spend my summers trying to harvest (from garden or woods or seasonal grocery store offerings) and preserve more food than I did the year before.  But invariably I end up with only one quart of frozen purple cauliflower, or fewer blueberries than would be necessary to have a blueberry pie every week.  I so easily trip over into a scarcity based poverty mindset.  I get fixed into the idea that we can only have such things as pie from frozen wild blueberries or canned peaches on really really special occasions.  This then leads two thing: firstly, I end up with years-old bags of lingonberries in the freezer and secondly, I rarely eat local food in the winter.  These things together make me feel like a failure of a homesteader.  I get trapped in a mind swirl of "real homesteaders eat all winter long on food they preserved in the summer.  I never make a meal like that, therefore I'm still an imposter homesteader."

Well, I looked through the odds and ends of leftover CSA produce that I'd managed to preserve over the course of the summer and stash in the freezer.  Combined with the berries and the salmon and the caribou, there was actually a lot of food there! So in the last couple of weeks I've been making a conscious effort to allow myself to actually use and EAT this bounty! 

Last night, we had a ground caribou (from the freezer) and sweet potato saute over pasta.

The night before that, we had Chitina Salmon steaks (from the freezer) with Calypso CSA broccoli (from the freezer) and quinoa.  I also made a wild Blueberry (from the freezer) crisp that was the perfect balance between not-quite-tart intensity and sweet.

A couple of weeks ago I made a Peach-Raspberry pie with Peaches (from the pantry) and Raspberries (from the freezer).  I also made a Cranberry Cake - the recipe courtesy of "Sundays at Moosewood" which was very good, but next time needs to be baked with a tinfoil cover to keep from burning - with wild Lingonberries (from the freezer).  And I made Zucchini-Cornmeal skillet cakes with grated Calypso Zucchini (from the freezer)!  And before that we had a meal of Chitina Salmon fillet (from the freezer!) with sauteed Purple Cauliflower (from the freezer) and Snow Peas (from the freezer). 

Next up:  A quart of bok-choy, more salmon, more berries, more snow peas, moose and caribou.

Not only is it a cheaper way to eat - what with the miniscule grocery bills of the last couple of weeks, it is in alignment with my concept of our little homestead and the life we strive to live on it.  And it is my practice of moving into an abundance mindset.

How do you incorporate local or seasonal eating into your life in the late winter/early spring before anything is sprouting out of the cold cold ground?


  1. You hit the nail on the head! I always hoard whatever berries/herbs I manage to gather because, 'Those are the berries that AREN'T from the store. OBVIOUSLY WE CAN'T EAT THEM. THEY'RE THE SPECIAL ONES."
    I'm trying to get better at actually eating what I've spent my summer accruing. "Moving into an abundance mindset." Well said!!

  2. Jasmine. That is amazing! Each meal sounds like a gourmet feast.

    1. Aw Jenn! You give me all kinds of ego-boosts! I don't know if it is necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but when I go gourmet (most especially if I'm doing so with my mother and/or my sister) there is a ridiculous amount of spice pairing, multi-course planning, themed meal design, and lots of wine! You should come to the next party feast I cook where I'm like, oh 3 courses? Hardly. Lemme bust out 7. I get a leeeeetle bit ridiculous.... :-D