During canning season last fall, an article in the New York Times Magazine quoted a woman who said when she canned peaches and pears, she was making an investment she knew would pay off. Well, every time I hear that pop when I open a jar of jam I made last summer, or open my freezer and pull out vegetables I processed during the harvest or turn a jar of crushed organic tomatoes my sister and I prepared in September into dinner in less than 10 minutes, I think of those words. I might have written (even wearily) last summer that I felt like a pioneer with a deep freeze, I was spending so much time preparing food for winter. But what a fruitful investment!
I saved money buying produce locally (even organic) and processing it myself for storage–not to mention the greens I grew, then steamed and froze. And while I did invest a lot of time processing the cauliflower and the broccoli and the pumpkin and the gooseberries and more, it does save time to cook in bulk. Now when I want to make a soup or a stir fry, all I need to do is chop an onion (I still am using onions from one of the 10 lb bags of Ontario onions I bought for about $4 in the fall) throw in some frozen veg and serve with a cooked grain.
In my stores I still have: frozen greens from my garden, frozen cauliflower, gooseberries, pumpkin cubes from Halloween, many jars of jam and tomatoes, onions and squash and lots of lamb.