Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel OR If We've Started on the Cooking Sherry, Can Aunt Mabel be Far Behind?

Summer was brief this year.  After an incredibly long, wet spring, the rain finally left, but with a sinister "I'll be back" parting shot.  Well, it's back. Temperatures are falling, days are getting shorter and shorter while the puddles are getting deeper and deeper...time to curl up in Neeldom and sip a cup of hot apple cider.

I've been in a cooking mood lately - but with only three family members in residence at the moment there's not much scope for cooking.  I've resorted to stocking my freezer with homemade soups, cookie dough, main dishes...I'm about ready to move on to roll dough and pies...would somebody please stop me!
 Here at the van der Stevejinck homestead it's also time to stock the freezer, rake the lawn and clean the garage (so as to be able to park in it when the weather is nippy)...etc.

One of my favorite 'snowed in with only a RDD and a housekeeper who has the flu and/or measles and there are limited foodstuffs' book is An Old-Fashioned Girl.  It's reading books like this (and pretty much any of the other 'snowed in' books - has anyone else noticed how often the household comes within a hairs breath of having to eat someone?), that make me want to re-evaluate my pantry and re-fill any empty spots.

Assuming your last name is not Donner, in the event of a sudden, unexpected snowstorm where would your shortages be? (Not tins of Bovril-of course we all have an abundance of that particular item...right?).


  1. Hm, is that chicken cacciatore I see?

  2. In the freezer, like you.
    I'm just not a canner. I even freeze my pica de gallo, and the kids still eat it, so I guess it's okay.
    On a tangent to this subject, do the founding Betty's have big cans of food in storage? Prof Vue de Plane canned tons (not literally but almost) of dry food at a Mormon food storage place (pre-pre year 2000 jitters) when we lived in Colorado years ago. I'm still using the dried onion and potato flakes, sugar, and spaghetti.
    The flour and banana chips are now too old and taste rancid. The soup mix is okay but the split peas in it never soften up even after soaking and cooking.
    Does anyone else have lots of food stored like this? As long as it tastes okay, can we keep eating it?

  3. I just spent a ton of time working on a comment, only to have blogger delete it! Aargh.

    Here's a link to the shelf life of some of the stuff you have.

  4. Not to be monumentally annoying, but ... we are never snowed in here in Sunny California!!! No need to stock up the old freezer!!

  5. We'd run out of milk (fresh) and that would pretty much end civilization as Betty Ross & I know it. Without milk, tea is *black* -- not a happy consequence. Tea is the "sweet elixir of life" and without it, Betty Ross can be ALMOST unlovable.


  6. Yeah, same here with the milk, but it'd be the lady of the house who'd go postal without milk for her tea. Faron keeps trying (nearly 40 years worth of it!!) to tell me dry creamer works just fine. (BLAHHHHH!!) The other day when we'd run out he used dry milk powder which is an improvement over creamer, but that's not saying much! ;-)

    At the end of Faron's 9 months of unemployment, I must say that we were clean out of meats and cheeses and the like - but we're slowly getting re-stocked. Did ya'll know he'd gotten his DREAM JOB?? He is now employed by DCNR and works at World's End State Park as what they term a "Semi-skilled Laborer" and what Faron calls "general maintenance." He LOVES his new job so the entire family is much happier!


    PS Anyone know where our RDD Bobblehead is, and, more importantly, why haven't we seen any photos of him on his travels??

  7. I'd never heard of World's End State I looked it up. Gorgeous! How fortunate to be able to work somewhere so beautiful!

    We do okay without fresh milk - I personally don't drink milk (I'd like to plead lactose intolerance...but it's more of a phobia(yes, I'm weird)), the person that uses milk the most in our home is my 16 year old son, and for some reason he's okay with powdered milk. I'd miss fresh produce pretty quickly, especially bananas.

  8. Betty Barbara here--
    I think our record for being snowed in where I live is about 3 days. We live on a street that is quickly plowed (unlike the rest of our neighborhood, poor dears). So getting to the grocery store is usually possible before the pantry/freezer comes close to empty. That said-add me to the "milk" people. And Betty Debbie, thanks for reminding me about bananas. Yep, we'd miss those too. But we could cope better without bananas than we could milk.

  9. Betty Barbara again--

    Yeah--where IS the RDD bobblehead??
    I'm betting it is languishing at Betty JoDee's.
    Thanks Betty Cindy for remembering him.

    And congrats to your dear hubby on landing a job at such a beautiful park!

  10. Betty JoDee swears no knowledge of the RDD bobblehead, and I know I don't have it. Heck, I don't need it -- I have both Brit Hubs here this weekend, so not one but two REW bobbleheads, in the flesh as it were.

  11. Magdalen, please do take a short video clip of both of your REWs bobbling...



  12. We can and freeze. But eat it all withing one year. Our garden is big, but not huge.

    It's fun to have lots of extra food from the garden because then we can give it to people.

    I love how most heroines in BN work in the garden and know how!!!! Especially that one who was young and lived in the country and was poor and had a HUGE garden and lived with an elderly aunt? And then had to pick strawberries or something for a living? I couldn't do what she did. It's such hard work.

  13. I think I sent the RDDBH to Betty Mary. I also think that I have a RDDBH travel picture, but I'll have to download the 546 photos on my camera to find it! There's also a Betty in the Wild photo in there somewhere.

  14. I went back to find this post given the recent reprise of An Old-Fashioned Girl. Also because the Jonkheer just did a Costco run, so we have three unopened half-gallons of milk in the fridge; the kind with the extra-long shelf life. And, as I stuffed a bag of dried navy beans into the pantry, it occurred to me that many of the older English folks I know really dislike pasta. Meanwhile, here in the USA, if the temps outside ever drop below 50F again (there are hordes of daffodils blooming along the Potomac, which is not how February is supposed to happen in northern Virginia), the Jonkheer and I will be able to survive about three months on spaghetti, linguine, fettucine and tortellini with can after can after can of tomato sauce.