August 24, 2011

Pantry & Freezer Purging

Last post I showed you my kitchen.  I have a little confession to make; it isn't usually that clean!  But I got so into the spirit of cleaning for that photo shoot, I also decided it was high time to go through my pantry and freezer.  I had to purge a few things (i.e. freezer burnt chicken breasts - I don't even know how they got there!) but tried to salvage as much usable food as possible.  
First, I had to deal with a humongous jar of hardened honey.  Did you know that honey lasts indefinitely since bacteria can't grow in it?  I once read that survivalists stockpile it for the end of the world.  I probably won't save mine for that possibility, but I softened the crystallized honey in a warm water bath and then poured it into an easier container to use it from.

Next, I used some of that honey to cure a year-old salmon from the freezer.  After two days in salt, sugar and honey I brought it to a friend's house and used their smoker to make candied salmon.  It turned out really good.
I also had tons and tons of berries in the freezer.  Some of them were too old to use, but I rescued last year's cherries  to make a pie for a potluck on the weekend.  Today, I used the rest to make a cherry/saskatoon berry upside down cake.
The pantry also held some dried and canned goods that were long-in-the-tooth.  I threw together a lima bean and green lentil salad that we ate for a few lunches. I also had a can of applesauce of unknown vintage lurking in the back of the cupboard, so I also made low-fat apple bran muffins.  I hate to waste nuts, so I made a batch of Tamari Almonds.  
 These are really fun to make.  You roast the almonds until they are really hot and start to smell, then put them in a bowl and immediately drizzle Tamari sauce on them (I suppose soy sauce would work as well).  At this point, the almonds start to crackle and sizzle as they soak up the sauce.  Spread them back out on the baking sheet and wait for them to dry.  Voila, one of the easiest snack recipes ever.
I still have to think of some creative ways to use a huge bag of shelled raw peanuts I have in the freezer, as well as frozen edamame beans.  In the fridge I have kale, cauliflower and spinach which needs to be used and fast!
On the plus side, I can now find things in my pantry and all my dry goods are organized into containers (rather than spilling out of plastic bags), and my freezer once again has space.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Why do we just keep buying and filling up the freezer - mine's full to the top - good for you - cleaning and using!!!