Yesterday I did an inventory of the canned goods in the cupboard. We started out with about 220 jars of misc. foods and 81 jars of tomatoes and tomato puree. To date we have 120 jars of misc. food and 38 jars of tomatoes and tomato puree. We gifted a lot of canned goods for Christmas as we always do. However, we did not gift one single jar of tomatoes or tomato puree. In five months we used 53% of our tomatoes and tomato puree. That means that I'm going to have to ration "The Italian's" tomato use in order to make it through. I guess that my 100 jar goal is a must around here.
With regard to other "stored goods", it looks like we are going have "just enough" garlic and onions. I am however increasing the amount of these two items in the garden this year since "just enough" is not enough. We are not going to have potatoes for much longer. I'm sure we will survive since we both need to loose some poundage right now. The potato plantings are also increasing this year. Although our squash storage is adequate, I am changing some of the varieties for this year.
We are definitely good in the herb and spice department. But, very short in the carrot department. We only have two carrots left. My new garden plans include a lot more carrots. There is enough frozen celery left to use for cooking. This year I am going to plant some celery later in the season and try storing it in sand for the winter.
As far as the frozen veggie inventory goes, I have yet to do it. I am positive that we will have plenty to get us through the year though....especially when it comes to peppers!
The cold frames have been doing very well. We did harvest all of the Pak Choi a couple of weeks ago and I am planning to harvest the giant Baby Choi soon.
So, what have we been cooking this past week?? Well, Tuesday I made a great Split Pea Soup! I found the recipe here. Sunday my in-laws gave us a great ham bone with lots of meat on it....and what a great winter dinner it made!
I only made a couple of changes to the recipe. I did not add salt or bullion cubes and used some beef stock and some water instead of all water. I also used ground white pepper instead of peppercorns.
Split Pea & Ham Soup
- 8 cups water ( or a combination of water and beef stock)
- 1 large ham bone
- 2 cups green dried split peas
- 2 large carrots diced small
- 2 medium onions chopped small
- 2 large celery ribs, include leaves, chop small
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 beef bullion cubes - I did not use any bullion
- 1 teaspoon salt - I did not use any salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns - I used ground white pepper
- 1 pinch dried thyme
1. Rinse peas well in cold water and add to a large cooking pot.
2. Measure 8 cups of water and add to cooking pot.
3. Bring to boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour.
4. Return to stove and bring back to boil.
5. Add ham bone, carrots, onions, celery, bay leaf, beef bouillon, salt, peppercorns and dried thyme.
6. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
7. Remove ham bone and cut off any remaining ham, cut into bite size pieces and return to soup.
8. Discard bone & bay leaf
9. Adjust seasonings to taste.
10. Serve & Enjoy!