My sweet Mom and I after Tea

Garden Roulette and Pantry Cost Comparison

Garden Roulette and Pantry Cost Comparison

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary Volume 2

Week 23: June 11, 2022

With 4 false starts to spring, gardening has resembled a chancy game of roulette. 🔫 It turns out the fourth time, not the third, was the charm this year. Never have I planted and replanted so many times. We are now over a month later than our usual main planting time and it appears the weather has settled down at last.

I am thankful that I know how to save my own seeds – because buying and rebuying seeds this year could have been expensive. (I do enjoy buying “new” heirloom varieties, anyway, for fun.)

Pantry Cost Comparison

Gardening, preserving, and cooking are real work whose value is difficult to tabulate.Have you ever wondered what the cash value of your pantry is?

One year – 2009 – I completed a comprehensive cost comparison of my pantry to retail prices. It was an educational exercise, to say the least.

It makes me grateful that my sweet, beloved Mom taught me principles of frugality in the kitchen. Her larder was always well stocked with a combination of home-preserved and purchased foodstuffs and necessary items. Way back in my memory I recall a freezer filled with homemade, ready-to-bake wild blackberry pies!

2009 Pantry Cost Comparison

The 💵 value of foods I preserved by canning, freezing, dehydrating, fermenting, and storing, + garden seeds I saved, added up to… 🥁 $4,747.10. In 2009!

I’m curious if anyone else has done a cost comparison like this?

On the Homestead

If you expand the picture of the lavender flowers (known as dame’s rocket or gillyflower) you might just be able to see a Hummingbird hawk moth hovering mid-flight, just left of center. Hummingbird hawk moths very much resemble hummingbirds.

In the Garden

First Violetta artichoke of the season and a fresh crop of lemons ripening from green to yellow are welcome in the kitchen. Learn to grow lemon trees from seeds here.

Sam adds chicken manure to the garden, Michele prepares to plant a flat of Pesto Party basil. The garden is poised for growth.

comfrey sprang back from a freeze

The comfrey was frozen back to the ground, then cut back all the way. It sprang back more robust than ever!

Calendula in bloom

Calendula in bloom. A mixture of types grows freely in the garden, coming back bigger and better year after year.

In the Kitchen

Looking back through the pictures on my phone reminds me that we were blessed to eat well.

Monday Tea with Miriam
The Blackberry Tea Set, a Christmas gift from Miriam.

Monday tea with Miriam. Wish Cameo was here. Happy birthday, Cameo! I love you!

Pork tacos

I opened the last jar of pressure canned pork for carnitas. Need to can more, it is so nice to have easy meals in the pantry ready to heat and eat.

A light wheat sourdough batard, from starter to shaping, to baking, to sliced. I am enjoying the ease of baking in a lighter weight vessel, this speckled enamel roaster from Crow Canyon is so pretty!

Dehydrated tomatoes hold their flavor well; simmering them in a little water plumps them up for a taco salad with beef and pinto beans on a bed of sliced cabbage instead of tortilla chips.

Goldenkraut is our favorite version of sauerkraut – and we’re down to our last jar. Sourdough pikelets are a simple way to use extra sourdough starter. Topped with egg salad they make a delicious open-face sandwich!

Using up the last hunk of homemade feta cheese in Einkorn tabouli salad with store-bought veggies and lots of fresh herbs from the herb bed outside the kitchen window.

Own a Bosch Universal mixer? I shared our family’s favorite bread recipe this week on the Chocolate Box Cottage YouTube channel. Make a big batch of 5 loaves; eat one and freeze four.

Book Shelf

Fermentation book picks

Fermentation book picks:

If you would like to support my business, please use my affiliate link. It gives me a chance to earn free books, without affecting your price.

Beginners ~ Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin

Intermediate ~ Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey

Advanced ~ The Noma Guide to Fermentation

So tell me, how do you tabulate the value of your work in your kitchen? Have you ever done a cost comparison?

Blessings,

Michele

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