Prepping Your Pantry for Winter

by | Nov 1, 2020 | Podcast

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With supply and demand issues being so commonplace right now, it’s a smart move to have your reserves stocked up and ready to go so you feel more confident and secure as the colder weather approaches. 

In this episode of the Pantry Chat, Josh and Carolyn talk through the three main areas you need to focus on, as well as how to maximize your storage space when prepping your pantry for winter.  

In this Episode

  • Carolyn is getting ready for her “semi-annual clothing switch” which means getting out the kid’s winter clothes from storage and boxing up their summer wardrobe.  
  • Carolyn is working on a beef stew canning video that will be coming out soon and is also prioritizing canning their own convenience meals for the winter.  
  • Josh is in full-on winter prep finishing up with the root crops and has also created a video on how to plant garlic
  • Carolyn talks about the three main areas you need to focus on when stocking your pantry and the four top questions you need to answer.  
  • The pros and cons of organizing your pantry by type (fruits, vegetables, etc) 
  • Josh also has a video on how to build shelving so you can maximize your space (link in Resources). 
  • Why it’s important to clean as you go and hand wash your jars if you encounter any issues when stocking.  
  • What are those things in your pantry that will need continual maintenance? 
  • How to take inventory of what you have so you know what you’re missing.   
  • Why it’s important now to determine what needs your family will have for the upcoming holiday season. 
  • The reason it’s beneficial to buy directly from local producers and what you can negotiate with them.
  • Why going to the big box chain stores should be your last option.  
  • Making sure you stock up on medicines, herbs, supplements, and toiletries. 
  • Question of the day from Denise – As your root cellar stored food starts nearing the end of its shelf life, do you need to cook them right away or can you process them through canning?

Resources:

Josh: Hey guys its Josh.

Carolyn: And Carolyn.

Josh: The Homesteading family and welcome to this week's episode of the PANTRY CHAT:FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

Carolyn: This week we're talking about prepping your pantry for winter. This episode of the Pantry Chat podcast is sponsored by MadeOn Skin Care. MadeOn specializes in skin care, specifically for dry skin, and they use as few ingredients as possible to get the job done. You guys, this is the type of skincare I would make myself if I had time to make it in my own home. And the great thing is Renee even shares her exact recipes with you. The Bee Silk lotion bar is my go-to lotion, When my hands get dry and cracked, and it's only made with three ingredients. Renee created it when she needed something to fix the splits in her fingers, cracks in her feet. And then she found out that it also worked great on her son's seasonal eczema. Go to hardlotion.com/homesteadingfamily to find out what Josh's favorite MadeOn products are, and also use the code homesteading family for 15% off today's purchase.

Josh: All right. So today we're going to be covering, just getting your pantry stocked up prep for winter. And this is just besides it being winter. I don't know about you, but I do know about you I don't know about you guys, but I know we just are feeling really, really good about having everything stocked up and having a little bit more of our resources maybe in durable goods than in other places.

Carolyn: Yeah, absolutely.

Josh: And just everywhere I turned the corner, something's hard to get, the latest one for us was snow tires. And we were told if you're going to order snow tires get in and get them now because there's issues with supply. And I hear this from everybody in these random things.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Josh: Not to panic, but this is consistent and I know it's going to be consistent. And so it's good time to just be thinking about keeping all the reserves up to the top.

Carolyn: Yeah Well, and I think there's a difference between panicking and hoarding and panic buying versus seeing... I don't know if this is new normal. I hope it's not new normal, but it's normal for right now. It's the new normal for the fall of 2020 here, that we have supply issues. And that's the reality. And being wise about that says, "Well, hey, let's get a little more than we need for this month, so that we're stocked up for next month and maybe even beyond so that we don't run into the supply issue." So that's just wise care for a house.

Josh: That's just prudent and being wise for the times.

Carolyn: Right absolutely.

Josh: So anyways, that's what we're going to cover today. But before we dive into the main topic here.

Carolyn: The chit-chat.

Josh: Let's catch up with a little bit of chit-chat and a subscriber question. So Carolyn, what is going on with you? How are you and what you've been up to?

Carolyn: Good. I'm doing really well. We're just finishing up that harvest season. So I feel like we're right at the point where we're about to take a breath and slow down just a little bit, which would be good, because we've been running pretty hard. We just pulled the last of the veggies, root veggies out of the garden yesterday and got those all packed up. You did that with the kids.

Josh: We've got to get some of that chard out of the ground because the freezes that are coming here are actually really hard.

Carolyn: Okay.

Josh: So. They'll make it. So reminding You on air here, just noting that when I was out there today.

Carolyn: And that's tomorrow's project. Actually tomorrow's project is, you guys have heard me say this before. It's my least favorite project of the entire year, probably. And that is the semi-annual clothing switch.

Josh: Clothing switch. That's probably a new term for a lot of people. Like, what are people trading clothes? Or why are they switching clothes?

Carolyn: So because we have a large family. And because we live in a place where the seasons are drastically different, winter requires an entirely different clothing set than summer does here in far North Idaho. And so we have winter clothing or off size clothing, all stashed away. And we only have the appropriate clothing for the season and the size out in people's closets. Otherwise, we'd just end up with way too much clothing or not having what we need. So twice a year in the spring and in the fall we go through everybody's closets, see what clothing they have, see what they need and swap out their summer clothing for their winter clothing or vice versa obviously. That many boxes of clothing with that many children running around all at the same time on the same day has a tendency to make me stressed.

Josh: That's why I'm taking you out to dinner tomorrow night.

Carolyn: I see he's got this worked out because by about noon, my eyes are going to be this big and I'm going to be, my eyebrows are going to be about up to my hairline.

Josh: Well I got to say, that you're very diligent in this. And it has been really great, not just on convenience of storing clothes, but on making clothes last. So things aren't getting wrecked that aren't really getting used or that really shouldn't be getting used and, getting a good pass me downs passed down and it's been, I mean, as far as a budget item, it's saved us a lot of money on clothes over the years.

Carolyn: Thousands and thousands of money.

Josh: Yeah and so you've done great at that. And there are two tough days of the year but really thankful you do it.

Carolyn: Yeah and it's a day and it's done and that'll be good. And then we'll feel really good about it. On the other side, everybody will be in nice clean clothes. One of the things that I have learned over the years is not to save stained, wholly ripped clothes that I don't like seeing on people from one year to the next in a box, just make sure that those just leave the house turn into rags, whatever it is that we're going to do with them next, because there's just no reason to store something that you don't want to pull back out the next year. So, that any clothes that are in good quality, good shape, get packed back away, waiting for the next child and the next season. So it'll feel really good on the other side of it.

Josh: Well, that's cool, but that's actually what you're going to be doing. So what we're going to want to hear about that next week, but what else is going on?

Carolyn: Okay. What else is going on? Well, do you have anything in particular that you're thinking because I'm definitely still doing lots of canning. We've got some stew canning in the canter right behind me. The canter's coming to you.

Josh: Yeah. Some good beef stew and hey, there's a video coming out on this.

Carolyn: There's a video coming out.

Josh: Beef stew. Carolyn's beef stew which is wonderful.

Carolyn: Yes. And it's that season where all of a sudden, we're not canning so much produce as it's coming out of the garden, but I like to start canning a lot of convenience meals to get on the shelf so that there are some days we can really take off in the winter, lunchtimes during the school year, things like that. We can really take a little bit easier. So I am turning my sites now to convenience meals in the canner.

Josh: Cool and how's grandma?

Carolyn: Yes.

Josh: You've been watching after grandma quite a bit as she's gotten back from the hospital.

Carolyn: Thank you guys so much for all of the wonderful well-wishing for grandma. She is doing very well. She is just amazing. They call it the greatest generation for a reason because they are so tough. Grandma's now 90, almost 92-

Josh: Yes. Next month.

Carolyn: This next month. And she just bounced back from a double break in her hip and pneumonia, which required a couple of weeks stay in the hospital. And she went out and got her hair done today.

Josh: Looking good.

Carolyn: She's looking good. She's laughing and smiling and getting around and is funky and spray as ever. So she's doing great. Yeah what about you? What have you been up to?

Josh: Well, we are in full on winter prep. I feel like we're a month early, which is really putting the pressure on the... We've had a little bit of snow, which is unusual for October. We've already had some very solid freezes and we're looking at single digit weather coming up. It's about a month early. So I'm feeling the pressure, but gosh, should we put up nine cords of wood last week and split stacked ready to go?

Carolyn: Yes.

Josh: So that's the bulk of our firewood. We actually need 10 to 12 just to be, make sure we've got prepared for the winter is colder and longer, so that's good. We got the rest of the root crops out except for a few carrots that were overwintering and we got garlic in today actually.

Carolyn: Into the garden.

Josh: Yeah. I got garlic planted and shallots planted.

Carolyn: Yes.

Josh: And he did a video for you guys on how to plant garlic. A lot more people should grow garlic. It's just a great herb to have in the garden and good on the culinary side. Great on the medicinal side, and really easy to grow, not a lot of maintenance, so yeah we got that in and a lot of barn prep getting the barn ready for winter, going out today, we buy our grain in bulk. So buying, a few tons of grain and starting to fill up the barn with hay. And just want to get ready for winter here and get it all buttoned down, yes.

Carolyn: So when you're talking about grain, I know some people will ask, what are we grain feeding out there?

Josh: Well, it's mostly the chickens right now. We've got some pigs that we're finishing off that we'll butcher in November. So a little bit there, but mostly as far as stocking up, it is for the egg layers to get them through the winter. We've got a few ducks and geese as well. And then the dairy cow, we give a little bit, we give mostly, hay, alfalfa pellets, and then some grain to keep her happy. So she doesn't get too grumpy with us. But very little, but still I'd rather buy that six months worth at a time. And especially right now, just watching everything and we don't feel the need to panic, but we want to be prudent and things just keep showing up short. So there's nothing wrong with just having a little bit extra in the barn and we've got the space.

Carolyn: Yeah. Well, and the reality of this season is that it may not be a shortage in the actual goods. It may be a shortage in the production capabilities of getting it out there. And I know we were seeing that in the height of the first wave of COVID where people couldn't get feed in bulk because they were limiting it because they could only produce it so quickly. That didn't really happen around here. But we were hearing stories from all over the place where it was happening. So it's just good to make sure we're stocked up ahead of time.

Josh: Well, it really is. And that's just the prudence of what's going on because regardless of what you think about COVID, what you think about the elections, all the different things that 2020 has been all about the reality is, is that shortages keep popping up. There's been interruptions, there's instability. Personally I think there's going to continue to be on some level. And it's just prudence to, again, not panic, not freak out, not hoard, but to take measures, take actions and just top everything off. It's a good idea.

Carolyn: Well, we're enjoying the chit-chat part, but we should probably move along.

Josh: Okay. I guess we should, yes. Hey, and we got some new mugs though.

Carolyn: Oh yeah.

Josh: We love our handmade mugs from our local guy, David. That's great.

Carolyn: Yes. If you're ever in our area and at a farmer's market in our area, you got to look up the local potter who does these. They're so great and wonderful to have. We've asked him and he does not want to ship them. So I'm sorry.

Josh: We get a lot of questions from you guys. And if you're listening in on the podcast, you'll have to come over and just check out the video. We've always got a mug of coffee or tea at our hands, and these are some ones that are really special and neat looking that we love. But okay, moving on here. Let's get to a question. This one is for you, from Denise Riley, sorry Denise, Denise Riley on root cellaring on one of the last pantry chats here as the root cellar stored foods in the near of their shelf life, do you cook them for consumption right away? Or could those items be processed through canning?

Carolyn: Ah, good question. When it comes to canning and really most food preservation methods outside of root cellar, even including root cellar and you really want your food to be in good shape when it goes into it, but that doesn't mean it has to be fresh out of the garden. So you would not obviously want to wait until your carrots are so shriveled or they're molding or anything like that to then turn them into a soup or whatever it is you're going to do with them that involves canning. But you can, when you start saying, "Hey, those are starting to not be optimal. I think I better do something else with them." Then at that point, yes, you can definitely use them to can them just as with any root vegetables, make sure you're peeling them before you can then.

Josh: Right on, real good. Thanks Denise.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Josh: And let's dive in here on, Prepping Your Pantry for Winter.

Carolyn: Okay good, here we go.

Josh: We'll do a quick outline. You've got about three main steps here you want people to think about, and you're going to organize your pantry. You're going to take stock and then you're going to fill her up.

Carolyn: Right?

Josh: I like that, okay. And then a few other thoughts beyond. But let's get into organizing the pantry. What are some things people need to think about to get that pantry organized and ready?

Carolyn: Right. Well, especially if you have just spent the harvest season, preserving, canning, fermenting, dehydrating, and you've just been stashing things as quickly as you can.

Josh: Yeah, sometimes you are not paying attention to how everything is going.

Carolyn: Sometimes it can go wonky and become quite a mess in there. So it's time to get it organized and get it worked into an order that you'll be able to find things, because the reality is, is you're not going to make good use of the food in your pantry if you can't find it. And that actually happens to me all the time. I'll find something that's tucked back behind other things that just got lost. And I'm like, "Oh, I didn't know I had more of these."

Josh: Right.

Carolyn: So make sure we're getting what we already have organized, so that we're really good at using those things. So what that would look like is one, group them with their buddies, so if you have a bunch of jars of the same thing, obviously they're all going to be either grouped together in rows, but make sure you get the oldest items up front.

And when I say oldest and really talking about last year stuff that you need to use first, it really doesn't matter that much. If we're talking, a month older than something else in the scheme of things, but if you have things left over from last year, make sure those are out in the front to be used first.

Josh: Sure.

Carolyn: Now they're depending on your storage spaces, there's different ways to group and organize your food in your pantry. If you have a lot of space, the best thing to do is organize it by type. Like all your fruits in one section, all your jams in another section. I really love this type of organization because it's really easy to find what you're looking for. The problem is that all your fruits are not necessarily going to be in the same size container. Let's say you've got dehydrated fruits, you've got some jams, you've got a thing of fruit leathers.

Josh: Some maybe freeze-dried.

Carolyn: Some freeze-dried foods. You have all these different things and they're not in the same size containers. If you don't have a lot of pantry space, sometimes you have to actually make best use of the space that you have and not be organized by the easiest finding.

Josh: Of course, you're talking specifically about shelf height.

Carolyn: Right. Shelf height.

Josh: Well that's where that gets challenging.

Carolyn: Well, sometimes our pantry is the kitchen cabinets. Sometimes we don't actually have a technical pantry with the correct type of shelving. And we're just working with what we have. And sometimes you have short shelves and deep shelves and big shelves, you have all these different sizes. And so if that's you and you're working in that space, the best way to organize it, is by type and size of the storage container. So all the quart jars go into the spot where quart jars fit. If you've got dry goods, maybe in gallon sized jars, those go where those fit, and organize things by containers.

Josh: And let me interject in here. If you can build some of your own shelving. We've got a great video from a year or two ago on how to build some shelving where you can maximize your space by sizes. There are shelves built for everything, from five gallon down to pints. And that, because most shelving out there that you can buy, I don't think I've ever seen, any pre-made store-bought shelving that really maximize the space. There's always like this much space wasted. So, if you're taking up four foot vertically only using half of the space, and then it's an absolute waste. And so even if you can do something ad hoc and stack it up with bricks and shelves, there's, you can get creative. But I've got a video on just how to think about building those shelves to where you can get a lot more in a small space.

Carolyn: Because if you have the right size shelves, you can pack a whole lot into a really small space, but you do need to maximize your storage. So get everything arranged so that you can find it. Clean as you go, as you're going through it. If you find any jars that are sticky, take a minute, clean them up, take them to the sink.

You can always wash canned jars in lukewarm water or room temperature water, use some hot soapy water, not hot, warm soapy water on them and get them non sticky, you just don't want to store things that are dirty. Wipe down cabinets, shelves, whatever it is just clean as you go as you're organizing. But then another thing that's really important as you're organizing is to think about anything that's going to need continual maintenance. That would be things that are in common storage or root cellar, things like your pie pumpkins, your squashes, your onions, apples, anything like that.

Josh: Root crops.

Carolyn: Root crops anything that you have in-

Josh: Fermented foods.

Carolyn: ... Your pantry space, fermented foods is on that. That's going to need to be looked at regularly and make sure those are accessible. Make your life easy right now. Don't put those in the back anywhere because you'll be getting them out and going through them through the winter. So that is the first thing, is to organize your entire pantry space so that you can find it and then you can use it. It's fresh in your mind. And ideally when you walk into that space, you can see everything that's there. That's the best, because we all forget about that thing that we stored. And it's not doing you any good if you don't remember to actually grab it and bring it up to the kitchen.

Josh: All right. So this next one seems like what you were talking about, but you've got some more specific ideas and that is to take stock. So this is the beginning of taking stock. You are getting everything organized so that you can, next you want to start taking stock of what you have. What do you mean by that?

Carolyn: Well, you've spent the year maybe either buying in food or canning the food that's been available to you in your neighborhood or in your area, or maybe gardening and harvesting what you've got. Until you end up with all this different food, but maybe it's not all the food-

Josh: Not everything you need or everything you want.

Carolyn: ... That you want to eat. Exactly. So this is the time where you're going to go ahead and take stock of what you're missing, you want to know what you have, but you want to know what you're missing because you want to bring that in a different way. And so the first thing to do is think about what didn't grow well this year we had a few things that didn't grow well this year personally, like tomatoes did not do very well. We didn't get very many tomatoes. We had a rough season on both ends. Pumpkins didn't do great. Any winter squash didn't do real great for us.

Josh: No it didn't.

Carolyn: We had a lot of things that did do well.

Josh: Even the Potatoes were marginal. Yeah, they were a little low on production.

Carolyn: Yeah. So those are the... That's one of the first questions I asked myself and I'm actually noting that all through the year when we're harvesting and going, "Oh, this is a little light. I think we better make plans to bring some food in." Also think through some of your family's favorite staple meals, the thing that you're going to eat over and over again during the winter. And think about the ingredients to those meals. What do you need on your shelves or, in your pantry or somewhere around, maybe in your freezer in order to make those meals work. All right. So go through them. A lot of times, some of the basic things are really easy to overlook, maybe the starch basis farm, egg noodles, or rice or beans or whatever it is.

Josh: Spaghetti, right?

Carolyn: Spaghetti, yeah. Some of those things. So it really helps to jog your memory if you go through your meals that you just know ,my family eats spaghetti once a week, whatever it is. And think through those things, think about what ingredients you're missing and just mark that in your mind.

Josh: Cool.

Carolyn: The other thing is to think about your grains and your other staples that can be stored, things like flours, sugar, oats, different things that you would want to have on hand all the time. And think about how much of each of those items you already have. What do you need to get through winter? Maybe you're just trying to stock up for a month, but ideally for a couple months through winter and start noting those items.

Josh: Six months, at least.

Carolyn: That's definitely ideal. That would be really good. It's a good place to be this year. And then of course you want to continue thinking about the things that you did bring in. Sometimes we have a bumper crop on a type of vegetable that came in that all of a sudden you're thinking, "Okay, now I got to figure out what kind of meals I'm going to cook with this thing." Maybe you've got way too many pie pumpkins. And you're like, this is more than I need for pumpkin pie. I think I better learn how to make some pumpkin soup and, some mashed pumpkin and some of these other things. So start looking into ways that you're going to use the produce that you do have on hand to turn them into meals and the ingredients that you would need to go with those in order to make them a complete meal.

Josh: Real good.

Carolyn: And then of course, step number three, it comes up.

Josh: Fill her up.

Carolyn: Fill her up, right? So you think about all of these different ingredients that you don't have on hand. And that's where you're going to start buying your food, bringing it in and filling up your pantry. It's really a much better way to go about food storage. If you look at what you need and your family needs to eat, the meals that they want to eat and bring those ingredients and then just going, "Okay, what can I store?"

Josh: Or what is the latest prepping email or whatever tell you, you should have, or whatever?

Carolyn: Yeah, you want to eat the things that you want to eat. So you've got to store those things. So the way we generally look at stocking up is first, obviously if you, at this point of year, you're not going to probably grow it.

Josh: Right. Well, we've produced, but we can produce.

Carolyn: We've already done that.

Josh: And so we've filled up what we can.

Carolyn: We can, yeah. And so the next thing you want to do is go to your local farmers, look around, ask around sometimes going to your local health food stores and asking who the local producers are in your area. Sometimes they'll have that knowledge. And ask around on Facebook groups, local Facebook groups, try to find who your Local producers are and go buy directly from them. That's obviously that is the best way to go if you can't produce it.

Josh: And just about everywhere has got a farmer's market these days and get to know your local farmers. A lot of times they have excesses, they have seconds. There's a lot of deals that you can find to bulk up on things that you maybe can, can or get into the root cellar or something. You've just got to get out there and engage with people, talk to them and ask questions more than just looking at what they have on the shelf. Don't be afraid to talk to them and say, "Hey, do you have any extra of this? Or I saw that sitting over there on the side is there something wrong with that? Do you want to sell it at a discount?" I mean, don't be afraid to talk to people. You'll be surprised what you can come up with.

Carolyn: Well, and another really good trick with that. And this is one that I've done over the years is, to leave your name and number and say, "If you ever have extras that you need to get rid of quickly at a discount, please give me a call." And I have gotten phone calls from different producers, different farmers who just said, "Oh, I've got these bushels of this thing. I couldn't sell them, they're going to go bad. I will give them to you at a quarter price." And I'll be like, "I'm going to be there in 10 minutes."

Josh: That's good, that's better for them than throwing it away.

Carolyn: It is. And it's better for me than them throwing it away too. So make sure you're talking to your local farmers. Then of course you want to go to your local stores, see if they have anything available, your local smaller stores, then next option would be your buying crops. Sometimes you can get really good stuff in bulk buying crops we often use Azure Standard. I can put a link down to that in the show notes, and then your last option. And what I really like to say is, please use this one last, is going to the big chain box stores to go find what you need. I know the price can be really good there sometimes, but we really want to focus on supporting our local community and local growers, even if it's just our local store owners, that keeps your dollars in your community. And that's really important, especially in these years, it's hard for everybody this year, including your store owners and operators.

Josh: Right? Yeah. Definitely want to support them. But sometimes it's just often you want to get things stored up.

Carolyn: Yeah, sometimes it can be an option.

Josh: That they can be a good resource and you can go, and actually don't be afraid to go ask them too for what they've got. You've done this, especially with produce. Sometimes when there wasn't, you couldn't find something you wanted and sometimes I'll work with you. Sometimes I'll order something for you or they might have a deal. They might have something they have a problem with. So again, be creative, be resourceful is really what this whole list, and engage people and get involved because there's a lot out there that you might find if you're willing to ask and talk in any of these situations.

Carolyn: Is that why everybody at the grocery store runs and disappears as soon as I-

Josh: They're, "Oh, no here she comes again."

Carolyn: "Here she comes." She's got a project for me.

Josh: 15 Vessels of brussels sprouts or something.

Carolyn: Well, I haven't done that one yet.

Josh: Okay. Yeah. Well don't waste your time on store-bought brussels.

Carolyn: There you go.

Josh: Okay. So that's the basis, but there are some areas that, there's other areas here to cover. That we haven't covered here, that you might not think of. And one, I was thinking of that's not on here is the freezers, they're not in the pantry, but that's your freezers and just taking stock your freezer, reorganizing it. We all always have things that we haven't used. Yeah, they need to come to the top. And of course we need to know what we need more of. Usually for us, we're growing our own food. And so we know what's coming in, we're going to butcher this many lambs or this many pigs. We've got beef, whatever it is. But you may not be doing that. You may be buying from a local supplier or going in on a beef with somebody, but you need to be going through your freezers and checking those out. So that was the first one I thought of there.

Carolyn: That's a good one.

Josh: In regards to the pantry. That you've got some other ones here.

Carolyn: Yeah. Well, another one that I think about a lot, it took me years to remember this in my fall preparations and that's beverages. I don't know why that just escapes my notice, but I know that there's a couple of times a year that we're going to want hot chocolate for the kids. A lot of times we have an ice skating party in winter or different things like that. We're not big soda drinkers. If you're a big soda drinker, don't bother stock, just quit drinking soda. No seriously, though, if you know that you're going to go out and buy soda or wish you had some, go get some, that would be true for a lot of other things. You don't get it stocked up so that you're not running out last minute looking for something that you know, that you're going to be buying anyways.

Josh: Cider, We love apple cider, and there's the time we stock up on that.

Carolyn: So you got to stock up on that. Another... Oh, green coffee beans. That's another one, green coffee beans. If you roast your own coffee... Do we have a video out on that? We have talked about it for so many years. Jos-,

Josh: Not a public video. There's one in the membership. There's not one. There's not a public video. Maybe, we'll get that out next week.

Carolyn: And right now the membership's not available. So I know everybody's going to be looking for it.

Josh: Yeah. Sorry. So there's not a public one and you really should be. I have not been roasting in a while because things got so busy, but if you drink a lot of coffee, we love our coffee our town River bend is fueled on coffee. I think roasting just cuts the cost of your coffee in half.

Carolyn: Yeah. And the other thing is that unlike roasted coffee beans, green coffee beans store.

Josh: Indefinitely.

Carolyn: Just about indefinitely for a really, really long time. So stock up on some of those things. Another thing that another area of life that you might want to be stocking up on is your medicine cabinet.

Josh: Absolutely.

Carolyn: This is a really big one. If you have, even this time of year again, the herbs are probably wrapping up in your area. You can buy in herbs if you'd make your own tinctures or teas or your own herbal remedies.

But if there are supplements that you know that you're going to wish you had on hand, just go ahead and get those in. If there's... Whatever it is that you use, make sure that you've got them on hand. But the other thing that I like to keep ready are things to help mama be healthy, like when, mom is getting sick, sometimes there's not anybody around to make that chicken soup that you really wanted, so make sure you've got the things that make you feel good when you're sick too. And sometimes for me, that's chicken noodle soup, for other people it's different things.

Josh: Right. I want to reiterate on the herbs because we saw earlier this year, things like elderberry disappear.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Josh: Yeah. And I'm not sure we're not going to see that again, this fall. And again, it doesn't matter whether you think it's real or hype or whatever, if the media plays things up and people get excited, they start buying everything. And we saw that earlier when COVID got going and they keep telling us what a bad flu season this is going to be. I don't know. But what I do know is that things get hard to get. And so be thinking of all those different things like Carolyn was saying that you might want there and you have enough to get through the season now. Yeah.

Carolyn: Another really important thing to be thinking about right now, is your holidays. Do you have what you need on hand for your normal traditional family holidays? Because especially in times of stress and trouble, having those traditions and being able to make it as normal as possible feeling, is very comforting for everybody on hand. So make sure that you have the things... Is it cranberry sauce you get from the grocery store? Go grab it now, it'll last forever anyways. So just get it on the shelf. Maybe order your holiday turkeys or whatever it is that you do. This is a really good time to go ahead and do that.

Josh: We didn't grow any turkeys this year.

Carolyn: We did not grow turkeys.

Josh: We'd better get on it. Next year we got to-

Carolyn: Take advantage of turkey season for hunting.

Josh: Yes, we do. Okay. I think we've got one more here.

Carolyn: Okay, last one.

Josh: We've got to wrap up.

Carolyn: Is the household goods. This is another one that's really important to stock up on. I know it's not food for your pantry, but, running out of toilet paper is a problem for most people-

Josh: Sure was this year.

Carolyn: Let's just say, it was for a lot of people this year. Yeah. Stock up on it right now. And I'm not saying that toilet paper is going to run out again because maybe we learned our lesson on that one. Maybe you're already stocked up on toilet paper.

Josh: I don't know. These places are still out, but get it.

Carolyn: Any sort of household goods that you're going to buy anyways, so start stocking up on it. And it's a great way to fill your pantry. That would be things like toilet paper, tissues, and don't forget cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, whatever it is, you're going to have.

Josh: Anything you use daily. And you know, not only can you buy in bulk and get discounts on all of this stuff, we're coming into the holidays, we're coming into election season. We're coming into a lot of stuff. There's just a lot going on. And when you're not having to rush out to go find that stuff, it brings some peace and order to your life just by this basic preparedness, this isn't even deep preps, but just basic preparedness. And so I'm glad you brought in these other areas that aren't necessarily pantry, but are just everyday life. And it's really nice when you're not having to, "Oh, I'm out of this. Oh, I'm out of that."

Carolyn: It's really helpful. Isn't it? Okay guys. So now you've got to go take stock of your pantry. You're going to go organize it, take stock of it and then fill it up. Make sure it's ready for the winter. It's all winter prep, your winter prepped then so that you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor a little bit. Maybe sit by a fire, drink one of those hot chocolates, look out the snowy window maybe.

Josh: Yes its coming.

Carolyn: That's what I'll be doing.

Josh: It's coming. All right you guys. It's been great hanging with you today and we will see you soon. Thanks for listening to this episode of the pantry chat food for thought. If you've enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate and review.

Carolyn: To view the show notes and any other resources mentioned on this episode, you can learn more @homesteadingfamily.com/podcast.

Josh: We'll see you soon.

Carolyn: Goodbye.

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5-Minute No-Knead Artisan Bread – Just 4 Ingredients

Have crusty, fluffy homemade artisan bread on the table every night of the week with just 5 minutes of hands-on time. This recipe uses just 4 ingredients and needs NO kneading at all. I'm a busy mom, and I know what it's like to want to feed your family a healthy,...

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