Friday, February 22, 2008

Inventory Soup

Inventory Update

Our poor kidz, they have a habit of getting the wrong apples from the attic. The other day, one of them brought down some precious Granny Smith's--we must save these for salads or cooking, not mere snacking! After allowing a lunch's worth of apples, I returned the apples to the attic. I had not spent much time with my food lately, and this attic visit gave me time to assess.

Not good.

Or an excuse to make soup. One of the things about storing food for the winter is the tug between using and having. It reminds me of the great MASH episode where Hawkeye and Trapper go searching for an incubator. They find a supply officer with three. They beg for one. "But then I'll only have two", he replies in refusal. Still, with food, food stored in the attic, there is surely a use it or lose it problem. We need to make our food last for a few more months, but if we never get to use it because of spoilage, what's the point. We continue to experience shrinkage.

We had already mapped out our Friday Night meal for the week, a boiled dinner. This would use up some, maybe all, of those rotting turnips as well as the parsnips that were weakening. The critical nature of some of the food warranted quicker action. Hence the soup.

The recipe (my own!): cube some Nueske slab bacon and render in a strong bottomed stock pot; sweat onions; chop a stalk of pathetic looking celery and add, do the same for woody winter carrot. If you have some garlic and dried local peppers use them for seasoning. While these things soften, peel and quarter the salvageable bits of your turnips. A few russet potatoes can be used too. Fill with water until it looks soupy but not thin. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, about an hour (your time may vary). Before serving add pre-cooked wheat berries. Adjust the seasoning. And, and right before serving, chop and add sorrel that's survived admirably in the fridge.

After the soup but before the corned beef, here's the updated inventory: (Two notes, here's the last inventory update to see the progress; here's the freeze/can inventory, which has been separated from the general inventory).

Cranberries - two packages
Pie pumpkins - 1
Celery - about 2/3rd of a head, usable for cooking
Herbs - rosemary, thyme, parsley
Winter squash - about six including acorn, delicata, turban and butternut
Keeper onions - good stock
Sweet potatoes - low stock
Garlic - about 20 heads
Cabbage - 3 heads of white cabbage, one head red; the whites have varying states of decay
Sunchokes - 2 lbs
Carrots - low stock
Parsnips - low stock
Beets - very low stock, about six usable beets
Turnips - very low stock, about four usable turnips
Potatoes - very good stock
Apples - medium stock
Lettuce - 1 bag of mixed greens, one head of boston lettuce (non-local)
Microgreens - 1/2 bag of sunflower shoots
Mushrooms - cremini, mixed oyster/shitake (cultivated)
Celery root - 2 lbs

Additional local stock includes dry beans, grains, dozen eggs

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