I was up at about 3:00am. The new moon was lovely peeking over the back hill. I happened to glance at the thermometer and was shocked to see it was only 38 degrees! It was 92 last week. The temperature swings are hard on both people and plants. Living in New England my whole life has taught me not to put the coats away until mid June.

It is time to do a food inventory. I started mine yesterday. The cabinet in the basement  that holds most of my canned goods is nearly empty. The are few pitiful jars of beet sauce left. I had this beautiful red juice left after canning pickled beets last year. I hated to waste it so I made a thin jelly out of it, thinking I would use it to glaze pork. Well, I didn’t. That was fed to the pigs along with a couple of jars of strawberry jam that hadn’t sealed well. If you don’t feel real resistance when you take off a jar lid, toss the contents. I still have relish. I made way too much last summer. I just love making relish and the jars look gorgeous sitting on a shelf but really, hos much relish is one family likely to eat? I gave a lot away as gifts and still have some left. I have a few jars of gingered pears and some peaches left too but we will eat those up. The only other thing left is rhubarb-not good as I have to harvest rhubarb today.

Here’s my problem. I generally plan to have enough food put away to feed my family for a year. But the definition of family is fluid. I want to have enough for charity as well. There is also no telling how much family will be here in a crisis. I usually end up erring on the high side which leaves me with leftovers each spring. I suppose it’s not wasted if the pigs eat the beet sauce and we eat the pigs.

I did the dried food inventory too. We had an amazing pepper harvest last year and I still have a lot of dried peppers left. There were just small amounts of other things like celery, onions, summer squash and such. I put everything in my big stock pot with some leeks, parsley, mushrooms and whatever else was wilting in the refrigerator and made a wonderful stock. I managed to get 5 quart jars and couple of ice-cube trays of stock and the pigs got the leavings of that as well. Waste not, want not.

Phoebe is home sick today (the reason I was up at 3:00) and I had hoped to get out to do some weeding. As that is not to be, I am going to clean out the entertainment cabinet. Know anybody who wants 25 old Barney videos?