I do a ton of big batch food preservation. It’s not unusual for me to do long sessions that result in things like 28 quarts of cherries, 40 quarts of potatoes, dehydrate and other-wise preserve a hundred (or more) pounds of apples, and so on. Those big batches are satisfying in that the pantry shelves fill up quickly, but it should be noted that for the most part our food preservation efforts are done in small batches here and there throughout the summer and fall months. It should also be noted that I have more than a few years experience and that experience brings with it a certain efficiency from practice meaning that I can do a big batch with relative ease.
Right now there’s a great deal of small batches being created. Herbs are being infused into honey, vodka, or oil (for eating and medicinal purposes). There’s also been some pesto making and freezing. Not tons of canning just yet, but it’s coming and I’m ready.
There’s been some dehydrating going on too. Again, mostly herbs but this week I did up a batch of apricots, too. Dried apricots are good for just plain munching, sticking in lunches, trail food, and honestly I see tons of uses for them in baked goods, oatmeal, etc.
These small batches might not fill up an entire pantry shelf in one big swoop, but they do fill up the shelves steadily and come winter it doesn’t really matter if it’s one shelf full of cherries or one shelf full of a mixture of things – a shelf full is better than money in the bank in my opinion and I’ll take it however it happens.
What are you putting on your pantry shelves these days?