Just a quick trick today. I’ve learned the hard way that the food I put up in the summer and fall starts to feel a little precious- I don’t want to open that jar of tomato sauce because then I’ll only have 3 jars left. I get horde-y. I’ve learned to outwit myself.
In the pantry, there is a shelf section labelled “January” and other labelled “February”… one section for each month of the winter. December is empty (or was until the co-op put pasta on sale.)
Now, when I can 4 jars of tomato sauce, I divvy them out: one for November, two for December (the holidays), one for January. I do this, mixing it up a little to build variety, each time I can. Even the blanched and frozen kale in the freezer is labelled “kale- February”.
In this manner, the food I put up becomes an assignment for the month. I have to eat that. I have to find recipes for those.
There’s even a different feel now to putting food up: it’s less haphazard, less of a guessing game. Do I have enough? Too much? It’s not an anonymous shelf of peaches and applesauce and dilly beans anymore. It’s a set of invites to a steady stream of parties. I like that much better.