Saturday, January 15, 2011

food talk

There was a time last spring or early summer when I thought my tomato plants were all going to succumb to blight, and I bought some store-bought canned tomatoes at Aldi's and Walmart.  I'm fairly certain I paid around seventy-five cents a can for those.  As it happened, my blighted tomato vines continued to produce flawed-but-tasty tomatoes up until the first frost; there were plenty for me to can, as it turned out.  I still have twenty quarts and two pints of tomatoes left; I'm not sure if that will last until the 2011 crop starts bearing, but it should come close.  I have a lot of recipes that use tomatoes.  
When we were last at Walmart, I looked at the canned tomatoes and almost keeled over from shock:  They are now ninety-nine cents per can.  How are people going to be able to afford to eat, with prices rising so fast?  I certainly hope our tomato crop does well this year.  I realize gasoline prices are the cause of this exorbitant inflation, but whatever the cause, it's scary.  
While I'm talking about food, I'm very happy to announce that the two bushels of number-two-grade Fuji apples bought in October have lasted nicely, without withering or rotting.  If you're looking for an apple that's a good winter keeper, Fuji is your best bet.  If you haven't tried them, I suggest you do so:  they're sweet and juicy, bursting with flavor.  They've become our favorite for eating out of hand.  Each year we buy a half-bushel or so of Galas early on in the season, since they're the first ones ready; when those are gone, we return to the orchard and purchase some early Fujis.  While we're there, I ask the orchard owners when they think they'll be closing for the year, and we return just before they close to buy a couple of bushels of the late Fujis, which seem to keep much better than the early variety.   There are six apples left, out of what we bought in October.  From here on out, we'll be paying over a dollar a pound for our apples.  That will hurt.  In fact, I'll only buy enough for Cliff to take one each day in his lunch to work; I only eat cheap apples.  The one flaw with Fuji apples is that they're huge, so you'd better be pretty hungry when you eat one, or else get your husband to share one with you.
The one fruit I buy year around on a fairly regular basis is bananas, because they do such a good job of dressing up our cereal or oatmeal.  The only time I don't buy them is when we have home-grown strawberries or peaches to take their place.      
I saw ground turkey at Price Chopper this week for ninety-nine cents a pound, but I couldn't justify buying it when we have so much ground beef in the freezer from Bonnie's calf last year.  Her present son is growing nicely, and will probably fill up the freezer this summer just like his half-brother did last year.  
One way or another, we will continue our struggles to keep the wolf from the door.  Thank God I have a lot of bean-and-rice recipes to use as a last resort.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You do well keeping grocery costs down thanks to the garden and the beef you grow. Here I don't have either and have noticed that over the past few years the cost is unreal. It is good to shop at places like Aldis but even there you see increases in prices. I love bananas because they keep my leg cramps away. I guess the potassium they provide does the trick so I try to have one every day. I do notice the difference when I don't have one. I hope your Saturday is a great one!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Sadly, I probably won't raise heirloom tomatoes this year (or at least not so many). Oh, how we love them, but they seem even more susceptible to that nasty blight than the plain 'garden variety' families. We had no surplus to can 'maters last year :( I also love the Fuji apples, and that is a wonderful tip about buying them just before the Orchard closes, and stocking up. Thanks! -Tammy

Donna said...

Tammy, that's the exact reason I don't grow heirloom tomatoes.

Midlife Mom said...

I have to have my banana each day sliced up in my peanut butter sandwich, it's just not the same without it! Even with just the two of us I have noticed such an increase in prices at the grocery store. My little garden doesn't produce enough to can, I miss the days when I had a big garden and canned everything in sight!

I had to turn off the video of the guy climbing the tower! I was getting the jitters just watching him up so high!!!

Glad you got the magazines and hope you enjoy them. Yes, they do have a good website with lots of recipes.

We had ferrets years ago and kept them caged except when they were out with us playing in the kitchen with the door closed so they couldn't get out. We loved them but they aren't for children and I just can't imagine how that mother didn't hear that poor baby screaming! The baby should be taken away from her as far as I am concerned.

It's brutally cold here too. I hate to even walk out to get the newspaper. Think I will wait till the Hubs gets home and have him get it. :o)

Lindie said...

I grow what little I grow because I love fresh real tomatoes. And love going out to the herb garden to pick what I need or want. I had gastric bypass surgery so don't eat much but love to eat fresh home grown vegetables. A cucumber last through a couple of meals and honestly, I think it would be cheaper to buy them but I like knowing there aren't any pesticides involved. Since i don't eat much, the costs don't seem to matter but if I really checked it I would probably have to quit growing things. When I was younger and had a family to feed it made me very happy to have a full pantry and freezer.

Amy said...

This will not be the first, nor the last comment from me that will make you think 'What? That woman has some lost marbles..' but....

small apples make me sad. I don't know why! LOL