Winter Solstice – Halfway through
Winter has descended and we are holed up in the house living on what we grew, caught and harvested last summer. To answer the most commonly-asked question: what do we miss most? I’d say fresh fruit, there’s nothing like the crunch of an apple or the juice squirting out of an orange! The applesauce is delicious, but just not the same. The farmer’s market still has winter squash and pumpkin available, as well as cabbage, but it is the fruit we miss most.
Poultry would be the second thing – but we’ve finally found a source of turkey and chickens – we bought a half turkey that weighs in at 20 pounds, and we’ll be roasting it up tonight. We’re getting a chicken next week, to freeze until we need it.
We had a fruit episode in November, Randy broke down and bought a couple of apples. I can’t blame him – when I travel, which I do quite a bit, the rules have to go out the window, to an extent. I do try to eat locally even when traveling, but in some places I would starve if it were all I ate. In other words, I get the occasional apple or orange (or pineapple) at these times, whereas Randy doesn’t. So this slight break of our pledge is OK in my mind. I’ve separated out food costs for local vs nonlocal foods, so at the end of the challenge we can quantify how much we spent this year on out-of-state food.
One question we both have is how much the nutrient values are changed or reduced by the freezing/canning/other preservation methods we use, and whether the foods we’ve preserved are better or worse nutritionally than buying month-old apples shipped from the other side of the world. Any comments on this would be appreciated!