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Cultivate Simple 15: Stocking the Larder

January 21st, 2013

An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode 15 and today we are discussing Stocking the Larder.

Susy’s Mulling Spice Mix on the Your Day Blog

Brian’s birthday wishlist

Topic – Stocking the Larder

Think outside the canning pot when it comes to winter eating. Saves time, which gives you more time to work in the garden, saves energy, saves money because you don’t have to buy stuff, supplies, etc. Not to mention, it’s simpler to harvest potatoes and root vegetables and put them in the cellar than it is to pick/snap/can green beans.

Eating Seasonally, less waste, less energy, more delicious, include a wider variety of food in your diet, gets you more in tune with the seasons.

Dehydrating – especially if you can use a solar dehydrator or the warmth of a wood stove or your attic. An option I want to work more on, we want to build a solar dehydrator this summer.

Smoking – smoking foods is a valuable way to preserve meats. We haven’t been able to try this method, but hopefully we can build a smoker soon.

Fermentation – makes nutrients more available, adds probiotics, so instead of cooking the vitamins out of your food, it actually makes it healthier.

Fermenting Recipes

Freezing – A quick way to store veggies at the height of their freshness. Cons – energy used, pros, tastes great and easy. I always store in glass, no plastic bags here. Start investing in glass containers. My favorite containers are wide mouth pint jars (here’s how to freeze in glass jars) or these Pyrex Rectangular Clear-Glass Food-Storage Containers. Here’s how I keep my freezer organized.

Geeky Corner w/ Brian

The Pomodoro Technique
30/30 app

Books of the Week

Questions of the Week

  • To forum or not to forum?
  • Craaap T-shirt? What should it say?
20 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 15: Stocking the Larder”
  1. Emily on January 21, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I don’t think your freezer organizing button worked like you wanted to, it’s linked to Ethel Gloves and it’s about mulling spices.

    Reply to Emily's comment

    • Susy on January 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Thanks – fixed.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Adelina Anderson on January 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Thank you for the reminder of your recipes on fermentation. I was gifted a beautiful (small) fermentation crock and would like to make a bit more than sauerkraut.

    This past summer and fall I prepared plenty of food for the freezer and pantry. We just finished the dried apple slices and still have a few more jars of frozen corn. I have already started to plan for next year.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  3. Maybelline on January 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Thanks for the Pyrex tip.
    Your link for freezer organization leads to a post on mulling spices.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • Susy on January 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Thanks, I fixed it – now it points to the correct post.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Michelle on January 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I think the forum idea is lovely. I’m an avid reader of your blog and a beginning gardener. The more in depth conversations I can get into, the better! :)

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  5. Deb Berning on January 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I would love to just use glass for the freezer but who can afford glass pyrex for the freezer? I can barely afford them for baking. If you have a cheap source for them please let everyone know. I don’t have lots of wide mouth jars either for freezing, either pint or qt. Most of mine are reg lids. Have you used reusable lids for canning? On the fence about them. I did dehydrate more than usual this past summer. Got a better dehydrator so it was easier. Would like to freeze less but canning cooks the heck out of stuff and some stuff I don’t like canned. Love your posts. I’d love to smoke stuff but can’t afford to buy or make one so will see hwo yours works out.

    Reply to Deb Berning's comment

    • Susy on January 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Wide mouth pint jars are very inexpensive to buy, especially if you can find them at the thrift store and at auctions. You can even ask around, there are often people who no longer can that are willing to give them away. They will be your cheapest option for freezing in glass.

      When it comes to expense of glass, in my mind it ends up being way cheaper in the long run than replacing plastic bags & containers and in the health costs caused by the chemicals that leach from the plastics into your food.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Stone Soup on January 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Glass is certainly an investment, but if you did a little bit at a time, which I have done, makes it a little easier on the pocketbook. As far as freezing, I followed all the recommendations to freezing chicken broth, chilled in fridge overnight in jars, removed lids and they were new wide mouth jars and I still had several jars break :(
        I have never tried pyrex to freeze food, maybe I will do this next!

        to Stone Soup's comment

  6. amy on January 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    What a brilliant idea……the dry erase marker……freezer list!! Love it and am going to do that myself:) Thank you! I have been using glass successfully for years to freeze…..I use canning jars but I also use glass pickle jars for example….any glass jar that I would buy at the grocery…..recycle…

    Reply to amy's comment

  7. Misti on January 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    1: Forums….I’m gonna be a ‘meh’ on this one. I think forums are generally being phased out due to either a: active blogs or b: Facebook. One of the ones I was on just closed down and I’d been on it since either 99 or 2000. FB was its death.

    2: Canning. I don’t mind canning tomatoes or sauce and salsa. It is so nice not to have to buy it during the year and I’d rather spend the time up front to save the time later in making it. We haven’t really canned anything else other than jams and freeze most of other vegetables. I’m probably going to be really ‘bad’ for saying this, but I don’t actually process my pickles….when they seal after putting the hot vinegar/water in that’s all I do. I know this notion isn’t supposed to be done anymore but I figure that the vinegar is going to keep it from spoiling and if it does the lid is going to pop and/or I will notice changes and be able to throw them out. Maybe I’ll start running them through a hot water bath in the future for a short time.

    3: sauerkraut. I took me awhile to gather the guts to taste my first batch of sauerkraut last year…especially after I’d taken some moldy bits off. But it tasted good. Just tasted my next batch yesterday and it isn’t done yet but is getting there. I tried making it during a warmer part of the year and I think the mold gets too out of control and prefer making it during the winter. *shrug*

    Reply to Misti's comment

  8. KimH on January 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    No CraaaaaP!


    Cultivate Simple!

    lol.. thats supposed to be a flower.. Or vice versa with Cultivate Simple on Top & No craaaap at the bottom. .. Either way works.

    Forum.. They’re ok.. Im still a member of a couple but for the most part I think FB killed many forums.. but they’re a nice form of community. I’d join.. probably participate..

    Happy Birthday Brian! I have kids almost as old as you are so stop with the old man stuff.. Kids these days.. I swear.. ;)

    I can a lot of stuff.. but not green beans.. yeck!! Usually. Year before last I did can some green beans with new potatoes.. but not a lot.. I usually freeze them. Its easier & they taste a thousand times better. Have you ever tried to can your venison? It makes tough meat super tender and I love canned meat. Its the same difference as cooking it for a couple hours.. Yum!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  9. Myra on January 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I have lots of regular mason jars and we can green beans and venison and do fridge pickles. I’ve acquired them a dozen at a time over the years so the money outlay hasn’t broken the bank all at one time. I buy lids all year round when I think about it so that I’m not in a tizzy trying to find them at the height of canning season. I got some of the white plastic reusable jar lids and now store some things in them instead of plastic storage containers. They do better in the dishwasher and I can see what’s in there before the mold takes over. :) Recently my neighbor gave me a few wide-mouth jars. I’d never thought about using these, following my mom’s canning footsteps; but I can see where these would be great for storage and for pickles. I’ve not found the white plastic lids for them yet though. Maybe closer to canning season…. I’ve never tried freezing in glass and frankly, I think the containers/jars would take up too much valuable space.

    Reply to Myra's comment

  10. DebbieB on January 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    A resounding YES! to forums. I love their interactivity, semi-permanence, organization. I learn so much from the give/take of ordinary people sharing their experiences.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the eBooks.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  11. Melanie in Ca on January 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Brian, my youngest son is older than you and he isn’t old at all! So stop the “old man” stuff. ;-). And happy birthday!

    I am most definitely one of those listening intently with notepad and pen periodically shrieking at the iPad, “wait, wait I can’t keep up”!, hit pause, back up, listen more, take more notes and repeat the whole cycle again. I find myself re-listening to all the podcasts pretty regularly, gleaning new ideas and perspectives with each. What a boon to have them archived!

    Forums? Maybe. But I agree with others, I think FB is doing them in.

    Happily anticipating e-books too!

    Reply to Melanie in Ca's comment

  12. Dave on January 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Hi both, great podcast, site. I like that the podcast is long, listen to bits of it through the week. I know on this podcast you wanted questions for chickens but I seem to remember (might be wrong) about you wanting questions for apple trees. I live in NZ and we have the codling moth (don’t know if you have it over there). Any advice for its control would be great. Thanks,

    Reply to Dave's comment

  13. Kiskin on January 23, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Another wonderful episode, just packed with all kinds of interesting information!
    I have never even heard of people canning green beans – I always freeze them. Our whole family loves French beans. I used to buy them frozen, but now have been growing them myself, so we eat our own, whole winter. I would not give them up, otherwise I find the idea of seasonal eating quite interesting. But how do you fight the cravings for fresh green things during the long winter season? I eat a ton of greens each day and to give them up would be unbearable.

    I would vote FOR the forum, especially since you have such active posters. Or perhaps you could include a search engine, that would search the comments as well.

    I love the Pomodoro technique and have used it for a while now. It is an extremely efficient way to get things done and has helped me a lot. My preferred app Pomodoro is Repeat Timer. It has beautiful interface and the free version lets you to set the interval timer for 5 times.
    Happy birthday, Brian! :)

    Reply to Kiskin's comment

  14. angie h on January 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I love forums, but I do agree they are kind of being phased out these days. I think it is more b/c people are using their phones more and facebook is more phone friendly. An option would be to start a group on facebook and members could interact with each other that way. The forum I have participated in for 8 or 9 years switched to a facebook group about 3 years ago or so.

    It would add an interesting element to the garden challenge as we could share pictures of accountability and progress :)

    Happy Birthday, Brian!

    Reply to angie h's comment

  15. Nebraska Dave on January 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Brian & Susy, great podcast for this week. It’s one that I may listen to from time to time just to jog my memory about fermentation preserving. In my experience with forums, they have a flourish in the beginning and eventually trail off and become stagnant. The ones that grow stronger actually overwhelm me and take up way too much of my time to surf through the information. Some folks like that activity and I would not want to squash there enthusiasm but for me personally the forum would not enhance the Brian Susy experience.

    Have a great seasonal eating day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  16. Wendy on January 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Wanted to share that I really love the idea of the seasonal cookbook/ebook you described on the podcast–something I would definitely consider buying. Wish I’d thought of the idea first, but won’t violate the NDC! ;)

    Reply to Wendy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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