We have 3 freezers in our house.  We have the one that is connected to our fridge in our kitchen along with two larger ones in our basement.  The ones in the basement aren’t really that big, but they are the biggest one that would fit down our wacky stairs.

To keep track of what we had, I started a freezer inventory.  Every few months, I would empty the freezers and take a detailed count.  Occasionally, it was convenient to have a list on the fridge of the contents.

Once the CSAs started this summer, we hardly used anything from our freezer.  We have some items that are over a year old.  We’ve also stocked up on items when they were in season like blueberries.

In an effort to rotate stock and highlight items that need to be used, I thought I would publish my inventory along with an action plan for the next month or so.

Here are the 4 highlights for this month:

  • bagged frozen veggies such as broccoli, green beans, spinach, kale and leafy greens
    • While I certainly won’t use all of them this month, I’d like to use 5-7 bags of them up.  After all of the freshness from our CSAs, it’s really hard to eat grocery store bagged frozen veggies.  But, we won’t let them go to waste.
  • meat
    • My goal with meat is not to buy any this month.  We are getting a turkey from our Fresh Fork CSA and we occasionally get other meat in our CSA.  We don’t NEED any more right now.
  • prepared foods
    • We’re pretty good at freezing portions for meals for future use.  These should be easy to use this month.
  • bread
    • My goal with bread this month is to make our own muffins, bread and rolls.  We have a bread machine and a couple of good recipes.  It’s cooler now and seems appealing (and less expensive) to make our own.

The detailed list of our freezer contents is below if you are interested in the detail.

I’ll be back in 4-6 weeks with an update!

Item Total
broccoli, steam fresh 6
butternut puree 1
corn 5
corn on cob, steam fresh 1
corn, steam fresh 3
edamame, steam fresh 1
grean beans 8
green beans, steam fresh 2
green peppers, whole, 4 pk 2
kale 1
leafy greens 1
mixed veggies 0
onions, gallon bag, sliced 1
onions, green 1
onions, qt 2
peas 1
peppers, chopped,qt bags 14
peppers, hot, whole, qt bag with 4 1
pumpkin puree 4
pumpkin water 1
shallots, chopped, qt bag 1
spinach 7
squash, shredded 4
sweet potatoes, gallon, puree 2
tomatoes, gal bag chopped 1
yellow peppers, chopped/sliced 4
bacon 1
boneless beef chuck roast 1
chicken breast, ground 1
Chorizo sausage 1
country sausage, 1/2 pound ground 7
ground beef 4
hot dogs 2
Italian sausage, ground 2
maple sausage, ground 1
rib steak 1
sirloin steak 1
sweet Italian sausage, ground 1
veal 1
bagel thins, pack of 4 1
bagels, blueberry 5
banana bread 1
banana muffins 2
bread, GH whole wheat 1
cinnamon walnut bread, slices 3
dough, whole wheat pizza 2
pumpkin bread 1
applesauce, qt bag 1
apricots, small bag 1
banana 3
blackberries, gallon 1
blueberries, gallon 4
cherries, qt bags 8
coconut water cubes 1
dates, pint bags 4
orange juice 1
peaches, gallon 5
pear juice 3
raspberries, gallon 2
rhubarb 2
strawberries, gallon 2
butter, pounds 5
butter, sticks 2
egg beaters 4
mozzarella cheese, 8 oz 1
Herbs cilantro cubes 1
basil cubes 1
chive cubes 1
Prepared black beans, cup cooked 1
chorizo, cooked, ground 1
vegetable lasagna, servings 3
caramels 1
unstuffed cabbage, servings 2
butternut squash soup, servings 1
pulled pork, large 2
mushroom ravioli, package 1

On Saturday, I went on a field trip with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  I’m working on a naturalist certificate.  As part of my required hours, I can pick from a variety of classes and trips.  This trip was to the Medina Raptor Center.  Here’s their mission from their site:

The Medina Raptor Center is in its twentieth year of helping Ohio’s Wildlife.  We are a state and federally licensed facility dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of prey.  Our mission and focus also include educational outreach programs that utilize live birds of prey to educate children and adults about raptors and their role in the ecosystem, and the need to preserve habitat.  We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization and support of our programs is tax deductible.


Here are our fearless leaders for the day.  Laura on the left is in charge.  She has such a passion for helping the wildlife.  Stan is from the museum.  He leads many trips, but got to enjoy much of this tour.


While we waited for everyone to gather, we watched the trumpeter swans in the pond.  It was fun to watch them.  They like the ducks, but they chase the geese away!  At some point, people were dropping off cats to the center.  They’d just pull in and dump them.  Laura put up cameras to catch them and they were fined.  But, as a result she has 19 cats now.


Here, one of the volunteers (Everyone is a volutneer.  No one is paid.) shows us some of the food.  The entire top shelf is mice.  On the right, trays are prepped for the next feeding.


We got introduced to quite a few of the educational birds.  They were beautiful!




The center is a collection of buildings like these.  It looked a bit like you were going camping at Girl Scout cabins.  The center can hold about 50 birds at a time.  Since about 1/2 are permanent residents, that leaves around 25 that can be in rehabilitation at one time.  I enjoyed hearing about the process that the different birds can go through.  My favorite was when the birds go to mouse school.  They get trained to catch mice for food to make sure they will be able to find food when they are released.  They even have cameras to watch the birds from the office!


The trip could not end without a visit from Migisi, the resident, female, Bald Eagle!


What a beautiful bird!


I’m back from Hawaii.  I arrived at Hopkins around 2:45PM and drove to the RIPE Fest at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens to meet up with Stephen, Nick and Sally.

The kids look like they each grow an inch or two while I was gone.  They still love the fountain.


Both of them were were very interested in the map.


We saw some nice autumn displays.  They kids played in the farm themed bounce house.


They each made a pot and planted some lettuce.


The kids also enjoyed driving these tractors around the path.


We didn’t arrive to the festival until about 4PM.  For me, the highlight was seeing Velvet View Farmstead Yogurt sampling their yogurt.  We’ve been getting it from the Fresh Fork CSA and love it.  It was nice to stock up.

While we were at the festival, we enjoyed an apple caramel crepe as an appetizer.  We also had grass fed cheese burgers with a milk shake for dinner.

The festival also included music and some other vendors.  There was also some programming.  All in all it was much smaller than last year.  Many vendors also tore down early which was frustrating.  We still managed to stay busy until almost 7PM before we headed home.  It was good to finally make it to our house.  I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.

I’ll have many posts about Hawaii coming up in the near future!


Last week, we went to Eddy Fruit Farm to pick grapes, apples and plums.  The grapes were seedless, sweet reliance grapes.  Turns out that they are seedless, but they don’t have a good texture for snacking.  Stephen, the kids, and I didn’t care for them.  I decided that I would make jelly.  I had ordered jelly bags on line.  I ordered way too many.  They were only $1.49 per pack, but I bought 5 packs.  It turns out they are reusable.  I had no idea.


I started out cooking the grapes with a little water on the stove.  I cooked them until they were really soft and then I ran them through my manual food mill.  The grapes are not recommended for the Kitchen Aid mixer food mill.  Since I only had 2 pounds of grapes, it wasn’t going to make a difference.

After I ran them through the mill, I poured them in a jelly bag that conveniently fit over a pitcher.  Sorry, I didn’t think to take actual grape photos.


After it strained, I tried the juice.  It was so good that I never went to the next steps for jelly and just drink the juice.  Grapes were 90 cents a pound.  It took 2 pounds of grapes to make a nice size glass of juice.  I don’t think I would make it often, but it would be good once a season.

 Posted by at 9:00 PM  Tagged with:

Tomorrow is the Akron Marathon.  My husband Stephen will be running the half marathon.  He’s in training to run a full marathon in November.  I suspect he’ll do great at 13.1 miles.  Good luck!

My good friend Lisa, is also running.  She’s going to run her first FULL MARATHON!  That’s 26.2 miles.  She’s trained and done all of her homework.  She’s going to ROCK the race!  You’ll do great Lisa.

I’ll be thinking of you both as well as the other runners!



 Posted by at 7:00 PM



The dishes!  We have 4 people living in our house.  We don’t have a dishwasher and we don’t have a good place to add one.  When you are preserving – using canners, strainers, food mills, crock pots etc., you dirty lots of dishes.  I actually don’t hate the dishes that much, but I really hate the drying!  I usually spread them out as much as possible so they can dry naturally while I do other things.  After I overflowed our drying rack, I spread out a bath sized towel on our kitchen table for the rest.  I was sure glad when everything was dry and put away.  I won’t be doing dishes this week in Hawaii and I’m happy about it!

 Posted by at 9:00 PM  Tagged with:

My father in law arrived from Delaware today.  He’s in Ohio for the week to take care of the kids while I’m in Hawaii.  Nick and Sally are super excited!


I wrote a few pages of notes.  I stocked.  I cooked.  I cleaned.  I got sick.  Now, I’m scheduled to board a plane in 12 hours.  Aloha!


Earlier in the week, I thought I was having trouble with allergies.  Then, I had a sore throat, but it wasn’t too bad.  Yesterday, I felt yucky.  By the end of the day, I didn’t have a voice.

Today, I went to the doctor.  I had to cancel our anniversary date plans.

The good news is that I don’t have strep throat.  The bad news is that I still can’t talk.  I managed to get a nice long nap today and I felt a ton better when I woke up.  Now, I just feel warm out.  It’s not the best way to start a vacation.

I’m hoping for a great night of sleep (thanks to Nyquil) tonight and an easy day tomorrow with a nap!

 Posted by at 8:51 PM

Today, we once again headed to Beachwood High School to pick up our Fresh Fork CSA share.

Here’s what we were expecting to receive this week:

Small CSA:

  • 1 pint mixed color cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package chicken sausage (4 links, 1.25 lbs.)
  • 1 dz. pastured chicken eggs
  • 1 bunch carrots with tops
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 2 ct. green bell peppers
  • 2 ct. poblano chili peppers
  • 1.5 lbs. Stanley plums
  • Either 1 hd. broccoli or 1 stalk of celery

Here’s a group shot of share:


We were down to 1 egg in our fridge, so we were glad to see these.  We went plum picking this week and the plum-apple sauce turned out great, so I am making another batch.


We were gifted a bunch of peppers this week, so I am chopping and freezing away.


The chicken sausage went straight to the freezer.  Trevor included several ideas for the turnip greens in the newsletter.  Basically, I’ll make them like my Swiss chard and they should be tasty.  I’ll probably have them for lunch tomorrow since they are taking up room in the fridge.


The broccoli looks delicious.  Nick and Sally and I will enjoy it with dinner tomorrow.  We got Heirloom tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes.  I got a couple of extra since mine were bad last week.  I’m going to clean/chop and freeze them with some other tomatoes for a later sauce.


My kids couldn’t get enough carrots last week, so they eat these at lunch for a couple of days.  I’m not sure they will even last through 2 meals.


Since I am on vacation next week and the week after, I spent a few of my credit dollars today.  I put them on my account and it will be a wash over time.  I picked up yogurt ($5), corn chips (2 @ $3.50) and a Camembert cheese ($8).  So, I “spent” $20.

I bought yogurt at the grocery store earlier this week since we were out.  I screwed up and bought vanilla.  Yuck, it’s full of sugar and I can’t use it for cooking.  I really like my newly found whole wheat dough recipe and it calls for yogurt.  I like to keep the ingredients on hand.  I was super excited to see the corn chips back.  The truck hasn’t had them for sale lately.  They are the best corn chips I’ve ever had.  One bag was opened in the car.  I bought 2 bags so there would still be some with Stephen gets back from his trip.


Today and tomorrow I am preserving food and packing for my trip.  I’m trying to avoid too much last minute craziness on Sunday.


Today was a nice day.  We started out at a baptism.  My cousin’s baby was baptized today.  It was very special since the delivery was premature and had lots of complications for mom and baby.  She spent time in ICU and he spent time in the NICU.  It was so nice to meet the baby in person and see both of them doing well.


After lunch and naps, we headed to Blossom for the last time of the summer.  We met up with friends, enjoyed a picnic dinner and a nice concert.


The weekend went by quickly and it’s hard to believe that tomorrow is Monday already.