Saturday, February 21, 2009

The February Cellar

I went shopping in my cellar again yesterday evening. The temperature is stabilized nicely about 43F (6C). There were still a few tomatoes but they're either really soft or hard and completely tasteless so I tossed all of what was left to the chickens. We'll eat canned or dried tomatoes now until probably July. I won't buy tomatoes in the store - talk about tasteless!

I brought up more apples. Some are getting softer and the peels getting tougher, but since they were free for the gleaning last fall I really can't complain. They're certainly not to the make-applesauce stage yet.

That's the last of the cabbage. Quite a bit of the outer wrappers had gone mushy, but two still had a small edible head inside. I'm still looking for a variety specifically for storage that will grow to size in our short, hot summer. No matter, I've still got sauerkraut - crunchy-good since it's never been canned - some in the refrigerator, some still keeping nicely in a crock in the cellar.

Plenty of potatoes - I grow both Yukon Gold for boiling/frying and Russet for baking/roasting in chunks. The yellow Copra onions are still looking good - I'm hoping I'll have enough down there to last me until the walking onions are up in the garden (and I do still have plenty of shallots in the pantry).

"Bring me up some beer, honey!" Aries called out as I was heading down the steps. So I grabbed a couple of small bottles of Nut Brown Ale and a big bottle of Belgian Red for sweet husband (he was out there filling up the wood box for me, after all). Then, he was on his own for dinner. A friend was hosting a Girls Night Out at her house - potluck and games. I took my Salmon Dip - always a crowd-pleaser - and my ancient Trivial Pursuit game. We had a great time!


Annodear said...

Girls night out! Yay!!

Enjoying hearing about your "shopping trips" :-) and how well the food keeps.

Sadge said...

The blog posts are a good record for me,too, of how long things store, and also of when I run out of something in particular.

Valerie said...

I just ate my last tomato a few weeks ago. I wish I had a cellar. I just kept mine on the back porch until it got too cold. There is nothing like a fresh garden tomato!

Nancy M. said...

I think it's so awesome that you are still able to shop out of your cellar. I didn't realize food would keep that long. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Feel free to send those tomatoes my way ;-)

I've been shopping my cellar too, about the same temp as yours. Haven't gone into the frozen stash though, its been the winter squash , root veg, onions, etc. Tons of potatoes! It really is amazing how well they keep!

Annette said...

Gotta love a girls night out. =) After reading your post, I am going to place the thermometer in the basement to make sure it is at a suitable temperature for storing goodies.
When did you plant your seed potatoes? I believe you are in the same zone as I (5-6).
Love the sound of the home brew!

Beautiful Each Day said...

I have been buying green cabbage from the grocery store until I get the garden going this spring. I store it in my root cellar. Last week I brought up some heads that were very bitter. Has this happened to you when eating stored cabbage? Or might this be unrelated to storage? They stored about 2 months in my cellar, I don't know how long they were at the store before that.

Thanks for any advice!

Sadge said...

Hi Annette!
We're considered zone 6 here, and our last frost is usually late May. My Old Farmer's Almanac says to plant potatoes 2-4 weeks before the last frost. Last year, I was really late planting them, in mid-June, and they did fine, with harvest in mid-October.

Hi Beautiful Each Day!
I've never had bitter cabbage, but then again I like the bitter greens like endive and mustard, and like gnawing cabbage right down to the core. The cabbage you had might have been stressed for water when growing - that can sometimes make greens bitter.

I only cut as much as I need when eating cabbage raw - if you keep cabbage shreds any length of time they don't taste as sweet. Cooking can also cut the bitterness.

Beautiful Each Day said...

Thank you!