Inventory Your Food Preservation


People ask me how many jars of tomatoes I preserve by canning. My answer used to be: I can however many cans I can can. That was when I did all I could, never approaching my pantry goals. “As much as possible” was a simple goal. An inventory of my jars and freezer packs didn’t seem necessary.

Then came a year when I made too much pesto for the freezer. I had surplus pesto for the year, but I ran out of canned tomatoes. That was wasted effort. I was inspired to keep a food preservation inventory.

I needed inventory information to focus my efforts. Last year’s numbers would prompt me to stop shredding zucchini when enough is enough and move on to the next crop. But how does one know when enough is enough? With a little documentation on the side of the frig, I collect valuable record-keeping data.

I post a paper on the side of the refrigerator and log tally marks of each product I preserve, whether it goes in the freezer, in the jar pantry, or in the spice drawer. I add notes about needing more or less for the next year-- whether I ran out before the next season came around, or if I preserved too many.

I now have a nice to-do list for the growing season. I know how many bags of shredded zucchini and blanched edamame to freeze. How many flats of oregano to dry. How many jars of salsa we used last year and when we ran out.

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