Welcome to July’s Summer Pantry Challenge focused on cleaning out some of the space in the pantry and freezer to make room for all the fresh summer produce that’s coming in, which I fully plan on canning and freezing to use during the long months of winter.
July is here. I feel like just yesterday I was staring the first days of summer in the face, and now I’m in the midst of all that it is, with fireworks and picnics aplenty.
My garden has been taking off. We have already harvested a few Supersweet 100s, and we used the first cucumbers in a 4th of July salad yesterday. Then this weekend when we were at the farmers market I commented on how it feels like we’re waiting for the produce to show up and waiting and waiting and then – bam – it’s suddenly there, vendor tables overflowing with fresh eats.
With summer in full bloom and fall harvest just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about canning and preserving. There’s only one problem: My pantry is overflowing with random odds and ends, my freezer bursting full of ice cream treats and frozen meats. I have literally nowhere to store anything at this point.
With the vicious cycle of purchasing and eating in the summer months fully underway, the solution is simply that we must start clearing out the stockpiles we have going, getting creative with what is on hand to make healthy and delicious meals for the family without buying more and more, stacking and pushing to make it all fit.
The Summer Pantry Challenge
- Focus on eating and cooking with fresh produce from the garden and the farmers market.
- Clear out the freezer, using up frozen produce that may still be in there.
- Organize my sadly disorganized cupboards and makeshift garage pantry, using up excess to complete garden-fresh meals.
- Purchase only necessary fresh items like milk and eggs, but avoiding any shelf-stable or convenience foods.
That’s it. The concept is simple: Eat the fresh produce that’s available now by pairing it with the food we already have on hand. We’ll look into the depths of the freezer and the corners of the cupboards to get a better sense of what we have on hand, while making room to restock with the same fresh foods we’ll be harvesting in the next few months.
- Amy from The Finer Things in Life – cleaning up/clearing out, eating from the garden
- Erin from $5 Dinners – cleaning up/clearing out
- Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam – NO spend, cleaning up/clearing out, eating from the garden
- Jessica from Good Cheap Eats – cleaning up/clearing out
- Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures – cleaning up/clearing out, eating from the garden
- Tammy from Tammy’s Recipes – NO spend