Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yep, I Do Believe I'm an Ant

Conor wanted to know why we were going to the grocery store again, to buy more strawberries. I told him there are two kinds of people in this world: ants and grasshoppers, taken from one of my favorite fables. I told him how all summer long, the ant worked each day to gather and store food. He knew that winter would come and food would not be plentiful. He used the warm weather and abundance of the season to prepare for tomorrow. Meanwhile, the grasshopper just spent his time singing and dancing and relaxing. He had no need at that moment, and grasshoppers are really only concerned about that moment. Well, winter did come, and the grasshopper was cold, and hungry. There wasn't food to be found under all that snow. The ant, however, was toasty warm in his home with his stores of food filled to overflowing. He could relax and enjoy security in the harshness of winter because he had not wasted his summer in frivolity.

"Now, which would you rather be?" I asked Conor. "An ant, or a grasshopper?"

Well, an ant, of course.

And that's why we're going back to the store for more strawberries.

Also, I reminded him, our prophet has counseled us to do all we can to be prepared for a time of need. Food will not always be readily available, and we do not ever want to be hungry. So, when food is plentiful, as in summer time, and it is on sale, we buy as much as we can!

One of my basic food storage goals is to be able to always have homemade wheat bread and fresh jam available. I don't know about you, but I could live on those two items for a long time, happily. I feel like I've become competent with bread and know that my ton of wheat will never go to waste. Living in California, where fruit is amazing, I decided to make as much jam as I could, to last us throughout the winter---which, admittedly, isn't as romantic a winter as I wish we had, all snowed in and cozy, but still. I try not to buy fruits and vegetables out of their season, which means, I'm not buying strawberries in January, even if I can find them in the store.

I made two batches of strawberry jam yesterday, to add 8 pints to my storage. I plan to make another batch once my pectin arrives in the mail. I then stemmed additional berries and froze them in one-pound batches for use in breakfast smoothies once school starts. As you can see from the picture of my fridge, I still have about 10 pounds left to use--more jam, more to freeze, some to eat fresh on steel-cut oats. Or, in yogurt. Or, just for a snack! And today, when berry prices jump back up to more than triple what I paid, it won't bother me a bit. My strawberry stores are full!

(And I also have peaches and mangos ready to be jammed, and offers to glean apricots and blackberries for even more! Winter will be sweet indeed!)


Hannah said...

You've inspired me. Strawberries are on sale here starting today for .77/lb. I will be buying a ton. And when Mike asks why I bought so many, I'll send him to your blog.

Luisa Perkins said...

We are the SAME, you and I! This thrills me. Food storage--especially DELICIOUS food storage--is better than money in the bank.

Although that's nice, too. :)