One of the things I find most satisfying is stocking my pantry with wonderful ingredients to feed my family. This past week I was able to totally stock our freezer with small farm raised pork and support a friend and fellow 4Her. We purchased a whole hog for $375 and they took it to a wonderful family owned butcher shop for processing. The processing was $194. We took home 133 pounds of meat which included 20 pounds of maple breakfast sausage, 20 pounds ground pork, 15 pounds of bacon, 52 pounds of roasts and steaks, 5 pounds of leaf lard (which I intend to render) and 21 pounds of smoked mild sausage links. That works out to $4.27/pound! It should last us about a year, maybe longer.
Some people make meal plans and then go grocery shopping to get the ingredients they need to make those meals. I prefer to fill my pantry and then make my meal plans based on what I have on hand. I now have a year’s supply of pork waiting for me to turn into delicious food. But sometimes I get into a rut making the same meal over and over. Mystie Winkler’s book Simplified Dinners has helped me to break out of that rut. It is based on the idea of keeping a stocked pantry. She then takes something like a pork roast and gives you 6 different ways to prepare it so that even though you might be cooking the same thing it tastes different based on what you have in your pantry. She has both a regular edition and a gluten-free, dairy-free edition. I highly recommend it!
I think I will go cook some bacon! Yum!!