It’s broccoli time here on the urban homestead and our meals reflect what’s growing in the garden and what home preserves are stashed in the pantry.

While our home canned goods are getting lower and lower the days are growing longer and hopefully warmer.  With only a few short weeks of winter left another canning season will be upon us in no time.

Now that we are canning more and more of our homegrown produce a situation has been created.  Where to store the hundreds, yes, literally hundreds of the glass canning jars.  One thing is when they are full – they sit nice and pretty in our kitchen cabinets. But when we are done, storing all the glass jars and lids can be a challenge.     A simple solution, I have learned, one really needs to be organized when you start preserving your own food – everything should have a storage place.  And that’s a challenge for me now since my canning glass collection seems to grow every year.

What about you?  How has your eating habits and more local lifestyle change the face of your home/kitchen?

Of course no post would be complete without a mention of the weather since we are actually experiencing weather.

It’s raining again.   Another big storm blew in and dumped over 1 1/2 inches of rain on Monday. And it’s STILL raining this morning with a chance of showers all day.

Sure we are happy for the rain just not to certain that we are happy that it’s coming all at once.  Would have been nice if the storms were spread out a bit – so at least we could dry out.

Puddles are a very rare sight and today while doing the chores some places of the yard looked more like a lake!  Row, row, row your boat….

Here’s what we ate last week.  Enjoy.


Breakfast – homemade acorn flour pancakes made with homeraised eggs
Dinner -homemade tortillas, spanish rice (homegrown tomatoes, peppers, green onions) with organic black beans and cheese


Breakfast – homemade stove top granola made with homegrown honey
Lunch – leftovers from Saturday dinner
Dinner – homegrown pickled figs with locally made goat cheese (from FG swap) on bread with homegrown salad


Breakfast – homemade stove top granola made with homegrown honey
Lunch – homegrown broccoli cheese pasta with homegrown salad
Dinner – homegrown broccoli, kale, celery and organic potato soup


Breakfast – homemade stove top granola made with homegrown honey
Dinner – homegrown broccoli, kale, celery and organic potato soup
Lunch – leftover soup


Breakfast – homemade stove top granola made with homegrown honey
Lunch – homegrown broccoli and celery cheese casserole with homemade cornbread
Dinner – leftovers


Breakfast – homemade stove top granola made with homegrown honey
Lunch – homegrown tomato melted cheese sandwich
Dinner -homegrown salad greens, homemade herb pizza crust topped with homegrown tomatoes and canned marinated homegrown peppers


Breakfast – homemade stove top granola made with homegrown honey
Lunch – leftover homemade pizza with homegrown salad Dinner – homemade no knead bread, homegrown, preserved tomato sauce with organic whole wheat pasta and homegrown salad

Sorry COMMENTS are back on…


  1. Laurie says:

    Yes, yes!! Storage of empty canning jars is definitely a challenge. They look so nice and neat when a brand-new case is opened, but when they dribble back to storage a quart here, a half-pint there — that’s different.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one with this problem. When we redid our kitchen cabinets, we removed the sofits. Over the sink there wasn’t much space (due to a large window) and the carpenter asked if we wanted to just leave it empty. I told him that I actually wanted a cabinet up there, to store empty jars. It is just a bit taller than a quart jar inside the cabinet. Not only do I have some storage, but it hides the wiring for the lights (which is why the inside is smaller than it looks). Bad thing is that we have 10 foot ceilings, so I need a ladder to put them away or get them down. That space is almost full, so not sure what I will do next. Perhaps just a tote that I add empty jars to; probably will keep it in the basement.

  3. Margret says:

    Can you double-stack your jars on shelves and maybe thread your screw-tops on a coat-hanger and make a wreath of them? Or something? I will be having that problem next year, God willing, but not so far.

    Taking suggestions about preserving taters. My ex and I planted a 50lb bag a week or so ago, and about May 15, I will hopefully be up to my eyeballs in new potatoes. Is there a way to dry them without having them turn black?

    Congrats on more rain, you California-ites. Send it this-a-way.

  4. Shirley says:

    Have you considered putting the rings back on the empty jars and placing the jar upside down on the back of the shelf it came from? Then rather than having increasingly empty shelves the full jars would be to the front and the empty to the back.

    My aunt always saved the boxes the jars came in and stored the jars, full and empty, in the original boxes. She wrote on the outside of the box what was in it and set the boxes on shelves in the storage area. The empty jars were always placed upside down to diffrentiate the two easily. Then the green bean boxes were used for green beans the next year and so on. She had a large 3 and sometimes 4 generation family in the house to feed and could never have just used the kitchen cabinets or shelves.

  5. amy byrd says:

    I save my boxes and put the jars back in them in an outside shed.I stack them in the back corner. The only problem I have is if I forget to close the box back it gets dusty.

  6. Becky says:

    I have a cardboard box for rings. I also have boxes for empty freezer cartons/lids on a shelf in the garage. We toss the empties in there as we use them and organize them in tidy stacks according to their size when we get a box full.

    I have a basement where we have shelves in 2 different areas. When canning, I arrange the jars in sections of what’s in them, and age so we always eat the old ones up first. I take a basket down there full of empty jars and trade for full ones. I put all empty wide-mouths together in one section, all empty small-mouths, pints, etc. in their own sections as I remove the full jars of food from the shelves. I put some empties in boxes, using newspaper, if needed, to give more empty room on the shelves. It is easier for the kids to put jars away if it is not too crowded and they can easily see what section we are currently working on for each size jar.

    I always keep a few full jars upstairs in the pantry so we always will be easily able to grab a new jar, thus using more because it’s easy.

    Everyone has to get their own system, hope this helps someone.


  7. Susan Smith says:

    hi: What sort of acorns does acorn flour come from?
    Your meals look wonderful. thanks, Susan

  8. Lizz says:

    Figs and goat cheese is pretty close to heaven!

  9. Ami says:

    I stumbled across this blog while learning and reading up on homesteading.

    I am an aspiring future homesteader, and have enjoyed reading your blog.

    But there is one thing…………..

    I was looking at your sample menu, and other than the black beans on one of the days, it seemed to me that NONE of the other meals had a balanced amount of essential nutrients like proteins.

    At least from this menu, it seems like your diet mostly consists of vegetables, granola, honey, potatoes, bread and cheese. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be vegetarians (though I’m NOT and never will be vegetarian, my mom is, and my brother used to be for 10 years) but you need some other vegetarian protein on a daily basis to replace the nutrients that would be available in meat, poultry or fish.

    For example Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP), or other meat substitutes.

    It is not healthy to live only on vegetables and carbs.

    Otherwise, I think this blog is great, and look forward to reading more in the future!

  10. marym says:

    I store my empty jars (with their lids on) in very large plastic tubs, with layers of bubble wrap (saved from deliveries) between the jars. As each of the (now 4) tubs is filled, they go outside to an unused space behind our fireplace – covered with tarps. This is not visible, and surely not aesthetically pleasing, but it keeps them safe, accessible for later in the summer; and we don’t have to look at them until we can ‘can’ 🙂 again. All of my extra rings and tools go together into a carton that stays in the garage over the winter. When I find a more durable second-hand container, the carton will be traded out as I find that, this winter, mice are eating the cardboard.

  11. Mary Ann says:

    Just another suggestion, to have some emergency water storage, fill each jar with water so space is not wasted and jars stay clean.

  12. Missy says:

    Well I think if I were the one doing this, I would keep the original boxes or a couple anyways to stack the jars in as I emptied them. they would be safe from breakage that way and clean.

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