Sunday, February 10, 2013

Too Much of a Good Thing? Freeze it for later! Why I Take It All

Dear adventurous companions,

I was once again blessed with an enormous amount of bananas. Free!!

After my experience last summer with seven cases of (halved, in peel) bananas, I've learned that if anything, I know my way around a box of bananas!  Not a single one went to waste, and the peels hit the compost pile at our local CSA immediately.

When somebody offers me free food, I take it, immediately.  No questions asked.  I won't turn down anything, or any amount, for two reasons.

First, if word gets out that I'll take anything and everything, no matter how much, I'll be the first person people go to when they have a surplus.  If I turn it into a prepared food that can be shared, I'll bestow them with a package of it to thank them for thinking of me and, of course, to encourage them to think of me again the next time they have a surplus they want to get rid of!  If they knew I would only take part of the food, they might offer it to somebody else first knowing they could get rid of it all in one fell swoop - but since I can take it ALL, always, every time, I hope I will be their first choice!

Second, there is no such thing as too much because there's always a way to save it!  Even if it's something I haven't used a lot of before - bananas, the first time I got them - and I don't know at the moment how I'll deal with them, I take it without blinking.  I can take the haul home and instantly hit the Internet, my books, or call some expert friends to find out how to process large amounts.  Even lettuce can be turned into a blended soup and frozen!  Eggs can be pickled, or separated and frozen, or turned into custard or pound cake or ice cream and frozen and vacuum sealed for later.  If it truly is too much of something or a food that will rot before I can process it all (like when I was given an extended-bed pick-up truck full of sliced oranges on a hot day), I have some immediate avenues where I can disperse it with no trouble to the original giver: urban homesteading groups, church groups, friends and my network in the local community will all hit my doorstep to enjoy the surplus within a matter of hours after I spread the word.

Out of unexpected surplus or blessings others have received, I've been generously blessed with cases of oranges, bananas, cabbage, greens, collards, bunches of herbs, bags of onions, apples, habaneros, boxes of eggs, fresh meat, pumpkins, watermelon, and so much more; let me assure you, I don't take any of this for granted!  It all feeds in to my larger mission of dedicating time and my networking capabilities to feed my family the most nutritious, nourishing diet I have the power to with my own two hands.

Every scrap of food goes to the immediate purpose of feeding hungry bellies.  There have been times I've been generously offered (and instantly accepted!) huge amounts of food that I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat myself, and by nightfall it was on the tables of families interested in the food and sometimes in desperate need of it.  Even though I didn't do anything to earn that food, it still felt good to be able to give it away and see the joy and answers to prayer it brought to others!

I absolutely love free food - honestly, without it, it would be a real challenge to keep our family fed the way I feel I should.  I earnestly pray every day that I can keep a table of real, nutritious food for my loved ones and the transient sailors and their families that we are often feeding in our home, and I know that my prayers are constantly heard and answered in miraculous ways - sometimes within hours of the prayer - and often the day I run out of something.

Do you ever get free food, and what do you do with it?  Or have you been able to give away from your surplus?


Mrs H

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