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 The Cellar

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lindydiva
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Number of posts : 875
Location : Not New York
Registration date : 2008-01-02

PostSubject: The Cellar   Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:08 pm

...or basement, if you prefer.

Now that I have one again (and it's OURS, not something that belongs to The Landlord), we're slowly trying to get it into shape.

DH ("dear husband") has cleared up some of the clutter he stashed down there, and we have an almost new washer & dryer (nope, it is not vintage!!). It's still dirty and dusty. The bottom step needs to be repaired (it's cracked).

But we have a small chest freezer, and DH is talking about sealant and building shelves for all the canning we're going to do Shocked . (So he says. We'll see how the garden turns out, if we get the asphalt up in time.)

If you have a cellar (especially an old-fashioned cellar for food storage), how is it arranged? What would you recommend or stay away from, if you were going to do it again?


I do hang the potatoes and onions in their mesh bags in the cellarway, and right now our stash of seed packets is just on the stair shelf.
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SusieQT
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Number of posts : 339
Location : The Great Swamp
Registration date : 2008-01-11

PostSubject: Re: The Cellar   Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:22 pm

Ours isn't that old, but I do remember my grandmother's (built in the 30s or 40s). I remember she had a couple small rooms down there. One was the old coal bin and there were two other small rooms for storage. I guess you would use the dryest & coolest part for storing food and another part for tools. I remember going down there and riding my tricycle around and around... Smile

You also need a station for folding and ironing wash, as well as an indoor clothesline. A vintage fold-down ironing board would be cool!

We have a homemade storage shelf built for canning jars (left by the previous owner). Each shelf is deep enough for two jars (about 8-10") and high enough for quarts (about 10"). There is about a 2" lip in front of each shelf so the jars don't fall off if it is bumped. I guess the whole thing is about 12 feet long by 7 feet high. I don't can enough to fill it, so we use it in the garage for tools.

My understanding is that the couple who owned our house cultivated almost the entire yard (over 1 acre) so she would have been very busy canning. I do a fair bit of canning, and you'd be surprised at how much food you need to make a batch of cans. I probably pack about 2-3 bushels of tomatoes down into about 5 or 6 quarts of spaghetti sauce. Of course, if you canned them without cooking them down (i.e. whole or crushed tomatoes) you'd get a much bigger yield. For hot & sweet pepper strips or relish, you will need about 12-15 plants' worth to make a batch (5-6 pints). Cucumbers can be very productive, so a couple good plants might make a batch of pickles (8-12 qts).
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lindydiva
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Number of posts : 875
Location : Not New York
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PostSubject: Re: The Cellar   Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:08 pm

I'm figuring on canning salsa, and making dilly beans and some other pickles.

Homemade ketchup, too. I've got lots of old recipes I'd like to try for that.

Maybe I'll can marinara, and very small jars of tomato paste (storebought is always too salty).

I won't go crazy, though. I know it's lots of work, and bang! goes the weekend.

We have a folding rack for air drying, and I need to make more wire hanger sock blockers for my handmade socks. There's a small old table next to the washer for detergents & such. When I find one I'll get a table for folding.

DH is talking about getting rid of the old oil tank. It takes up a lot of space.

The freezer is right next to the stairs.
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SusieQT
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PostSubject: Re: The Cellar   Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:13 am

Good luck getting rid of the oil tank- there's a nightmare of hazmat stuff to go through. But I'm sure Jimmy knows all about that! Wink I have heard of people cutting it out themselves, cleaning it and making it into a barbeque smoker, though!

That's the great part about raising & canning your own food- you can adjust the salt/sugar content to your taste. I have a good recipe for dilly beans that I'm hoping to try this year as well. Last year our green beans got some sort of blight and didn't produce at all. Sad
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lindydiva
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Number of posts : 875
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PostSubject: Re: The Cellar   Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:37 am

Oh, there are people who look for them, for the scrap, and yes--Jimmy does know all the ins and outs of hazardous disposal, considering his business.
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