In 2011 we had a bumper crop of tomatoes, so I canned tomatoes. And then I canned more. And then I canned more.
We still have a few jars of them in the pantry.
Which is fabulous because I can take those plain old jars of tomatoes and make them into something wonderful now.
Like enchilada sauce.
Because I love enchilada sauce.
I didn't know that I loved enchilada sauce way back in 2011 when I canned these tomatoes.
It's a good thing they were just plain tomatoes.
So I took six of those aging quart jars of tomatoes and cooked them down by half and then sieved all the skins and seeds out and made a triple batch of my enchilada recipe and now I have fresh new pint jars of enchilada sauce in the pantry instead of aging quart jars of tomatoes.
Which brings me to my point about pantry staples.
When you have a surplus, store as much as you can in a simple way that can be used to make other stuff later. Like in a year. Maybe after you've discovered something ToDieFor on Pinterest that you didn't even know you loved. Or your youngest kiddo loved.
Can a bunch of vegetables plain. Put up just plain bottles of fruit. Or freeze it. Make simple one-fruit jams that can be jazzed up later with a spice or two.
I'm not suggesting that you do all of your canning this way because it's nice to have fancier stuff already made up so all you have to do is open a jar.
I'm just suggesting that when you have a surplus, get it put up as easily as possible so that you have the flexibility of doing multiple things with it later.