Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

As the garden continues to put out its last morsels of produce the floor of the kitchen is still cluttered with baskets of produce and jars for canning.  Slowly the pantry is becoming better stocked each day.  Also my challenge of living from the pantry and freezer continues with planning for good meals at a minimum of cost.

The filling of the freezer with meat and the pantry with other staples from the market is almost complete.  I estimate that the cost to replenish everything has cost about $600 so starting this week I will begin to actually see what we spend over the next 6 months on groceries weekly.  It should be interesting as I do not do a budget for such spending.  Just purchase as we need things.  I do have a couple of more items to purchase that is included in the $600 for restocking.

The only thing that has gone into the pantry this week has been from the garden.

 I guess the theme for the next few weeks will be tomatoes as they continue to ripen sitting here in baskets.  Also made more dill pickles as I could never eat fresh all I had picked and they weren't the quality that I like to give away.
I think I have mentioned before I am the primary care giver for my brother who is mentally challenged and now also a type 2 diabetic with a special diet.  During the winter I make a lot of soup for weekend lunches.  Each 12 oz jar contains the correct proportions of carrots, potatoes and celery to make on lunch by adding 1 cup of tomatoes, 2 oz of meat and 1 pint of stock.  The 8 oz. jars are pizza sauce.  I cook my meatballs in a sauce but freeze them separately.  This is sort of a by product of the procedure.  By adding a little tomato paste and a few more herbs it makes a great canned pizza sauce.
I do a lot with left overs in the way of TV dinners for my brother also.  There are some things like a ham that can't be cooked for 2 and not have left overs.  This is scalped potatoes with ham and carrots correctly proportions for a dinner for him.  This picture doesn't show it well but if you use a good quality plastic wrap by placing the dinner in the microwave for about 2 minutes and take it out it will actually shrink wrap the meal giving it a good seal in the freezer.  I just cover it with foil once it is cooled and into the freezer.

I am not sure if I am frugal or cheap but I have come to pinch a penny until is squeals living on a limited fixed income and still eating better than many.

Be sure to visit our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what other have to share in recipes and what they are squirreling away from their garden.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Harvest 9/24/12

We are now having temperatures in the 30's at night and highs in the low 60's during the day so the garden is winding down fast.  I caved into the critters this week and picked all of the tomatoes that I thought might have a change to ripen in the house.  There are small ones left so won't pull the plants until frost gets them or the critters finish eating the tomatoes.

 Italian Paste
 Jersey Giants

Total of 32 3/4 pounds.

The last of the carrots 7# 14 oz.
 Some of the potatoes that the vines had died including 2 red volunteers.  The rest are russets.  Many a little smaller than I had hoped Total 15#
 Celery 1 3/4 #
 Another shot showing the size of the ribs

Cannelloni beans for seed 3 3/4 #
The last of the cucumbers. 5 1/4 #

Have now gathered all the seed for next years tomatoes and bell peppers.  Did save seed from the cucumbers but not sure if they got ripe enough.

Don't forget to visit our host,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others are harvesting this week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 09/20/12

Not much going into the pantry or freezer from the garden this week but I did my big trip to the city on Friday and have been taking care of things every since.

The tomatoes are still ripening slowly but did manage to get these canned this week.
Left over ham made into Scallop potatoes augratin with ham which will be put into TV dinner trays with a vegetable and froze for my brother for dinners when I am out.  Every meal has to exactly proportioned for him and sometimes I like to have things he doesn't eat.
Taco meat made with my homemade taco mix
Taco sauce.  It makes way more that I can eat so I keep some in the refrigerator and canned some.

Both the taco mix and the taco sauce are cloned recipes.  The Mix is Ole' Elpaso

Taco Seasoning Mix Ole’

3/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. each cornstarch, crushed dried red pepper,
dried minced garlic, ground cumin

Combine all ingredients and seal in ziploc or vacuum seal bag (or jar).

To Use: 2 T Mix, 1/2 c. water & 1 lb ground beef, simmer altogether.

And the Taco Sauce to Taco Bell

Taco Bell's Hot taco sauce

1 6-oz can tomato paste
3 cups water
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon minced dried onion
2 tablespoons canned jalapeno slices ("nacho slices")

1. Combine the tomato past with the water in a saucepan over medium
heat. Stir until smooth.

2. Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, cornstarch, vinegar,
and dried onion. Stir.

3. Chop the jalapeno slices very fine. You can use a food processor,
but don't puree. The best kind of jalapeno to use are those bottled
for nachos or pizza. Add them to the mixture.

4. Heat the mixture to boiling. Continue to stir about 3 minutes and
remove from the heat.

5. Let the sauce stand until cool, and then put in a tightly sealed
container and refrigerate. This will last 1 to 2 months. Makes 3-1/2

Both are good and very inexpensive to make.  Most have everything on their pantry self which makes it easy.

Most of this week was spent packaging and freezing meet etc. from my shopping Marathon. However we are now set for winter except for a few things that I will get in the next few weeks.  Then shopping will be only a few perishables like milk etc.

Be sure to visit our host The Gardener of Eden and see what others have been squirreling away this past week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday's Harvest 09/17/12

First off I must apologize to many who follow and comment on my posts that I just haven't had the time to view your blogs and comment lately.  Due to the threat of our first frost this week I did do some picking down but of course no frost came.

Well this isn't vegetables but might explain why I haven't had much time for blogging.  Since I live in the Wilderness it is a constant battle to keep the woods from totally taking the cleared property back, I need to harvest a lot of underbrush.  This came from the woods directly behind the picture.

Carrots for dinner one night.  2 Pounds
Didn't get weighed
Volunteer tomatoes.

16 quart basket of mostly Jersey Giants that are now oxheart shaped instead of plum but still nice tomatoes.

Italian Paste.  Total tomatoes for the week 25 pounds.

The end of the shelling beans.  Some of these are dried and will be used for seed next year rest will be canned.  1# 12 oz.

Also picked 12 oz. of basil and over 2 pounds total of cucumbers.

Be sure to visit,Daphne's Dandelions and see what others have harvested this past week.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 09/13/12

This week was fairly good to the pantry and freezer again.  Not big but enough to keep in the kitchen and out of trouble.  In following Robin's lead from last week and Erin's challenge have a few pictures of what my house looks like this time of year.

 Tomatoes, green beans, cannelloni beans and shelling beans

The last of the bell peppers headed for the freezer

A little look at one side of my pantry.  Have been working on getting it organized.

Then comes the mess in the kitchen. or more or less the dining room

And there is the stove most of the time.

Be sure to check out our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what others are squirreling away for winter.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday's Harvest 09/10/12

Good Monday morning with chilly weather at only 47 degrees so the garden is shivering a bit this morning and yesterday morning.  Despite the cooler fall weather the rain and sun seem to still take their turns at bathing my plants and hopefully encouraging them to fulfill their duties and get ready for harvest.  It seems to be slow go but actually the pace is nice to keep things preserved and put away for winter.

 This was a delicious that the critters beat me too.  It was 11 oz.
 Worley 1#7 3/4 oz.  largest 13 1/8 oz.
 Patio 2# 10 3/4 oz.
 Delicious 11# 5 5/8 oz
 Patio 2# 5 7/8 oz
 Italian Paste I call DI 1# 7 5/8 oz.
 Unknows 11 5/8 oz
 Jersey Giants 9 1/8 oz
 Paprika Peppers the end 9 1/8 oz.
Cannelloni beans 2# 5 5/8 oz.
Green peppers the end 1# 12 3/8 oz.

I will have to continue to pick my tomatoes before they ripen or at least the lowest ones as the critters seem to be very hungry this year.

I have been picking side shoots of broccoli but no pictures and not even sure if I weighed them all.

Be sure to visit,Daphne's Dandelions   and see what others are harvesting now.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

The pantry is finally getting fed with all the stuff I am squirreling away for winter.  This has been another busy week.

Finally got the Alisa Craig onions cleaned, bagged and hung in the shop. 4 pounds
Same with the Stuttgarter 4 1/2 pounds

Spaghetti Sauce

This sink butcher block that my DH made for me is a girls best friend this time of year.  One stop prep work with the garbage disposal, water and lots of room to work.  Also I use it many times as just extra counter space. Oh and by the way a good way to hide dirty dishes.  Once prepped fill the jars and it is 2 steps behind me to the stove.
Chop suey vegetables already for the cans

Shelling beans.  They always seems to loose some of their water but still keep well once sealed.

Also baked about a 7 # piece of the boneless ham I bought and that is all sliced for sandwiches and ready to be packaged for the freezer.  A good buy at $2.75 a pound.

Please visit our host,The Gardener of Eden and see what others are squirreling away for winter.