Monday, March 30, 2015

How Do You Use It ... Cayenne Pepper

Last week we kicked off this new series by sharing how we used onions and this week we’re going to do the same with cayenne pepper.

How do you use it? 

I grow lots of cayenne pepper and here’s why …

I make pepper vinegar that I keep in the refrigerator year round.  My husband likes to pour a little of this on his collard greens when he gets ready to eat them.

Dehydrate it and chop it up for use in soups, stews and casseroles.

I also dehydrate them and leave them whole for use in some soups and stews.

Dehydrate it to add to the jar when canning pinto beans or navy beans. (I do not chop the peppers up but leave them whole.  I dehydrate them so they will be preserved for use in the winter when I can my pinto and navy beans.)

Dehydrate it and grind it up into powder.

I use it as an ingredient in making cider fire.

I use it in making herbal salves and tinctures.

It’s your turn now, do you grow your own cayenne pepper?   How do you preserve it and/or use it?

A Working Pantry

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pantry Challenge #13 ... 2015

This week it’s been all about getting to visit friends!  I have some of the best friends and it is such a treat to get to actually visit with them in their homes … read on to see what I mean!
My to-do list from last time:   

Continue vacuum sealing oats.  Done!  I added 3 more quarts of quick cook oats to my pantry that we got on clearance at Sam’s Club a while back.

Bargain shop!  Done!  We found Skinny Girl stevia extract on a half-price clearance sale at Walmart. We purchased 12 bottles and added them to our pantry.

 In addition:
Our Sam’s Club purchases this week include some things from the damaged/clearance section in the back of the store.  We found a double bulk box of Honey Nut Cheerios for $4.02 (We won’t eat these but they make great snacks for the little ones in our life), a bulk box of parchment paper for $4.02 and a bulk package of Lipton tea for $7.02 (It appears that .02 is a popular number in their markdowns!)  The packaging on all three of these items was damaged but the contents inside was still sealed and intact.  I’ll vacuum seal the Cheerios in jars as well as the Lipton tea bags!  SCORE!!!!

We visited a dear friend and her husband since I last wrote and she and I did some swapping.  I got popcorn tins and she got empty amber vinegar bottles. (She had been saving these popcorn tins for me for a while.)  She also gave me a pretty bottle that we’ll use for saving our change in and a book on sewing dolls.  I was so glad to get those popcorn tins, I love old bottles and of course with 2 precious little granddaughters this book will get lots of use!  Thank you Pama … yes, she is a member of this group … and by the way her pantry rocks!!!!

I purchased this book … Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: A definitive guide to essential oils that could save your life during a crisis using  Swagbucks I had earned.   This book was recommended by a member of the A Working Pantry Facebook group and I was delighted to have enough Swagbucks to convert to purchase it without having to spend any money out of my pocket.   (The link to this book can be found at the bottom of this entry.)

We visited a non-electric Mennonite store and I restocked my spices.  They have a wide variety and I can buy larger quantities at better prices.  I also got some dehydrated ginger and a couple bars of lye soap.  I’ll use the lye soap for stain treatment and to have on hand in case we run into any poison oak or ivy.

I added 2 bottles of clove essential oil to the medicinal part of my pantry this week purchased at this same non-electric Mennonite store.  We learned about the benefits of clove essential oil and oral health in our discussion last week on herbs/essential oils/home remedies in the A Working Pantry Facebook group This upcoming week our studies will take us in a different direction.

I got the idea for the cutest little Christmas favor from another friend.  She had purchased it at a craft fair.  I think these will be fairly easy to make!  What do you think?


This same friend and I went shopping at JoAnn’s and then to Hobby Lobby.  We shared the coupons we each had and when we didn’t have coupons we found them online.  Shopping with like-minded friends is so much fun!   I found self-adhesive vinyl to make letters for my gallon pickle jars turned canisters, added some ‘on-sale’ fabric to the fabric part of my pantry and treated myself to a cross stitch magazine that I had never seen before … it was way more than I usually pay for magazines … I have been devouring it’s pages since purchasing it.  It’s an Australian publication titled CrossStitcher and I don’t regret spending $11.99 for it one bit.   I’m planning several projects from this magazine in the very near future.  Sometimes you just have/need/got to treat yourself!

We added $4 in change to our change jar!  

I completed a Pinecone Survey this week.

I borrowed the book, The  Color of Grace, How One Woman’s Brokenness Brought Healing and Hope to Child Survivors of War by Bethany Haley Williams, from a friend and am reading it.   I am thoroughly enjoying it.   (The link to this book can be found at the bottom of this entry.)

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:

Bargain shop

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally ?


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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Do You Use It? ... A New Series

Are you ready to delve into a new series? 

It’s gardening time here in the U.S. so let’s talk gardening and preserving … more specially what we do/how we use what we raise in the garden.   By knowing what we use an item for and how we use it, we can determine how much of it we need to plant.

Let’s start with onions.  It’s time to get those planted in the area where I live.  Here is what I do/how I use them …

in salads

as an accompanist to a meal

in soups, stews, casseroles

as an ingredient in herbal remedies

Here’s how I preserve them:

chop and dehydrate to make minced onion

chop, dehydrate and grind to make onion powder

chop and freeze in ¼ cup increments  (I fill snack baggies with ¼ cup chopped onions, seal them, then fill a quart size freezer bag with the snack baggies.  When I need onions for a dish, I take out the number of snack baggies I need and close the quart freezer bag back up.)

as an ingredient in the pepper relish I make

 Okay, it's your turn ...

What kind of onions do you grow and how do you use them?

A Working Pantry

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This post linked to:  Wildcrafting WednesdayThe  HomeAcre Hop

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pantry Challenge #12 ... 2015

Signs of spring are all around us, this week the red bud tree just off our front porch has been showing off its beautiful flowers.  I love the colors of spring!

My to-do list from last time:   

Vacuum seal the oats we purchased on clearance in quart jars.  I have this project started.  As I empty and wash jars I’m refilling them with oats!  Thus far I’ve added 3 quarts of vacuum sealed oats to my pantry. 

Can pecans. Done!  I added 9 pints of pecans to my pantry plus 1 pint for the freezer. The canned ones will last for several years … unless we eat them first! Want to know how to can pecans? Go HERE! 

Scour grocery store and drug store ads for bargains and shop accordingly.  Done!   We didn’t find any bargains from the store ads this week, unless you want to count the buy one get one free special Food Lion was running on Cadbury eggs … yes, I confess, I had two of them … twice!    

 In addition:

We found half gallons of milk on clearance for $1.00 each at Food Lion. We purchased 10 jugs, brought them home, removed 1 cup of milk from each and put the jugs in the freezer.

Our Sam’s Club purchases this week consisted of a bulk can of Swiss Miss chocolate mix on clearance for $3.71,  free toothpaste from the kisosk, Advil samples from a different kisosk, and free orange juice, muffins and a banana.  Not as good as this trip, but we’ll take it!

We were given some fresh clams and my husband made the best clam chowder out of them.  It was a lot of work in getting them from the shells to the table but it was one of the most delicious dishes I’ve eaten!  I am so thankful my husband likes to cook!!!!

We had rotisserie chicken for dinner one night this week and ate all of it except for the breast.  I cubed the chicken breast, vacuum sealed it and added it to the freezer to be used in soup, casseroles, chicken salad, etc.  I then took all the bones and added them to my on-going ‘bones for broth’ bag that I keep in the freezer.  I’m getting close to having enough to make a batch of broth.

I had a stalk of celery that I needed to do something with so I chopped it up and froze it in snack bags and then in quart freezer bags.  I added 9 snack size baggies to the freezer part of my pantry.  I stuck the root end part in a bowl of water to hopefully get it to start growing roots and if that is successful I will plant it in a pot outside and try to re-grow it.

I cashed in enough Swagbucks for a $25 gift card from Amazon.

I received a 60% off of one regular price item coupon from JoAnn’s Fabric so I ordered a bolt of featherweight pellon for my handwork.  Got it for $11.86 plus shipping instead of the $27 plus shipping that it would have normally cost.

We added $6.50 in change to our change jar!   It’s so nice to see this filling back up again.
We started a new series this week on A Working Pantry Facebook group titled The Herbal/Essential Oil/Home Remedy/Medicinal Part of My Pantry … join me as I update and overhaul it!   If you’d like to join us go HERE!

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue vacuum sealing oats
Bargain shop!

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally ?

A Working Pantry

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!

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This post linked to:  Five Star Frugal; The Art of Homemaking Mondays

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Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth