Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pantry Challenge #25 ... 2014

We have finally been experiencing some fall weather!  I love fall, in fact it’s probably my favorite season of the year.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting the cooler temperatures and they are finally here!  Welcome Fall!

My to-do list from last time:

Do a big batch of pecan waffles for the freezer.  Done!  My husband helped me and together we made enough pecan waffles for 7 future meals in addition to making enough for our breakfast that morning.  It took us about 2 hours from start to finish, including eating our breakfast in the middle of the whole process.  It is definitely something we will do again when our waffle supply runs out. After the waffles were cooled, packaged and sealed, they were put in the freezer part of our pantry.

Make sauerkraut.  Done!  I have 4 gallon pickle jars of sauerkraut fermenting.

Dehydrate lemon slices.  Done!  I added 2 jars of dehydrated lemon slices to my pantry. I had one lime that needed dehydrating as well so I sliced it and dehydrated it with the lemons.  The lemon and lime slices that I dehydrate will be reserved for those times when we run out of fresh lemons and limes at the end of the month when there’s more month than money.  0:)

Here’s what else I got done ….

I made another gallon of cider fire.

I harvested and dehydrated more plantain.

I started a batch of elderberry tincture.  It needs to sit and be shaken daily for 3 – 4 weeks before it is ready to use.

Made a batch of lemon and honey as part of my preparing for the upcoming cold and flu season.  It can be taken in tea or water, used as a spread on toast or taken by spoon.  The lemon loosens up phlegm and the honey helps to soothe irritation.  I took one cup of raw honey and put it in a pint jar.  I added, 2 tablespoons of lemon peel and slices from a whole lemon.  (Be sure to wash the lemons before using.)  I put a lid on the jar and sat it in the refrigerator to let it blend and do its thing.  It will stay in the refrigerator until needed.

Per the instructions from a lady on the Facebook group, Pantry Ladies, I'm starting a small portable price check notebook that fits nicely in my purse and that will be with me when I’m out shopping.  I’ve done the larger version before but I can never remember what it says when I’m out shopping and it’s at home!  This will work much better for me.

Here’s my to-do list for this week:

Order vitamin C powder to make vitamin C capsules

Make a big batch of low-carb zucchini muffins for the freezer.  (I'm working on trying to get some breakfast freezer meals in the freezer.)

From the same Facebook group mentioned above, another lady shared the recipe she uses for making Miracle Healing Salve.  It’s good for cuts, scrapes and all kinds of boo-boo’s!  I want to make a batch of this and add it to the medicinal part of my pantry.

Now it’s your turn, what pantry related things have you done since we last talked?

A Working Pantry

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pantry Challenge #24 ... 2014

We’ve enjoyed squash from our fall garden a couple of times since the last pantry challenge.  I cut the squash up into chunks, drizzle a little olive oil on the pieces, sprinkle on some Cajun seasonings, salt and pepper and mix it all up.  I spread the chunks out on a flat pan and roast them in the oven @350 until tender.  It is so delicious fixed this way … not to mention easy!

We’re also on the verge of enjoying cucumbers fresh from the garden as well, they are about 1 – 2 inches long right now.  I'm anxiously awaiting these!
So, besides enjoying fresh from the garden produce what else have I done pantry-wise since we last chatted?

My to-do list from last time:
I have some lemons that are a bit hard so I need to slice and dehydrate them.   Didn’t get done!
Make pepper powder out of the peppers I’ve been dehydrating.  Done!  I have ground up enough dehydrated peppers to fill a 1 pint jar with pepper powder.  (The peppers are a variety of bell, chocolate, red, and cherry bell) I then took a top from a parmesan cheese container and put it on the pint jar.  It fits perfectly and now I have the option of using it as a shaker on one side or can spoon it out from the other.  I'll be sneaking this nutrient rich powder into all kind of things!

So what did I get done ….
We received a $4 off beef coupon from Food Lion recently so when we were in the store for another sale priced item last week we headed back to the meat counter.  My husband dearly loves steak so when we found a nice looking steak with the original price being $17.31 … marked down to $11.91 … marked down again to $7.91 we added it to our shopping cart and brought that steak for $3.91 after the coupon.  SCORE!
We found some really nice looking cauliflower on sale for $3.99 BOGOF which made them $1.99 each and cabbage on sale for $.39/lb.  We purchased 2 heads of cauliflower and one head of cabbage.  We have both planted in our fall garden so hopefully we’ll have them fresh from the garden in the not too distant future.
In the same shopping trip, but in a different store, we found coconut milk on sale for $.88/can.  I added 4 cans to my pantry.  Since we’ve been eating low-carb, coconut milk is an item that we find in lots of recipes, but it is quite expensive if not purchased on sale.
My bulk buying for the week consisted of a 3 lb package of pepperoni slices and a large container of Cajun seasoning.  I divided the pepperoni slices up into meal/snack size portions, vacuum sealed them and added them to the freezer part of my pantry.  I like to use the Cajun seasoning on chicken breast that I cook on my Panini grill.  Cooking the chicken breast on a Panini grill makes it so moist and the Cajun seasoning adds just enough bite to make it yummy.  I was getting close to using up the Cajun seasoning that I had so I was glad to be able to restock this staple.
I purchased enough fresh horseradish root, fresh turmeric root and fresh ginger root to make another batch of cider fire.  I chopped it all up along with some onions, jalapeno peppers and rosemary and covered it all in apple cider vinegar.  It’ll be ready in about a month.  I take cider fire almost daily in a bit of orange juice.  It helps so much with my asthma.   
I found cabbage on sale for $.99/head at Aldi’s this morning and …  they were grown in the USA, in fact they were grown in my home state.  I purchased 5 heads and plan to make sauerkraut with them this week.

Here’s my to-do list for this week:
Do a big batch of pecan waffles for the freezer
Make sauerkraut
Dehydrate lemon slices

Now it’s your turn, what pantry related things have you done since we last talked?

A Working Pantry


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pantry Challenge #23 ... 2014

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write … we are so busy … in fact I had decided to just take an extended blogging break … like really extended … as in taking A Working Pantry completely down and stop blogging for a while ... but then I started getting inquiries as to where A Working Pantry was and about how helpful it was to others … so I decided to revamp it … make it simpler and therefore easier for me to maintain.  Hang in there with me as I continue to revamp and make changes.  In the meantime, let’s get on with the Pantry Challenges, shall we?

My to-do list from last time:
No assignments this week … we’re going to ‘free-style’ it and see what I come up with!
So what did I come up with ….
An unplanned stop at Food Lion (while out running errands one day) netted me the following:  6 whole chickens marked down to half price and one package of thick pork chops also marked down to half price.  I added the chickens to the freezer part of my pantry and had the pork chops for dinner that night!
When I finished at Food Lion I went next door to Walgreens and purchased 3 cans of Chicken of the Sea chunk light tuna for $.69/can, 2 jars of Lindsey green olives for $.99/jar and 2 cans Chicken of the Sea pink salmon for $1.99/can.  All of these were purchased using Walgreens in ad coupons.
We’ve been traveling but before we could leave I had to do something with about a dozen large onions.  Since I didn’t have time to chop and dehydrate them before we were scheduled to leave I decided to chop and freeze them into 1 cup increments.  When I finished I had added 25 cups of chopped onions to the freezer part of my pantry.
We stopped in at a Mennonite Bulk Food Store while we were traveling and I purchased several herbs to add to my pantry.  In addition, I added a large bag of sugar free chocolate chips.
It’s a small world!  While traveling we visited a Mennonite country store where I met a lady who reads A Working Pantry.  She and another lady were talking about canning pinto beans and my husband and I joined in the conversation.  One thing led to another and before long we found ourselves talking about my blog.  Imagine my surprise when she told me she had read my blog … I travel 10 hours on a working vacation and meet a reader of my blog!  It really is a small world!!!!
At the above mentioned Mennonite country store I added a couple of items to my pantry … curry and some citric acid.
Someone gave us a grocery bag of okra and I was able to add 9 packages to the freezer part of my pantry.
I’ve been canning pears and have added 25 quarts to my pantry. 
Whenever I don’t have a full canner of whatever I’m canning I finish filling it with jars of water, as a result I’ve added 5 more quarts of sterilized water to the medicinal part of my pantry.  (Sterilized water is great for cleaning wounds.)
I’ve been harvesting lots of cayenne pepper recently.  I refreshed the pepper vinegar I keep going in my refrigerator all year long, dried some and will make cider fire with some.
Our Bell peppers have been doing really well as well and I have been chopping and dehydrating them almost daily.
I had some limes that got a bit hard so I sliced them into approximately ¼ inch slices and dehydrated them.  We’ll use these in beverages when we run out of limes.
My plantain needed harvesting so I did and dehydrated it.

Here’s my to-do list for this week:
I have some lemons that are a bit hard so I need to slice and dehydrate them
Make pepper powder out of the peppers I’ve been dehydrating.

Now it’s your turn, what pantry related things have you done since we last talked?

A Working Pantry

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