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This is Why! part 6

Previous entries can be found HERE . Thus far we’ve talked about how I use leftovers to help stock my pantry, how I shop to fill my...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This is Why! part 3

 
Parts 1 and 2 can be found here.

Beginning with this entry and for the remainder of the series I’m going to be sharing with you some practical ways that I build and maintain my well-stocked pantry all the while eating from it daily.  These are all things I have done or am doing.

In this entry we’re going to concentrate on leftovers and how I use them to add to my pantry.  What! You didn’t know you could add to your pantry using leftovers … oh.my.yes!
Let’s get started, shall we?

1.      I save the bones from fried, baked or from deboned chicken … both cooked and raw.  I add them to a freezer bag I keep in the freezer.  I even add the bones leftover from a meal we've eaten after the chicken has been eaten off the bones.  Don’t go ‘eeewwww’ … they’re going to be frozen, cooked, and pressure canned.  Nothing’s going to live through that!  When the bag of bones is full, I dump it out into a pot of water, add a little vinegar, raw garlic and onions and bring it to a gentle boil.  I let it boil gently for 2 – 3 hours then let it cool, strain out the bones and vegetables and pressure can it in quarts or pints.  I have also frozen it if there wasn’t enough for a canner full. By doing this I add nutrient rich chicken broth to my pantry. 

2.      I do the same thing with beef bones … both cooked and raw.   By doing this I add nutrient rich beef broth to my pantry.

3.      Before we leave broth, let me add that I also do this with raw vegetable peelings … I don’t add the vinegar though.   I make sure that I wash the vegetables really well with a vegetable wash.  This is the one that I make and use.  By doing this I add nutrient rich vegetable broth to my pantry.

4.     I make freezer convenience meals by filling up freezer/microwave trays like these with leftovers and adding them to the freezer part of my pantry.   I’ve even been known to cook extra so I could add a few freezer/convenience meals to my pantry.  I let them thaw in the refrigerator then pop them in the microwave to heat and then eat. 

5.     I keep an ongoing soup bag in my freezer.  Every morsel of food is precious when building up my pantry.  Not enough leftovers for another meal … only a tablespoon full left … no problem … I put it in a freezer container/bag and continue to add to it until the container is full, then use it to make a pot of soup or pot pie, or add to a casserole, etc.

6.     I use leftover raw vegetables from the garden … you know the ones that get too big such as cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, etc or that are left over from a big canning day … maybe I have a cup of raw green beans left. It’s not enough for another canning, not enough for a meal so I stick them in the dehydrator, dry them and then grind them up using a coffee/spice grinder like this one or a food processor/chopper like this one.   The end results are that I add the powdered green beans to my ongoing vegetable powder jar.  I do the same thing with tomato peelings.  I add all kinds of raw/dehydrated/ground up vegetables to my vegetable powder jar on an ongoing basis.  What do I use vegetable powder for?  I sneak small amounts into meatloaf, meatballs, casseroles, hamburger patties, soup, vegetable patties, etc.  Great nutrition from something that usually goes to waste.

7.     I use leftover peelings from lemons.  I wash lemons in the vegetable wash mentioned above.  I zest the lemons then either make lemon extract out of the zest or dehydrate the zest to add to my pantry as dried lemon zest.  I add two things, lemon extract and lemon zest to my pantry from the lemon peels.

8.     I use leftover orange peelings to make dried orange peel for use in recipes using the same method I use for lemons.  I add dried orange peel to my pantry from leftover orange peelings.

9.     I use leftover pieces of fruit to make fruit powder just like the vegetable powder in #6.  I use fruit powder in smoothies and fruit based deserts

10.  I make apple cider vinegar using leftover apple peelings.

11.   I make apple jelly from leftover apple peelings.

12.  I make peach jelly from leftover peach peelings.

13.  I make pear jelly from leftover pear peelings.

14.  When I fry bacon, I strain the leftover grease and put it in a freezer container to use for seasoning purposes.

15.   When I have just a little bit of buttermilk leftover from a cooking project I pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it.  When it is completely frozen, I pop it out and add it to a freezer container for later use.  When I get ready to use it I let it thaw in the refrigerator, stir it up and use as if it were fresh.

To sum it all up, from leftovers I add chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, freezer/convenience meals, lemon extract, lemon zest, orange peel, vegetable powder, fruit powder, apple cider vinegar, seasoning grease, buttermilk, jelly and bags of ingredients for making soup or casseroles.  Pretty good for leftovers, don’t you think?  

Okay it’s your turn, how do you use leftovers to add to your pantry?  Your comments are what will make this series more helpful so please share your wisdom.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27
My other blog:  She Hath Done What She Could

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39 comments:

  1. Patsi this is awesome! I linked to your series on my blog earlier today.Next week I will link to this post, it is fantastic. I am up to week 7 of a pantry building up challenge!
    Can I please ask what is the role of the vinegar in the bone broth and how much do you use? When I made baby food I always used a marrow bone in with the vegies. Then it would set like jelly.I had a lot of faith in that as wholesome baby food.
    The powders you produce from peelings and left over vegies etc are wonderful.
    Many thanks for this post. It is an amazing amount of information and things we all can do. It will reduce everyones waste I think.
    I am looking forward to the cooler weather coming so I can start on soups and stews etc again. But just now I am making lots of jam and goodies from free fruit which is wonderful. I love seeing rows of jars of preserves in my pantry! xxx

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    1. Hi Annabel! The purpose of the vinegar is to draw the minerals and nutrients out of the bones. As to the amount, it's one of those things that there's no set rule on, it really depends on the quantity you're making. I have a 4 gallon pot and I usually put a teaspoon of vinegar in it. It doesn't take much to do the job. Thank you for your encouraging words and the great tips!

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  2. Patsi you are an inspiration, thank you for sharing!

    I chill stock in the fridge overnight so I can easily remove the fat from the top. I reserve the fat from the stock, reheat it, strain it through cheesecloth and then pour it into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen, I empty the trays into the appropriate bag in the freezer. It's an easy way to add base flavor to dishes, replacing or using a % in place of butter or other oils / fats. If I'm making chicken pot pie, I'll add a tablespoon of the chicken fat to the pie crust, in exchange for a tablespoon of butter or lard depending on the recipe; as well as use it to saute the vegetables going into the pot pie filling.

    If I have a small amount of fresh herbs on hand that I'm not going to get to before it expires, I either freeze it for stock, or dehydrate it depending on where it's needed most in my pantry.

    This past fall I used the apple scraps from canning pie filling to make vinegar and pectin. I'm looking forward to making jams and jellies with my homemade pectin.

    I hope that you and your family have some financial relief very soon!
    Blessings to all of you!
    Gen

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    1. Hi Gen! Those are some great tips! I will definitely add the one about the fat from stock to what I do! Thank you for your encouragement.

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    2. Saving the fat, never occurred to me. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thank you for an excellent and timely post. I was wondering what to do with that bit of Buttermilk that was left over. My daughter said she uses her pressure canner to make stock all the time. I've done water bath canning and am now interested in learning pressure canning. I received a pressure canner/cooker for Christmas over a year ago and made my first meal from it yesterday - the beef short ribs turned out fantastic. Guess its time to go clean out the freezer now as the chicken bones and vegetables are eagerly anticipating my attention!

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    1. Kris, the biggest obstacle to learning to use a pressure canner is overcoming the fear. Once you actually use it and become more comfortable with it you'll wonder what you were ever afraid of! Thanks for commenting and the encouragement.

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    2. I cleaned out the freezer and took the plunge and made 10 qts. and 1 pt. of chicken stock. I will vacuum seal the meat for pulled chicken sandwiches. Thanks again for the invaluable information. Can't wait to go through the back posts!
      We did 50 gals. of tomato juice last summer and I want to do more stewed tomatoes and chili sauce again.

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    3. Yeah Kris! How do you make your chili sauce?

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    4. Both the Kerr and Ball canning books have chili sauce, but the one I make is from the BH&G canning book. Chili Sauce: 12 to 14 lbs. tomatoes, 4 C. chopped celery, 2 1/2 C. finely chopped onion,2 1/2 C. finely chopped green pepper, 6 in. cinnamon stick ( usually use ground cinnamon), 4 1/2 C. packed brown sugar, 4 C. cider vinegar, 1/4 C. salt, 1 Tblsp. dry mustard, 1 1/2 tsps. ground cloves.
      Wash, peel, remove stem ends and cores, and quarter tomatoes into 8 to 10 qt. kettle or Dutch oven. Cook 15 min; drain off 6 cups tomato juice (use for cooking or drinking). Add celery, onion and green pepper; simmer 1 1/2 hrs. Tie stick cinnamon in cloth; add to mixture. Add brown sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and cloves. Cook mixture 1 1/2 hrs. Remove spice bag. Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/2 in. head space. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath - pints 5 min.. Makes 9 pints.
      Now they recommend putting in lemon juice because of the new tomato varieties. 1/2 tsp. for pints - 1 tsp. for quarts.
      Now that I have a pressure canner, there is so much more I can do besides tomatoes, beets and jams & jellies - happy dance!

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    5. Thanks Kris! I love my pressure canner too!

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  4. I got the idea for vegetable powder from you last summer. Mutant zucchini was sliced thin, dehydrated and ground fine to make the powder. I add it to soups and stews when I want to thicken them rather than adding flour or cornstarch. It's a way of zapping a dish with extra vitamins as dehydrating retains much of the vitamins in the vegetables.

    A question: Is cornstarch made from corn? I know that seems like a silly question but is it possible to use the corn ears to make your own cornstarch. I know it's super cheap but I was thinking about it and couldn't find the answer.

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    1. Hi Maria, I don't know the answer to your cornstarch question... that's a good question by the way. Does anyone else know? Thanks for sharing your tips!

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    2. Maria cornstarch is made from corn but it is only from the endosperm of the corn which is most of the kernel that we eat... I think it would be close enough and would try it!

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    3. Thanks for sharing your wisdom Annabel!

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    4. You can make potatostarch though! starch is starch is starch, the recipes don't care what plant it came from! Here's an excellent video tutorial http://youtu.be/R269seUJpIQ :)

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    5. Miazilla, that is a great video! Thank you for sharing that idea!

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    6. Yes! Thank you for sharing this video. I never thought about making it at home. Something valuable from something previously washed down the drain! I am sharing this with my daughter who cannot tolerate corn in any form.

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  5. Thank you so much for taking the time to post such informative posts. I do many of the things you are sharing.

    I also save that last spoonful of mashed potatoes, either in the freezer or by dehydrating them. I then use them to thicken soups or stews.

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    1. Kim, that's a good tip about the mashed potatoes! Thanks for commenting and for the encouragement.

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  6. I love this series, thank you! After we move to a home of our own, I plan to make use of the information you share with us.

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  7. Patsi as I was reading your post I just kept repeating – gosh! I have learnt so much from you and Annabel in the last few weeks about building up one’s pantry. I have wasted so much. And it is all money thrown away. I am going now to put on a hair shirt. Thank you for all this fantastic information.

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    1. Thank you Sherri... we all had to start somewhere so don't be too hard on yourself.

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  8. Greetings Patsy, I found you from Annabel's blog. Thank you sincerely for making this information available. I have been reading for a few weeks but finally had to say hello, and thank you. Really it's such a blessing to learn these things.
    ~Colette

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    1. Welcome Colette! Thank you for commenting and for your words of encouragement.

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  9. Patsy, You mentioned making lemon extract from lemon zest or peels. Could you share how you do this? Also, don't forget drying bread crusts and heels for breadcrumbs! Donna

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    1. Donna, look for a separate post on how I make lemon extract and lemon zest. I did forget about the breadcrumbs! Thanks for the reminder!

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  10. Hi Patsy! When my roses are done blooming I cut the rosehips off and dry them and put in a jar in the pantry for rosehip tea. I reuse my teabags, pop them in a ziplock bag and freeze them and if I run out of tea boil them and make a pitcher.
    Vicky

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    1. Great tips Vicki! I'll have to start doing the teabag idea!

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  11. Thanks for reminding us to let nothing go to waste. I will be more careful about those small amounts by freezing them and making soup. Love your blog!

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  12. Great post. Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you'll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

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  13. Thank you so much for reminding us so many things we had forgotten. What a blessing to see. God bless you and yours. My mother used to say, even if one is very wealthy--- what is the use of waste? And it is so. The more we save the more we can be that blessing, or just at peace. And i think we all need both. Go girl!

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  14. Some really good ideas here. I especially like the one about dehydrating leftover veggies for veggie powder. Congrats on being a featured post at Wildcrafting Wed. Thanks for posting.

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  15. I never thought of doing that with buttermilk. Thanks for the idea.

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  16. Saving dibs and dabs are something I also tell people about when they are complimenting me on my delicious soups. Never from a recipe, always from left overs and pan drippings! I blogged about this a while back.
    http://www.aglimpseintomyreveries.com/2009/03/works-for-me-wednesday.html

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  17. Thank you for sharing all the ways to save on grocery costs. I am endeavoring to put your peel using ideas into practice!

    I am really enjoying these posts and comments! Thank you!

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  18. Oh my! this is an amazing post. I wouldn't have thought of doing most of those things, and we've lived a thrifty life for a long time by necessity. I can't wait to read the next post!
    Please drop by and say hello!
    ஐღLaura ღஐ
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!
    ~~~~~

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