Friday, September 30, 2022

Pantry Challenge 2022: #2

 I got such good feedback on bringing back my pantry challenges, thank you for your encouragement!

So, how did you do with this week's challenge ...

Choose a grocery item that your family uses for $1 or less and buy 2 of them.

I heard from some of you that this was going to be difficult as hardly anything is $1 or less anymore.  That's true, but some things still are!

I took myself off to the local Dollar General Store and headed for their $1 section.  Did you know that Dollar General Stores have a whole section where they shelf things that are $1?

 Here's what I got ...


Two bottles of shampoo ...
(Each bottle was $1)


Two boxes of soap (each box has 2 bars) ...
(Each box was $1)


and two boxes of toothpaste.
(Each box was $1)

While these items are not food items, they are things that we use on a regular basis that falls under the title of 'groceries' at my house.

How did you do on this challenge?  What did you find for $1 or less?

Our challenge for next week takes us in a different direction and it starts by answering this question ...

How many quarters do you currently have in your purse?  That's right, it's time to go digging in your purse, dump it all out, look in all the crevices, pockets, wallets, zipper bags etc that you have in your purse.  How many quarters did you find?

Add that many items to your pantry this week?

Didn't find any quarters?  Pick a number between 1 and 5 and add that many items to your pantry this week!

You've heard me say many times that my pantry consists of anything and everything that it takes to keep my household running including food and non-food items.  Don't forget that when stocking your pantry!  Also, don't forget that stocking your pantry doesn't always have to cost money.  We can add to our pantries through foraging, swapping, harvesting from the garden, bartering, etc.  If you have a lot of quarters in your purse, you may need to think about utilizing some of these ideas to meet this challenge!

One more thing, remember that this challenge is for stocking your long-term pantry.  If at all possible, don't use the items from this challenge to go into your 'working pantry.'  Put them in your long-term pantry if you have one or in the tub we started last week until you can find a more permanent place for storing your pantry.  Speaking of where to store your long-term pantry may I offer the suggestion of the space under your beds.  Get tubs that will slide under your bed, label them and start filling them up.

I can't wait to read your responses next week!

 I'm off to start this challenge by finding out how many quarters I have hiding in my purse!

Don't forget that you can check on the progress of my ‘September Goals’ by clicking HERE

Until next time, 

patsi      

Sharing 42 years' experience of frugal living and pantry building (if you include my frugal childhood, well that would add a few more years to my experience!)

A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

A Working Pantry is a way of life, a lifestyle if you will!

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.' 

You can follow A Working Pantry on Instagram.  

You can view my privacy policy HERE

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay, and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Can You Fry Rehydrated Okra After It's Been Dried?

"Can you fry rehydrated okra after it's been dried? That's what a reader asked me in a comment from THIS POST.  My response was that I didn't know, I had never tried.

Today, I tried it ...


I had this much okra left after jarring up another one for my pantry, so I dumped it in this pot.


Covered it with boiling water and let set with a lid on for 30 minutes.  (Next time I'll do 15 minutes, 30 minutes was too long for the amount of okra I had.)


I let it drain really well, floured it and got out my frying pan.


I fried it like I normally do and ... it was delicious!
I will definitely be doing this again!   I'll be dehydrating lots more okra too!!!

Don't forget that you can check on the progress of my ‘September Goals’ by clicking HERE

 Hurricane Ian Update:  we have started experiencing the outer bands of 15 - 25 mph winds and occasional sprinkles of rain.   As of right now, tonight, tomorrow and Saturday are the times we've been forecasted to feel the effects.  While we don't expect to get anything like Florida has and is experiencing, forecasters are telling us to prepare for some impact.  Please pray for Florida and for us too.  Thanks in advance!

Hurricane Ian Final Update:  10/1/22 ... We had winds up to 60 mph in our area and approximately 6 - 8 inches of rain.  We did not lose power, thanks to the newly buried power lines the power company completed back in the summer.  Many others around us did lose power, so we really feel fortunate and blessed.
We had a lot of debris in our yard from trees as well as several things to pick up and put back where they belonged.  We spent most of today cleaning up the yard and mowing it ... hopefully for the last time this year ... maybe.  It's not uncommon for us to be mowing up to the first part of November.  Thank you for your prayers on our behalf!

Until next time, 

patsi      

Sharing 42 years' experience of frugal living and pantry building (if you include my frugal childhood, well that would add a few more years to my experience!)

A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

A Working Pantry is a way of life, a lifestyle if you will!

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.' 

You can follow A Working Pantry on Instagram.  

You can view my privacy policy HERE

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay, and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Preserving Okra, Prudence and Hurricane Preps!

Hurricane Ian is coming so we're prepping for whatever it may bring, I'm hurrying trying to get the rest of my produce preserved and for some unknown reason I decided to rehydrate Prudence!!!!

Who's Prudence?  Prudence is my sourdough starter and about every 6 months - a year, I rehydrate her, go on a baking spree and then dehydrate her again for several more months.  I've had Prudence for several years and don't want to lose her! 

Let's talk about preserving okra ... here's how I dehydrate it and what I plan to do with it once it's dehydrated ...


Hubby harvested this partial bucket of okra a couple of days ago and then a friend from church brought us some of which we were ever so grateful for!


I washed it up and sliced it into approximately 1/4-inch pieces.
Remember this bowl from yesterday's post, it was filled with shredded zucchini!
This is a very useful bowl!


Into the dehydrator it went along with some more zucchini (the top 3 racks are filled with zucchini)!  Yes, I'm still dehydrating zucchini!


This is dehydrated okra that I did earlier last week.  When what's in the dehydrator now is finished, I'll also jar it up in the same way.

I'll use the okra to:

add, in its dehydrated state, to soups

turn into a powder for:

adding to my vegetable powder jar
 (I use vegetable powder in hamburger patties, meatloaf, meatballs, soups, casseroles, etc.  Like I shared yesterday, it's a sneaky way to get vegetables in my family!)

adding to smoothies
(Okra has many health benefits!)

You will notice that I used recycled jar lids on these jars, they work just fine for this purpose.  I did not vacuum seal these jars as I expect to turn them into powder in the near future.  I have used recycled jar lids for vacuum sealing many times and they have always worked as well as new ones.

 Until next time, 

patsi      

Sharing 42 years' experience of frugal living and pantry building (if you include my frugal childhood, well that would add a few more years to my experience!)

A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

A Working Pantry is a way of life, a lifestyle if you will!

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.' 

You can follow A Working Pantry on Instagram.  

You can view my privacy policy HERE

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay, and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Finishing Up Preserving the Zucchini!

I got up this morning with determination to finish up the last of a box of zucchini we recently purchased.  I've been working on it off and on for a couple of weeks now and while the zucchini was still in good condition, I wanted this job done!


I had about 15 large zucchinis left to do.  Since I was a woman with a mission ... get the zucchini preserved ... I brought out a 'workhorse,' my 30-year-old food processer.   It took me about 30 minutes to shred this big bowl of zucchini after they were washed and cut into appropriate sizes for feeding into the food processor!


I filled 1 cup size zip lock bags, put them in larger 'recycled' quart size bags and added them to the freezer.  (I filled 2 quart size bags with 4 of the smaller zip lock bags in each.)

 When I say 'recycled' I mean that it's a plastic zip lock bag that I've used before, washed and reused.  This is one of the many ways I use plastic 'recycled' zip lock bags. 

 I'll use these packages of zucchini to make zucchini bread in the future or maybe add to some soups!  Waste not, want not!


Next, I filled the dehydrator.  Once the zucchini is dry, I'll turn it into powder which I'll add to my 'vegetable powder' jar.  I use vegetable powder in all kinds of things, soups, stews, meatloaf, meatballs, hamburger patties, etc.  It's a sneaky way to get vegetables into my family!!!

My main mission for the day is accomplished and I can't tell you how good it feels to not have to look at that partial box of zucchini again!!!

Until next time, 

patsi      

Sharing 42 years' experience of frugal living and pantry building (if you include my frugal childhood, well that would add a few more years to my experience!)

A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

A Working Pantry is a way of life, a lifestyle if you will!

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.' 

You can follow A Working Pantry on Instagram.  

You can view my privacy policy HERE

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Thinking Ahead to Holiday Gift Giving!

Instead of purchasing something for the local people we give gifts to during the holiday season, I've decided to do something different this year.                    
(pictured:  carrot cake and 16 layer chocolate cake)

This year our gifts will come from the kitchen and I'm going to get a head start beginning this week on preparing them!

My first choice for gift giving this year will be freezer meals.  In fact, my plans are to start preparing and adding them to the freezer as early as this week (We do our gift giving from right after Thanksgiving up to and through December 25th.) so it's not too early to get started.

Cakes also make great gifts!  Another idea is to make 2 -3 different cakes, slice them, individually wrap them and give one slice as a gift or several depending on the size of the family you're gifting.  These can also be baked ahead of time, the layers frozen and then thawed and iced before the gift is given.  Don't forget when thinking about presentation and how you're going to wrap your gift that thrift store dishes or even pretty paper ones could turn a slice of cake or several slices of cake into a really pretty gift. 

You can also make sweet breads ahead of time, freeze and then thaw them before gifting.

Make cookie dough ahead of time, freeze it and then thaw, shape and bake the cookies when you're ready to gift them.  You could really 'pretty up' a bakery bag filled with a yummy home-baked cookie or two, this is a good gift for local non-family kids in your life.

Tell me what your favorite make ahead food gifts are, I'd love to hear!

Don't forget that you can check on the progress of my ‘September Goals’ by clicking HERE

Until next time, 

patsi      ... 42 years' experience of frugal living and pantry building (if you include my frugal childhood, well that would add a few more years to my experience!)

A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

A Working Pantry is a way of life, a lifestyle if you will!

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.' 

You can follow A Working Pantry on Instagram.  

You can view my privacy policy HERE

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

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