Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pantry Challenge #4 ... 2015
I have been amazed at the response to my new series This is Why!”  I never dreamed that so many would be interested in a summation of what I do to keep a well-stocked pantry.  “This is Why!” is a summation of what I do … each week’s pantry challenge here on A Working Pantry is the day to day living of that summation.  It is my prayer that one will compliment the other and that many will be blessed by what they read.  Look for part 3 of “This is Why!” on Wednesday and don’t forget to share with others about it!

Okay, so what did I get done this week?

My to-do list from last time:  
Continue canning pinto beans.  Done!   I added 7 more quarts to my pantry and there’s still more beans in that bag.  We are now at 39 quarts from this one 25 lb bag and it’s still not empty! 
Can collards.  Didn’t get done!  Must get to this task this week … Must!  Must!  Must! 

Bargain shop to restock my pantry.  Done!  Here’s what we purchased with our unexpected blessing from last week:  we found more of the Libby’s pumpkin, 29 oz cans for $.91/3 cans and purchased several more cans of it; we purchased peanut butter; a gallon jar of Mt. Olive whole pickles; pecan halves; peanuts; meat (beef and pork); cheese; cooking spray; toilet paper; dishwasher powder and paper towels.

In addition:
Our chickens are finally starting to come out of their molting!  It sure seems like they’ve been molting a lot longer this year than others.  In years passed we didn’t completely stop getting eggs during their molting season … this year we did.  Our chickens are 2 years old and I was seriously considering sending them all to my pantry via the pressure canner … until they started laying again!!!!
I started saving egg shells to add to the soil for when I plant tomatoes in the spring.  I’m letting them dry in the green house and will crush them when I get enough at a time to make it worthwhile.  I hope to have a bucket full of crushed egg shells by the time I need them.  The egg shells will add calcium to the soil which helps prevent blossom end rot.  I also like to add a banana peel to the soil for added potassium. 
I printed off this and this free Christmas cross stitch patterns.  I want to make these up into miniature pillows that can either be hung on the tree as ornaments, on garland, on a door wreath, as part of a centerpiece or to fill a basket for display purposes.  The possibilities are endless and I have plenty of cross stitch supplies on hand to complete these and many more cross stitch patterns.
I earned enough Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon card.   One of my daughters shared some things with me that she was doing to earn Swagbucks that I wasn’t doing.   I hope to increase my earnings in this area with her tips.
I completed a Pinecone survey. 
I washed up 3 of these glass candy jars to store fabric scraps in to make the string quilt I mentioned last week. 

I am really enjoying Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup which is where I’ve spent most of my ‘other than the Bible’ reading time this week.

I’m staying on target with my read through the Bible in a year daily readings!  YEAH!!!!

I had a request to stitch up another little apron for a little girl that we claim as our ‘local granddaughter’ … they are not related to us in any way, we love them … 'they' as in a little girl and a little boy … yes, they are twins … and they love us. Anyway the little girl asked for an apron … for her and for her brother.  I told her I would make one with ruffles for her and one without ruffles for her brother.  My sewing to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer.  Must get these projects done before gardening and yard work season gets here!  We really need to have a’ BIGGER than previous years’ garden this year.

I stitched up these two quiet book pages.  Aren’t they cute?  I have several more different pages to do!

I was digging around in my embroidery supplies and found this little cutie.  I stitched this up several … and I do mean several … years ago but never did anything with it.  I’ll turn it into a miniature pillow to add to the other ones I’m working on.  It's approximately 3 inches on all sides.

It’s time!  Time to start thinking about the garden we’ll plant this year, time to decide what to plant, where we’re going to plant it and when to plant it.  It’s time for the 2015 gardening season to begin for us!

Here’s something I didn’t do:
 I didn’t linger over ‘sale offers’ that landed in my inbox this week … I hit the delete button as soon as I recognized what they were.   If I give in to temptation to spend money not budgeted then that means a bill is not going to get paid and we don’t even want to think about going there!!!!!

Here are some questions I received 
Question:  Can lemon juice be canned?

Answer:  Yes, I’ve never canned it but, Jackie Clay from Backwoods Home Blog/Magazine gives the following instructions here: 

Can lemon juice be canned?

Yes, you can home can lemon juice, just like you can any other kind of juice. Simply dump it into a stainless steel or enameled kettle (lemon juice is acid and reacts with aluminum and iron), heat it till it just simmers, then ladle it out into hot, sterilized jars.

Fill to within 1/2" of the top and process pints and quarts in a boiling water bath canner for
15 minutes (either pints or quarts). — Jackie

Question: Can you re-can black olives?

Answer:  Yes, I’ve done it several times.  You will need to pressure can them for 60 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure in pints or half-pints … and in case you’re wondering, I’ve never had them to turn out mushy!
Upcoming Menu Challenge: Super Bowl Sunday snacks using what we have on hand.  In previous years we've had money to purchase 'extra's' for Super Bowl Sunday, but not this year. However, we're not going to 'do nothing' so over the next week or so my challenge is to come up with low-carb snacks, without buying anything, that we can munch on after we get home from church that Sunday night.  My husband will watch the game, I will watch the commercials and keep the finger foods served up!  It's our tradition and one we look forward to every year!

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue canning pinto beans?  I’m beginning to wonder just how many quarts of canned pinto beans you can get out of a 25 lb. bag!!!! 

Get those collards out of the garden and into my pantry via canning!

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

A Working Pantry

This post contains affiliate links.

This post linked to:  From the Farm Blog Hop; So Much at Home


  1. I would love it if you would share your low carb SuperBowl fare.

    1. Will do Kim, I should have it all planned out by the next pantry challenge ... I already have a couple of ideas!

  2. Thank you again, Patsy! So far I have canned 18 pts of lemon juice and have a lot of lemons to go. Hubby said that was enough, but we used 1 extra pt. I put in fridge and it is gone. Hopefully I'll be able to get about 52 pts out of our bounty! He uses it for prevention of kidney stones and I use it for cooking! I was able to use my frozen pomegranate cubes and make 6 pts of jelly. I want to can pinto beans, so will be using your idea for stocking this, as we use a lot of pintos! You are a beautiful seamstress and you encourage me in that area as well. Thank you...Thank you!!! Nancy Gonzalez

    1. That's a good tip about the lemon juice and kidney stones. Thank you for sharing and your encouragement.

    2. My father has suffered from kidney stones his whole adult life. He is supposed to not eat spinach, chard, nuts or rhubarb. When he starts having the familiar pain, he starts his daily regimen of: 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon raw honey added to a 12 ounce bottle of water. Morning and night and within a few days he can tell its working.

  3. I wish you would share your recipe for canning beans. I have not purchased a pressure canner yet, but intend to. Right now I freeze my cooked beans in baggies in 1 1/2 cup serving sizes. I make bean bread: In a blender or food processor mix 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups beans, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 Tblsp flax meal or almond meal. Optional 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 Tblsp honey. Pour into two small bowls or loaf sized pans (I use Pyrex fridgies) microwave each for about 4 minutes. I am saving 5-10 dollars a week as I have not purchased gluten free bread products (I have celiac) for two months. I also make cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls etc out of the beans if anyone wants to look at my blog Besides saving money I feel well eating these beans.

    1. Look for a post later today on how I can pinto beans! Thank you for commenting. I need to check into the carb count on the bean bread ... do you have any idea?

    2. 1 1/2 cups pinto beans have 67 gms carbs, 23 of them fiber, so in net carbs only 44 gms. That makes 2 small loaves which I cut into 8 pieces each, so < 3 gms each. Or 6 gms if you make just one larger loaf.

    3. Thank you Gloria, this is definitely in our low-carb range. I'm going to make some asap!

  4. Wow! Great post! Thanks for sharing. I just added a new link up party. I'd love for you to link up more of your great posts.
    So Much At Home

  5. Hi, Patsi. Could you point me in the direction of how to can dried beans? We have a pressure canner, but finding out the quantities of beans to water has been difficult. Especially without soaking first.
    Thank you so muc.
    Thoughts and prayers to all in the path of this horrible storm.

  6. Never mind Mrs Patsi. I just read your next post in this series.


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