Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pantry Challenge #7 ... 2016

 Look at the egg on the left, that is one huge egg and yes it came from one of our chickens as did the middle one.  The one on the left had a double yoke.  We get a double yoke egg several times a week and as you can see they are huge!  The one on the right is a store purchased egg.  Look at the difference in the size!

I’m way over due for posting this pantry challenge but life has been ‘happening’ at my house lately, so, here goes ….

My to-do list from last time:

Until I get this dental issue taken care of  I won’t set a pantry to-do list but will just do what I feel up to doing in this area.  Got it taken care of and have been in recovery mode all week.  I am feeling better and am ready to get back to working on my pantry.

In addition:

I canned 7 quarts of turkey and 7 quarts of broth from an 18 lb turkey that we had frozen in the freezer.  With the 7 quarts of turkey and the 7 quarts of turkey broth, that takes care of that turkey and did I mention that it was one we had gotten on clearance for less than half price several months ago???

I made up a jar of this gravy mix (the first recipe is the one I used) and added it to my pantry for convenience sake.  I had everything on hand in my pantry!  I need to get some labels printed for the jar but for now this temporary one will do.

I made up a bottle of homemade laundry spray stain remover from a recipe one of the members of the A Working Pantry Facebook group shared.  I’ve also seen this recipe several other places and had just never tried it but when I read the rave reviews from those who use it regularly, I knew it was time to get some made and start using it!  I had to purchase the ammonia, but I had everything else in my pantry.  I need to print out a label for this bottle too!

Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover

2/3 cup Dawn dish soap,
2/3 cup ammonia
2 cups warm water
6 Tbsp of baking soda

Dissolve the soda in the warm water and add it to the soap and ammonia in a spray bottle.

I made up a batch of soap after reading this post over at The Blue Birds are Nesting blog. With substituting castile pure soap bars (grated) for the Lux soap flakes, I had everything in my pantry to make this soap.   I'll let you know how making the substitution worked after I take the soap out of it's mold.  So far it looks great!

Update 2/19/2016 on the soap:  the substitution of Castile pure soap bars (affiliate link) in place of the Lux soap flakes worked beautifully. I grated 3 bars in order to get the amount the recipe listed.  The only thing I did differently was use 2 cups of milk instead of 1.  I followed the recipe exactly in every other way. The log of soap came out of the mold really well and sliced nicely.  It is creamy and silky looking.  I'm planning my next batch already!

We are doing well at sticking to our reduced grocery budget.  In fact, this week we only spent $4.66 of our $25 weekly food budget and that was spent on 1 gallon of marked down milk, marked down bananas and marked down chicken livers (my husband loves fried chicken livers).  We continue to eat well living out of our pantry!

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Finish vacuum sealing the dry pinto beans I have into jars.  If it’s going to be a while before I can can dry beans or use them in other ways, I vacuum seal them in jars to prevent insects, varmints, etc from getting into them plus it helps retain their nutritional value a bit longer.

I want to make up several jars of this muffin mix I found on the Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog.  I love the recipe kit that Jes made to go along with the muffin mix!  

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

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

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  1. Dear Patsy, I hope the soap has worked and if so we can let the US ladies know this is a good alternative to the Lux flakes. My next batch with the pink... I blended that longer, past the point of it looking smooth and further and it became shinier and silky. The colour looked amazing also. So we learn as we go! It is like making chocolate they way it sets quickly once off the heat etc.
    Soap has been the theme for a fortnight here! And then storage and yes I thought "what would Patsy do?" and off I went again! It is good to make progress.
    I love everything you did with the turkey bought on special. What a good buy that was! With love

    1. Annabel, thus far the soap looks good... creamy and silky in it's mold. I'm counting the hours until it's ready to take out of the mold and slice (I used a silicone loaf pan for the mold). I'll keep you updated!

  2. I'm glad you are feeling better! Thanks for the recipes. I was especially looking for a gravy one without garlic. We picked quite a bit of citrus from a generous neighbor. Some will be eaten fresh, some juiced and some frozen. We also shared some with friends. I also made a large batch of lemon pie bars. I took a plate to the neighbors, and we enjoyed some. I did manage to get a few in the freezer.

    1. Mrs. Gillam, the lemon pie bars sound delicious!

  3. Hey Patsy, I have been in LAZY mode for the past few weeks, but I did get a few things done this past week. I seem to always talk myself out of making yummy things during the week because of the prepping work. So I decided, why not get that out of the way and then maybe I won't talk myself out of it. so I made up dry mixes for my Banana bread, Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies. I also found Bananas reduced for quick sale and bought 2 huge bags and peeled them and put them in the freezer (did I mention I LOVE Banana Bread). I also found bags of Broccoli, Carrot, Cauliflower mix reduced, so I got 2 large bags of these, divided them up into meal size portions, put them in freezer bags and froze them. My daughter likes to take them for her lunch so some of them I made smaller portions. She loves them raw dipped in Ranch dressing. I've been doing more sewing the last couple of weeks as well so that's about all I got done Pantry-wise! Thank you for your inspiration!

    1. Saundra dale, it sounds like you got your 'mojo' back!!! Don't feel bad about taking a pantry building brake, we all need to do that sometimes!

  4. It looks like you made a lot of progress this week!

    When you can your turkey, do you cook it first, or put the pieces in raw? Then, what you do do with a quart of canned turkey? Is is a mix of broth and bits or solid turkey? If it was a mix, I could see how it could be used as soup, but if it was solid, it just seems like I would not know what to do with quite so much at once. I'm contemplating canning some up as I am trying to bring down the amount of freezers I have, but I have only done broth before. I would hate to can it and not know what to do with it----just too much work!

    1. beckyathome, I do cook my turkey before canning it. I roast it in the oven just like I would if I were going to serve it for a meal. I debone the turkey and chop the meat up into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes after it has cooled enough to work with. I also include all the little bits and pieces. There is water/broth in the jars with the meat. I use it in soups, casseroles, turkey and dressing, pot pies, turkey salad, etc. Hope this helps!

  5. We have been living out of our pantry for the last two weeks. We need to get our emergency fund back to being able to sustain us through an emergency. So far this year this fund paid for the fur baby to have mammary cancer removed and for a new toilet. The pantry will need to be attended to but we have plenty for at least another two weeks. The garden is producing salad veges but we have needed to buy some fruit. I made some of the soap like yourself but it turned out disgusting. I'm going to have to ask Annabel for some more information on how she melted the soap flakes down. Mine went like chocolate that you've over cooked when trying to temper down. This week the plan is to live out of the pantry and to produce no waste.

    1. Jane, I'm sorry your soap didn't work out. I melted my flakes very, very slowly and stirred almost continually. I am very pleased with how mine turned out and am planning another soap making session.

  6. Patsy, I'm sorry! I saw this after I'd asked on Annabel's blog if the Castile soap worked. I'm glad to know it did! Thank you for testing it and sharing your results.
    Blessings, Leigh

  7. Glad the castile soap worked. I tried a coconut oil soap last year and it wouldn't set. It broke my heart. I will have to try Kirk's.


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