Sunday, June 27, 2021

A Working Pantry Bootcamp: 6/27/21

Our challenge for last week was to add something to our pantry that didn’t involve money …meaning it didn’t cost you anything … not even one cent!

 In a nutshell, what this meant was that for this challenge, you couldn’t spend any money!

 How did you do?

Since our garden is in full harvest mode, I had several things to choose from ... tomatoes, herbs, a variety of peppers and more but I didn't choose anything from the garden.  Instead I chose frozen bread from the freezer and turned it into seasoned bread crumbs.

I used homemade Italian seasoning to season the bread crumbs, it sure does make them smell good!  I need to do another batch only leave them plain this time.

That's a wrap for last week, now let's look at what's next!

Our challenge for the upcoming week is ...

Freezer meals are a part of my pantry so this week we’re going to make at least one meal that can be frozen for future consumption. (Muffins and bread type items also qualify.) Make as many as you want!

I can't wait to get some inspiration from you all!

(You can always substitute something totally different if a particular assignment doesn’t work for you. Just tell us what you’re substituting.)


A Working Pantry

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

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Items I use in keeping my pantry well-stocked:


Dehydrator Teflon Sheets

Dehydrator Cookbook

Food Saver Vacuum Sealer

Herb/Coffee Bean Grinder

Manual Food Chopper

Pressure Canner

Canning Supplies

Food Scale

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  1. I have successfully added a few freebies to my pantry. I was given 10 pounds of almonds and 20 pounds of walnuts. All shelled, fresh, commercially packaged. Wow! So I put some in the freezer. Then I made a big batch of delicious almond milk. Used some of the leftover almond pulp to make vegan cheese,and dried and ground the remainder into almond flour to add to baked goods. Next up I found TONS of wild blackberries growing on our property, so I've added those and will be picking more this week.
    Your breadcrumbs look good, it's always a nice way to top a casserole.

    1. Ginger, Whoever gave you the almonds and walnuts really gave you a nice gift!!! You really got the 'mileage' out of them too! Way to go! Sounds like you're going to be busy with blackberries for a while, what a blessing!

  2. I had two pounds of lamb stew meat in the freezer and decide to grind it and make three shepherds pies. We ate part of one for dinner that night. The leftovers and other two were added to the freezer. Everything was on hand to make these. I combined some leftover coconut milk and blueberries and added popsicle s to the freezer. Since there was a large amount of chard harvested, 4 packages got added to the freezer.

    1. Cookie, we love to put lamb on shish kabob's. You've really added to your freezer! I like your popsicle idea, I'll have to try that. Does chard freeze well?

    2. Chard freezes very well. Blanch for two minutes and cool in ice water. I then lay it on an old bath towel to absorb the excess water and then package it up for the freezer.Tastes as fresh as the day it was picked. I forgot to say that I trim off the stems and use those for fritters, soups impossible pies etc.

  3. This week's free item was to take my vacuum totally apart, clean and service it. Technically not a pantry builder, but my pantry is much cleaner. I also gathered amaranth to dry and freeze.

    1. You saved money for sure by servicing your vacuum cleaner yourself. How do you use amaranth?

    2. Amaranth is and awesome, nutritious plant. When I harvest it, I cut leaving some stalk so more can be harvested over the summer. Basically I break the plant into four. The younger leaves are good sautéed and used as a side. The larger leaves I use as I would spinach. We all know how spinach bolts and has a short growing season. This helps replace the spinach. The young stems I chop up. The older bigger stems sometimes have hard spot on them. I cut those off. All the parts can be added to soups, stews, stir fries. I dehydrate and add to my green powder. The green powder as well as the leaves can be also added to smoothies etc. I freeze some to add to lasagna, casseroles etc, the seeds can be saved then ground down into flour or I dry fry them and eat a few here and there. Amaranth grows wild here. Another great freebie. jean

  4. Our freezer is busting at the seams but I am sure I can get another meal in there!

    My freebies were ties for my tomato plants cut from old clothing and 2 pints of chicken broth canned for future use.

    Hurricane season is sure heating up!

    1. Lana, yes, hurricane season is heating up and we are trying to make sure we have all our hurricane preps updated and ready for use! I love the old clothing turned into tomato plants freebie, such a resourceful idea!

  5. Last week I dried my ginger and tumeric harvest. This was then made into powder and added to the pantry. Today Bluey cooked up a big beef stew in the slow cooker. There will be freezer meals from this.

    1. Jane, freshly ground ginger and turmeric is such a good addition to the pantry, no additives, just pure ginger and turmeric. We love beef stew in the winter and having it in the freezer in the form of freezer meals is definitely a bonus.

  6. I made huge progress on our family's master shopping/inventory list. I have been working on this for the last few years. I feel confident enough to proceed with how it is right now. I'll tweak it here and there as things change. Our lists include grocery, animal & garden, home apothecary, culinary herbs & spices, house & automotive, & clothing needs. This will help us see the gaps we need to fill and not to forget things when it's time to stock back up!

    I was also able to put away almost a pint of bacon grease for future use. We mainly cook with cast iron and my pans seem to love bacon grease the best.

    1. MammaBear, I love the idea of a master shopping/inventory list. I can see how it would be a very useful tool! We had BLT sandwiches today and I've got the bacon grease cooling as we speak. I'm going to freeze it for future use too!

  7. Adding something for nothing... I dried parsley, oregano, basil, and chives to add to my spice cabinet. I also cleaned out a handbag I used to carry regularly during the winter months, because it offered space for my hat and gloves while I was shopping. Found two Menards rebate checks totaling more than $40 (from when I bought tile for my foyer over the winter), a gift card that had a post-it note indicating that there was $23 and change remaining on it, and two restaurant gift cards from Christmas 2019. Finding the rebate checks reminded me to complete and return several recent receipts for Menards rebates. I should get a total of some $35 this time. Love their 11% off sale days! It's where I get the best deal on my dog's food and treats, and I like to use the rebates for gifts around the holidays and to stock up on canning and other pantry supplies. All freebies in my book!

    1. Lori, What a great 'freebie' find!!! You go girl!

  8. I used up some chocolate bars that were forgotten about from Christmas, and our own eggs to make a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough for the freezer.

  9. Went to visit my daughter out of state. We went to a park and there were blackberries everywhere. We went back to my car to get a grocery bag. We picked over a galloons worth. I washed them all and we froze most of them. She will use them in smoothies and as pancake toppings.

  10. Amaranth is one of the wonder plants. It grows wild here in Canada. When harvesting, I don’t pull the plant out but it it so it can grow again. It is an ancient grain....but not a grain. It is a pseudo grain. All parts can be used. The fresh small leaves are delicious sautéed. The older and younger leaves I use in place of spinach in things like lasagna. The young stems I cut up and the older stems, if they are a bit hard, I pare down the hard spots. All of that and the leaves I use in stir fry. I freeze it to use in the winter adding to soups,stews and casseroles. I dehydrate and use it in my green powder. That I can add to soups, smoothies etc. The seeds I grind down into flour. It is full of nutrition.

  11. I did several things. Here's a link.

    I would love to know how to make seasoned bread crumbs.

    Blessings from Harvest Lane


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