Sunday, January 9, 2022

What's That In Your Hand?

You’ve heard the old saying, ‘start out the way you intend to go,’ that’s what we’ve done this first week of the new year …

A yearly event that occurs during the holidays and right after Christmas every year is the arrival of seed catalogs.  I like to curl up in the recliner with them in the evenings and plan the upcoming gardening season.  He who fails to plan, plans to fail!  Our garden contributes a lot to our pantry, so planning is very important, and it begins with the seeds!

For the past several weeks, every time I opened the freezer above my refrigerator 2 packages of chopped green onions tried their best to fall out!  I mean it happened every single time I opened the door, I rearranged and moved them several times to no avail.  Well, this week when it happened it was the last straw.  I promptly set them on the counter, let them thaw and put them in the dehydrator.  Those rebellious green onions are now shelf stable green onion powder that’ll I use in seasoning and cooking.  Enough said!

I’ve been harvesting and dehydrating turmeric, ginger, and horseradish from our container garden.  This week I started jarring them up for future use (pictured).

We were given a couple of unopened packages of ‘pass the best by date’ bread by a friend with the instructions that we could feed it to our animals if it was too hard.   I checked it and while it was a bit stale, I decided that I could still get some use out of it.  So, I opened the packages and laid out the pieces to dry …. you know what I’m going to do with it don’t you … yep, I’m going to make breadcrumbs ... seasoned breadcrumbs to be exact.

I washed used zip lock bags and hung them on a pasta drying rack to dry.  It’s not what it was made for, but it works fine, sometimes you just got to think outside the box!

I watched this Youtube video and knew immediately that I could make this seasoning (garlic, parsley and salt) so, I got up, chopped some garlic and promptly added it to the dehydrator (there's no time like the present).  I already have dried parsley (from my herb garden this summer) and of course salt on hand so when the garlic is dry and has been turned into powder, I'll be ready to make this seasoning mix.  

I had some leftover banana bread that was getting a bit stale, so I cubed it up and put it in the dehydrator (I actually had enough for two trays of it).  When it’s dry, I’ll run it through a mill to turn it into crumbles and then use it for yogurt toppings (when I’ve completed the sugar fast, I’m currently on).  Being on a sugar fast is the reason it got a bit stale, otherwise it would have never made it to the stale stage.

I happened upon a really well stocked 90% off after Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby this week and was able to purchase several things that we'll use for gifts next Christmas.   One item in particular was $30 and I walked out of the store with for $3.  I felt really blessed to have found this sale as it puts us ahead in the gift giving department for a fraction of the cost.

The only thing we purchased in the form of groceries this week was a bag of crinkle cut french fries, my husband loves these things and every once in a while, we'll splurge.  This was a good week to do that since we didn't buy any other groceries at all.

As you can tell frugality and planning are on our minds and we’re trying to stretch, make wise purchases and use up what we have to the best of our ability.   We’re looking at ‘what’s in our hands’ and at ‘how we can use it.’  

I’m going to leave you with the question I’ve asked myself several times this week … what’s in your hand, what can you do with what you’ve got?

Until next time,


A Working Pantry

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

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  1. I would have never thought of dehydrating banana bread. We have some tucked away in the freezer and will pull it out on small group days here. I made a baked rigatoni that used up lots of ingredients here that needed to go. Even the onion had a small soft spot and needed to go. It was delicious and we froze some for other meals. We did a discount store shop and found frozen FF for a great price and restocked our freezer. I had about decided that it wasn't going to happen since they never seem to go on sale anymore. We also were able to buy quite a bit of meat for great prices. I always pray before entering those stores because it is so easy to buy things we will never eat.

    We have a new baby grandson born yesterday who is quite sick right now. I covet your prayers for him. It breaks our hearts to think of how tiny he is and so sick.

    Have a good week!

    1. Lana, please know that your new little grandson is being prayed for, please keep me updated. You've done really well with 'what's in your hand' this week. I agree, buying something just because it's a good deal if we won't eat it or use it is a waste, no matter the price.

    2. Our DIL will go home today but the baby has to stay for seven more days. I can't even imagine how hard that is going to be. This our son who lives in your area.

    3. Oh Lana, I can't even imagine that either! I will be praying for the little one and his mama.

  2. While I don't have a garden and purchase all food, I do try to be a good steward and not waste anything. Food was eaten from the freezer and pantry - and HM soup and cooked chicken breast was added. I am determined not to waste anything this year. I think that food waste is a crime and frankly, it just costs too much!

    1. Margie, we're really focusing on not wasting too!

  3. I did find meat on sale at Publix. BSCB was half price on bogo. So, I paid $2.50/lb. for very well trimmed breasts. It is all cooked and some frozen for other meals. I must keep cooked protein for nights I absolutely cannot cook. It keep us from going out for takeout or a burger.

    1. Practical Parsimony, that is such a good idea. When time is an issue takeout is the first thing, we think of isn't it!

  4. I have a few things in my hand right now... lemons and oranges need using first... Im picking tomatoes... and apples and pears are not far

    1. Annabel, your hands are full, but isn't it wonderful!

  5. The seed catalogs have started arriving here too. I have been curled up by the fire reading and planning this year's garden. Menu planning is on the agenda as well. We've had snow and ice with temperatures way below freezing over the weekend. It was the perfect time to be in my craft room working on gifts for the gift pantry.

    1. Cookie, there's just something about curling up with those seed catalogs by the fire that is just so peaceful, isn't it! We rarely if ever get snow, you can send us some if you like but not the ice. We are well acquainted with ice storms!!! Oh, please do tell, what gifts are you working on now ... you are so talented!

  6. I have a dear friend who let me come pick in her collars patch. She even helped me pick. I went home with 3 bags and have a hugh boiler going right now. We can eat collards and cornbread for a quick supper. So blessed. Cindy

    1. Cindy Jane, that's some good eating! You have a very good friend, indeed!


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