Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Back At It

It is way too early for Farmers Market goodies, but this week my local grocery yielded some decent sales.   My grocery order was delivered this afternoon, so I have been busy putting groceries away and working on preserving the bounty.

Those plastic bags of fresh cole slaw mix, containing shredded green and red cabbage and carrots, were on sale for 10/$10.  Seven bags were enough to fill 14 dehydrator trays, with another 3 bags full left over for tomorrow.  A handful of the dried mix tossed into simmering soup adds such good flavor.   Or sometimes I will soak to rehydrate enough to add to casseroles.

Onions were on sale.  I just love the guy who calls me to take my order.  Sometimes a sale is not much of a sale.  He found onions for me that were less expensive than the sale price.  I ordered 10 lbs. of onions and they will be peeled, chopped and in the dehydrators when the cabbage mix is finished.

Hamburger was on sale, but there was a limit of 6 lbs. per order.  I hate when they do that.  But I ordered 6 lbs. anyway.  They will be made into meatballs, browned in the oven, packed into pint jars, covered with broth and canned.  I use them for spaghetti and meatballs, heated with potatoes and gravy or I have even made meatball sub sandwiches with them.  It's all good.

The last thing I ordered for preservation was cream cheese.  I had seen a video about canning cream cheese so I thought I would give it a try.  I don't use a lot of cream cheese, but I do like having some on hand.  Seems to me that canning, if it turns out good, would be a better option for me than freezing it.  This is another experiment, so I will wait and see how it turns out before recommending the process.  The same video discussed canning cheddar cheese, but I have to say I wasn't enamoured with the results.  The finished product looked sort of rubbery and although they said the taste was just fine, I think the texture would make it something I would not really want to use.

Spring hasn't decided if it is ready to stay.  Temps have been in the mid to high 40s during the day and dipping down toward freezing at night.  I had to turn the heat back on and close the windows, as a stiff breeze and rain have accompanied the low temps.  My way of contending with the cooler weather is to bake something.  An apple crisp and a double batch of chocolate chip cookies are penciled in for tomorrow.  You just can't go wrong with something chocolate.


  1. It sounds like preserving some things are for survival situations only.

  2. Yes and no, Gorges...I like to keep at least one years worth of food on hand should it be needed by me and my family in a survival situation. But I also use the food I can and dehydrate as well as the items I buy on sale, so I am constantly replacing what I have used.

  3. Nice sales!And glad to see you're posts.
    I picked my first rhubarb of the year from one of my 5-gallon buckets. All I was up for was washing, slicing and putting it in the freezer. It's enough to make a little crisp later.
    The weather here is unusually warm. I've been in the garden plots a little. Mostly cleaning so far. Planted a 6-pack of beets from the garden store that was more like a 12-pack once I divided up all the itty-bitty starts. That was 3 days ago and all of the plants made it so far. Plan to sow some peas (I'm a little late, whoops), carrot and chard this weekend. Cheers, SJ in Vancouver

  4. *your posts.
    Wish blogging had spell check..LOL

  5. SJ...Sounds like you are coming right along with the garden. I'm hoping to lay my hands on some beets this year. I like them as a vegetable, but really have a hankering for some beet pickles. When I had my own rhubarb, I would do the same as you and freeze it, although last year I canned some really, really good strawberry rhubarb sauce that makes the best ice cream topping ever!

    I wish you could package up some of that lovely warm air and ship it my way. It was 39 degrees F at 11 am and hasn't warmed up much since. The weather guessers say it should warm up by the weekend, but I think I will believe it when I see it. :)

    Yeah, I wish comments had spell check, too. I'm not so sure I will ever get used to typing on this laptop. Seems like there is always a word here or there that is wrong. Operator error, mostly, I think. :)

  6. I love my dehydrator! Tomatoes, celery, onions, peppers, and herbs are staples always on hand. Nothing quite like going to the pantry, shaking out a bit and adding then to fresh eggs for breakfast! Yummy!

  7. Chickenmom...Yep, I love my dehydrators, too! Whenever I can lay my hands on food that will dry well, I dehydrate as much a I can. I like the part where ten 16 oz. bags of the slaw mix dehydrates down to two quart freezer bags full. I go through lots of dried onions. I grind some of them up for my own onion powder. Have you ever dried sweet corn? It rehydrates really well and when ground up and added half and half with store bought cornmeal, makes the best cornbread ever. The possibilities are endless. :)

  8. Relatives of mine canned lots of vegetables, none of them ever canned any meat that I remember. How well do the meatballs hold up?

  9. BWBandy...Because I cook the meatballs before canning, they don't mush together like they might if canned raw. They hold their shape just fine. If I'm going to use them just plain for a meal I might brown them up just a little in a frying pan For spaghetti and meatballs or in gravy, I don't bother because they are in the sauce. My mother, who taught me to can, never canned meat either. I started years ago when I had an abundance of venison and no freezer. Now I can all sorts of meat. I like having pre cooked meat ready to use in a variety of ways and all I have to do is open a jar.