Skip to comments.Home gardening offers ways to trim grocery costs [Survival Today, an on going thread]
Posted on 03/23/2008 11:36:40 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny
Americans finding soaring food prices hard to stomach can battle back by growing their own food. [Click image for a larger version] Dean Fosdick Dean Fosdick
Home vegetable gardens appear to be booming as a result of the twin movements to eat local and pinch pennies.
At the Southeastern Flower Show in Atlanta this winter, D. Landreth Seed Co. of New Freedom, Pa., sold three to four times more seed packets than last year, says Barb Melera, president. "This is the first time I've ever heard people say, 'I can grow this more cheaply than I can buy it in the supermarket.' That's a 180-degree turn from the norm."
Roger Doiron, a gardener and fresh-food advocate from Scarborough, Maine, said he turned $85 worth of seeds into more than six months of vegetables for his family of five.
A year later, he says, the family still had "several quarts of tomato sauce, bags of mixed vegetables and ice-cube trays of pesto in the freezer; 20 heads of garlic, a five-gallon crock of sauerkraut, more homegrown hot-pepper sauce than one family could comfortably eat in a year and three sorts of squash, which we make into soups, stews and bread."
She compares the current period of market uncertainty with that of the early- to mid-20th century when the concept of victory gardens became popular.
"A lot of companies during the world wars and the Great Depression era encouraged vegetable gardening as a way of addressing layoffs, reduced wages and such," she says. "Some companies, like U.S. Steel, made gardens available at the workplace. Railroads provided easements they'd rent to employees and others for gardening."
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
Braised Turkey Legs
* 2 turkey legs and 2 thighs, about 4 lbs
* Olive oil
* 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
* 1 cup of finely chopped celery
* Salt, pepper, and cayenne
* Water or other braising liquid (dry wine or stock)
* Corn starch
* Parsley, chopped, about 1/4 cup
Optional winter vegetables such as:
* Potatoes, peeled and quartered
* Carrots, chopped
* Turnips, quartered
* Rutabagas, quartered
* Parsnips, chopped
1 Sprinkle turkey thighs and legs with salt and pepper. Brown the turkey thighs and legs on medium high heat in a little bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan with high sides. Add chopped onion and celery to form a nest under the turkey pieces. Sauté an additional 5 minutes.
2 Add enough braising liquid - either water, stock, wine, or a combination - so that the liquid covers the bottom inch of the pan, about 1 cup. Bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer covered for an hour and a half, or until the turkey is so well cooked and tender that the meat easily falls off of the bones. Remove the turkey meat from the pan and remove the bones, taking special care to remove the many small narrow bones of the legs. Remove the skin.
Optional: At this point you can use the liquid remaining in the sauté pan to cook the potatoes, carrots and turnips. Add the vegetables to the pan and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cook covered until they are done, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan so you can reduce the remaining liquid without overcooking the vegetables.
3 Reduce the liquid remaining in the pan to intensify some of the meat juices for added flavor. Take a teaspoon of cornstarch and dissolve in a 1/2 cup of water. Add cornstarch mixture a little at a time to sauce, adding more liquid, until the sauce achieves the desired body. Adjust seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed, add a little cayenne or Tabasco sauce. If the sauce is too sweet, add a little vinegar or lemon. Add parsley.
4 Add the turkey meat back in the pan with the sauce. Serve immediately over rice or bread or with the vegetables if you have chose to make them.
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com
Dad’s Turkey Stew
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 lbs turkey thighs (preferred) or legs (skin on, bone in)
1 medium-large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 quart vegetable stock
2 medium carrots, peeled, 1/4 inch slices
2-3 medium turnips, peeled, 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium rutabaga, peeled, 1/4 inch slices
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon herbes de provence*
One Dutch oven with cover.
1 Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a Dutch oven on the stove top. Wash and pat dry turkey pieces. Brown turkey pieces, skin side down, 2-3 minutes on each side. You may need to brown in batches if necessary. In the last 3 minutes of browning of the last batch, add the onions and celery.
2 Add salt and 1/2 of the stock. Bring to a simmer, remove from the stove top and put in the oven, covered, for one hour.
3 After an hour, remove from oven and add the rest of the vegetables - carrots, turnips, rutabaga, and potatoes, the herbs, and the rest of the stock. Return to the oven, covered, and cook until tender, another hour or more.
4 Remove bones and skin, discard. Season to taste.
Serves 6 to 8.
*Herbes de Provence is a delightful French blend of herbs - Winter savory, thyme, basil, tarragon, and lavender flowers.
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com
Mom’s Stuffed Bell Peppers
Red and yellow bell peppers have a very different flavor than green bell peppers. The red ones especially are much sweeter. Any bell pepper can be used for this recipe; use the type you like the best.
* 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked white rice (starting from about 3/4 to 1 cup raw white rice)
* 4 to 6 bell peppers (red, yellow, or green), use 4 large, or 6 medium sized
* 1 to 1 1/4 lb of ground beef (ground chuck, 16% fat)
* 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil)
* 1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory
* 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped)
* (Can substitute herbs with other herbs such as an Italian herb mix)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup olive oil
1 If you haven’t already made the rice, start cooking the rice following the package instructions (usually 1 cup of raw white rice plus 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.)
2 Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard (compost) the stem and seeds. Place bell peppers cut side up on a steaming rack over an inch of water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil, let steam for 10 minutes.
3 Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, summer savory, marjoram, salt, several turns of black pepper, and rice.
4 Remove bell peppers from steamer pan. Place cut side up in a pyrex or other oven-proof casserole. Gently stuff the peppers with the ground beef rice mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed peppers, along the outside of the peppers, and into the pan. Rub the oil over the outside of the peppers; it will help with browning. Sprinkle the tops generously with paprika.
5 Place on middle rack and cook for 25-30 minutes, until meat is cooked through.
Serves 4 to 6. Serve with ketchup.
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com
This baked chicken recipe is one of those recipes that every home cook should have in their repertoire. It uses a minimal amount of ingredients - chicken, olive oil, salt and pepper (and if you want gravy, chicken stock or white wine) and is especially useful on those busy days when you are just too busy to get creative. My mother makes this chicken about once a month and usually serves it with mango chutney and Spanish rice.
Classic Baked Chicken
* 3 to 4 lb chicken, cut into 8 parts (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings) excluding the back
* Olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup of chicken stock* or white wine for the gravy (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse chicken pieces in water and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. Rub some olive oil over all of the chicken pieces in the roasting pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the pieces skin-side up in the roasting pan so the largest pieces are in the center (the breasts) and there is a little room between pieces so they aren’t crowded in the pan.
2 Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F. Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 10-30 minutes more (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 170°F and the thighs 185°. If your chicken pieces aren’t browning to your satisfaction, you can put them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking, until browned sufficiently.
3 Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove chicken from roasting pan to a serving plate. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
4 To make gravy for the chicken, take the roasting pan with its drippings and place on a medium setting on the stovetop. Use a metal spatula to scrape up the drippings stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add a quarter cup of white wine or chicken stock* to the pan to help deglaze the drippings from the pan.
Pour the wine/stock and dripping mixture into a small saucepan and heat on medium high to reduce to desired thickness.
*While the chicken pieces are baking, if you bought a whole chicken that was then cut into pieces, you may have the back, the neck, and some gizzard pieces to use for making chicken stock. You can chop up the back a little, put it and the neck and gizzards (not the liver) into a small saucepan, barely cover with water, bring to a simmer, cook while the chicken is cooking. When the chicken in the oven is done cooking, use the stock from simmering the extra pieces to make the gravy.
Serves 4. Serve with steamed rice, mashed potatoes, or Spanish rice.
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com
Under the headings of quick, easy, and a good way to stretch a half pound of pork, I present my friend Heidi’s Citrus Pork with Egg Noodles. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, but it’s surprisingly good and uses ingredients most of us can find all year round. Next time I think I’ll add a teaspoon of grated orange peel or some sliced kumquat for an added citrus edge.
Citrus Pork with Egg Noodles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 2x1/2-inch strips
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked, drained
Get the water boiling for your noodles...
1 In a small bowl combine cumin, salt and pepper. Add pork; toss to coat.
2 In a large skillet heat oil over medium hight heat. Add the pork and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes or until browned.
3 In a small bowl blend the broth, orange juice, vinegar, and brown sugar. Reserve 1/4 cup of the broth mixture. Pour all but the reserved broth mixture into the skillet with the pork and garlic. Add the carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 7-8 minutes.
4 Blend corn starch into reserved broth mixture. Stirring constantly, pour the corn starch mixture into the skillet to thicken the sauce. Add the green onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 more minute.
5 Toss with the noodles. Serve immediately.
Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com
My sincere and profound thanks to ALL of you that have contributed. You have helped me learn, given me reading and gardening tips that will improve my knowledge base and productivity, and most importantly, you have brought me out of my shell here on Free Republic. A daily lurker for hours a day for 8+ years now feels confident to post at will, flame suit donned if needed (on other threads). Thank you all so very much. This information may well save lives when things go bad.
I had just about gotten to a level of cynicism that I no longer believed in the inherent goodness of our people or nation. There ARE good people out there, and I've found some of the best on earth right here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me restore my confidence, which has been lacking for sooooo long.
And now that I sent the above post, and cleared the “blurry screen” problem I had while posting it, I must know more. Pecan storage, anyone? We picked up about 8 gallons yesterday. My mom always puts them in the freezer in the shells. Is that the best way? How about already cracked or shelled nuts?
Table 1. Relative storage life of pecans held at various temperatures 70 4750 3236 2025 0
Temperature In-shell (Months) Shelled (Months)
70°F 4 3
4750°F 9 6
3236°F 18 12
2025°F 2040 1824
0°F 2460 2460
Thanks for the recipe (actually the idea mainly)
Guess what we are having for dinner today.
I have several bags of frozen green pepper halves -
I make my stuffing with rice (oh, I always use 2 cups water to one of rice and do it in an open pot, stirring once and simmer till water gone) Mix that with one quart of my homemade canned chili - and stuff, then top with shredded cheese, sprinkle with diced bunching onions and some chopped cilantro - then bake.
Will pick some lettuce from my coldframe, add some diced dried tomatoes, celery, diced onion and topped with my vinaigrette dressing, some homemade pickled vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and onions on the side and a goodly helping of my canned applesauce and since the oven will be on, might as well make a pan of cornbread (gotta make the cornbread to try out the corona grain mill I bought yesterday for $29.00 new)
The only part of the above that I was not grown by me is the rice. (grin)
.We recently ran into an old friend we had lost touch with, who offered us all we could pick up from his yard. Even though others had picked up buckets full before, we found all we can use and more on the 10+ old trees in his yard. All are small to medium size, and NO paper shells. I think the older varieties taste much better than the paper shells. The smaller nuts take longer to pick out, but offer a superior flavor, higher percentage of good nuts, and stay good longer due to the thicker shell.
Today, I'm going back for more nuts, and have been invited to fish in his spring fed pond for crappie and catfish. Crappie caught during cold weather is the best tasting fish on this earth (that I've ever eaten). Ummmmmm, fried crappie, hush puppies, and fries. I'm salivating just thinking about it.
We are approaching the point that we have more pecans than we can use. A friends aunt always told us that having that bounty available and not taking advantage of it is a sin. Maybe it is. If there is anyone in the area that would like some, I'm in Tipton county, and would gladly share a few. Just freepmail me or respond to this post.
I'm a weirdo in that I'm allergic to most kinds of soaps and things that have a fragrance added. In the last 10 years I've thought maybe that was a gift from God so that I just have the plain stuff here in case of emergency. This is one of the reasons that I started growing so many fragrant plants! I love the scents but I'm not allergic to most of the plants in the natural. Except rosemary, too much rosemary makes me sneeze and break out if I rub it on my skin. This, I think, is part of my overall allergy as lots of rosemary is used as a base in many of the fragrant products. Oddly, I am also *very* allergic to eucalyptus. Makes my throat close up and wheeze. I guess I'm just backward.
I need to find that seed pretty soon to plant it in summer then. I just now remembered to go in the other room and put it on my list when I saw this post.
Since there are usually just a handful of each item that's how I've been using them. Depending on the amount of various things that I don't have enough to freeze or can a batch on it's own, I either make up a mess of pints or quarts of mixed dill pickles. With a couple of jalapeno's thrown in each jar. These are a favorite food of both my daughters so they think they've hit the motherlode right now. My youngest is on her way by now and she'll probably take a few quarts home with her. LOL
This is another of my youngest daughter's absolute favorite foods. The year I got all the green tomatoes she made a special trip to visit for the weekend. LOL - It's a 3 hour drive for her. The visit was nice, but I know it had a lot to do with knowing she'd get her fill of fried green tomatoes.
That's a funny story too! and one that anyone who cans or bakes can comprehend easily. LOL
Lloyd doesn't care for sandwiches for supper either. We don't have them very often but when we do he knows I'm either feeling really bad, or that I've been up to my elbows cooking something he'll get to enjoy later. ;-)
The new thing I have that pleases me is a juicer. Lloyd bought it for us last year and I have greatly enjoyed fresh fruit and vegetable juices from it. It's a pretty frivilous thing to me but I like it.
Ping from the Nascar to the garden thread!
I should see my uncle the radio wave guru later this week. I'll ask him then.
Hey, a BIG thank you for the rule of thumb on the jelly and jam without Surejell added. I get aggrevated because Sure Jell doesn’t keep well even if I do buy extra. I’ve got such a habit of just trying to make things without a recipe that sometimes I have to go back and re-do my jelly and add Sure Jell when it doesn’t set. Other times it sets just fine. It’s always kinda an iffy thing if I’m flying by the seat of my pants.
I always add a little lemon or citric acid for the acid and if I know something doesn’t have enough pectin I add some apple juice but that doesn’t always get it right for me. And the thing I hate about recipes *is* that they are usually for small batches. I know the “gurus of jelly making” say it’s better to do small batches but I always just have a batch of fruit and want to use the amount I have.
My daughter was just driving through and stopped to visit. She encouraged me to try making wine from this cantaloupe juice. LOL... probably end up with cantaloupe wine vinegar. Should make tasty herb vinegars. ROFL
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