My January Use-It-Up Project–Update Jan.23

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This week , I was able to use many food items that have been lurking around for way too long.  I feel that I am making progress on my project to use things up, but it’s like cleaning–the more you do it, the more you see a need.  I will definitely continue this project in February as well.

Having such a nice stockpile has served me well this past week.  We are having a group of people over today, Saturday, to help with some barn and outside clean up.  I will be serving lunch to them.  I also am taking a bunch of food for the family Sunday dinner.  I love to cook, so have enjoyed getting these foods ready.  We have been able to stay away from fast food, as well.

Ja’Ana has been loving peach crisp lately and made another one.  We ate that one up. She has used all of the frozen peaches, that we can find, that were older than from this past summer.  She used some canned peaches to supplement, and I will now rotate the newer peaches into the house from the shop freezer. I made a blueberry crisp from some home-canned blueberries that were several years old for the work party today.  I  think I originally canned them to make blueberry sauce for pancakes, but  used frozen ones and forgot about these.  There are a few jars still down there, so I think I will try to make cornstarch-thickened sauce soon.

I made split pea-potato soup from stored split peas (not old at all) and some potatoes that need to be used.  I’ve had them a while and they are starting to sprout, etc. I put home-canned carrots in it.  There again, in a year of abundance when the garden produced a huge crop, I canned carrots and haven’t used them because I prefer fresh ones.  I also made scalloped potatoes with those potatoes.  There are only a few in the bottom of the bag now, and I’ll deal with those this morning in another batch of scalloped potatoes or some potato salad to take tomorrow.IMG_2072

I made some bar cookies with some outdated sweetened, condensed milk.  I used to buy a few cans and keep it on hand, but haven’t used a can for a few years.  The cookies are addictive, and I may make them again since I have a couple more cans on the shelf, also outdated.

I canned a lot of beef broth (7 quarts and 15 pints), using up soup bones that had been building up for the last 2-3 years.  This will make the broth handy, and I will use it more frequently in this form.

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I used up 1 home-canned jar of soup from 2011, and one cardboard carton of soup from the shelf that also needed to be used.

I cooked another Sweetmeat squash from last summer’s garden.  A couple have recently rotted, but there are still more than I think we are going to be able to eat, storing nicely in my cool, dry front room.  I froze some of the puree and used some in cooking.

Overall, I’m very pleased.  I can see a few gaps on the pantry shelf now.  I can tell that one of the freezers has a lot more space in it.  I have brought many full jars up from the basement, and taken many empty ones back down.  This week, I hope to re-organize a few areas and see what else I can find hiding in the stockpile.  I am looking forward to a day when I can completely empty one of the freezers.  I’d like to shut one off to save electricity when it’s not needed.

 

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6 thoughts on “My January Use-It-Up Project–Update Jan.23

  1. Everything looks delicious, Becky! I think you might be a more prolific canner than I am, and that’s saying a lot! Like you, I prefer my carrots fresh or from the root cellar, but I’m always glad to have the canned ones on the shelf. This year because of the hot humid fall weather, the carrots did not last long in storage. Wish I had canned more. We bought some from the store, but they tasted awful, not at all like our heirloom ones. Best of luck with your use-it-up project! Looks like some pretty nice meals are coming from it!

    Hugs
    Jane

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    1. Thanks, Jane. My mom teases me because she calls me a “recreational” canner. It’s kind of a hobby as well as a very productive use of my time. I truly enjoy canning and preserving so sometimes get carried away. I am also blessed to live in a place where there is so much available produce for a reasonable price–in fact, I grow a lot, or people are giving it away by the box and bucket at the end of the summer and I gladly receive it. Or, we get things for a song at farms and produce stands. Also, my sister has a peach and cherry farm and gives me all I want. I try to can more than I need for 1 year, because there have been years when I had a crop fail in my garden, such as tomatoes did one year. But, I don’t like to have things that linger from 2009, for instance. If they got forgotten, and are in a dark corner, it’s time for them to come out into the light!

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  2. Peach crisp and blueberry crisp…wow, such a hardship it must have been to use up those berries! LOL!!! I made some cupcakes from one of the expired cake mixes in my cupboard this week. I didn’t hear any complaints from my family. I have plans to make a special Boston cream birthday cake using another expired cake mix for my husbands upcoming birthday next weekend.

    I had a bunch of fruit in the freezer last summer (2015) that I had froze the summer before (in 2014). What I ended up doing was making “mixed fruit” jams. I still bought fresh strawberries, raspberries and peaches in season to make jam. Most of the fresh fruit was made into straight jam, but when I got down to the last little amounts of the fresh fruit, I would mix in some of the frozen fruit to top up the amount needed for the jam batch. I ended up with a few jars of strawberry peach mango jam, raspberry blueberry jam, or peach raspberry jam to name a few. I try to make enough jam to last until the next season, so I still have lots on hand. But I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed the variety this year!

    Thanks, again, for sharing your “use-it-up” ideas. Still loving the inspiration!

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    1. Occasionally, my mom used to freeze berries during the summer, a very busy time for her, and then make jam later. I have some frozen peach puree in the freezer for that purpose, but still seem to have lots and lots of jam so haven’t done it! Boston cream cake sounds wonderful!!!!!

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  3. I have been working to use up some me older stuff also. I think I don’t have as much as you, but I’m so pleased to have used the food rather than having to toss it later!

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    1. I’m the first one to admit that my stockpile is in danger of getting a little out of control! So, that’s one of my motivations in working it down a bit. It does feel good to use it to me too!

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