Wednesday, December 2, 2009

into practice

Hope everyone had a good simple Thanksgiving.
DD#3 and I spent the day preparing & then watching both the parade and then a dog show here @ home. DH and DD#2 went hunting. Later on we ate pie by the wood stove and toasted marsh mellows. No traveling, no crowds just us.

$20.52 on Monday at my local Aldi store. Besides purchasing coffee creamer and a few gallons of 2% milk I stocked up on their brand of all purpose flour. It was 15 cents a pound (75 cents / 5 lbs. bag) so I bought 40 lbs. Long term storage plans are to vacuum seal in mason jars.
Thinking I should go back and score another 60 pounds.

Food Budget has been going well the past few months mainly because of our well stocked pantry and the occasional great deal on advertised loss leaders at local stores.
I should clarify that in my definition a great loss leader is usually either meat or sugar a dirt cheap prices without a limitations.
Tops Super markets had Turkey for 29¢ per pound. We're not big on turkey so I didn't buy an extra. Stuffing was made from all that speciality bread that I dehydrated into croutons last Summer and vacuum sealed in jars. That bread was gifted by a friend since it was past it's prime. Vegetables from either pantry shelves or the freezer originally are the bounty of our gardening & gleaning efforts. We were blessed with adbunance of pie pumpkins from our church garden this fall. I have also been experimenting with regular pumpkins gathered from our neighbors who no longer had a need for them after their decorating value had expired.
These varieties have a bland taste so they need an extra bit of some thing some thing to spice the custard up. Maple flavoring has been a big hit so far.

Heads up to anyone who is near a Quality Market grocery store in Western New York. They're expected to close soon so be prepared as this is an excellent opp to score great deals. Aim for staples like baking supplies, canned goods, OTC meds, and items such as foil, freezer bags, and canning lids. Really anything that has a good shelf life like dish soap. Most will be hitting the meat which is okay but IMHO even if you freeze it only has a 6 mos. shelf life. But items like dish soap will hold out far longer. Consider alternative choices. It's been 4 years since I stocked up at a simular store closing (final days discounts of 70%) and to date we still have rice, bread flour, cleansers, and foil among other items.
Make it a point to visit the in store bakery to score deals on their bulk spices and flours such as caraway, poppy, bread flour.
Check expiration dates. Bring an extra person to cart sit as peeps do shop out of any cart perceived to be abandoned even if your only a few feet away. And if your flush with money they can push that 2nd or 3rd cart. Don't bring a purse or bag. You want to be stealth just a cell & method of payment in your pocket. Water bottle, gum, a few cough drops, tissues, tiny bottle of hand sanitizer if you can.
Don't be surprised if they won't take coupons just go with the flow.

This is the 1st time in our marriage that my husband has actively hunted.
While this can be a great way to supplement the family food stores it isn't for everyone. Myself included.
DH & DD#2 came home with venison after hunting on a friend's land last week. I'll let him tell you about his and my daughter's woods running on
his blog. All I need to know is that they came home with meat and a huge smile on their faces. A good time was had by all despite cold toes.

Their endeavors produced the following bounty; Sausage - 15 ½ pounds of Italian. $12.16 for 4 ½ pounds package of pork ground to order. Italian seasoning sausage packet was $2.69 bought at the mega mart. Total cost was 93¢ per pound. Patties were wrapped & frozen.
During down time this Winter I‘ll research sausage making then gather what we‘ll need for next year's hunting season. Besides Italian I’ll like to learn how to make pepperoni, summer, and bratwursts varieties. Also need to come up with a better source for pork.
Venison Roasts - tenderloin cuts from a yearling doe = 14 pounds butchered and bagged by DH.

Tuesday’s dinner prepared by my husband. Tenderloin medallion with mushrooms & onions. Sides were baked sweet potatoes and wild rice. The venison was melt in your mouth good. This coming from someone who dislikes game meat.

I finally rendered that 17 pounds of pig fat that has been on a freezer shelf since March on the wood stove. Worked out to five quarts for soap making. The lard isn't cooking quality so I'll make plain laundry soap. Good to have the freezer space.

I’ve been reading Native Harvests Recipes and Botanicals of the American Indian by Barrie Kavasch, 1979. Requested through my local library’s inter library loan program this copy came all the way from Niagara Falls. One aspect of this cookbook is that the author included botanical charts which list the plant, plant part used, usage either for food, technology, or medicine, and harvest time. Unfortunately the plant illustrations are few.
Two good books that compliment Native Harvests are the Peterson field guides; Edible Wild Plants and Medicinal Plants. Great color photos and clear illustrations.
Black Walnut trees can be tapped just like Maples for their sap. Hmm may have finally come up with a reason for that Walnut tree in the vacant lot behind my house.

~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I knew we could get books from other libraries in Monroe County but how do we go about getting books from libraries outside of Monroe County?

  2. Bring the Reference Librarian a treat. Seroiusly if they are any good they can request materials from a wide range of sources. The program is called inter library loan & as long as your system parcipates then your good to go. Bemindful though that not every Reference Librarian is created equal. Out of the 3 that work our branch only one has the gift of hunting.
    DH just got a book last month from California, PA. university.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest