I am a 65-year-old grandmother. Married somewhere south of 45 years. Raising and feeding for the most part three grandsons.
I do not consider myself an expert on anything, but I do have a lot of experience cooking and making ends meet. I have had to utilize the Food Bank more of the last 20 years than I wish to admit. However, the fact remains, some of us have to.
My hope is to share with others how to extend the use of the food received from the Food Bank.
One thing to remember is the Food Bank works on donations…not much warning of what they will receive or when it will be distributed. So I have discovered ways to make my journey of food sourcing less full of potholes.
Lesson 1: Canning, freezing, dehydrating are my go-to-ways of preserving food. No, not everyone has or is able to acquire the means or tools needed for these processes, but they help immensely. I would recommend starting by putting back pennies. Watching for sales and giveaways. Dehydrators go fairly cheap for second hand use on Facebook. Hint: Try to get one with a timer so you don’t spend all day turning trays.
I believe the reason I do so well making meals out of Food Bank food is because I do use these processing methods to save from one food distribution disbursement to the next.
Example: I recently received a WHOLE flat of jalapeno peppers. Not many people would know how to use them. So, what do you do with them? In this case I wasn’t feeling up to canning them. My freezer was too packed to store them in their whole form. So I cooked them! This involved cleaning them. Throwing out the bad ones. (Yes, there are those times when things aren’t as fresh as the store. It is just all a part of this path we are on.) Cutting off the stems, slicing and throwing them in a crock pot..,seeds, membranes and all.
There were so many, the lid didn’t fit. I just foiled over the top and set it to cook. Although I felt better the next evening, I was still not up to canning. Instead, I ran the crockpot mixture through the blender. Warning: DON’T breathe deeply when opening it or you will regret it! Now, put it in freezer containers and pop them into the freezer.
In my family, we love spicy, so there will be more uses for this later.
Hope this was helpful. Please join me soon for hints on preserving fresh lemons, spinach and day old bread.
Thanks for reading,