#everybitcountschallenge Week 4.

I think I am getting better at this as the weeks roll on.   It is also causing me to attempt new things which is good!  

My first item to use up was lemons.    As I also have eggs I made Lemon Butter.  I got 5 jars. 

I gave one to Chloe to make a desert and the rest went into the freezer.  

The rest of the lemons I juiced and froze,  each bottle contained 10 lemons. 

I did this last year and so many times it was very handy! 

Mum uses celery a lot and I was able to give her a giant jar which contained several heads of celery dehydrated.  I got busy and cut and dehydrated some more.

I have learned to start off with it crowded into a basket... this fits in my dehydrator ok if I remove a couple of shelves.   It is actually out of my air frier but the holes are small so it is really good.  After a few hours the contents aren't crowded any more.   

Also I use a wash bag to contain leaves.  This way they don't stick to the wire.    I can simply empty the bag straight into the jar.   

I like this so much I think I will use some netting to make bags that fit my trays exactly.  

I think organza bags would work perfectly well too.  

I had some room in the dehydrator left so I filled that will nettles.

Next...   I harvested a mix of Silverbeet,  Spinach and Swiss Chard.   Some was used in a couple of Quiches...     Then I blanched a heap for 2 minutes and froze in muffin trays.   The amount is about right as one serve each.   Once they were frozen solid I used zip lock bags to keep for when needed.

Some Silverbeet was dehydrated as well and went into the greens jar... along with the Stinging nettle when that was done.

More for the greens jar... I bought two bunches of Kale from a home grower and dehydrated that.

Last week I mentioned wanting to work out the best way to preserve eggs while my hens are laying well.   
Today I collected 51 eggs!   Admittedly I didn't collect the eggs yesterday... but this is a record!    My friend sent me a message which revealed I have been over thinking the preservation of eggs.  She told me to just put eggs in the freezer.   Like whole, in the shell, eggs.   When you want to use them thaw and crack them and it is as if nothing ever happened.   WHAT?!   So I froze an egg.  I erred on the side of caution and put it in a plastic bag.   The next day I got it out and thawed it out.   There was a hair line crack in it but it had frozen whole and it thawed perfectly and indeed looked like nothing happened!

So 👀 why didn't I know this?   Thank you L!  Now I will just freeze whole cartons of eggs for times when the chickens might be on strike.    We hen keepers always have times of many eggs then lean times.  This is a great solution! 

So...  Lemon Butter,  Lemon juice,  Celery, Nettles,  Kale,  Spinach.  That is 6 out of 7.  I am pretty happy as I am on to greens jar number three.  

I hope you had many opportunities to build up your pantry!  xxx


  1. So many good things for your pantry! You did very well, and in my opinion is 7 out of 7 - trying out the frozen egg counts, too. Thank you for the tip, I will give it a try - it is the simplest way and that is always a nice choice.

    I kept working and preparing for winter here. Put some pickled chilly in the jar - hot and spicy for different dishes during cold weather (and the chilly peppers from my container garden). One of the favorite preserved foods of the Romanians is the vegetable stew - so I did several jars, with eggplants - very handy when hungry. You just open the jar and eat it - the downside is it takes a good couple of hours to make it. I also made some jars for selling them and that was a good income.

    I harvested mint from the garden and now it is drying - ready for tea and for the chicken coop.

    Everyday I put something away for winter - even if it is just the nice healthy ash remained after cooking outside on the fire the eggplants for the vegetable stew - I put it in one big bucket with a lid on and another big bucket has sand in it - I will combine these two for dust bath or chickens Spa during the snowy months. Nothing goes to waste here!

    You did a great job with your posts and you help and motivate me (probably many other Bluebirds, too) when the people around me just go through days like nothing happens. I consider there hard times ahead of us and feel the need to be prepared.

    Have a nice and productive week. With love from Laura_s_world in Romania

    1. Laura, any chance that you would share your stew recipe? I have so many eggplant and would love a new way to fix it! Sheri from GA, USA

    2. Of course - it is not hard at all.

      Ingredients: 3 kg eggplants, 5 kg peppers, 2 kg onions, 1 l sunflower oil, 0,5 l tomato sauce, about 4 tablespoon salt, a bit of blackpepper, and 3-4 bay leaves.

      You have to ground or chop the onions and peppers, and fry the eggplants over the fire (barbecue style or in the oven), clean them and grind or chop.

      In 0,5 l sunflower cooking oil you stir the onions, and in the other half and other pot, you stir the peppers until they turn a nice golden colour. - then gathered them all in one pot and keep stirring around half an hour. Then you add the eggplants, after 15 minutes you can add the tomatoe sauce, salt, blackpepper and bay leaves and stir for another maybe half an hour, but you can see it is ready when looks very delicious and smells divine.
      This quantity will make aprox. 12 big mason jars. You can eat it as it is on bread or in different sauces or just side dish. Very good in the winter.

      I hope it was not hard to understand, it is my first time I write a receipe in English - LOL.

      Have a nice day

    3. Thank you, Laura! I will try it! You do well with English—I always think that when I read your comments.

    4. Thanks so much Laura for sharing the recipe! xxx

    5. You are very welcome. Sending virtual hugs

  2. You had a great week! I am just as surprised as you about freezing whole eggs! That is genius!

  3. Wow! What a great idea with the eggs - I definitely would not have thought of such a simple solution lol. I'm going to try this as well.

  4. What a great way to freeze individual serves of swiss chard. (That's what we call silverbeet.) I just finished doing mine that way. Thank you from Long Island, NY.

  5. You have been so inspiring Annabel, and while I’m not actively participating in this challenge, I am certainly finding myself thinking about what I can do to make it all count!

    I’m having a busy week in the kitchen this week, last weekend I was able to score strawberries for $1/250g punnet, so I bought 20 punnets and I made 14 jars of jam for the pantry shelf!

    Also I borrowed a friend’s dehydrator and I dehydrated a heap of coriander, we couldn’t use all of it fresh, so this was a good way to preserve it. But I didn’t stop there LOL I spied some spring onions that were getting way to thick and big, so I harvested them, sliced them thinly (including the whole dark green bit) and dehydrated them, I got a huge jar out of it, and crushed up in any sort of meal I think it will be lovely!

    Today I have my Fowlers Vacola unit going and I am experimenting with single serve plum puddings in a jar!! They are shelf stable when done, I am currently waiting for the unit to cool a bit before I take them out and see if they worked/sealed, it’s exciting stuff indeed!


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