#everybitcountshcallenge Week 5.

This week has been a little bit of everything. 

Some of our vegetable prices have been very high so when Broccoli was a half decent price last week I bought up and blanched a big batch.   I have found 2 minutes on the dot works perfectly for Broccoli I cannot tell was ever frozen.  I like it so much!  

I refrigerate it until it is cold/cold and then freeze it in just enough for the two of us portions.   

I tried a new to me recipe which was Burritos.  Given the whole family liked Enchiladas and they freeze so well I decided to try these.  Well, we liked them.  (I had never eaten a Burrito!)   Just as well as I made a pretty big batch and made a tray for Chloe's family too.   Tom is almost two.  He was crazy on them!  I froze a tray in my ready meals freezer.

More Spinach and Chard went into the dehydrator.  I am up to greens jar number three.   

More Celery was dehydrated also and I filled another jar.  

There was a good deal on steak and we had not bought steak in a while.   We got a whole tray and I portioned them out into twos and froze them.    

I did this again with sausages,  minced beef and chicken schnitzels.  

I made little chocolate cup cakes  and also scones.   Most of them were frozen, the scones were shared with Mum and the rest frozen.

So I had Broccoli,  Burritos,  steak, Mince, sausages, schnitzels, scones, little cakes,  greens and celery. 
Holy cow! Thats' 10 out of 7!   This is some kind of record!  I actually didn't think I had done that much.

I think portioning out bulk packs of meat is a real saver.  It takes a little while but is worth it.  I watch for deals on bakery items also.  They get individually wrapped and put away for lunches etc.     

My ready meals freezer has some empty spaces so filling them back up is one of my goals for the next few weeks. 

What have you added to your pantry or freezer?   Many of you are putting up the last of summers produce.  I hope you still have lots coming in!   I am planting my Spring garden and harvesting some of the things that grew through winter,  watching for good deals,  swapping and trading...  every bit counts! xxx


  1. This week I watched a Rose Red Homestead video about canning tomato sauce. She used https://pin.it/49juIay a variety of sizes/types of tomatoes, including small cherry tomatoes, without blanching and peeling them first. My small yellow pear tomatoes have been producing more than we can possibly eat before they go bad. We have given many baskets of them to friends.But keeping the every bit counts challenge in mind, I took a bucket of mostly pear tomatoes with a few bigger red toms added in and turned them into 6 lovely pints of tomato sauce AND with the skins and seeds, I dehydrated those and filled the rest of my pint jar with tomato powder and started filling a second pint jar!! All from tomatoes that might have ended up being fed to our chickens!! https://pin.it/29m8RIg And https://pin.it/49juIay.

    I started making a new quilt to use up some of the huge amount of scraps I have in my fabric stash. My mission is to see how many quilts I can make without buying any fabric! The pattern was free online: https://patsloan.typepad.com/files/pat-sloan-summer-soiree-block-7.pdf and here are the first 14 blocks I’ve made: https://pin.it/4uNWz0V.

    Since I was feeling unwell the first few days last week, I’m happy with what I did get done. This challenge has me looking at things more closely before I discard them!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Dear Pat, RoseRed is very educational. She really knows her stuff! I have to confess never in my life have I peeled a tomato. The yellow tomatoes sound beautiful and would give another bright colour into the mix.
      Your fabric stash sounds incredible! I think the best quilts are use up what you have ones. I hope you are feeling much better now! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Dear Annabel,
    Now that we are fully recovered from our bout with Co-vid its bed n a time if catching up and restocking items from the freezer that came in so handy while we were ill. In the garden 8 pounds of baking potatoes were harvested and are now curing, 3 quarts of chard got frozen as well as 2 quarts of shredded cabbage and 3 quarts of acorn squash and 3 pints of green beans. Harvested lettuce to be used in salads
    We had a roast for dinner one night and the remains got divided up into two portion packets giving us three more meals in the freezer. I baked a dozen and a half blueberry scones using almond flour eggs, and maple syrup for the sweetener, two dozen English muffins for my husband using the recipe from bigger older baking.com and a dozen gluten free sweet potato buns for me.

    I started crocheting more spa clothes for the gift pantry and worked on birthday and holiday cards. I have also been reading Th1940s Experiment blog and watching her YouTube channel.
    Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I am so glad you are better. It was great you had meals on hand to get you through. You are getting a great produce harvest! We are going to have a roast this week and I will be doing the same as you! I love a ready to go roast meal!
      Your baking sounds beautiful! I know for sure your cards will be lovely! I feel once we hit October then its Christmas in full force! You had a very productive week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Broccoli is quite expensive here now as well. I saw 5 pounds of potatoes for $7.48 and about fell over! We are still harvesting small amounts but it adds up. Three banana peppers were added to the bag in the freezer all chopped and ready to use. Last week we had so many good deals at the grocery and salvage stores. Products that are no longer affordable for most are going to the salvage stores and we are benefitting from that. We bought $85 worth of food at the regular grocery for $26 with sales and coupons. Then the salvage store had crazy deals like packs of sliced ham for 50 cents, salami was 3 pkg for $1, lg cans of frozen OJ were $1, chocolate chunks for baking were $1 a bag, vegan butter which is mostly coconut oil was $2.99 a case. We canned 2 jars of green beans from the garden, 8 jars of meat sauce because we got a good deal on ground beef and 6 jars of chili from the same pkg of meat. I boiled some chicken and canned the extra broth. We tried the vegan butter in our bread recipe and it seems to be a good substitute for the more expensive butter. I plan to buy some more to put in the freezer. The store had a lot of it so they will likely lower the price in the coming weeks.

    1. Dear Lana, Broccoli was so extensive that people began picking the flowerettes off leaving the stems since it is sold by weight. Lately it has been over $4 a pound. (Although not this lot as it was a lot cheaper hence me grabbing it!)
      The salvage store sounds fabulous! I think this could happen here. Some things surely no one will buy and they dont seem to want to mark things down!
      You added a lot to your shelves! A very good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. You had a very productive week, Annabel. Your food always looks delicious.
    We continue to take advantage of good sales on organic food. I dehydrated lovage, basil, calendula, peppers and rosemary in the dehydrator. I hung lavender, lemon balm and lemon verbena to dry. I, also pressed some pansies this week, but need to do so many more. Hopefully, tomorrow I will get most of the herbs cut back and more hung and in the dehydrator.
    We have four 22 inch pots full of french marigolds that need dehydrated, also, as well as, the comfrey leaves. Keeping busy daily.
    Have a wonderful Tuesday.
    With love,

    1. Dear Glenda, The variety you are getting from the garden is wonderful! Pressed Pansies would be so beautiful. I just love them.
      It is fantastic you have Comfrey! Your garden has been so abundant. The scent of herbs is beautiful. Your place would look so nice with the bunches hanging to dry! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Well done, Annabel and Garden Pat! I haven't commented in the last few weeks as I am trying to keep up with the challenge. I made 10 half pint jars of grape jelly, canned quarts of apple sauce and apple syrup (made from apple peelings and cores). Several quarts of pasta sauce and dried tomato skins to add to my jar. Froze sweet pepper slices.
    Our family enjoys kombucha, so I've been making allot for hot days. A friend kindly saved bottles for me. So I make my own and just refill these bottles. Everyone loves having their own bottle to grab and go. I have been doing a little every day as I homeschool and it is a busy season for us all.
    Thank you so much for sharing Laine's letter on electricity savings. So helpful and encouraging. I have a request. My husband has had health issues and feels a bit worn out. He has asked me to do less in feathering our nest. Is there anyone else trying to work hard and maximize their savings but hubby is no longer on board? This is tough, because we still have 5 children at home (ages 9-16). Also my kids help me with gardening, gleaning, and processing the food.
    Blessings, Leslie

    1. Leslie, just do what you can without your husband's assistance and don't make a big deal of it. This is pretty much what I have had to do for most of my marriage (54 years).

    2. Best wishes to you, Annabel, and to all of the other Bluebirds. You ladies never fail to impress and inspire me.

      I have not done as much with this challenge as I would have liked, but my arthritis has been killing me and my tiny garden is coming to an end. I am still harvesting tomatoes and zucchini, but it is definitely winding down. Most of the tomatoes now are coming from the volunteer plant, which I think might be a Big Boy. I also have two zukes on the vine. The mystery cantaloupes aren’t quite ready to pick, but they are getting there. I am hoping to get green beans again before frost.

      I chopped up my backlog of zucchinis in the mini-processor and froze six 2 cup bags. One of the zukes was on the big side, so I scooped out all the seeds first. I chopped up the rest, seeds and all. I still have a small backlog of tomatoes that I will be using to make frozen tomato sauce this afternoon.

      I saved nasturtium seeds for next year. I grow the Alaska variety, which has variegated leaves and trail a bit.

      Ground beef was $2.99 lb. last week–not a barnburner of a sale, but still a decent price. I bought 12 lbs. and used 3 lbs. for two meatloaves. I baked one and added the other to my stash of frozen ready meals.

  6. I highly recommend this YouTube channel, I'm sure you will love it Annabel, the man who runs it, camile, shows all the weeds around us that can be used medicinally. It's amazing. Great for prep, to put some away or just know what to look for when out and about. They are short and to the point videos.

  7. Hello Annabel and dear Bluebirds,

    Your week was very productive, as always- and I was thinking of you this weekend when working like crazy on preserving for winter. I was very very tired after that and also caught a bad cold but very proud and relieved, watching so many jars put away in the cellar.

    For the first time I picked mushrooms from our garden - it is a quiet, wild place under an old apple tree, when we threw last year some wood dust from old wood and this year, between fallen apples there were many white champignon mushrooms - many means 16 kg / 35 pounds. I worked the whole weekend but it was free food! Dehydrated, put in the freezer, made some ready meals and a big butch of vegetable stew with mushrooms. I got 28 jars! and brought to the office for my colleagues to eat at the lunch hour.

    I made some cucumber pickles, and pear compote/ pear stew (?) it will be delicious in winter. But after 3 days of preserving like for the marathon all my muscles ached and the nasty cold gave me some headaches for Monday at work.

    On Monday evening I stayed in bed, watched Her Majesty*s Queen Elisabeth funerals, got emotional and felt like a family member passed. Or remembered my family members funeral - all mixed up and very sad.

    Life goes on, tomorrow is another day, I will be busy again and ready to fight. Winter is coming, we have very low temperatures and a lot of rain. Cold and wet is not pleasant but we put another blanket on and extra cardigans and did not turn on the heating.

    Have a nice week ahead and keep smilling. Love from Laura_s_world from Romania

  8. today it is a beautiful day here in southern pa. i just love the fall time. it makes you want to putter around the house all day. today and yesterday i canned 40 pints of applesauce and i want to do some applepie filling as well. will be getting 1/2 bushel of tomatoes on thursday because mine didn't produce like i wanted, and will make rotel and just some stewed tomatoes. that will just about use up all my jars. then i want to start fall cleaning and purging some things. went to the beach last week and hit up all the thrift shops i could find and found a nice stainless steel soup pot, already put it to good use with applesauce. also some nice cookbooks for .50 cents. after you dry comfrey, how do you use it? was giftrd about 6 yds. of cotton fabric from a friend at church, will keep me busy sewing this winter. well that is about it for this week. hope you are staying well and busy on the farm too.blessings to you all. bonnie

  9. Well done Annabel! You have been very busy and productive.

    I dehydrated some home grown coriander this week. Then I was able to buy good apples for $2/kg and I made 13 and a half big jars of apple slices in syrup to put on the shelf.

    I made muffins from scratch but none of them made it into the freezer with my boys around! I’ll have to make a double batch next time!!

    I think I’m going to make some dry mixes of pancake mix on the weekend, with the instructions on the jar, it makes it so quick and easy to make pikelets or pancakes this way.

  10. Since every bit counts...I sorted out my freezer Monday which made enough room to add to it, and put in a whole chicken I'd bought on good sale, along with 2 bags of sale priced frozen ravioli. I also froze some cooked chicken we didn't eat. I added in leftover cabbage rolls one night and added stuff to a container I mean to make soup from eventually, possibly this week. I added in two bananas that got very ripe. I added bread end pieces from the previous week's loaf (these make all sorts of things like croutons, crumbs, French toast, stratas). I saved the root and top ends of onions I was cutting up to use for cooking in a bag to make broth as well as some chicken bones that I added to my broth making bag.

  11. Every bit counts. Currently I have 4 gallon freezer bags of tomatoes I grew, in the freezer. I canned a bunch of tomatoes earlier and then ran out of time during farm harvest to can more. I will be working those up this coming weekend. I also have 4 large bags of scraps and bones for bone broth. Another weekend project.
    I had hoped to get the last of the Chard from the garden to dehydrate but below freezing temps came on and it's done for this year....unless we get a warm spell.


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