24 Carrot Rabbitry

City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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We love going to yard sales and thrift stores.  You never know what you’re going to find, and you can buy many things you need at prices that are much easier on the wallet than buying them new.  This, naturally, leaves more money in the budget for other things.

I remember going shopping for school clothes with my brother last summer.  He buys a lot of things new, so we went to the mall.  He checked out a pile of clothes, but I was the one with the sticker shock!  He bought a couple of nice shirts and shorts for Bunny-Wan Kenobi, too, at a time when I was having trouble finding shorts in his size, so I really did appreciate that.  I just felt terrible about how much they cost him.

I have been wanting to get a dehydrator, as part of my desire to store food away against hard times, and also to preserve the harvest through winter.  Finally, at one of the local thrift stores, I was jabbering a mile a minute to Shay about something, when it finally dawned on me what he was looking at.  I stopped cold, right in the middle of a sentence.

A dehydrator for $9.88! Five trays, instructions, and it works!

Of course, the Magic Chef dehydrator is not a really good quality one, but it has been used by plenty with good results, especially if you rotate the food.  This even came with a roll-up tray, which I understand is good also for dehydrating eggs.  This will at least get me started!

Then there was this big church yard sale, with the proceeds going toward a missions trip.  One of the first things I saw was this:

An unopened 50-lb box of parboiled rice -- for $2!!! We'll package it for storage after we move. Right now, it takes up less space.

Wow!  Why didn’t somebody with the church buy it and donate it to the church kitchen?

So, what is freezer soup?

Freezer soup is what you get when you take a look at what’s left over after dinner each night, and add whatever has just a little left (and would go well in soup) to a gallon freezer bag that you keep in the freezer.  One night, you have a few lima beans left, so you put that in a gallon bag and stick it in the freezer.  The next night, you have some gravy left over.  You pull out the bag and add the gravy, and put it back into the freezer.  You gather all your leftover portions of vegetables (and any of the juice left in the pot), broths, gravies, sauces, and meats.

We’ll often cook enough for two nights.  We’ll eat that meal two nights in a row, or cook something else to have before we eat it the second time.  After the second time, we usually add what’s left to the soup bag.  Sometimes we’ll have a leftover night, with leftovers from several different meals.  What’s left after that goes into the soup bag.

This freezer bag contains red kidney beans, squash, beef and beef gravy, and various other things. It will make a delicious soup!

Once we have two soup bags pretty full, it’s time to have freezer soup.  And it’s never the same soup twice!  We usually make rice to go with it, or cornbread.  It’s a way to get as much use as you can from the food you buy or raise.

One thing we keep out is tomato sauce.  We keep tomato sauces like freezer soup.  When we have enough sauce leftover from other nights, we put it all together and make another sauce.

So then you have dinner, whether soup or spaghetti sauce, made from little bits that might have been thrown out.  In this house, it’s usually dinner for two nights.  All from repurposed frozen leftovers.

Speaking of tomato sauce, I recently planned to make spaghetti for dinner one night.  I got home, and discovered I was completely out of tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato everything!  I don’t want to go back out to the store, and I don’t have time to thaw anything!  What to do?

That’s when Shay reminded me that we had an unopened jug of V8 juice.

Well, of course! It's tomatoes and other pureed vegetables, and it's even got some seasoning!

So we opened it and poured it into the pan.  How could it be anything but good?

It was absolutely delicious! Truthfully, it was one of the best spaghetti sauces we've ever made.

All that was added was some onion and garlic.

Amazing what can happen when you don’t look at things for what they are, but for what they can be.



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2 Responses to “Freezer Soup, V8 Spaghetti, and a couple of scores!”

  1. ladysown says:

    we have a magic chef dehydrator and it does the jobs we ask it to. i don’t care about quality, I care about results… and it does what is needed. :)

    freezer soup. I’ll have to remember that. I like the idea. :)

    • Miss M says:

      Thanks for letting me know about your results with the Magic Chef! I’m encouraged to know it does what you need for it to. :D