Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Preserving: Bananas

I personally am not a fan of the banana. Way to mushy for me. But it's an affordable fruit and so healthy. Inevitably, the bananas ripen overnight and I'm stuck with a whole lot of them wasting away on the counter. Usually I throw the whole thing in the freezer for banana bread at a later time.

This time I decided to peel the bananas and flash freeze them. My intention was for them to be used for smoothies. However, this tray disappeared within a matter of days. Some claimed that the frozen bananas were better than ice cream. Who knew?

I often walk by the spotted, marked down bananas. But no more.

Preserving: Strawberries

My family is picky about little, but when it come to the staple, PB&J, they will have nothing but strawberry preserves. I've given up trying to convert them to the affordable grape jelly and have decided to stock up on our own homemade version this summer. They are very pleased with the results!

Cut up strawberries to measure 2 cups. Smash with potato masher until desired consistency. Add 4 cups of sugar and stir one minute. Meanwhile, boil 3/4 cups of water. Add 1 package of pectin and bring to a boil stirring constantly for 3 minutes.

Add pectin to strawberry mixture and stir well until all of the sugar is dissolved.

Add to jars leaving at least 1/2 inch at the top. Let set for 24 hours. Refrigerate or freeze.

For these jars we used 5 pints of strawberries ($5.00), 3 boxes of pectin ($5.50) and a whole lot of sugar ($1.50). $12.00 yielded about 15 cups of preserves. The same amount at Aldi would cost close to $20.

Strawberries are priced at $.97/pint this week, so I'm on the hunt for some lower priced pectin (perhaps one that would require less sugar) to build our supply for winter. Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June Menu

This is what we are eating from the freezer this month. Now I can just defrost and reheat. I even cooked all the noodles and rice. That's how lazy I am. Sounds like a good summer plan to me:

Skyline Chili
Southwest Chicken Salad
Barbecue Chicken
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Stir Fry
Italian Chicken and Rice
Spaghetti Carbonara
Hot Dogs and Chili Dog Sauce
Sausage Jamboli
Green Beans/Sausage/Potatoes