Frugal Food Preparation

Learning how to stretch our food dollars and prepare meals for our family that taste good, and is good for them has always been 1 of my passions. I value the time when my family and I can gather together at table and enjoy a meal together. It is a time when we can exchange the events of our day and things that are on our mind. There are so many things that can take place at the dinner table if we open our eyes to them. I think 1 day I will write a blog on this but for today I want to share with you a tip for making making good food at a low cost.

In my family we are all about the sauces on our food. A good broth is the start of many sauces, soups and stews. Sure you can buy broths, but making them is easy and then you control what is in them. No preservatives or chemicals. What I use to make my broths may surprise some of you. I use all the scraps from my food preparation, literally nothing goes to waste in my home. When I am making something that I use vegetables that need to be peeled, such as carrots,potatoes,parsnip, squash, radishes, garlic, onion , I put them all in a freezer bag, even the flaky skin from the onion. There is so much flavor in that onion skin. Any vegetable that has a core or stem that we often do not put in our meals such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery(and it’s leaves), fennel also get put in that same freezer bag. I pretty much throw anything in the bags that a lot of people throw away. When we eat meat that has bones, I save the bones in freezer bags even parts that normal get thrown out like feet necks and backs. I usually keep different meats bones in separate bags.(poultry, beef, and pork) We eat a lot of cauliflower so I often have a bag that is just cauliflower. Really what you put in your bags is up to you. I also occasionally kept the water that I drain from off when cooking. There is lots of flavor and nutrition in there plus often starch which will help to thicken your broth. When you bags are full, then you can make your broth. You can start with your bones and veggies from frozen or thawed and add any herbs that you like. Get creative here if you want. I have occasionally added chili powder or peppers, cayenne(we like spice) I usually add garlic, parsley. When using beef I add Worcesetershire sauce. Adding 1-2 tbs of apple cider vinegar helps to break down the ingredients. But does not leave a vinegar taste. Add salt and pepper to your liking .

Here is where things get a little different depending on your cooking method. You make your broth on the stove, in a crock pot or an insta pot. Whatever you have and feel up to using.

STOVE TOP METHOD: This is my favorite way as I find the flavor is so much better. But that is a personal preference. You need to get a pot big enough to hold everything in your bag and be covered by a least 3-4 inch of water or the drained water you kept(thawed). Partially cover the pot and start cooking on medium high. Once it comes to a boil turn down the temperature to a maintain a low simmer. About every 20 minutes check and skin off any foam or impurities that rise to the top. Just skim it off with a spoon and throw it away, also if your water is not covering the ingredients top it off with more water. You need to let it simmer for at least 12 hours, up to 48hrs. The longer the better but I would not go past 48 hrs. If you are nervous about leaving on the stove overnight you can put it in the fridge and in the morning put it back on the stove and continue on with your cook time. When your done strain it through a fine mesh.

CROCK POT METHOD: Place all your ingredients in your crock pot and fill with water or thawed water that you saved from cooking. Cover with lid slightly ajar, cook for at least 12 hours and up to 24 for poultry bones and 48 hrs for red meat bones cook it on low. But keep an eye on it don’t let it run dry. When cook time is done. Strain it through a mesh strainer to separate the solids from the broth.

INSTANT POT: Place all ingredients in the pot and add water(or saved thawed drained water) until it covers the ingredients by 1inch or you reach the max fill line. let it sit for about 30 minuttes. Put on the lid, lock it and seal the vent. Turn your pot to low pressure and time 3 hrs for poultry, 4 hrs for red meat. Let it release naturally. Strain through a mesh sieve.

With all methods chill in the fridge and remove the fat that comes to the top. If you want you can use that to fat.cook with). You can save your broth in the fridge, or my favorite you can, can it. It should be jelly like . But if it’s not, it’s still full of all kinds of good nutrition. (if you want to have lots of gelatin created just add some connective tissue tissue meat like feet, knuckles, neck ect ,next time)Bone broth can be drank on it’s on or use as a base for many sauces, stews and gravy. Bone broth has many nutritional values that help with joint pain, achiness and stiffness. The possibilities of use are mostly limited to your imagination. Use it when cooking rice or veggies you want added flavor in. The other day we had a smoked turkey I do not like the flavor of gravy made from smoked turkey drippings so I used some to make my gravy. I also used beef broth to make gravy for poutine, when we were having a burger with it as there would be no drippings. It’s added to my chilli, and pasta sauces. I hope enjoy making and using your broth. #bonebroth, #frugalcooking, #startofsauces

Where do You Turn In Times of Distress?Dealing with Covid-19

Where do you turn in times of distress? Let’s look at the Biblical scripture Psalms 20:1 &7.

“1. May the Lord answer you (David) in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high(and defend you in battle)” “7. Some trust in chariots and horses, But we will remember and trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Do you turn to God or false securities? Chariots and horses would have been comparable to our newest technologies today. When troubles come do you run to technology to strengthen you? Do you go to social media platforms to give you strength? As we go through Covid-19, I have seen many people post about differing theories and seeking others to join their theory thoughts for strength. Let’s face it, these times are stressful just by the fact that none of us have ever lived through a pandemic before. We may feel confused, scared, worried, overwhelmed and powerless. What do we do? Do we masks these feelings by looking for a cause or a theory to get behind and give us an action to do that will distract us from our feelings?Then post that action on social media to gain the strength of others? Or are we honest? Do we express our true feelings to God and to others? Do we trust God to be our comforter, do we rely on Him to give us wisdom? Do we seek Him in His word or search out the words of others? Honestly it is so much easier to seek theories and get behind causes then to express our true feelings. There is also a huge difference in the response we will get. If I say I am feeling worried or scared about the future state of our economy, most of my friends who love me and have knowledge will speak words to comfort me and remind me of God’s words. Words that say have no fear, and to cast all my cares to God. We will connect. and I will start to feel better.But if I post about theories that support my reason for being fearful, the response will more likely cause others who were not fearful to become fearful, it will put the focus on the theories over the word of God. It will cause division and hatred for others and not bring forth love and trust in God. Whatever you are feeling as we go through Covid-19, be honest about your feelings, to God and to others. Seek comfort and love, Godly wisdom, not theories to get behind. Promote God, Promote Love, not hatred, division and fear. #covid19 #dealingwithstress #encouragement #dealingwithemotions #removeyourmasks