Monday, September 28, 2015

Preparing for Grocery Store free October

Last week I did a few things to prepare for our grocery-free October. I'm keeping everything I can in a three ring binder for ease. I'll put much, but not all, of that info here.
First of all, I tried egg substitutes in a couple of recipes. See the substitute info below. Secondly, I went to Costco to look at dates on dairy items. Thirdly, I asked a bunch of friends for advice. I'm especially worried about fresh produce and dairy. Fourth on the list was a cold frame for our Raised Garden Bed #2 which has some lettuce, radishes and spinach still growing. Fifthly, I put together a list of partial proteins - a good reminder that we can cut back on meat. And lastly, I spoke with the family to come up with dinner meals that they want me to help them make.

Egg Substitute efforts-
options - 1- combine 1 tsp unflavored gelatin with 3 T cold water and 2T plus 1 tsp boiling water.
2- Dissolve 1 T unflavored gelatin in 1 T cold water then add 2 T boiling water. Beat vigorously until frothy.
3- 2 egg yolks and 1 T water
4 - 2 T dehydrated eggs and 2 1/2 T water

Pancake Mix - used 1/2 real eggs, 1/2 dehydrated

Lemon Poppy Seed Bars - doubled the recipe and used 1/2 real eggs and 1/2 of the #1 substitute above (whipping until frothy).

I also made a list of Breakfast items that take eggs, showing which take one, two, none. Also found a good group of those I can make ahead and freeze.

Costco info - 5 doz eggs are good from 9/25 thru 10/30. Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream - both good for more than 30 days. Milk - 2 weeks.

Advice from Friends -
RL - Friend in UT who did a month without a store visit made bread everyday, finding that her children were more hungry when they knew they couldn't go to the store. Stocked up on everything to make mostly normal meals. Did theme meat each week, cooking meat at start of week and then reusing or tweaking recipes as she went. Cooked and shredded potatoes then froze them. Made smoothies for snacks. Used eggs up early in the month, baking etc. Froze milk after taking 1 c out - to leave room for expansion.
TB- found her menu planning ideas and recipes given to me in a RS class more than 5 years ago
RW - told me of a friend doing a pear and apple order - I ordered a full bushel (50 lb) of pears and 1/2 bushel (24 lbs) of gala apples.
DM has not yet given me her info on yogurt, but I should get it soon.
HK has a method of doing yogurt in the oven and I'll get that from her soon.
I found the info on how to do yogurt in the crockpot. Here it is -

Notes from Frugal books/articles-

  • Will lengthen dairy items' shelf life by 2x:    
                    milk - add a pinch of salt when 1st opened.
                    cottage cheese - store upside down

  •  bringing celery back to crisp - cut off bottom stem. Fill a pan deep enough to cover it with cold water. Add 3/4 c granulated sugar. Soak for 4-5 hours. Drain well and refrigerate
  • blanching veggies - drop into boiling water, then ice water.
  • homemade pizza stone - unglazed terracotta tile. Place on lowest rack at 400F.

Extending the Harvest: Cold Frame - We priced things out at Home Depot and came up with a $100 cost. Not sure I want to do that now. Maybe in the Spring. I can cover things again with a tarp like I did last year to extend the harvest at least two more weeks. I can also do sprouts - I bought a kit I haven't used yet.

Meals - we make double and serve the same meal two nights in a row. I've added a few extra in case we change our minds. I'll post these recipes later. I've just noted where they can be found.

Chicken Alfredo w/ Pesto bread
Chicken Stew w Dumplings (BHG, 378)
Turkey/Stuffing Roll-ups (FFC, 31)
White Chicken Chili (undetermined recipe)
Chicken Nuggets (BHG, 303) and Hmde Fries (Pink Pages)
Chicken, Bean & Rice Nachos (see other post)

Cheeseburgers and Parmesan Potatoes (wooden box)
Nachos (BHG, 10)
Lion House Sweet & Sour Meatballs (see other post)

Cream of Broccoli Soup (undetermined recipe)
Chili Potatoes
Hot Dogs w/ Mac & Cheese
Chicken Long Rice (see other post)

Chinese Noodles (MSC, 163)
Ham & Vegetable Fried Rice (wooden box)
Ona Jean's Stuffing Casserole (FFC, 39)

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