Use-It-Up Project March 5, 2016


I got busy today and finished using up the turkey bones in my freezer.  Early this morning, I put on 2 huge kettles filled with bones from when we butchered our turkeys last fall.  We had cut a lot of meat off of some of them, and ground it into turkey burger.  I froze many bags of bones, with meat on them.  I let them simmer all day while I sorted, packed and worked on the camper.  Then, after all of our excellent helpers went home, I processed the broth.  I fished out the bones and put them into bowls.  Then, I ladled or poured the broth through a strainer into a large Pyrex measuring pitcher.   I put the broth into jars and canned them  The smaller pressure cooker in the back has 7 quarts in it.  The larger one in the front has 2 layers of pints in it.  There are 10 in there.  More could fit, but that’s the amount of broth I ended up with.  While they were cooking, I picked the meat off of the bones.  I froze 3 bags of good meat, fed the cats lots of “goodies” and had enough broth and meat to make dinner.  I gave my oldest daughter the remaining 2 bags of bones so she could make broth, too, and so that I would be done with that project.

I made turkey a-la-king over rice.  The rice was in the camper and had been for a long time, so I used it up and put fresh out there.


I used some broccoli that was left over from dinner last night.  Rob and I had a delightful evening with some children last evening.  Both of their parents had other places to be, so we spent the evening.  I used every last red potato I had, because I cannot find any baking potatoes around here, although I’m certain I have some. (We are gaining on the project, but the garage is still a train wreck!) I was going to make baked potato bar, but instead, roasted the red potatoes in chunks and served cheese, broccoli, ham (frozen after the last ham we cooked), and sour cream as toppings to put on the chunks.  It worked great, but I overestimated the amount of broccoli.  By far.  I guess the kids have other favorite vegetables.  They were exceedingly polite about it, and probably would have choked some down for my sake, but I told them not to bother.  I was there to spoil them rotten, not insist on them eating broccoli.

Our camper came back on Thursday from being in the shop for 2 months.  There was some warranty work that needed to be done, and a certain part was difficult to obtain, I guess.  We had taken it in right after our camping trip after Christmas when we realized it was leaking (bad seal) into the outdoor kitchen.  I found a large gallon bag of Chex Mix I had made at Christmas time and taken camping.  It was still great and the children polished it off for me as a snack last evening.  There are 6 of them, plus Patsy and Ja’Ana, so it took no time at all to use that up:) They also enjoyed some apples and little cutie oranges and some hazelnuts.  They polished off close to 4 quarts of canned fruit we took, as well.  I love feeding a crowd–very gratifying and fun for me.

Today at noon, I was able to use an enchilada casserole that had been frozen for quite some time, throw away 3 items I found freezer-burned in the freezer, some frozen fruit (peaches, blueberries, wild blackberries, and strawberries) I put frozen into a bowl and let thaw into fruit salad right before lunch so it was still slushy, some ranch dressing mix I made into a dip and served with carrots and celery, and some drinks that had been around a long time when I fed 5 extra men and young adults after they helped all morning.

I used quite a few home-canned items this week, including carrots and green beans I put into a soup when my aunt and sister came to help me Friday.  I also used frozen broth and turkey bits in that soup. I also used some potatoes that had gotten left in the camper since Christmas break and were sprouting. I am using onions almost daily from my garden.  The red ones are starting to want to sprout a bit, but the Copras are still firm as ever, for the most part.  I still have quite a few left out in the shop.

On a non-food note, I threw away a sweater that was worn out.  I also ruined a frying pan by forgetting it on a burner too long and then touched a plastic container with it, melting the plastic onto the bottom of the pan and warping it, so I threw away the pan and the ruined container.  Thankfully, it wasn’t my best one.


4 thoughts on “Use-It-Up Project March 5, 2016”

  1. You know, Becky, I am a very picky eater, but I have always loved broccoli. I would have been thrilled to add it to my meal!

    Well, your “Use-it-up” project is still inspiring me. This week I cleaned up my freezers a bit. I put 4 freezer burned chicken pieces, 2 bags of chicken bones, a bunch of frozen veggie peelings/scraps I had saved, some left over bits of frozen veggies, an onion, 2 big bay leaves, some peppercorns, some salt and a good helping of minced garlic into a big stock pot and made a huge batch of chicken stock. I packages up 8 baggies with 2 cup portions in each and put them in the freezer. I have been refusing to buy cartons of chicken stock, knowing that I had all the supplies to make some from scratch, but just never got around to it…until this week. So glad I have stock to use now! Thank you for your inspiration!!!!

    1. That’s awesome. I’m glad you are getting some of your things used, as well. I had to throw away 3 things I found this week, they were so bad, so moving or not, it’s great to get things used in timely fashion. I’m always mad at myself when that happens, since I paid for that food once-upon-a-time.

      The stock sounds very good. Mine is much simpler–bones/water/salt, but it’s good if you can use peelings and scraps, and I’ll bet it has a deeper flavor.

  2. You’re just a cooking genius. Always coming up with good recipes and never ending. Wish I could be half as industrious as you.

    1. Thank you. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we were extremely hard up when we were first married and for quite a few years after as Rob chose to go to college and then took a low-paying job to get started (All good ideas, just did not pay as well as the sawmill where he worked for a while). I just learned to use what I had and kept it up. I actually enjoy the challenge of taking food that is unappealing or monotonous and turning it into something yummy!

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