I'm Finding I Don't Need A Garden When My Husband Works In One

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by Babs Hunt, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    at the small Country Store a short distant from our home. Lately he has been coming home with yellow squash, cauliflower, all colored bell peppers, etc. and bananas, bananas, bananas. :) It is amazing that people do not want to buy anything with a blemish on it and I guess at the prices they charge for things today I can understand this in some ways. The past couple of months I have really saved alot of money on my grocery bill with all the free groceries my honey is bringing home from work with him. Today I took the few blemishes off of two heads of cauliflower, some yellow squash, broccoli, and sorted through some close to expiration date blueberries and strawberries. After I blanched the veggies and washed the fruit, I ziplocked bagged all of it with today's date and loaded up our freezer. Two days ago I made a big pot of homemade chicken vegetable soup with all the goodies he brought home the day before. I have made banana bread, banana cookies, banana muffins, and even banana yogurt ice cream. With the high cost of food these days, I feel really blessed to get all this free food. The Store used to donate their excess to a Soup Kitchen, but the Soup Kitchen got a new manager who called up the store and said they weren't going to come pick up the stuff anymore, that he felt the Store should deliver it to them! Honestly....the Store is donating lots of good food and dairy, etc....and they don't want to come pick it up? I really don't understand this but I am enjoying all the free stuff that is coming home to us now and I'm sure some of the other employees are enjoying the free stuff too. The first time my husband brought home two heads of cauliflower I cut off the blemishes and steamed it, then poured a little vinegar over the heads and added some sea salt and ground pepper and ate my fill of it. My mom used to do this for us when I was growing up and we all loved it...we'd eat that cauliflower like it was a favorite snack. And I had good memories of my Mom and those times with my siblings as I ate my fill of the cauliflower I made just like she used to do.

    I didn't get to do a garden this year like I had hoped to...just been to busy helping to grow my youngest grandkids. Now I feel like the garden produce is coming abundantly to me anyway...and I sure am enjoying the bounty coming our way. :) I just might have to buy an extra freezer if the bounty keeps increasing.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That's nice but too bad about the homeless people. Someone should have volunteered to drive some of it to them.

    I'm a big veggie eater, not so much a fruit lover. If I wanted to I could easily become a vegetarian but I don't want to. :)
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    That is awesome that your husband is able to bring home all of that free food, and just cleaning off the bad spots is no big deal. The store where I shop usually puts the blemished produce on sale for almost nothing just to get it sold, and I always check for what is put out when I go shopping there.
    I really like cauliflower, too, @Babs Hunt ; but I have never tried it with vinegar on it. We always steam it and then add the sea salt, pepper, and a dab of butter; so I will have to try it with vinegar and see what it tastes like that way. Do you put butter on yours, too, or just the vinegar ?
    We had a small garden this year; but I think that it was the last year that I am going to try and grow anything. The trees have overgrown this whole area around our house and everything is shady all summer long. Even though it gets some sunshine through the trees, it is not enough, and everything just grows skinny and tall and scraggly.
    We have tried using containers so we could put the tomatoes and peppers out where they would get more sun; but even that does not work very well, and it is pretty much a wasted effort, and a lot of money spent on watering all of it.
     
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  4. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That's a funny attitude for someone running a soup kitchen, but one I've seen a time or two, as well. I'm glad y'all are benefiting from the largesse. I stopped in a different grocery store the other day and noticed they had a mark down section where the blemished and expired fruit and vegetables were, so I'll have to make it a point to check that section when I go there.
     
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  5. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I haven't seen a marked down section in any of the stores I shop...I'm talking about food not stuff on clearance at an end aisle like Target and Walgreens do.

    I used to look through those type of bins when I was a young wife and mother but then I read that veggies and fruits that are older lose some nutrients so I quit doing that, then years went by and now it's just me and food is my one splurge within reason.
     
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  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Yes, @Yvonne Smith I do put butter on cauliflower...it is the way my husband and I eat it most of the time. Italian Salad Dressing is not bad on it either. :) My husband being able to bring home all this food stuff is definitely a blessing with food prices as high as they are now days. I like when he brings home the large containers of plain yogurt, I make smoothies with that and some of the fresh fruit he brings and I really enjoy those smoothies....and they benefit my digestive system too.

    Although we used to grow small gardens, all we do now is usually a bell pepper and tomato plant. We still have plenty of sunshine to make a good garden but with just the two of us we find it is time consuming and not cost effective for us anymore. I am busy helping to "grow" our two youngest grandchildren and that is what I like tending to right now. :) At one time my husband and I tried our hand at container gardening but we found, like y'all that the veggies did not do as well in containers and we ended up tranfering them from the containers to our flower bed where they did so much better.

    One great thing about your yard being mostly shade now is that it's so much cooler when it's hot outside and where you and I live there is so much hot weather for much of the year that I think your shady yard is a blessing to enjoy. :)
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Cauliflower is one of the more expensive veggies at the store, or it seems like that to me, but when I find it on sale, I will always get some because it is so healthy and both Bobby and I enjoy it. I think that next year we are only going to have a couple of tomato plants and some peppers, too.
    Between the birds and squirrels eating the seeds, and then the trees shading the plants that did grow, it is not worth the effort.
    We do have some berries and fruit trees planted; so next year, I am going to focus on taking better care of those and see if we cant at least get some fruits and berries.
    We had lots of blossoms on the little peach tree, but none of the peaches got any bigger than a cherry before they either were eaten or fell off the tree. Pretty much the same thing happened with the orange and lemon trees, and even the raspberries didn't do much.
    Bobby helps out at our neighborhood market sometimes, so he is going to check and see about getting some of their old produce, like you are getting, @Babs Hunt .
     
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  8. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    We have a young fig tree growing in our yard, this year it had about 10 nice size figs growing, but the birds came and ate them all before we could even get one of them. :) There is also a satsuma tree in our yard that our Landlord planted years ago, this year the tree has a bounty of fruit on it but I can not eat to many of the citrus fruits so while this fruit has benefited family and friends, I would much rather have some blackberry bushes growing in our yard.

    When I was young my family lived in a home that had a mature raspberry tree that was half on our property and half on our neighbors and I can remember climbing on the fence between our houses to get up on the limbs of the tree where my siblings and I would stuff ourselves with raspberries to our hearts content. :) The last time I came to help with my grandchildren here in Texas my daughter bought some raspberries and they were so good and reminded me of this time in my youth. Since I don't have the time right now to devote to growing and tending to our own fruit and vegetable plants...I am very thankful my husband can bring this free bounty home to us. :)
     
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  9. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Raspberries on trees ? I have never heard of such a thing, @Babs Hunt . The only berry that I have heard of on an actual tree is the mulberry tree, which I have never seen; but would love to have one of.
    The only raspberries I have ever heard of grow on bushy raspberry vines, and come in both red and black varieties. Out in Western Washington, there was a similar berry that grew wild there, and it was called a salmon berry, because of its orange color. they were not as flavorful as a raspberry, but they were good enough to eat that we would go out in the woods and pick them.
     
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  10. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    You are probably right @Yvonne Smith...I was probably pigging out on mulberries....instead of raspberries. That's about how much I know about how these berries grow...but if they were two different berries...they both were delicious! :)
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    IMG_3795.JPG
    This is what my Honey brought home from work yesterday...all free and so healthy for us. :)
     
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  12. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Except for the strawberries they all look perfectly good to me, surprised the store is pulling those. Wish my store was so observant. I get angry when the veggies I'm buying full price already look bad, they don't even mark them down. Safeway (Vons) seems to do it a lot in Fresno.
     
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  13. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Most of the strawberries are good....I will toss a few probably but just cut the soft spots out of the rest and bag them for the freezer and then just pop some out of the bag for my smoothies.
    It is an added bonus for us to have all these freebies and greatly saves on our grocery bill.:)
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I didn't mean it to sound that the strawberries were bad, just that all the other stuff looked perfectly fresh and good.
     
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  15. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I'm just seeing this post @Chrissy Cross I did not take what you said the wrong way. :) Most of the strawberries were just fine to cut off small bruises on and freeze for my smoothies. One reason they didn't look as good is it not really strawberry season right now.
     
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  16. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Yesterday my Honey brought home yellow squash again (which we love) so today I decided to try to make a casserole with it. I couldn't find one that was just like I wanted and that I had all the ingredients for, so I just decided to make up my own version. I'm eating now...and it is really tasty.

    I cut off the bruised areas, sliced the squash up and then cooked it down. Then I took a pound of ground beef, browned that with onions and bell peppers, cajun seasoning and some chopped jalapenos. I put the squash and beef, etc. together in a casserole dish, added some cooked rice, shredded cheddar cheese, and a can of cream of chicken soup. Then I sprinkled the top with smashed up ritz crackers. And cooked it in the over for about 45 minutes. It came out really good and my husband will be a very happy man when he comes home from work in a little while. The only thing I wish I would have had to add to it would have been a can of rotel tomatoes and I will try that next time.:) IMG_3824.JPG IMG_3826.JPG

    He also brought home ripe bananas yesterday so I also made a banana oatmeal raisin cinnamon bundt cake bread. :)
     
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  17. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    This morning I've been busy steaming the free veggies my Honey brought home from his job yesterday. :) I am finding that steaming them in my microwave steamer works best, the flavors are retained and the veggies do not get mushy. :) My Honey also brought home a free meat and vegetable pan to cook in the oven. I will share a picture of this when I get ready to cook it a few hours from now. Feeling blessed this morning for sure.

    IMG_5100.JPG
    This is the meat and vegetables pan. I just put it in the oven at 350 degrees for a half hour, then I will take it out and cover it will foil, then back in the oven for another 2 hours of cooking. :)
     
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    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  18. Missy Lee

    Missy Lee Well-Known Member
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    I find it ridiculous that the Soup Kitchen cannot have volunteers pick up the food. Wonder if they found another store source closer to them???

    Anyone heard of the program called Plant A Row For The Hungry? You plant a little extra and donate the stuff to a food bank. Good plan!
     
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