May 31, 2012 - Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

I haven't been doing any "fancy" cooking lately.  It seems the older we get, the simpler our meals become.  I am, however, trying to empty my freezers and shelves to make room for preserving the bounty from the 2012 garden, as well as using the fresh spring vegetables that I'm beginning to harvest.


Salad of fresh garden greens, dried cranberries and walnuts with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette
Ground beef patties with chopped garden fresh onions
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Chioggia beets from the garden, roasted with store bought carrots


Salad of fresh garden lettuce with light Italian dressing
Beef goulash, made with home canned tomato sauce and frozen sweet peppers (2011 garden), and fresh from the garden onions, celery, garlic and parsley  
Buttered green beans (frozen, from 2011)

Another pantry/freezer/garden meal, not pictured, was meatballs made with fresh onion and parsley from the garden, and simmered in home canned sweet chili sauce, served over garden fresh parsley buttered noodles, with a fresh picked lettuce and spinach salad.

The last jar of 2011 raspberry jam has now been consumed.  


Our hostess for Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard is Robin, from The Gardener of Eden.  Be sure to check out her blog to see what others have been using from their gardens, pantries and freezers.

27 comments:

  1. We're trying to empty the freezers too. It's hard to believe it's time to start putting stuff in there again! I do hope 2012 is a better year for green beans for us. We've had to ration them, and now they are all gone!

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    1. Dave, I'm afraid I'll be left with 10 bags of frozen shredded zucchini and nothing else! I think that was my last package of green beans too.

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    2. lol, at least that will mean lots and lots of zucchini bread!

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  2. I would take yummy over fancy any day and those meals look like some really good ones!

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    1. Thanks, Mrs. P. I never did do "fancy" very well. Mr. Granny is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

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  3. I really like simple meals. The other night we had Hot Italian Sausage, snap peas & salad from the garden. It was wonderful!

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    1. Sounds like a winner to me, Robin. I love sweet Italian sausage with gobs of fresh sauteed onion and sweet peppers, served with a ginormous baked potato swimming in real butter and sour cream! I'm all for eating healthy meals, LOL!!!

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  4. I really need to start eating frozen green beans in the winter. I don't. I don't like their texture as much so I avoid them. I've got to get over it since I like the taste. I took photos of my meals, but decided the post was long enough as is.

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    1. I have to overcook my frozen green beans, as I can't stand it when they squeak against my teeth. I find if I let them just sit in their cooking water for a while, they get the texture of a canned green bean. Annie and Otto love them, so I grow and freeze a lot and mix them with their dog food.

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  5. I got a steam juicer for my birthday this year, so I emptied out the last of our elderberries from last year and canned 6 pints of jelly and 3 pints of syrup. It was so nice to clear out some of my freezer space. I, too, have lots of zucchini left. I slice it and use it in what we call zucchini bake. The whole family loves it. I also have several packages of shredded zucchini. I had grand visions of baking lots of blueberry zucchini bread throughout the winter. It never happened. Not even once. Maybe tomorrow. I still have plenty of peaches and applesauce canned and greens beans from my MIL. I hope I have more pears this year. Last year they were so small that I had to make pear sauce and mix it with the applesauce. Very yummy but missed having the pear halves.

    We've had some wonderful salads and just harvested the last of my radishes. I have three tomatoes starting to turn and plenty more coming on. My zucchini plants (only four this year) are already flowering. I have several small peppers and many more blossoms. My onions are looking really good. I've never been a successful onion grower. I really researched it this year and am working hard to see a good yield. We'll see. My broccoli is looking really good, I think, as I've never grown it before. I'm judging them off of how yours look. I have two like your smaller one and two like your larger one. Some of my lettuce has been eaten along with my marigolds and snap dragons in one garden. Rabbits? The dog doesn't usually allow rabbits to live, but it is a new area for veggies and flowers and not up by the house. Only flowers and veggies along the side where a rabbit could make a quick dash from the ditch have been taken. One snap dragon was completely removed from the bed and left in the yard without its flower. Not even eaten. What a waste!

    Those meals look good enough to eat! Ha! Our summer meals tend to be simpler than the winter ones.

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    1. Langela, it sounds like you are doing just great at gardening and preserving. I wish you would start a blog!

      Zucchini recipes are always welcome here, and zucchini bake sounds really good (hint, hint).

      Rabbits, birds, insects....there is always something trying to get the veggies before we do. I find the lettuce is mostly eaten by birds or slugs. You should see some of the leaves on my hollyhocks....they look like fine lace! I don't know what could eat them that badly.

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  6. Hi Annie, your meals look delicious! I grew up on meat,potatoe & veggie. I don't care much for frozen green beans but yours do look delicious and are cut longer. How long do you boil them for when you serve them or do you steam them? I do simple here too. I am sure your husband eats well! Nancy

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    1. Nancy, I boil my green beans. I drop them in boiling, salted water and cook them for probably 10-12 minutes or until I bite into one and it doesn't squeak on my teeth. You might try doing that ahead of time, then refrigerating them in the cooking liquid and reheating them at dinner time. That makes the taste and texture more like canned green beans.

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    2. Thanks Annie! I will have to try that! Nancy

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  7. Good grief, if you find some zucchini recipes that make it not taste like zucchini, send them my way! I hate zucchini, always have, especially since my stepmom put them in everything. She added them to spaghetti, enchiladas, salads, roast veggies, anywhere she could sneak them in. Only way I'll eat it is in zucchini bread/muffins. But it grows so well...

    Your meals look fabulous. My fancy cooking falls short with the family, they are all pretty picky eaters; I'm kind of a foodie and am disappointed by the lackluster response to things like Chicken Tortilla Soup and Waldorf Salad and such. As the saying goes "Keep It Simple, Stupid" is sometimes the best way to go. ;)

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    1. Anywhere, Ribbit has been collecting zucchini recipes from all of us for a while now. She has them posted at:

      http://thecorneryard.blogspot.com/p/101-squash-and-zucchini-recipes.html

      My favorite chocolate cake recipe is there (you would never know it contained zucchini), but she didn't include the delicious fudge frosting. You can find the full recipe at:

      http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2008/08/august-1-2008-evening.html

      One my husband likes is at:

      http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2010/08/august-7-2010-husband-tested-recipe.html

      I love Chicken Tortilla Soup, Mr. Granny won't touch it! However, we both really like Waldorf Salad.

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  8. I love checking out your posts! I dare say your kitchen cupboard meals do not look overly simple to me, but rather delicious and quite healthy! Cheers, Jenni

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    1. Thank you, Jenni, that's very sweet of you!

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  9. I always want to eat at your place because the meals looks so good. Good job on using up your stored items and combining them with the current fresh fare. I totally used up the supplies in the freezer with the exception of one bag of zucchini I put by in a moment of stupidity and knew even as I did it that we would not use it. I really detest the texture of frozen succhini products and we never use them as a result. I just gave it to the worm box and reminded myself NOT to do that again. I still have homecanned goods in the pantry I am using but they too are dwindling down fast.

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  10. Looks fancy from where I am sitting! We just finished off our last jar of peaches we bought from a local lady. I cannot wait for this year's fruit to start coming in!

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    1. Awww, thanks Prairie Cat. My old neighbor, Pat, always gave me free reign to her peach tree. The fruits were small and usually bird pecked, but good enough for jam. Now that she's no longer there, I sure miss those peaches. I'm most anxious for the raspberries. I should have planted more of those I think, as that was the first jam to go.

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  11. Wow Carol, my mouth is absolutely watering! It doesn't help that I am starving right now!! Its morning now, but I can totally eat that goulash right now!

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    1. Tosh, I don't care much for pasta, but even I like goulash! I usually make it with the small macaroni though, which is how I prefer it.

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  12. Simple is good! Especially when utilizing fresh picked produce.

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    1. David, I agree. besides that, by the time I go out and pick all that stuff I'm too tired to cook fancy!

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  13. Roasting beets with carrots. Sounds like a great idea. Can you believe I've never tried roasting beets? Everyone says that they're delicious that way.

    I just looked back over your last few posts and LOVE the pic showing your entire back yard. It's huge by southern California standards. No wonder you can grow a thousand pounds of food.

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    1. LOL, Lou Murray! Maybe not thousands of pounds, but I can always manage hundreds :-)

      Sometimes I cook my carrots (cut in large chunks) and whole, unpeeled beets in water until they are just barely tender (separate pots when cooking the red one, although they might turn the carrots a pretty red). Then I slip the skins from the beets and quarter them and toss them, with the drained carrots, in a frying pan with some butter and oil and "pan roast" them. They are really good that way, and don't heat up the kitchen quite as much as using the oven. You, however, could put them in your solar oven!

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