Mama Martin

quilting, gardening, sewing, motherhood….

23 meals for $50 December 3, 2013

Filed under: canning — janelmartin @ 3:27 pm

The title of this post could be a little deceiving if you didn’t read my previous post. My goal for this month is for us to only spend $50 on groceries this month. Most of our food will be coming from our freezers and our hundreds of jars of canned items in the basement.

I decided that I should get myself organized if I only want to spend $50, so I came up with 21 meals. On Sundays we often share meals with family and friends and every Monday we go to Dean’s parents, so we don’t need a full 30 meals. Here is what I came up with- in no order as to how we will eat them.

1. Fried hot dogs, potatoes and onions
2,3. Homemade Pizza
4. Pasta with garlic basil sauce
5. Kale sausage soup
6. Potato, cabbage and sausage casserole
7. Hotdogs, hamburgers and French fries
8. Roast with veggies
9. Whole chicken
10. Bacon, chicken, cream cheese peppers
11. Tomato soup
12. Vegetable soup
13. Chicken noodle soup
14. Pasta with Italian sauce
15. Tacos, rice
16. Cheeseburger soup
17. Chicken pot pie
18. Fish
19. Chicken nuggets
20. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes
21. Meatball sandwiches

We could actually have some of these meals several times because they are based on what I have canned in the basement. And I’m sure that as my freezers get a little bit less full I will find other things we can eat. I wonder what I will find. What do you have in the bottom of your freezer?


Canning in 2012 January 11, 2013

Filed under: canning — janelmartin @ 9:46 pm

Since 2012 is over I thought I would post everything that I got around to canning this past year.  Most of the soups are canned during the winter and the vegetables and fruit are canned when they are in season.  Here’s my list:

Green Beans- 10 quarts

Beet Pickles- 4 pints

Peaches- 12 quarts

Peach Honey- 3 jelly jars

Diced Tomatoes- 15 pints

Pepper Jelly- 5 jelly jars

Salsa #1- 10 pints

Salsa #2- 7 pints

Peach Butter- 3 pints

Peach Pie Filling- 6 quarts, 1 pint

Green Beans- 8 quarts

Spaghetti Sauce- 6 pints

Corn Slaw- 11 pints

Ketchup- 4 pints, 12 jelly jars

Pears- 4 quarts, 19 pints

Yellow Salsa- 6 pints

Ro-Tel- 2 pints

Grape Juice- 6 quarts

Whole Tomatoes- 1 quart, 4 pints

Applesauce- 50 quarts

Cheeseburger Soup-  4 quarts

Vegetable Beef Soup- 13 quarts

Strawberry Pie Filling- 3 quarts, 1 pint

Raspberry Pie Filling- 4 quarts

Sloppy Joes- 5 pints

Blueberry Pie Filling- 5 quarts

Blueberry Syrup- 4 pints

Pickle Sticks- 6 pints

I’m sorry they are not in any logical order.  This is the order they were written onto my Canning Inventory.  I used this Pantry Inventory  to keep track of everything.  I was amazed that I got this much done this summer, especially with a newborn.  I’ve already canned some in 2013, so my list may be longer for this year!  Dean will have to rearrange his tools in the basement so I have more room for jars.


Let the Canning Begin August 6, 2012

Filed under: canning,gardening — janelmartin @ 12:32 pm

It’s the end of July, and that means it’s time for more canning to begin.  I had made blueberry pie filling earlier this month, but now it’s time for at least one day a week to be spent canning.  Here’s what I’ve been working on:


Peaches cooking down in the crock pot to make peach butter.

Pickle Sticks, Peach Butter and Salsa

Peach Pie Filling


Pickles August 4, 2012

Filed under: gardening — janelmartin @ 12:31 pm
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I had some cucumbers in my garden, but not enough to make canned pickles.  I am  going through my food magazines and tearing out the recipes that look good and recycling the magazine (part of the decluttering effort.)  I had recently tore out a refrigerator pickle recipe.  This past week three of my friends ate some of the pickles and loved them.  I decided to make more yesterday.  Here’s how you do it:

You start with cucumbers and onions.  I like this recipe because it easily adaptable to how many cucumbers are growing on your plant.  I know that most people’s cucumber plants will be producing mass amounts of these, but ours are having some trouble.

You slice them and put them in a bowl.

After sitting in the fridge for 4 days I put them in pint jars for easier handling.

Here’s the original recipe from Cooking Light magazine:

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

6 c thinly sliced cucumbers

2 c thinly sliced onions

1 1/2 c white vinegar

3/4 c sugar

3/4 t salt

1/2 t mustard seeds

1/2 t celery seeds

1/2 t ground turmeric

1/2 t crushed red pepper

1/4 t black pepper

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I just use garlic in a jar.)

Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion.  Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and 1 cup onion.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well.  Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute.  Pour over cucumber mixture; let cook.  Cover and chill at least 4 days.  Yield: 7 cups

Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.



Baby Preparations/Canning Soup March 5, 2012

Filed under: canning — janelmartin @ 11:41 am

I’ve been meaning to can some soup all winter, but I haven’t done it until now.  I made a list of things I want to get done before the baby comes.  Making meals ahead of time is one of my major goals and canning soup can be done months before we want to eat it.

On Friday two friends came over and we made Cheesy Cheeseburger Soup and Vegetable Beef Soup.  It took us all morning to get the soups mixed together even though we had everything chopped.  We had some of the cheeseburger soup for lunch.  After lunch, we started on the canning.  We only finished one batch before everyone went home.  It takes about 2 hours to can the one kind of soup and an hour for the other.  I canned two batches on Friday and put the rest in the fridge for Saturday.  I also decided to make Chunky Chicken soup and can that on Sat.

Saturday was filled with cooking and canning soup.  It’s an all day process, but now we have 17 Quarts of Vegetable Beef Soup and 8 Quarts of Chunky Chicken.  I plan on adding noodles to the chicken soup when we are ready to eat it, so it will be like chicken noodle soup.  That will provide us with lots of meals in the next year or so. Yum!


Tomato Soup September 17, 2011

Filed under: canning — janelmartin @ 5:10 pm

Tomato soup is an easy and tasty thing for lunches or dinners, especially on cold winter nights.  We like to have plenty of canned soup in our basement. (We LOVE soup!)  Last year I didn’t get around to making any tomato soup.  I was probably sick of canning by the time I got around to it.  So this year I made two batches and I am hoping to make another one.  Here are the simple steps to make it:

Remove the stem and core and half/quarter the tomatoes. Place in a pot. Cook until they are soft. Run them through the food strainer. Now you have tomato juice.


Melt a lot of butter in a big pot. add onions, flour and some other ingredients.


Add 6-7 Quarts tomato juice to the pot. Stir until it boils. Then I can it. When you are ready to eat it you mix it with baking soda and milk. Yum yum!


Garden Update Part 2 July 29, 2011

Filed under: gardening — janelmartin @ 5:51 pm

If you saw my earlier post you were probably thinking that I have a really pathetic garden.  I kept having trouble getting my pictures to not disappear from my post.  So here are the rest of the pictures:

tomatoes and gourds growing up the trellis

gourds, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers

we planted late corn, so I'm hoping we get a meal or two from it

brocolli, green beans and lettuce

our butterfly bush (in the background) and lettuce and celery at the bottom of the picture

our compost bin surrounded by gourds

Calvin in his sandbox.