Save Your Money | Make Your Own Food | Apple Butter

Homemade apple butter, save money and make your own!

So…

The other day I was given 5 pounds of red apples–which I do not eat.

LadyG is a Golden Delicious type of girl!

But I digress.

Anyway, ever the gracious Southern woman, I did not decline the gift… I kindly offered thanks for the apples while simultaneously wondering what in hell’s bells I could possibly do with these things.

Then it hit me!

I could make applesauce!

So, I shared this wonderfully inspired idea with LadyJ, my daughter and full-time shenanigans partner.

Well, Lady J, with her sardonic personality and mannerisms (Think Daria, the 90’s cartoon character) immediately gasped with fright!

Yeah, she killed my vibe–instantaneously!

So, I thought a bit more about my options; I mean, I didn’t want to see the apples go bad and there was no way that I’d trash them.

Then, my mind began to pitch a few ideas…

What about apple pie?

Oh, hell no, I thought.

Who wants to do all that?

Seriously, the chemistry of it all made that a no go.

Then…

EUREKA!

Old memories took hold and caused me to yell out loud…

Apple butter!

That’s it!

I decided to make apple butter…whether LadyJ liked it or not!

I ain’t scared of her!

And so…

I knocked on LadyJ’s bedroom door and told her that we were going to make apple butter, and, surprisingly enough, she was good with it!

Between you and me, I didn’t give a damn if she was or wasn’t good with it, we were making this freaking apple butter if it KILLED ME!

That’s right, following the dictates of Napoleon Hill, I had developed a “definite chief aim” to make apple butter.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know nuthin’ bout makin’ no apple butter.

My mother never served it.

In fact, I never knew it existed until I met my son’s father–his folks ate it all the time.

Hell, when I first saw it, I thought it was apples mixed with butter in a jar.

Clearly, your girl was clueless!

Anyway, my son’s grandmother educated me on apple butter and encouraged me to try it.

It tasted okay for something store-bought.

Now, let me just add that my son’s father’s family could throw down in the kitchen, but I guess none of them could be bothered with making apple butter homemade–it was much too time consuming.

Enter the instant pot!

Thank God for technological advancements!

Thirty years later and I now have a tool that makes that gig a helluva lot easier!

It still takes time, but not nearly as much as it would doing it on a regular stove–or even worse, a kettle of some sort!

Perish the thought!

Anyway, below, is a video that shows a bit of our apple butter making journey.

If you want the recipe, comment below.

I am on a serious journey to learn how to cook things that I usually buy at the store. That said, food storage and preservation are a priority for me.

If you are interested in tracking your food storage projects, I created a little log for myself that I decided others might want as well.

You can purchase on amazon.

Video time: >2 mins.

Save Your Money By Making Your Own Food: Homemade Guacamole With Steak Fries

LadyG’s homemade guacamole with steak fries

Save your money!

Today’s dish, guacamole and steak fries, is great served as a snack, lunch or even a light dinner.  

Why buy it at a restaurant when you can save your money by making it yourself for pennies on the dollar.

For those who are interested, it is vegan, but, as long as there is avocado, oil and potatoes involved, there’s no honest way to call it low calorie.  

I will, however, say that it is healthy as it was prepared from fresh whole foods.  

The only thing that appears not to be fresh is the pickled jalapenos, but if you’ve been following me, you know that I prepared those myself just last week.  

By the way, they were a hit!

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I cook intuitively– as did my mother; so, there is no recipe for the dishes that I share.

I simply combine the meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and starches that I enjoy– then season them to my liking.

But to be fair, I do consult with recipes on timing or temperature for something that I’ve never cooked before.  I also tend to follow baking recipes rather strictly because–er, um–chemistry, but that’s about it as far I go with recipes.

And so,

I hope you enjoy today’s video and please remember to like, share and subscribe to the blog and to my Youtube channel.

Enjoy the video,

LadyG

Save Your Money | Preserve Your Produce

Georgia collard greens– fresh from the garden!

I’ll go ahead and admit to having had a penchant for buying a gaggle of produce, placing it in the bottom of the refrigerator, then promptly forgetting about it.

And while I was busy NOT remembering it, my supermarket harvest quickly became wet and funky bags of slime– waiting to be trashed.

Fortunately, I realized, in the words of my Late Great Uncle Bubba, “That ain’t no way to do the thang.”

So, I had myself a “come to Jesus meeting” which led me to confess my sin of wastefulness.

Think about it, for years, in my case, I have bought food that someone took the trouble to grow—only to allow it to rot away in those sad little plastic produce bags that I also didn’t give a hoot about.

Don’t get me wrong, I cared about the environment but not enough to change the way I lived my best life.

Yeah, I was pretty reckless…

But I digress.

We’ll talk about the environment later.

Anyway, now that I’ve started gardening, I have some idea how much work it takes to plant and grow vegetables.  

So the thought of squandering them the way that I had done so many times before is now, in my opinion, appalling!

Still, I can’t even imagine the amount of time and work that our nation’s farmers invest in growing food that frequently gets trashed in a land where, ironically, much of the population suffers from some level of hunger.

Whew! All the words…

Now, on a personal level, I could kick myself for the amount of money that I’ve spent on food that never touched my lips. 

Y’all, I did it for years!

Anywhats…

After my meeting with The Lord, I decided to do better by adopting the following practices:

  1. Placing produce in a more prominent place (top shelf of my fridge) so that I don’t forget it
  2. Finding new and creative ways to prepare and eat whatever I buy
  3. Blanching and freezing or pickling vegetables before they spoil
  4. Refraining from the use of those little produce bags in the produce section

Now, in the interest of safety, I must make a clarification by adding that my pickled foods go immediately into the refrigerator as I have not yet started to deal with canning.  

Ah, but do not worry, canning is on LadyG’s list of “next things.”  

Yes, there is such a list and there are other food preservation methods on it. (You can download a template below)

Additional entries on said list may never be revealed to the public. 

*Insert diabolical laughter here*

Best believe, whatever I do, you’ll definitely be amongst the first to know— so stay tuned.

What about you?

Do you currently use food preservation techniques?  If so, which ones?

Does preserving food help you to save money?

Drop down in comments and lets discuss it.

Below is a video of me preserving some collard greens and broccoli. 

The collards (also pictured above) are from my garden; the broccoli is store-bought.

Save Your Money | Make Your Own | Pickled Jalapeño Peppers

Homemade pickled jalapeno peppers. Video duration= Less than one minute

LadyG pickled a peck of jalapeño peppers ‘cause she couldn’t find them whole in the store…

They only had the sliced ones!

That just wouldn’t do!

And so…

The new policy is: If you can’t find it—make it yourself–for pennies on the dollar!

You’ll be amazed at all of the things you can learn to do by creepin’ ’round the interwebs!

With that said, I also needed to preserve these bad boys before they spoiled.

More to come about that later…

How many of you are experimenting with food? Drop down in comments and let me know.

Save Money | Make Your Own | Mango Smoothie

Mango smoothie made for waaay less than you could buy it!

Save your money and make your own smoothie.

Seriously, smoothies are so easy to make!

Why would you spend nearly five dollars on something that you could make in an instant?

Honey, save that money for something else!

Once you make an initial investment for a good blender, all you need to do is freeze some fresh fruits or buy frozen ones, put them in the blender with your favorite medium–which could be juice or milk (here, I used mango nectar and oak milk), then blend the whole thing together!

Et voila!

You’ve saved a ton of money and prepared your own smoothie–okay, not a ton–but you know what I mean!

And when you’re ready, grow your own food then prepare it yourself.

Stop depending on someone else to grow and cook your food!

You got this! Do it for yourself and for those who can’t.