Update…more vegetables and playing butcher again!

Ok, so I made 10 quarts of spaghetti sauce, peeled and blanched 20 pounds of tomatoes to make it, it is now happy in the freezer.  Also gave a big container of it to the neighbors who gave us the veggies.  Then I peeled, blanched and froze 3 gallon bags of eggplant and a gallon bag of summer squash.  Went to work, came home to a sink full of strawberries and three big packages of celery hearts (a gift from another neighbor).  Now have four quarts of hulled strawberries in the freezer and am working on chopping the celery and freezing it also.  (Yes, you can freeze celery, but it won’t be crisp when it thaws, it is only good for cooking.)  I have these 1/2 cup Rubbermaid containers that needed to be used and they are perfect for the celery, as I usually do not need more than a half a cup for anything I cook.  I’ll finish chopping the celery after I get the sirloin butchered.  I wanted to put some celery in the dog stew I’m making with the junk I cut off the sirloin tip, so I have the pot going on the stove with celery and garlic and the junk meat.  Once the meat cooks up and makes a nice broth, I’ll freeze come to make more dog stew.  I usually end up with enough stock and meat to make 3 12 quarts batches of doggie stew.  They love it when they see me cutting up a sirloin.  Not to mention my 12 quart stock pot has become theirs and when they see that pot go on the stove they sit in the kitchen and stare at it until dinnertime.  Too funny.

This roast I’m doing a little different.  I’m still getting the three roasts out of the tip, the bottom, center and top loins.  I cut two 1 1/2 inch steaks out of the center roast and still have about a 3.5 pound oven roast.  I am leaving the bottom roast whole and will do a nice pot roast with it.  The top loin will be a wonderful oven roast dinner and we will have a bunch left over to slice for roast beef sandwiches.  The top loin roast is about 4 pounds, maybe 5.  The bottom roast is about 3 pounds.  We will get 2 meals out of the steaks, as they are big enough for us to split one.  We will get two meals, at least out of the first oven roast.  We will get at least two meals plus at least a pound of sliced sandwich beef out of the top loin and probably 2 meals out of the pot roast.  That is 16 dinners plus  6 lunches (probably will get 6 sandwiches) for $30.  Not bad.  22 meals for $30, is a little over a dollar a meal (and don’t forget I’m also getting 3 weeks worth of doggie stew out of it).  Not bad if I do say so myself.  Well worth the 3 or so hours it takes me to butcher it.

I also got another 20 pounds of tomatoes that I need to do something with.  Since I already have 8 quarts of spaghetti sauce in the freezer, I’m going to make a big batch of chili with them.  Can’t let them go to waste!

Wow, tip is done and in the freezer.  I’m getting better at this, that only took two hours.  Of course, this time I didn’t grind burger or cut a bunch of steaks or fajita meat.  No that SAMS sells 90% lean burger, I’d rather buy it already ground and not waste the pot roast meat for burger, since that is usually the cut I grind.

I am off tomorrow so I think I’ll get some dry kidney beans and make a batch of beans and get going with the chili tomorrow.  This chili will be completely from scratch, so I’ll let you know how it turns out.  Hey, it’s chili, how bad can it be with fresh tomatoes?  The spaghetti sauce was a hit with John, so what the heck?  I’m glad you can’t gain weight smelling food…if so, I’d be 300 pounds by now just from this week!


Freezing Vegetables

I got a big stash of vegetables yesterday (Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Eggplant, cucumbers and green peppers) and decided to freeze most as it was ripe and would not last in the refrigerator and I just can’t stand letting fresh veggies go to waste.

I am going to make spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes and peppers, but needed to freeze the squash and eggplant.  So I went on line and did my homework and found that both vegetables required blanching before freezing.  It was time consuming, as you need to blanch them in small batches and  pre-freeze them to keep them from sticking together.

So I washed the squash and eggplant and then sliced the squash and blanched it for 3 minutes, immediately immersed in ice water to stop the cooking and cool, then drained.  Then I spread a layer on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 45 minutes.  I repeated this with two additional cookie sheets, with spacers placed in between them in the freezer.  After 45 minutes, I removed the cookie sheets, placed the partially frozen squash slices in a ziploc bag and ended up with a gallon sized bag full.

The eggplant required a little more work.  First I washed, cut both ends off and peeled.  Then I sliced into thin slices.  A 1/2 cup of lemon juice was added to the blanching pot and the slices were blanched in small batches for 4 minutes.  I followed the same procedure as the squash after the blanching except instead of filling a ziploc bag, I laid them in the bag in layers with plastic wrap between each layer of slices to keep the slices from sticking together and make it easy to take out a small amount at a time.

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the tomatoes and make spaghetti sauce.