November 2006 Newsletter

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! I just love Fall in New England with the brilliance of the changing leaves, the glorious abundance of apples, pumpkins and cider and the delicious scents wafting through my home as I bake and cook with all of these Fall favorites.

You might think that the best fruit and vegetable prices left with the summer’s heat, but there are still plenty of deals to be had this time of year! Potatoes are being heavily harvested now and it’s a great time to buy them at low prices. The same is true for Winter squash. Both store well in cool (not frozen,) dry areas. Maybe an unheated mud room or garage. Make sure there are no rotten areas and check them regularly so that if a potato does go bad, it won’t spoil the whole bunch. You can take advantage of great potato prices by making some recipes that freeze well. A favorite in the forums is stuffed potatoes.

Bake a large batch of potatoes. Once done and while still warm, cut the potatoes in half, length-wise and scoop out the center, leaving the shell. Add warmed milk and melted butter to the scooped out potatoes and use a fork to break up the potato a bit. Once the potato mix has cooled a tad, add an variety of fillings. Favorites include bacon bits, cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms, broccoli and peas. Refill the shells with the stuffing and then freeze on a cookie sheet. Once they’re frozen, you can place the stuffed potatoes into a freezer container or bag. They can be reheated with about 3 to 5 minutes in a microwave.

Freshly picked apples and pears are also at their peak. Apple crisp and apple pies are just some of our favorites! Here is a recipe for making apple pie filling that can be frozen.

Freezer Apple Pie Filling – OAMC Recipe #186868
This is a wonderful apple pie filling that you make in the fall when apples are in abundance. During the winter months, just pull a package of pie filling from the freezer, defrost, and pour into your favorite pie crust. This makes enough filling for 4 pies.
by KelBel
32 servings 4 pies
1 hour 20 min prep
16 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups white sugar
1 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups water

In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and set aside.
Pour water into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
Ladle into 4 freezer containers or gallon freezer bags, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 1/2 hours.
Seal and freeze. Can be stored for up to 12 months.
You can also make pies right away.
© 1999-2006 Recipezaar

Don’t forget to make the most of the pumpkins you might have hanging around. Here is our link for making pumpkin puree:

How to make Pumpkin Puree

Here are some great recipes for preserving the pumpkin harvest:

Utilizing your Pumpkin Harvest

We have quite a few great articles to help you enjoy Thanksgiving AND use up the turkey leftovers:

Thanksgiving Recipes

Last but not least, don’t forget the Thanksgiving food! Try adding something new to your Thanksgiving menu with one of our great recipes!

While we’re talking turkey, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the turkey sales. I got four turkeys last year for only .29/lb. My husband couldn’t understand why we needed four, but I was quick to point out that I don’t often find any meat at .29/lb and had to jump at the chance. I used those turkeys when we had large family gatherings that would have broken my grocery budget, but thanks to .29/lb turkey, barely made me blink.

Thanksgiving is a great time to make some childhood memories with handprint placemats. Simply allow the children to trace their handprints (or use paint and let them make prints of their hands) onto a large sheet of construction paper. You can make turkey handprints, too! Have them spread their fingers and the thumb becomes the turkey’s head, and the fingers are his bright tail. Add two legs and his red hanging gobbler. You can preserve the mats for future meals with contact paper.

As I bring this Thanksgiving newsletter to a close, I will ask something of you. If you manage to save even a few dollars with some of the things you’ve learned from Frugal Families, please consider spending those dollars for a few extra groceries to donate to your local food pantry if you can.

So many go without in this country (and the world for that matter.) I bought two extra turkeys last year at that .29/lb price that went right into the waiting arms of a food pantry worker last year. Right up until Thanksgiving eve, the pantry STILL had families who would not get a Thanksgiving dinner. With the huge increase in energy costs which have been passed down through everything in our lives, the need will only continue to grow. Remember that no donation is too small. Your can of peas, with someone else’ s cranberry sauce, and another person’s bag of potatoes will mean another family is thankful on Thanksgiving.

Thank you for being part of our Frugal Family.

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