Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A tale of 4 turkeys...

Okay, I'm owning it.

I went waaaaay over budget this month. And, I plan to go in one more time! Blargh!

But, I have a good reason if that helps.

I'm buying turkeys to fill my freezer.

Let me really super duper break it down for you. I talked about it in my previous post, but I wanted to cover it more as Thanksgiving is almost here and I am hoping this will inspire someone.

Meat is expensive. Truly. But, most of us are carnivores and crave it. On my extremely conservative budget every month, it is really hard to make room for cheese (which is why I buy it in bulk when it goes on sale, then I shred it and freeze it so not a drop goes to waste), milk and eggs (which is why I now use powdered milk and eggs unless I luck into an amazing deal and then I buy in bulk and freeze it--- yes this can be done) and meat.

But, I knew Thanksgiving was coming and I knew there would be ways to get cheapo turkeys.

Here is my clever plan. I have to give mad props to Amanda and Wildman OConnor for teaching me the ways of the turkey.

Here is what they do (and I shall be doing):

  1. Cook yourself a nice fancy turky dinner.
  2. Eat it.
  3. When you are stuffed (tee hee hee) carve the rest of this bird up.
  4. Put the meat in jars.
  5. Dump some water and a bit o' salt in the jars as per the Ball Blue Book of canning (aka the canning bible). Really, use water, it will turn into broth!
  6. Pressure cook the crap outta it (again, as pur the Ball Blue Book)
  7. Put it in your basement for your munching pleasure.
  8. You should get at least 20 of the pints(? think that's the size I'm envisioning) of meat.
Hold on, we aren't done with the bird!
  1. Now take the carcass (lets be honest, you didn't do THAT great of a job getting all the meat off of the bones) and put it in a ginormous baggie.
  2. In a few weeks when it's frosty and you are hungry, pull that carcass out and toss in a pot o' water.
  3. Make some tasty turkey soup!
But, wait, it gets even better if you are a black belt in tightwaddery!

  1. Make that turkey soup, but just add things like carrots, onion, peas, celery... nothing fancy.
  2. Put aside just enough for dinner (we'll come back to it, promise)
  3. Now can the rest of it and you have homemade soup whenever you want! Just dump in a pot, toss in a handful of pasta (you have a bunch in your storage, I just know it!) and when it boils you get to eat it! Cheaper than Campbells and tastier too!
  4. Finally, your soup for din din. Make some homemade noodles (recipe below) and eat!
You'll get around 10 or so jars of this too.

Homemade noodles recipe (from my granny J)

1 or 2 cups of flour
An egg
just enough water to make a dough that isn't too sticky, but that you can roll out
mix and roll it out
cut it into skinny strips and plop into your soup!
Cheap, easy and for me it tastes just perfect (I'm not much of a seasoning gal)

I plan to make one turkey a month for the next however many months there are turkeys in my freezer. So, while I slowly empty my freezer (which makes it cheaper to run) I will be restocking my food storage with cans of turkey and soup stock and slowly adding more meat when it is on great sales. And I'll be able to be picky about the sale and NOT go over budget again (fingers crossed, knock on wood).

Look at all the meals you made for your family from one cheap turkey! (See my post below for how to get that turkey cheap!)

That is all.


The Duckers said...

this is amazing. I don't know how to can, don't have a pressure cooker or the jars, or a freezer to hold a plethora of turkeys. BUT, whether i end up doing this or not, it will DEFINITELY be used in years to come. THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENIUSES-NESS O GREAT ONE!!! ALSO, apply this title to Amanda and the hubby O. :o)

Natalie said...

Thanks again for breaking it down a little easier for those of us that have WAY too much on the brain to mentally jot it down.

I'll suggest it to others as well!

Becky N. said...

Melissa's sister here again.

I was laid off from my job back in '02, just this time of year, right before Thanksgiving. That was out in Colorado. Hubby was in school and had no time for work. What did we do? Run out and buy 2 $5 turkeys, the biggest, fattest ones we could find. We roasted them and shredded up that meat, and froze it.

And ate turkey. For 3 months straight. In every way and form imaginable. (except using the carcasses for soup... I wish I would have figured out that technique way back then.)

It was several years before either one of us could enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving again... but ya gotta love all that cheap meat, especially when you're seeing hard times.