Supermarket frozen vegetables

seagrass_gw

After reading through the "what not to buy" at Trader Joe's I started thinking about what I keep on hand in my freezer. This is the inventory:

peas

corn

pearl onions (mixed with peas, added to beef stew)

chopped spinach (specific recipes)

artichoke hearts (specific recipe)

mixed veggies (specific recipe)

French cut green beans (in the winter) - I learned how to cook these when we lived in Holland. The Dutch sell very convenient fresh pre-chopped/cut veggies. Different than in the U.S. The seasonings recommended on the Frenched green beans were butter, nutmeg and white pepper. So, I microwave the beans covered with no added liquid, al dente. Then add the butter and a pinch of both spices.

(I have read good things about TJ's chopped frozen leeks but I don't get to TJ's very often.)

SaveComment41Like1
Comments (41)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annie1992

I usually have frozen peas and frozen broccoli, because I'm not very successful at growing either of those things, at least not in amounts large enough to freeze. Fresh peas get eaten as quickly as I can pick them and my broccoli is always "strong" when I grow it myself, for some reason.

I do freeze homegrown corn, shelled beans and peppers, but I dehydrate the leeks.

Annie

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Peas, corn, green beans, chopped spinach & broccoli & berries are my freezer staples. I buy Trader Joe's organics, which are the lowest priced & best quality around here - plus you get a whole pound, rather than 10 ounces like most other organic frozen produce, & they're still less expensive = )

Our newest fave way w/ frozen green beans is to simply saute the beans for a few minutes in butter along w/ chopped fresh basil, S&P, toss to coat evenly, then cover & steam 5 minutes until tender.

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

I love frozen petits pois, but forget to use them. I have a couple of other vegetables in the freezer, and forget to use them. Baby lima beans and chopped spinach are for specific recipes for entertaining and get bought and used as needed. We get such good fresh produce...

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

I try to keep the following in the freezers at all times.

Peas English

Peas black eyed

Beans green French cut

Beans green whole

Corn

Okra breaded (has to be Stillwell brand)

Onion chopped

Spinach

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Carrots

Stir fry mix

Edited to add

Peaches sliced

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ritaweeda

I try to keep the frozen stuff that isn't always available fresh, such as: Corn, green peas, field peas with snaps, brussels sprouts. Occasionally I'll buy sugar snap peas and fordhook limas. Since carrots, broccoli, green beans and spinach are usually available fresh, I don't buy frozen. If I know for sure I'll be making vegetable soup, stew, sheperd's pie, potpie, etc. and I don't have a lot of fresh stuff, I'll buy the mixed vegetables frozen. The only reason why I keep these frozen items is because I despise canned vegetables. Except for tomatoes.

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ci_lantro

Corn, peas, green beans, serrranos, jalapenos, bell peppers, sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are expensive here so I stock the freezer with sweet potatoes when they are on sale around the holidays. Bake, peel & cut into 1/2" thick slices. Whole baked sweet potatoes freeze nicely, too, but are a little less convenient to use.

Peppers, peas, green beans from the garden unless I run out and then re-stock with frozen veggies from the market. Sometimes a pkg of broccoli but that's just for emergencies. I almost always have fresh broccoli on hand.

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fawnridge (Ricky)

I refuse to keep any frozen veggies in the house. We eat only fresh, buying what's available throughout the year. Most of what we eat in terms of vegetables, we eat raw in salads.

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sushipup1

Do all of you have stand-alone freezers? We only buy frozen for a couple of recipes, like chopped spinach, and we do keep shredded potatoes for hash browns on hand for breakfast. When we moved, I tossed out a 1/2 full bag of peas that I used to throw a handful into some dishes. I don't have room for all that you all have.

In my freezer, I have sliced bread (because the two of us eat so little), bums for burgers, a partial loaf of crusty french bread for garlic bread. some assorted meats, from packages from Costco. like steaks, boneless pork loin, some chicken thighs, a couple of convenience things from Trader Joe's like meatballs and a lasagne and some dover sole.

The grocery store is about 6 blocks away. We are retired. We shop often.

1 Like Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Compumom

I have a bag of frozen peas to use as an ice bag and perhaps some frozen spinach. That's it. I don't like the texture of frozen veggies. I'm retired now too, so shopping is more frequent and nearby. We always prefer fresh when given the option.

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CindyMac

I always keep a stash of organic peas and corn in the freezer. Chopped spinach only around the holidays for specific recipes. This summer I'm collecting a bag of sliced serranos (from the garden) for the freezer. That's about it. Everything else I buy fresh.

Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

FWIW, I believe some frozen veggies can be just as, or even more, nutritious than so-called 'fresh' ones

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fawnridge (Ricky)

Carol - I have read "scientific" evidence towards both sides of the debate - frozen versus fresh - and there's no question that both freezing and cooking vegetables destroys much of their nutritional value. Broccoli, in particular, has nothing but fiber after cooking; any type of cooking including flash-cooking in a wok. It's even worse once frozen, as the process of defrosting the broccoli weakens the fibrous bonds and once you cook it, you may as well go out and graze on your lawn.

The vitamin A in carrots is mostly lost in the freezing process. Frozen spinach is fine for dips, but as a side dish you are eating weeds. And green beans eaten any other way than raw are nothing more than green straws with grains of sand in the middle.

This may sound like personal opinion, and it is to some extent, but like I said, I've read scientific papers that deal with all aspects of vegetables having recently given up red meat and dairy. The freezer is great for ice cream and ice, extra bread and cooked meat, but remember your roots (no pun intended). We come from a long heritage of freshness, succumbing to the tricks of modern technology reduces your chances for a long and healthy life.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sally2_gw

I don't have a stand alone freezer, but a side by side, which I'll never buy again. The freezer is too narrow. It's always crammed full, as I keep flour and nuts in there, as well as other frozen foods.

I do keep frozen corn, peas, cut leaf spinach, rather than chopped, as I don't like the chopped. I don't know what happens to it when they chop it, but I don't like the texture or the flavor. I actually rarely use the frozen spinach any more.

I keep frozen berries on hand all the time for my yogurt.

I was under the impression that frozen peas are actually fresher than fresh peas bought at the grocery store.

Sally

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ruthanna_gw

Right now, I have a good store brand of frozen chopped spinach and Hanover brand baby Brussels sprouts, peas, and Fordhook Lima beans. In winter, I add Hanover Vegetables For Soup, which is the usual mixed vegetables, plus onions, cabbage and okra. It's great for beef barley vegetable soup.

Our neighborhood co-op has an annual summer Corn Party, where we prepare and freeze a whole pickup truckful of corn. It's stored in a communal freezer at a neighbor's house and tastes great in the winter.

We don't like any varieties of frozen green beans.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CindyMac

Fawnridge, I don't know where you're getting your "scientific" info, but it's incorrect.

"Nutritionally speaking, frozen veggies are similar to -- and
sometimes better than -- fresh ones. This makes sense, considering that
these veggies are usually flash-frozen (which suspends their "aging" and
nutrient losses) immediately after being harvested. Frozen veggies were
often picked in the peak of their season, too.

I ran a nutritional comparison on both fresh and frozen
broccoli florets (uncooked), and the frozen broccoli contained a bit
more vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and folic acid. A recent government study found no change in amounts of folic acid found in veggies after 12 months of freezing. So don't let nutrition stop you from buying frozen!"

Source: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/frozen-vegetables-are-hot

AND

"Ideally, we would all be better off if we always ate organic,
fresh vegetables at the peak of ripeness, when their nutrient levels are
highest. That may be possible during harvest season if you grow your
own vegetables or live near a farm stand that sells fresh, seasonal
produce, but most of us have to make compromises. Frozen vegetables are a
good alternative and may be superior to the off-season fresh vegetables
sold in supermarkets.

In some cases, frozen vegetables may be more nutritious than
fresh ones that have been shipped over long distances. The latter is
typically picked before ripening, which means that no matter how good
the vegetables look, they're likely to short-change you nutritionally.
For example, fresh spinach loses about half the folate
it contains after eight days. Vitamin and mineral content is also
likely to diminish if produce is exposed to too much heat and light en
route to your supermarket.

This applies to fruit as well as
vegetables. The quality of much of the fruit sold in retail stores in
the U.S. is mediocre. Usually it is unripe, picked in a condition that
is favorable to shippers and distributors but not to consumers. Worse,
the varieties of fruits selected for mass production are often those
that merely look good rather than taste good. I keep bags of frozen,
organically grown berries on hand year-round – thawed slightly, they
make a fine dessert.

The advantage of frozen fruits and vegetables
is that they usually are picked when they're ripe, and then blanched in
hot water to kill bacteria and stop enzyme activity that can spoil
food. Then they're flash frozen, which tends to preserve nutrients. If
you can afford it, buy frozen fruits and vegetables stamped USDA "U.S.
Fancy," the highest standard and the one most likely to deliver the most
nutrients. As a rule, frozen fruits and vegetables are superior
nutritionally to those that are canned because the canning process tends
to result in nutrient loss. (The exceptions include tomatoes and
pumpkin.) When buying frozen fruits and vegetables, steer away from
those than have been chopped, peeled or crushed; they will generally be
less nutritious."

Andrew Weil, M.D.

4 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grainlady_ks

I teach cooking/nutrition classes at the Food Bank (and other venues), and one tip I give people of limited means, and the elderly on fixed incomes, is to purchase the largest bag of frozen mixed vegetables they can afford. Leave a portion mixed (for adding to soup, shepherd's pie, casseroles...) and then separate the rest so they will now have separate containers of corn, green beans, peas, broccoli, etc., depending on what combination they purchased. This will give them the biggest variety and is a huge money saver.

The biggest problem with frozen vegetables, whether they are commercially prepared or from your garden, there are no enzymes left due to processing. We still need foods in our diet that provide enzymes (http://www.getting-started-with-healthy-eating.com/enzymes-in-food.html).

Another favorite frozen vegetable I keep in the freezer are petit whole green beans (Aldi); and I like to keep some frozen chopped onion or onion/pepper combination on hand (a quick pizza topping). I typically use more fresh chives in cooking than I do onions, so freezing onion keep them readily available.

When fresh from the garden aren't available, I prefer freeze-dried to frozen, since they are as close to fresh-picked as a commercial product can get, plus they maintain their enzymes through processing.

For the "fresh only" crowd. Unless you grow and harvest it yourself, there's no such thing as "fresh" produce in the store. This is why I grow sprouts, micro-greens, and grow and juice wheatgrass, along with growing fresh herbs in a sunny south window. Even in the middle of winter I have REAL fresh vegetables.

There is also a favorite vegetable we typically eat raw that is actually more nutritious once cooked - CARROTS. Skip the "baby" carrots, bagged carrots, and get some with the greens still attached since they are fresher, and the greens are also edible. "Cooked whole carrots served with olive oil have up to eight times more beta-carotene than raw baby carrots." Cooking carrots make some of the nutrients more bioavailable, and choose sautéed or steamed methods to help retain more of the food value. If you cook carrots whole, and THEN slice/chop them after being cooked, you'll get more nutrients than if you cut them before you cook them. They are best eaten with some type of oil or fat since beta-carotene is a fat-soluble nutrient that needs to be coated in fat for greatest absorption. The highest concentration of nutrients is just below the skin, so scrub carrots, rather than peel them. If you can find purple carrots, you'll hit the nutrition jack-pot!

Sweet potatoes - Steaming, roasting, or baking can double their antioxidant value, but boiling reduces it. The skin is more nutritious than the flesh, so scrub, rather than peel, sweet potatoes.

-Grainlady


6 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sally2_gw

I have read that the growth of human brains started when humans discovered cooking food, as cooking food made it more digestible, and we were able to get more nutrients from our food. I know I read about that in Pollan's book, "Cooked." I think elsewhere, too, but I don't remember where.

Sally

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grainlady_ks

sally2 - you're right....

The book "Cooked" also says.... Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in The Physiology of Taste puts it, "A man does not live on what he eats, and old proverb says, but on what he digests." Cooking allows us to digest more of what we eat, and to use less energy doing it.

-Grainlady

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

As CindyMac states, those 'fresh' veggies can sometimes be a lot older than we might assume - & nutrients like vitamin C are quite perishable.

Hmmm - picturing an elderly person slowly picking over & separating a mass of mixed peas, corn & carrots. Wouldn't they be @ least partially thawed before you could finish?

& here's a link to the USDA's Food-A-Pedia, which allows you to enter the name & quantity of many common foods & compare nutrients.


https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/foodapedia.aspx


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rusty

LOL, Carol! I had the exact same reaction about separating frozen vegetables. Personally, I can't even imagine myself doing it! But I have a LOT pf respect for Grainlady's knowledge, so I'm wondering what 'tricks' she has up her sleeve to make it doable. Not that I'm going to try it. . .. .

Cindymac, thank you for posting that. I have read those same articles, and frankly, it seems like just plain common sense. "Fresh" produce from a grocery store can hardly be very fresh!

Fawnridge, I would really like to know where I could find the 'scientific evidence' you mention, so I could read it, also. Would you post the source? Inquiring minds want to know!

I switched from canned to frozen vegetables in the '60s, when I was put on a low sodium diet. Back then, salt-free canned vegetable were pretty much unheard of, here at least. And frozen veggies were basically always unsalted. (Of course that has changed a LOT since then!) I discovered real quick that most frozen vegetables are about as close to fresh as possible, on my taste buds, anyhow. I do still use canned tomatoes and tomato products, of course. And I use a certain brand of canned peas for a pea salad I make. Canned peas and frozen peas are practically two different vegetables!

Rusty

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jasdip

I always have bags of frozen peas and corn and a bag of mixed. I tried frozen broccoli when the price of broccoli is prohibitive, but neither of us liked it.

Onions, carrots (not the formed carrots, they're horribly tasteless) are always in the frig. And we love broccoli and cauliflower when they're on sale. I wish brussels sprouts would get cheaper. There's generally a cabbage in the frig as well.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annie1992

I do have a stand alone freezer (or two....or three, LOL) Since I grow my own beef, my own pork, my own chicken and my own organic vegetables, I'm going to preserve those things. And, since I'm in Michigan, there's no such thing as fresh and organic from my garden year round, in spite of my "root cellar", which actually stored butternut squash from October through May. I don't like frozen green beans at all, so I can them. I seldom eat uncooked broccoli, the texture is just too odd, although I like it cooked. And I'll eat cooked greens and love them, whether it's kale or swiss chard or collards but I'd rather go hungry than eat a plate full of iceberg lettuce. I'm not a huge fan of fruit, but I love vegetables.

I'm also not good at eating things I dislike, although I can give up things I like that aren't good for me. If I can't enjoy the things I'm eating then I'm just not going to eat it, no matter how "healthy" it is. And I can't imagine myself sorting through frozen mixed vegetables. About two minutes into it and I'd chuck the entire mess into the chicken scrap bucket and just wait until they recycled it into eggs, then have eggs for supper!

I do dehydrate things like leeks and garlic and have fresh herbs growing indoors year round. And this thread reminds me that my peas need to be picked, they'll be tomorrow's snack...

Annie

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sally2_gw

I grew up on frozen green beans, but Jerry grew up on green beans just like your's Annie, home canned from the garden. His mother then cooked them to death. That's the way he likes them. I haven't had frozen green beans since then. He does like fresh green beans that's aren't cooked to death, but canned - cook them long and slow till they're caramelized, and yes, probably devoid of any nutrients at all.

Sally

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grainlady_ks

When the land flowing with milk and honey, large gardens, and multiple freezers full of food turns into a $552/month social security check for an elderly woman living in a small mobile home, you'll see things differently. Where your food budget for a week, if you're lucky after paying bills, is between $20-$25, plus a monthly trip to the Food Bank for free food, and the occasional Government food commodity distribution to add to your pantry. Maybe spending a few minutes dividing a bag of mixed vegetables so you can have a variety on hand for the lowest price will make sense.

This is a real person. An individual who uses their limited freezer space for the free bread given away by a local charity, not multiple bags of frozen fruit/vegetables they can't possibly afford. This is an example of the individuals and families living in poverty and their food reality I work with all the time in order to help them eat better on their small food budgets.

And now I'm embarrassed to be here among such food snobs who give such trite and self-centered responses since they don't have to make these kind of food choices, and yet it offends them somehow..... Be thankful it's not you. They, on the other hand, are grateful someone like me gave them the tip and recipes for how to use the frozen vegetables, and the difference it made for some variety in their diet.

-Grainlady


7 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jasdip

Grainlady, I admire the things that you do. I never thought of divying up a bag of mixed, but you know what, I'm going to do that.

Those who don't have a separate freezer.......why not?? I stock up on sales. When I see hamburger $2.99/lb I buy 4 lbs. Frozen veggies when on sale, my bread and rolls are always frozen and taken out as needed. When butter is on sale, I buy a few lbs, then divide it up into 1/4 cup slices and freeze. I would hate to run to the store any time I needed something, or had to buy it when not on sale.

I do not buy anything unless it's on sale. Ever. We are not well-to do at all, just barely make ends meet, but we eat well. Not steaks, or anything extravagant at all. Just regular food, but home-made.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CindyMac

And now I'm embarrassed to be here among such food snobs who give such trite and self-centered responses since they don't have to make these kind of food choices, and yet it offends them somehow....

That was uncalled for.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rusty

I agree CindyMac. And I am REALLY surprised a comment like that came from Grainlady! As I've said before, I have a great deal of respect for her knowledge, and I admire her for so graciously sharing it with us. I do NOT feel like my refusal to separate out a bag of frozen mixed vegetables makes me, in any way, a snob or self-centered.

And just for the record, I am one of those people that has to live on their SS income. I do understand the scenario you describe. So don't chastise or insult me or anyone else simply because of food choices, or because we prefer our vegetables mixed together!

Rusty

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

I just read this all in one sitting. I can see how Grainlady read a flip attitude in the comments that she reacted to, coming from where she does, helping people who live on the edge while trying to maintain a dignified life. I don't think that was meant--it sounded more like an oh-wow, I can't imagine it, kind of thing, which didn't focus on the circumstances that created the need to do it, and the attitude which she took personally wasn't meant to be demeaning.

As to fresh vs. frozen, raw vs. cooked, I go by the idea that if the nutrient loss is less than 50%, you're still getting plenty of nutrients. I am lucky enough that I don't have to worry about maximizing my dollar's worth of nutrition per mouthful, and sometimes fiber is just as important as vitamins. I don't particularly care for cooked vegetables unless they're in a soup or stew. I do like all kinds of raw or blanched vegetables, so those are what I eat. Frozen vegetables don't taste as good, usually, and they're usually too cooked for my taste. I figure eating vegetables is a good thing, so I eat them in the way that best gets them eaten.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

I agree that some messages on this string do seem to come from unenlightened people making arrogant responses. And I believe Grainlady's comment was right on. I am going to purchase as large a bag of frozen veggies I can find and divide them up, too. It is not that I can't afford to do otherwise, it is just the smart thing to do, and I wish I had thought of it before. Also, I am nearly 76 and do not know any elders who move "so slow" that the frozen veggies would be thawed by the time they are sorted. Talk about snobbery and uncalled for comments!

4 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CindyMac

Snobbery ... trite and self-centered responses?

You get that from "picturing an elderly person slowly picking over & separating a mass of mixed peas, corn & carrots. Wouldn't they be @ least partially thawed before you could finish?"

Seems to me that was a legitimate question.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annie1992

OK, I grew up poor. Really poor. Often we didn't have anything to eat at all. I've consumed everything from squirrel to porcupine and didn't know deer season wasn't year round until I was in high school. We've eaten cornmeal mush 3 times a day for days on end when there was nothing else, and dinner was sometimes "whatever my brother could shoot". We foraged for dandelion greens and I still eat purslane and lambsquarter. My Grandmother got a "pension" of $349.00 per month and her husband died when my mother was 9. Mother took lard sandwiches to school when there was nothing else.

None of those people would sort frozen vegetables. They would eat the mixture and be happy to have it, but sorting would be a waste of valuable time that could better be used doing things like darning socks, mending clothes, (there was no money for new ones) foraging imperfect fruit taken from trees on public property, convincing local stores to give you or sell you at cut rate their outdated bread and produce "for the dog/pig/chickens/etc." then using them before they are unusable and doing nearly anything to make a little more money, including taking in laundry, picking fruit or pickles and baking for neighbors who had more money than time. And yes, I've done all those things. Being poor is hard work and unrelenting and having time to sort frozen vegetables would be an unrealistic luxury.

Of course, Grandmother also chopped all her own firewood, made most of her clothes and mowed her own lawn well into her 80s, raised 3 kids on her own after her husband's death and never remarried. She also never had a driver's license.

So, trite and self-centered? No, just trying to figure out how having peas, then beans, then corn in an endless rotation is different and more varied than eating peas/corn/beans every day and whether it really is a viable use of time that could be spent doing something else.

It's difficult being poor and I remember times when my stomach would growl with hunger because I'd go to bed without supper (or lunch or breakfast sometimes) rather than eat one more bowl of that damnable mush or my other food nemesis, white macaroni with tomatoes. That's all, just macaroni and canned tomatoes, no hamburger, no onion, no cheese. Just macaroni and tomatoes. I'd have been happy to have the mixed vegetables, even though no one would have the time or energy to sort them. That's the other thing about truly being poor, it takes a lot of energy to do everything you can to not be poor any more, so you are often unrelentingly tired.

And now, this thread has made me tired, so I'm leaving it.

Annie

3 Likes Save     Thanked by seagrass_gw
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seagrass_gw

"And now, this thread has made me tired, so I'm leaving it."

Me, too...I'm steamed.

I think maybe it should be moved to "Hot Topics" but that would be problematic for people who like their veggies raw or al dente.

seagrass

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333 (zone 7a)

Annie, we really are a cut of the same cloth. We weren't that poor, but a half step above. I could've almost written your post. Down to the grandmother who raised the children on very little money when her husband died early on. She had five. And it was my dad. I agree with all you've said. Some days, I wonder if people truly know how others live. (((Annie)))

Or care to know.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ci_lantro

Sorting mixed frozen veggies doesn't seem like it would be a time-consuming onerous task. Really, all the prep is done; it's just sorting...an investment of maybe 5 minutes? No more time than it would take to peel a pot of potatoes for mash or cut up a chicken and clean up after. Certainly less time than that trip to the garden to pick beans, wash, snap, cut.... And, would they thaw out any more than they do in the cart at the store or in the car for the trip home?

In any case, I gather that sorting mixed veggies was just one of several, many?, tips offered in a class about how to maximize one's food dollar. Pick & chose what works for you. ....coming from someone who spent waaaay too much time last Thursday deboning 99 cents a pound chicken breasts and who has been known to debone chicken thighs and even a whole chicken. Once.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rusty

Well said, Annie1992, thank you! Thank the Good Lord, I never went to bed hungry when I was growing up, and I had both of my parents. But many of your growing up experiences are very similar to my up-bringing. My mother lost her mother when she was 16, so she raised 3 younger siblings, with no help from an alcoholic father. And she and my Dad raised us the same way. We moved out of the city to a farm when I was 3, because they were tired of raiding garbage bins behind grocery stores for vegetables, Dad was tired of sneaking over fences at midnight trying to steal enough coal to keep us warm another day. He figured with a farm we would at least be able to eat and stay warm in the winter. Things did get a bit better, but they never gave up their frugal ways of living.

"Use it up, wear it our, make it do or do without".

Yes, being poor is difficult, to say the least.

Rusty

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plllog

I think the point of sorting the vegetables is to vary the flavor of the food. Yes, when you're so poor that you're going hungry you're grateful for every morsel, but I'm dealing with a once mighty elderly relative, who at this point of his life could have anything for the asking, and who just doesn't want to eat enough. When I can be there and cook, he eats a lot more because I work at making things that are very tasty and different from what he otherwise has. If he had to look at the same vegetable blend daily, he'd just skip it and say he wasn't hungry. ETA--He doesn't get around so well, but he could easily sort the veg quickly, get it labelled and back in the freezer promptly. He sees fine, and has good use of his hands.

I'm sure many other older people are like that, and would prefer to have green beans one day and corn the next. Or maybe they're just used to being able to put together nice meals of their choice, and can't afford to now, though they may not technically be "poor". It seems to me that sorting the vegetables, if it gives them more different flavors, or more varied and interesting meals, which help their budgets extend to where they don't have to feel poor, is easy enough, and a good way to manage small portions without waste.

3 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jasdip

I do like the idea of sorting the frozen veggies. We don't like frozen green beans and I put mixed veggies in just a few meals. But we love the peas and corn (hot beef sandwiches must have the peas on top :) and it saves buying separate bags.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

My mother separates mixed frozen veggies she gets on sale. Dad does not like the 'blends'. She has a table next to the freezer in the breezeway shed and takes a bowl with her and takes out a bowl full of frozen and takes what she wants...they don't eat much because they eat small snack meals. He likes his roasted sweet potatoes with cauliflower rice. Broccoli with a small steak. The rest in soups. In their late 80's now they don't garden much but i gave them seeds for a compact variety of zucchini and some mixed micro salad greens they have planted and are very happy with that.

I did not see anything trite, self-centered or food snobby discussing frozen peas...many on a cooking food forum are just putting out there what they do and hope for some ideas for their pantry/freezer. Initially i did not see a mention of poverty or the elderly. Just a sharing of a good basic freezer stock.

I stock baby peas and baby limas in the winter. Frozen spinach is just a good bargain any time of the year. Other veg frozen are from my garden. Or the farm stand like corn i cut off the cob, then freeze. I have a big freezer because of my garden and over 100 tomato plants.

I keep forgetting about nutmeg! Such a special flavor and i need to try it with beans. Artichoke hearts frozen i forget as well. We have one great dish and artichokes in season are 2 for 5 dollars so it is a seasonal treat. Not very often.

Frozen is often a better option for out-of-season veggies. Or those that do not grow well as Annie mentioned. I had great years for broccoli and cauliflower and nothing the past five or so with so much heat...basil was destroyed once again...bunnies maybe. No fruit on the trees from a late frost but tomatoes are gorgeous. Beets gone from a critter but radishes and garlic are beauty. Early peas are now leathery but inside are good shelled. Hoping string beans will be good this year. I plant sooo much as seeds are cheap and always get something great....

Leeks are expensive here so i grow a big bed of them and freeze.

I spent high school frozen cold with a kerosene heater in a small kitchen/tv room and grandparents that layed out paper towels on the counter to dry and recycle and Pop pounded on the bathroom door to remind not to flush and only use a sprinkle of water to wash hands...with a sign that read "drips dribble dimes down the drain".

I've worked very hard to not have a food budget as an adult but got up this morning at 5am and made stock from smoked organic chickens from the weekend and made salad for DH lunch and three meals and froze 4 pints for future soups not because we are food poor but because it just tastes so much better. And i just enjoy it. (then worked a 14hr day). Like every day.

I bet my food budget if i cared to keep track is so much lower than most by not buying processed foods.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac92

I can imagine how really sick of those cans of beef stew people who are living on little money might get. Those of us who regularly contribute to the food pantry and are reminded that canned chicken and ham is a nice change. I think I will just remind the food bank to tell people that they can simply separate the neat and the potatoes and they can have a roast beef sandwich and serve the potatoes and carrots with that canned chicken.
In my dealings with "poor people"...that is those who use the food bank and recieve food stamps, is lack of time and inclination to prepare any sort of food.
At one time I tried to teach all the things you could do with a whole chicken, from a dinner to sandwiches to heated with a little gravy or tomatoes and put on rice, to boiling up the skin and bones for soup. But they didn't want or couldn't spend the time to do those things.
And where I shop, frozen green beans, corn, peas and mixed vegetables all cost the same....and carrots are much cheaper to buy fresh than frozen.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I've taught the whole chicken as well. How many meals you can make from that...but not on a hot plate...or a tiny microwave....or walking into a warehouse in RedHook and seeing a mountain of empty dog food cans...ten feet high. No heat, no water. No electricity. Dog food as a meal.

Instead i make product to sell 4-6 times a year...not cookies, or cake, but good return investment and try and find the best place for the money...My co-workers give suggestions for the best places to donate. My hundred is easily 800 to a thousand.

I moved to NYC in 1986, Christmas, and lived in an SRO hotel with 5 bucks in my pocket and never forgot the kids i spent time with. It took ten years to pay off expensive education...i will never forget and give back now. (we did buy a new futon but bought sheets from the SalvationArmy) ....NYC was pretty horrid in 1986. Too young to notice.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Whew! Did not mean to offend anyone w/ my comment above, but I was imagining my own 87 yr old mother w/ her arthritic hands & poor eyesight...

2 Likes Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Cool-Season Crops How to Grow Celery
If you're up for a challenge this fall, try growing celery and celeriac in your garden.
Full Story
Edible Gardens Cool-Season Vegetables: How to Grow Kale
This leafy green superfood is also a superhero in the garden through fall chills and winter snow
Full Story
Cool-Season Crops Cool-Season Vegetables: How to Grow Spinach
Chock-full of antioxidants and iron, spinach is a nutrient-rich addition to your fall or spring garden
Full Story
Inspiration for some backyard chats
Inspiration for a warm welcome
Inspiration for dinner time under the stars
Inspiration for a little quality time
Inspiration for making that best pizza ever
Step into a Ferguson Showroom and you'll be surrounded by the latest styles in kitchen, bath and lighting design... Read More