I cooked with my "Preps" for the first time.
About 2 weeks ago, I took turkey out of the freezer from last xmas or thanksgiving, I got it for sale for $.33 an lbs. I gave it 5 days to thaw. Last sunday, I popped it in the oven on top of some rough cut but older carrots from our CSA (normally they would have been pitched for being to old\soft), but they tasted great, just wiggly. We got so much food at the end of the year. I rough cut a couple onions, and some garlic and cooked for several hours.
That night everyone got the best part of the turkey (BIG TURKEY, 2 adults, 2 kids). I cut out the easy meat and tossed in the refrigerator. On Tuesday, I took the carats and pitched it in a big pot with a few wiggly carrots, rough onions, more garlic and some herbs I dried over the summer. I cooked it for about 4 hours till it fell apart. At the very end, I strained and tossed the good stuff meat and brought to boil to kill any nasties. I strained the stock, and cooled it. The meat I picked into 3 categories, bones, dog bits, and meat. I got rid of all the veggies up to this point, they were just for flavor.
The stock turned to jello.
I had a yucky looking grey mess this morning.
Last night, I took 4 bags of dried beans, 1 Garbanzo, 1 black, 1 black eye, and 1 white bean. Brought to boil with cover, and then let soak over night. I learned not to mix black and white beans! The white beans also split, and ended up being more of a thickening agent.
I took some butter, and 3 fresh red onions, and 2 whole heads of garlic(crushed and chopped). Browned it in the pan with the best of the meat. Then I dumped in the rest of the meat and about a liter of water. Kicked up the heat and added the jello stock, about a gallons worth. It all went back to liquid. Then I took the risk. I had lots of time and money in the pot. I could have played safe, and went to fresh veggies and dumplings or potatoes. But I took the risk and dumped the beans in. Then I dumped a mix of dried veggies labled "soup" some of the first stuff I dried with my Excalibur. Dumped my oldest dried corn and peas in. In all, I put about 3 quart jars worth of dried veggies in. It was all stuff I dried first, before I started marking what it was, and when or where it came from.
I let it cook for about 3 hours, adding water as it boiled out (and LOTS of salt). Seemed like way more salt than usual, but everything was "fresh." It turned out great. There is a few miscellaneous bones I missed, but it was great! Best part, my wife only questioned the broccoli. She had no idea it was from dried veggies. Total success.
I have done some other testing of stuff, but mostly with canned food. I LOVE Trader Joe's Smoked canned trout. I purchased by accident, and now it is stored and used as food regular in my house. I also get the big can of white chicken meet, and add it to a can of soup for lunch. I eat out almost everyday, but when I am in, I need more than a couple cans of soup. Dropping a big can of chicken in some soup will fill me up.
Anyway, total success, we go a huge pot of great soups. Might even try to can some