Canned Meats

Marti’s Corner – 140

February 19, 2024

Hi Everyone,


Here are some ideas for expanding on canned goods you may have on hand, and creating meals to feed more people in a pinch:

  1. 1 can beef stew – add 2 can mixed veggies and 2 c. cooked barley
  2. 1 can beef stew – Add 1 c. water and a packet of beef gravy mix and serve over cooked egg noodles
  3. 1 can chili – Add 1 can kidney or black beans and 2-3 c. cooked rice.
  4. 1 can chili – Add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can black beans, and 1 can corn
  5. 1 can chili – Add 2 prepared packages of macaroni and cheese
  6. 1 can baked beans in tomato sauce – Add cooked rice along with 1 can condensed tomato soup, 1 c. water, and 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  7. 1 can baked beans in tomato sauce – Add 1 can flaked ham, 1/4 c. barbecue sauce, and 2 c. cooked barley

** On another note:  We tried to fill our propane tanks and they were expired!  I didn’t know there was such a thing.  Every 12 years, you have to “recertify” your tanks.  They replace the valves and such.  The trick was to find a place that had this service and wasn’t a 3 hour drive.  Today, we found just such a place.  The cost was nominal–only $15 per tank for the recertification.  Of course, the cost of the propane is expensive, but we’re going to have them done next week.  I’m just glad we don’t have to buy new tanks!


My tomato seedlings are starting to get true leaves.  But I was curious to know exactly when it is time to “pot up”.  In other words, when do you move the seedlings to larger pots?  I liked this video the best:  how do you know when it’s time to pot up

Maybe they are not quite ready, but I think they will be soon!!!  It’s exciting.**  NONE of my pepper seeds sprouted.  (They were from 2022–maybe too old?)  So, I replanted a different variety this morning and decided to do a seed test before I totally throw the seeds away.  Simply put several seeds on a wet napkin.  Stick it in a baggie for 4-5 days and see if any of them sprout.  If they do, you can then move them into some potting soil.

I’ll let you know how these turn out!

I went ahead and planted beets and carrots.  We have another big rain coming soon, so I thought I would cover the plants with a tarp to keep them from getting washed away. However, Craig mowed the lawn and I put about 2 inches of grass clippings on them.  California rain is usually NOT heavy and they should be okay.  

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: Tuna Fish or another canned fish.

Tuna has been on sale for $.88 where I shop.  I’ve been picking up 3-4 cans every time I go in.  I grew up on tuna casserole, although I seldom make it now.  However, I really like tuna sandwiches, tuna casserole, and Tuna Helper.  

All three things can be made with shelf stable foods.  A little mayonnaise, a box of Tuna Helper, or some macaroni and Cream of Mushroom soup and you have two dinners and a lunch.

MISC. PURCHASE: can opener – or two

Two days ago I tried to open a can of tomato paste to make spaghetti sauce.  NONE and I mean NONE of my four can openers would open it.  It’s so frustrating knowing what you want is in the can and yet, you can’t get it open.  I was almost ready to use a churchkey can opener (you know, the kind with the pointy end that you use to open canned milk.)  I figured I could puncture a hole all around the top and scoop out the tomato paste.  Even my electric can openers would not work.  This is just NOT acceptable!  

I DID finally get it open but not without a temper tantrum or two.  And I’ve already repented about any bad words that I may have accidentally said.


Kidney Bean Stew

From Pioneer Cookbook by Miriam Barton

Have you ever read the story, “Stone Soup”.  I feel like all vegetable soup recipes are just like that.  Add a lot of veggies and some spices and everything else you add will only make it taste better.

2 pounds of dried kidney beans (This is A LOT of beans BTW)

   Place in a large stockpot, cover with water, bring to a boil.  Let sit for one hour, then drain the water.

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 large carrots

6 c. beef or vegetable broth

8 c. water

1/2 onion chopped

3 tsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp sage.

     Cover the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5-6 hours or until all the beans are tender.

Hush Puppies

When my kids were little, we lived down the street from a family from Georgia.  Her kids said, Yes Ma’am, and Yes Sir, which I thought was pretty amazing in and of itself.  One day, she brought me some Hush Puppies.  I was in heaven.  They are SOOOOO good.  I haven’t made them for years though.  I might have to do that this week.

1 c. cornmeal

1/3 c. flour

1/3 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp salt

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

3/4 c. buttermilk

1 egg

    Mix all together in a large bowl until smooth.  

Cooking oil: vegetable, peanut, canola, olive)

Heat oil on the stove.  Carefully drop in large teaspoons of batter into the oil.  Turn after 2-3 minutes and cook some more.  Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.  Yum!!!

Hot Fudge Sauce

I’m not a fan of plain vanilla ice cream, but I have some that I bought for company and we didn’t eat it.  Looks like I’ll have to make some hot fudge sauce!

1 1/4 c. sugar

2/3 c. milk

1/4 tsp salt 

     Cook 5-6 min over medium low heat and whisk till sugar is dissolved.  When it begins to boils around the edges, turn down to low and add

1/3 c. cocoa    Whisk until smooth then add

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate

    Whisk smooth and let rest for 3 minutes

    Whisk again and add

1/2 stick of butter cut in 8 pieces.  Whisk smooth

Add 1 tsp vanilla   Blend!

You can store it in the refrigerator and it heats up over and over.  Here is the video from America’s Test Kitchen:  recipe for hot fudge sauce made with cocoa

Please, please, please make sure your family is prepared.  You will rest much easier knowing you can feed your children.  

Marti Shelley

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