So you have been diligent in storing away food and now you have accumulated bottled fruit, dry grains and an assortment of other foods. As last week’s column pointed out, there is wisdom in storing foods, and there is wisdom in using and rotating them. The things we already use often like bottled fruits, flour, rice, etc. are easy, but families are less familiar with ways to use some of the foods that store best. As promised last week, I am including a few recipes to get you started. Later this month, I will include dry bean recipes.
Dried fruits, vegetables Dried fruits and vegetables may be reconstituted (restoring moisture) by soaking the food in water. Time for reconstituting will depend on the size and shape of the food and the food itself.
Allow eight hours to reconstitute most dried fruits, but only about two hours for most dried vegetables.
To prevent microorganism growth, reconstitute dried fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator.
One cup of dried fruit will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups of reconstituted fruit. One cup of dried vegetable will yield approximately 2 cups of reconstituted vegetable. Cook reconstituted fruits and vegetables in the water in which they were soaked.
Hamburger Wheat Casserole
1 pound hamburger
1/2 onion chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup cracked wheat
1 can tomato soup (any type of canned soup will do)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Brown onions and meat in frying pan in a little oil. Add salt and pepper. Pour boiling water over cereal. Add to meat. Add soup and poultry seasoning and mix thoroughly. Place in a greased casserole and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes at 300 to 325 degrees.
Meatless Brown Rice Casserole
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 cup raw brown rice
2 tablespoons salad oil
1 cup (1/2 pound) shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 crushed garlic clove
1 cup (1/4 pound) sliced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 large tomato cubed
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese To boiling chicken broth, add herbs and rice, reduce to low.
Cook to absorb liquid – about 45 minutes.
Heat oil and sauté onion and garlic to tender (about 5 minutes) Grease a two-quart dish.
Combine everything but cheese. Put 1/2 of mixture in a dish. Layer all but 4 tablespoons cheese. Add rest of mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes six to eight servings.
Any Old Bottle of Fruit Cake
1 quart of any bottled fruit, juice and all
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 cups flour (scooped, not sifted)
4 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
Blend fruit in blender. Mix with sugar and oil. Add dry ingredients and, if desired, nuts and/or raisins. Pour batter in a 9 by 13 inch pan, bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until done. Frost with cream cheese icing.
Easy apple treats
These could be made with either stored fresh or reconstituted apples.
• A grated raw apple mixed with lemon juice goes well with meat.
• Pork roast is excellent with a sauce made of one part horseradish to four parts applesauce.
• For a European sort of dessert, slice bright red apples and spread with cream cheese or Camembert and serve after dinner.
• Make a quick flavored yogurt by mixing plain yogurt and grated apple.
• Spread apple slices with peanut butter for children’s snacks.
• When apples begin to shrivel, wet them and place them in a plastic bag. Close the bag tightly and place it in the refrigerator.
The apples will reabsorb moisture and become more crisp again.
• Apples that have begun to shrivel are still suitable for pies, cobblers or applesauce.
6 to 8 tart apples, pared, cored, thinly sliced (6 cups) (or 1 quart bottled pie filling)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
If apples are not tart, sprinkle with one to two tablespoons lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients and mix with apples. Fill pastry with apple mixture and add top crust. Sprinkle with sugar and cut slits to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 for 45 minutes more.
Apple crumb pie
Make pie as above, but leave off top pie crust.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup flour
Instead of using the top pastry crust on the above pie, sprinkle the following mixture over it. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes.
Hot Apple Punch
1 gallon apple cider or apple juice
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 quart water or more to taste.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice or two sticks cinnamon
Tie spices in bag. Add to combined ingredients. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
(May use slow cooker to maintain heat.) Remove spice bag and discard. Serve hot. Makes about 24 cups punch.
Note: You may omit lemonade, orange juice, and sugar and simply heat juice with spices or with two tablespoons cinnamon candies.
Despite a well-planned food storage and rotation program, occasionally a bottle of fruit remains on the shelf for too long.
It may turn dark and look unappetizing despite the fact that the bottle remained sealed and is perfectly safe to eat. What to do with it? This recipe makes a very moist spice cake and can be made with any sort of bottled fruit either new or old.