Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stocking up on Protein

I was amazed to open my grocery store ads this week to find a plethora of meat, hams, and turkeys on sale.  Woohoo!  To tell you the truth, my little freezer was starting to get bare again and I was hoping I wouldn't have to resort to my standbys of chicken leg quarters and ground beef.  You can only cook those so many way before you start to get sick of them, if you know what I mean!

It seems like pork roasts are on sale everywhere I go.  Most Hispanics I know are making tamales for Christmas and pork is one of their favorite fillings.  Thankfully, the grocery stores around here have picked up on that fact and are discounting their large pork roasts to as low at 99 cents a pound.  Of course, I took advantage of the sale earlier this week and bought 2 large pork roasts which I then turned into pulled pork.  Yum!

Don't forget about the holiday foods too!  My local Safeway is having a 99 cents / lb sale on bone-in ready-to-eat hams so I bought one.  The moment I got it home, I ripped into the package and started hacking at the beast.  By the end, I had a huge bowl full of ham meat (which I divided into 1/2 lb packages and froze), a ham hock, and a pile of ham fat and skin.  Most people I know would toss the bone and fat but not me.  I wrapped up and frozen the bone for later use (yummy flavoring for soup!) and then rendered the fat and skin to make cooking lard.  I use this fat to cook my eggs in the AM - super yummy!

And don't forget to check out the food section of Target and Walmart!  I was more than surprised when I stumbled across frozen turkeys for 68 cents a pound at my local Target.  Yes - Target.  I bought one (13 lbs) with plans to slow-cooking in the oven tomorrow night.  Come morning, I'll strip the meat off and freeze both meat and carcass (I make a killer turkey broth out of the bone - I just don't have the freezer space right now to accommodate the broth).

Some people are amazed that I'll go to these sorts of ends to feed my family.  But really, when your budget is at tight as mine, you can't waste anything....not even ham fat.  ;-)

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