Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Luck of the Irish?

This morning, as usual, I made my Saturday run to the produce house for some great deals on organic fruits and veggies. For $21, we got:

8 cucumbers
1 lb strawberries
1 bag + 3 extra kiwis
1/2 lb bag of snow peas
3 heads heirloom lettuce
about 2 lbs on the vine tomatoes
1 large pineapple
3 bunches green onions
2 bunches carrots 
1 box of mushrooms

If you think that is a good deal, you are right. But wait until you hear this: as I was getting ready to leave, one of the guys there told me that they had put the flats of organic pineapple on sale for $2 per flat!!! 

One flat is 6 pineapples, which usually retails for $26. Accounting for tax and gas, the flats came out closer to $3 each, but that was still a steal.

I immediately proceeded to tear everything out of the van so I could rearrange the stuff and tumble the seats down to make maximum space for all the pineapple that would fit. Whenever I find a good deal like this, I call/text all my health-conscious contacts because I'd hate for them to miss out on a deal like this (there is no mark-up, as I am not a business, just a cheapskate). In all, I was able to fit 32 flats, in addition to our weekly produce. Almost immediately, all pineapples except the ones I was saving for myself were spoken for, and I had requests for more that I had to turn down.

It made for a busy morning, and I will be even busier canning the 9 flats of pineapples (i.e. 54 individual ones). I can get one quart jar out of one pineapple, so you do the math - it's the equivalent of over 100 store-size cans! :) Typically, I pay almost $3 for a can of organic pineapple, and we go through those faster than I can keep them in stock. This is such a financial blessing for us!

Thankfully, with my Dad here, he was helping out majorly. He fixed the kids a yummy breakfast of fried spatzels with eggs and ham while I was busy shopping. Once we were done with all the produce, he showed me how to render lard from the fat of the 1/2 pig we bought yesterday (I'll be doing a separate post on that for those of you who are interested). As I am typing this, he is in the kitchen peeling, coring, and slicing a 20-lb box of apples to dehydrate, as well as make into pie filling. He also helped chop up and freeze several bunches of green onions, and some peppers that were starting to look not so fresh. Tonight, once the lard is all done, we will start canning pineapples. 

 Becky, my skinny little fishy, LOVED the cracklings that were left from making lard.

A penny saved used to be a penny earned, but the way our income is taxed these days, it really should be "a penny saved is two pennies earned". I may not bring home a salary, but it's nice to help out by bringing our cost of living down to where we do not need a second income, even with a large family in today's economy.

Since dinner today needed to be quick and easy, I threw some corned beef, cabbage, and carrots into the crockpot. I have never made this before, but Trader Joe's had some uncured corned beef this week, and the sample sucked us all in.

To round out our Irish theme for the day, I surprised the girls with some beautiful, Irish-colored hair bows that a sweet reader from Ireland made and mailed to us last month. They loved them!! Thank you so much!

It's either the luck of the Irish, or I'm cheap to a fault. 


  1. Hi Zsusanna, I'm a new reader and like what I've read so far! I have two questions if you don't mind. 1.) What is a produce house? I haven't heard of this term before. We have local farmer's markets, is it like that? And 2.) WOW about your dad and all he does in the kitchen! How did he become so adept at cooking? All my husband can make is burnt scrambled eggs, lol, and my boys aren't much better. Any tips for me? Thx!

  2. The pineapple was a huge blessing to us, again thank you! Also, we were sucked into buying the corned beef from trader's samples yesterday too! How funny! I am now trying to find a ton of pineapple recipes!

  3. Beautiful girls!

    I can't believe how many organic pineapples you scored for $2 a flat!!!! Such a great deal.

    Sounds as though you are all enjoying your Dad's visit.

    Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

  4. All corned beef is cured. That's what makes it corned beef. If they are calling it "uncured" they mean they cured it without nitrates.

  5. Seriously jealous on the pineapple!! There is no fruit I love more than fresh pineapple. I don't even do the canned stuff because to me it tastes that much different. Favorite method to eat it? Grilled - add chicken and spinach on the side with some tortillas and cheese for good measure...a perfect meal! haha!

  6. Lev 11:7-8
    7And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.

    8Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

    How do you follow this while having half a pig and rendering its fat into lard? (And while eating ham for breakfast?)

  7. Susan,

    (1) it's a wholesale produce seller. They buy from the growers, and sell wholesale to buyers.

    (2) He says he has always loved cooking, and taught himself what he knows over the years.


    thanks! I'm thinking about going back for some more today, not sure yet.


    mmmhh! You reminded me of Yaki Tacos like the restaurant Island's, I'll have to make some later this week.


    we do not observe Mosaic dietary laws, as they were clearly suspended with the NT. Neither did Abraham, btw.

  8. I know I commented alreday but I just wanted to add that I am very much looking forward to the "lard rendering" post! We have kept pigs in the past, and I would LOVE to learn how to do it!

    Although the smell of pork/or anything "porky" turns my stomach...but I would suffer through it just to get that prized end product! :)

  9. Wow! What a deal! I would love to get some good deals on organic produce, but they are scarce around here.

  10. Thank you for the reply to my questions!

  11. I am truly envious of those beautiful pineapples. In my area, fresh pineapples are usually $3-$4 dollars each, $3 for a whole case is phenomenal.


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