So, what do you do with those last three apples that are hiding in the bottom of the refrigerator? Some of them are getting wrinkles – can they be salvaged?
 
Absolutely! Peel and chop them into very fine pieces and add the chunks to make apple muffins, apple waffles, apple pancakes, apple cookies, apple cake… The list is endless once you think about it.  You can also chop the apples, bag and freeze them for later uses.
 
You can also cook the chopped apples in a little apple juice until they are soft, and then serve apple bits over ice cream or cake as a dessert. If the apples are tart, I may use a tad of brown sugar or honey to sweeten a bit.
 
Potatoes – when they start to sprout. I knock those sprouts off and boil the whole bag of potatoes. I cook five pounds at a time.  Let cool and store in the refrigerator.  My guys will slice onions, saute those a bit, and then add a bowl of sliced, cold potatoes and fry up the whole skillet full. Sometimes, they even add a few chopped jalapeno peppers for extra zest. It tastes delicious, is filling, and the potatoes get used before spoiling.
 
I freeze any banana that starts to get soft (yes, they do turn black but that’s ok). We take the peeling off and use the bananas in cakes, cookies, and quick breads. They also work well in smoothies.
 
Peppers – green, red, yellow, hot or cold!  When they get a little wilted, I take the seeds out, chop them up and dry them on a cookie sheet in the sun. A closed-up car works quickly, or you can use a dehydrator, or even use the oven after baking.  I use dried peppers in soup, tacos and sloppy joe mixes – and they are $3 an ounce at the stores!  I’ll salvage any day for that savings.
 
I bought 9 green peppers, chopped and dried them, and got two cups of dried pepper bits for my mixes.
 
Otherwise, I clean and chop them and freeze in once cup amounts to add to anything I’m cooking – from scrambled eggs, to tacos, and to casserole dishes.
 
My boys like chopped peppers in any potato dish. Cold boiled potatoes, shredded into a skillet with chopped onions and peppers – they can make a meal out of the stuff!
 
Tomatoes with a soft spot?  Cut it out, chop the tomato and freeze if you won’t use it right away.  Toss into any soup or main dish that calls for chopped tomatoes.
 
I also dry the tomatoes for my mixes; dried tomatoes are around $3 per ounce at the stores.
 
I took 15 Roma tomatoes, chopped and dried them and ended up with a pint jar of dried tomato bits to use this winter.
 
Rice: when I cook rice, I cook a whole bag, make my meal and freeze the remainder for use in other dishes that call for cooked rice.  My kids love rice for breakfast with milk and sugar. Rice pudding is an old-fashioned treat that’s been enjoyed forever. My husband liked rice with raisins in it, anytime.
 
Beans: when I cook beans, I soak the whole bag, cook them ’till done and freeze them in 1-cup measures.  They can be added to any casserole dish, mashed and put in a soup or stew, or mixed with meat and tomatoes and rolled in a flour tortilla, sprinkled with cheese and baked until bubbly.
 
 
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