When we were growing up, my mother would take the leftovers at each meal and put in a big plastic ice cream bucket in the freezer. If we had pinto beans tonight and some were left over, she drained them and put them in freezer in the ice cream bucket. If we had pork chops and some left over, she would take the meat, chop it up and put it in the bucket in the freezer and so forth.
When it totally was full of meats and all kinds of vegetables, she would take out the frozen bucket and put the contents in a big pot and heat them up with some water. All the different flavors of the meats and veggies was like a big old pot of soup.
While this was heating up, she would be rolling out a pie crust. She then would pour the mixture in the pan, usually a long lasagna type pan and then add just enough water to barely cover to the top of the mixture. She would put the pie crust on top and bake in the oven on low heat for about 30 minutes to keep the veggies hot and then turn the temperature up to brown the crust.
We called it Mama's Meat Pie. And my goodness, was it good. We never wasted one left over. Mother had 6 mouths to feed and times were hard at our house and I swear she could do magic with her cooking. I miss those meat pies.
Source: My mothers own recipe.
By Chris from Locust Fork, AL
This is pretty much the way my grandmother would do with leftovers, except she had an old-fashioned ice-box. Saturdays were usually the day she cleaned out the ice box, and got it ready for all the new leftovers starting on Sunday and going to the following Saturday. Nothing was ever wasted in her house.
My mom worked after we kids were all in school, so she didn't get to cook as much as Grandma did, but we still never wasted anything. We grew up with a big pot of soup which came out of the refrigerator, was heated up and eaten at supper with hot biscuits or cornbread, and always a nice dessert. That soup would be a little different every night, cause before she put that soup back in the refrigerator, a new can of something went into the pot while it was hot, and when it was cool, it sat in the fridge all night absorbing the new flavors. We always had big cans of tomatoes, and after a couple of nights, a big can of tomatoes went into that pot which changed it a lot. Weekends were for baking or roasting a chicken which we'd eat with the soup, along with rice or baked potatoes, and a new veggie of some sort. Leftovers went into the pot.
She did make all our bread though, and Saturday mornings were for bread-baking and laundry. She had a schedule for everything, and kept things going by teaching us to help her. We learned to change bed linens, and put new fresh ones on, and we helped with everything. We sometimes got to go to a movie on Saturday as a family, and anytime a Disney movie came, we saw those.
Things are so different today, and there's a lot about "yesterday" that the kids and I talk about missing. At least, we all share so many of the same memories, so have remained close.
Your mom's meat pie recipe gave us something to talk about for an entire evening. Guess I'll have to try that for a change and surprise everybody.
Thank you for sharing your nice story and recipe. It's the kind of recipe and story we like best to read, and nowhere else on the internet do we find as much of it as we do right here on ThriftyFun.
I love your post. Too bad that your Grandma's type of common sense isn't typical these days. Seems everyone wants everything fast and easy! My Grandma was always very frugal. Nothing was ever wasted. If we couldn't eat it, then it went to the chickens.
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Keep a tub/tupperware container of leftovers that the kids didn't eat in the freezer. Save vegetables and meats and gravy and anything else appropriate for a pot pie. I have made them with every kind of mixture of meat except fish.
When the tub is full, thaw it out and mix with a can of condensed cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. Don't dilute the soup. Put it into a homemade or store-bought pie shell, add the top of the pie shell and cut slits or poke holes to let the steam escape. Bake at 375 degrees F until the shell is done and contents bubbly (about 40 minutes, depending on oven and pie pans). Some bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. The kids that turned up their noses at vegetables will now wolf it down.
Source: My own idea.
By Mark from Katy, TX
That is SUCH a good idea! I can't tell you how much food goes down the disposal at my house because my three year old won't eat it. I will think twice about what I can do with that food! (01/10/2008)
A great idea, I have a container in the freezer for leftover vegetables. When it's full, I add a can of northern beans, add some frozen tomatoes, broth, etc. for vegetable soup. I've never tried the homemade pot pie. Sounds good, will definitely try it.