Using What You Have

Using What You Have

I had been “under the weather” for several days.  Not enough to completely incapacitate, mind you, but enough that I felt listless & accomplished little.

Add to this the growing demands of the month ahead, I knew if I didn’t recuperate soon, this ole girl was going to be in hot water for sure.

My daughter was headed this way from college for a visit.  I really like to cook for her when she is home.  After years of home cooked meals, she is now the one who has to make do each day.  I think she appreciates her mother more now than then.

She often calls me for cooking advice, and has had more than a few successes AND disasters in the kitchen.  I’m proud of her trial & error mentality.  I’ve learned as much from my goof-ups as I have my successes.

Since I keep a pantry full of shelf stable items on hand for my recipes, I didn’t have to run to the store for dinner.  As soon as one of these pantry items is used, I replace it with the next grocery shop.  I also rotate the cans pulling the ones closer to the front that will expire sooner.

Emily loves soup and we are still in those chilly days when this dish is welcome.  Some pre-cooked bacon from the freezer & fresh potatoes & onions were the foundation for my soup.  I then looked to my pantry for canned veges & evaporated milk to make a delicious corn chowder.  It was sooo good & I will share it on my website at

 I guess the spiritual lesson in all this is making the most of what the Lord gives you, using your gifts & abilities to minister to one another, and being grateful for what you have.

Gratefully & Confectionately Yours,



5 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
1 (16-oz.) can creamed corn

1 med. onion, chopped
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
3 c. potatoes, diced
1/2 c. fresh milk
2 c. water 
dried parsley
1 chicken bouillon cube or equivalent (I use chicken soup base)
instant potato flakes, optional

Cook bacon until crisp. Set aside and saute onions in bacon drippings until soft. Add potatoes, water, and soup base mix. 

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 12-15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add corn and milk; heat thoroughly. 

If you want a thicker soup, add instant potato flakes, a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add parsley and garnish with bacon.

Note: I cannot stress enough how much I rely on soup base to flavor soups, gravies and sauces. The concentration can be adjusted to achieve the “rich broth” I refer to in many of my recipes.

Precooked bacon works well for this recipe.  I keep it in the freezer, microwave it 30 seconds or so to re-crisp &  continue with the recipe.

Every so often, I DO buy uncooked bacon.  I lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and BAKE it at 350 degrees until crisp. I save the drippings & refrigerate them in a jar for later use to flavor soups, green beans, & good ol’ soup beans.