One thing I want from menu plans is a “flow chart” That is, a list of 2nd dishes that logically follow the first. So the challenge is to make up lists, seasonally again, of foods which can be used with long-term storage foods to make economical dishes, in season, and if possible, save something for the out of season times too. The additional aspect here is to start with cooking twice as much of whatever the “main dish” meat or vegetable is so that I can freeze the extra.
So you go from roast slices TO chunks on (whatever) TO burritos, stew, soup, etc. and if you’ve cooked two at once, you’ll have drippings, carcass/bones and another batch of meat to process for the freezer.
This flow would work with beef, chicken or pork.It would also work with vegetables, if you do “basic” cooking before any definitive flavoring or manipulation, as:
Eggplant, sliced & fried. Then added to a vegetarian dish w/ tomato sauce/make eggplant parm sandwiches and then the remainder added to ratatoulli.
I’m not interested at this point in doing Mega-Cooking or OAMC. My household’s too small to make it worthwhile and the idea of spending an entire day making home-made frozen food just depresses me. On the other hand, I can see doing something like buying a 25 lb chub of ground turkey, seasoning it and frying it all at once and freezing it, for the next 3 months’ use. But not cooking final meals or even close to it. Components? Yeah. I like the idea of having cooked meatballs, ground meat, meat slices/chunks, etc. in my freezer. Not quite instant food, but it would cut down a lot of the grind.
One of the lamented things that was tossed when the freezer died was a quart of carmelized onions. I have a crockpot recipe. Works like a charm, no fuss no muss.
Want onion soup for dinner? Grate the cheese, add enough onions and stock base/water or stock, heat. Float toast on soup, add cheese, put under broiler to melt cheese. Done! Takes an hour+ job and makes it about 25 minutes..Hot, fast, home made, real food. That kind of home made freezer food I’ll spend the time to make. If I had more people to cook for Mega-Cooking or OAMC would make sense, but as it is? No.
Remember that 2nd bunch of asparagus and my storage dilemma? I found an aluminum casserole dish with an aluminum cover at a market yesterday. One of today’s cooking jobs is to clean, blanch and then freeze the asparagus. btw, the price has already gone up. The 2 bunches were 1.99 a lb, but the last price I saw was 2.49! Asparagus is only really cheap first thing in the spring. If you miss it; it’s gone!
Oh yeah, fridge news…I have a date they’ll come & fix the fridge AND a date they’ll come and take away the loaner fridge too. Hopefully, this will be the LAST of that particular episode?
And paper trail too: I shredded 150 pieces of paper this a.m. 😀