Hi, Donna! Just about as long as I've been keeping house, about 20 years (this July). It's just the way I started out, and I never really did the modern "thang" (with eating out a couple times a week, tv dinners and such). My mother-in-law was my mentor, and she was a farm-girl turned home-ec teacher. Nobody can beat her pies, and she's a master of improv! ~Martha
Fitness Minutes: (462) Posts: 224 1/16/08 10:07 P
Martiet, I also buy ground beef in bulk(Costco, Sams etc) and then brown it and add my other items to it. What a great way to save time and money. Years ago I got a glut of tomatoes and had to freeze them the way you describe. I found this method of saving tomatoes almost as fast as the fresh canned method. I can always put the tomatoes in the frige the night before and then straight into the pan to cook. I like to eat most of my tomatoes fresh with just a bit of salt. The family is picky and only likes tomatoes in sauce. How long have you been canning, freezing and bulk cooking? Not too many of my friends see the use in it.
I have been looking at Once a Month Cooking (OAMC), Make Ahead Meals, Meal Assembly, freezer cooking, Feeding the freezer. All these terms help me find and use recipes and game plans for freezing meals. Donna~
Today I am cooking up a big package of ground beef, browning and chopping it, draining it and seasoning it, all at once. Then I will use a small portion for today's meal, and the rest I will freeze in meal-size portions, ready to put into a casserol or spaghetti, or chili or whatever. Since ground beef, chopped and browned, and mixed with chopped onions and peppers, is something we use often, I save time (and money) by getting a big batch done at once, and then I have just the portion I need frozen ready to use when I need it. I don't have my whole pan of lazagna in the freezer, but it's faster to prep, because my meat is done, and my sauce is in a jar. I don't waste space freezing fat I don't want, and the cooked ground beef is MUCH easier to thaw and use than frozen is.
I am overcome with produce just now, and was contemplating doing something I've done before with tomatos, and I thought I'd share it. Sometimes, when I'm really inundated with stuff to put up, I will wash my tomatoes, core them, cut them up and freeze them (no blanching). I don't find them very convenient to use this way, but it makes it so I can wait a whie to can them. Later on, when it gets cool, and I don't have as much stuff pressing, I will take them out again and slow-cook them on a chilly day, then put them through a strainer and can them. This way, I get to have the heat in my kitchen when I can use it, and not when I'm dying! My sister does this, too, by coring her tomatos and freezing them whole, then they skin easily when they are thawing.
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