Friday, September 28, 2007

Feeding An Army





Many of you know that the latest project in My Quest To Make Life Easier has been learning to use my freezer more efficiently. I have spent hours researching the concept behind once-a-month cooking and have scoured my notebooks of recipes for anything that may lend itself to being prepared in large quantities and frozen for an easy re-heatable meal. And even though I know that there are lots of mommas that spend one day cooking one month of meals, I still came away feeling like it was out of my league. So I am starting "slowly".

Two weeks ago, I made 40 servings of spaghetti sauce and 8 loaves of fig and date bread (a quick, yummy dinner with a plate of scrambled eggs and a bowl of fruit!). I also roasted a whole chicken and shredded the meat to use for dinners and sandwiches and then made a whole pot of stock out of the bones, a little of the meat and some fresh vegetables and herbs.

Last week, I roasted another chicken (this time for dinner) and made another pot of stock. Then I took some of the stock and made a kettle of lentil soup and added that to my freezer stash.

Yesterday I made two loaves of brown beer rye bread and will make another two loaves today (I ran out of plain yogurt for the dough yesterday). Last night we had reuben sandwiches on homemade rye, pickles and warm German potato salad on mixed greens (all from the farm stand), YUM! I was pretty sure I was in heaven.

All of the produce I picked up yesterday with our CSA (community supported agriculture) dollars from the K&M Red River Farm stand down on Railroad. Justin told me to buy them out. I did my best! Isn't this stuff beautiful? Now I have to figure out how to process all of it. We'll eat through the cherry tomatoes, plums, and apples at snack times, and have plenty of salads and sandwich-toppings from the mixed greens. The spinach will make Asian Udon Soup (with noodles, the stock, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and garlic) and Sracciatella (chicken soup with garlic, spinach, carrots, celery, parsley, egg, and parmesan)--both for the freezer. I'll cut the red peppers into strips and add them to chicken or steak, onions and marinade for fajitas....the tomatillos will make a tangy salsa verde for enchiladas...the peaches will can. We used quite a few of the baby yukon golds in our potato salad last night but the rest will be parboiled and fried up for weekend breakfasts--or with salmon dinner next week. Oh! And that zucchini--if you can see it, way in the back?-- they said that zucchini will make 4-5 loaves of zucchini walnut bread. Mmmmm. But I'm still at a loss as to what to do with all the pears and something fun to do with the delicata squash, so please send me your suggestions!

2 comments:

mina said...

Beautiful! It all sounds fantastic! Suggestions: make a pear sauce (same recipe as an apple sauce, but substitute with pears), and it freezes really well if you have extras. Also, instead of an apple crisp, make a pear crisp (topped with your homemade vanilla ice cream--yum!). Poached pears are delicious as well! For the squash, try a baked squash gratin--delicious! We made a huge batch of red sauce last weekend with our heirloom tomatoes and garden herbs, and two meals we like to make with the sauce is chili mac --an ole' Army staple :) --, and chili with homemade cornbread. Chili is another meal that freezes well. The red sauce is great; it's a nice base that makes a variety of dishes. Happy eating!

anagotadavida said...

Seriously, you are a saint for making the time to take on such a task!

I say you get mom or chef of the year award for sure!!!