Changes in the Kitchen

There are several areas of my life that could use a little changing in 2008. Actually, there are many areas that could use a whole lot of changing! One area I’ve determined to work on is the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. No, I’m not going to stop cooking but I’m going to go back to my Once A Week type cooking. I did it in KY back when we mostly lived in one house and it worked for me then so I don’t see why it won’t work now. I’ve heard of Once a Month cooking and there’s probably some book or DVD on Once a Week cooking but I just do it my own way.

I cook all the things that can be cooked ahead and I make extra and freeze it and then every fourth week (if not sooner), I don’t have to cook at all — just pull stuff out of the freezer. If anyone is interested in knowing more about what I do, just let me know and I’ll talk more about it here.

Here’s what I made today:

  • Taco Soup – half of it will be for Wednesday night, along with toasted cheese sandwiches, and half of it went into the freezer.
  • Shipwreck Stew – we had half of it tonight, along with cornbread and coleslaw, and half of it went into the freezer.
  • King Ranch Casserole – we had almost a whole smoked turkey breast left over from Christmas so I made two batches of King Ranch Casserole and one went into the freezer, we’ll have the other on Thursday night.
  • Black Eyed Peas – Of course we have to have those tomorrow so I cooked 2 pounds of dried beans, along with the ham bone bone from Christmas, and got 3 batches of black eyed peas for the freezer. Doesn’t take any extra effort to cook 2 pounds of beans than it does to cook 1 pound.
  • Pork Roast – Gotta have pork tomorrow too. Instead of making 2 small roasts, I made 4. Once the gravy is made, I’ll slice the pork, put it in the gravy and freeze it. We’ll also have leftovers on Friday!

I will have to make side items like baked potatoes, rice, salads, cornbread — stuff like that but basically, I’m finished cooking til Saturday.

Here’s my menu for the week.

Monday – Shipwreck Stew, Coleslaw, Cornbread
Tuesday – Pork Roast, Black Eyed Peas, Cabbage, Garlic Rolls
Wednesday – Taco Soup, Guacamole & Chips, Crackers
Thursday – King Ranch Casserole, Baked Potatoes, Green Beans, Rolls
Friday – Pork Roast, Rice & Gravy, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salad

Since these foods will only be in the freezer for a few weeks, I don’t worry a whole lot about how they’re packaged. Here are a few items I put in the freezer.

Using handy dandy 3M Post-it tape, I label the packages. Only 3M tape will do . . gotta have the best! 🙂

I make an Excel spreadsheet where I describe everything and make any notes I’ll need to know when getting the food out of the freezer.

I label the containers, along with the numbers from the spreadsheet. When I need something, I’ll just go to the freezer and look for item #7 or 5 or whatever I need!

Oops, here’s something you might NOT want to do. I opened the drawer to get out a knife, cut the bag of beans open and oh, my gosh . . dumped most of the beans into the knife drawer. Not what I had planned to do!

Less time in the kitchen means . . more time in the sewing room! 🙂


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Comments

  1. 1

    Marilyn says

    Great idea with the cooking! I love to make the King Ranch Casserole. I never did it with leftover turkey before. I will have to try that. Tomorrow we are having blackeyed peas, German sausage, cornbread, and whatever else I come up with. We had three dozen fresh country eggs given to us by a neighbor today. So maybe I will make deviled eggs.
    Best to you,

  2. 2

    Beth says

    If I ever get my husband talked into a long arm…I will start working on a FREEZER! That man convinced me we needed a counter-depth refrigerator…(Read: Less fridge space…and even LESS freezer space!) By the time I get one, we will have no kids left at home! HARUMPH! No advance cooking with THAT dinky thing!

  3. 3

    Diana says

    I have two cookbooks for just this type of cooking. I also plan to do some of this type of cooking starting this month. I have to figure out what works for me. I like your way tho!
    Diana

  4. 4

    Steph says

    This is perfect timing for me! My DH’s schedule has changed and since he works out of State I am having to re-work our meals to have extra for him to take, 5 days worth and he is a very healthy and frequeant eater, I am thinking it may be easier to prepare for him aside from our meals when he isn’t here and there hasn’t been a recipe of yours that my family hasn’t devoured!

  5. 5

    Vicky says

    Wonderful blog! It sounds as though you’re gearing up for lots of quilty time!

    I LOL’d when I saw the black-eyed peas in your knife drawer! A couple of years ago someone sent me a pack of peas in a Christmas box. When I picked up the peas, they spilled all over my sewing room. Jane’s DH came over this year to help me do something, and when we moved the sewing table, there were peas under there! He was puzzled by that! LOL

  6. 6

    Judith says

    But you must have a big freezer as I can’t store for 4 weeks in it. I also try to make extra’s for spagetti sauce and other one pan meals, but that is it. Than my freezer flows over.
    By the way can you remove me from the stash quilters list as I am not doing a lot of getting rid of stash at the moment and I don’t have that big amounts anymore. Thanks

  7. 7

    Jeanne says

    Happy New Year, Judy! Hope it’s a great one for you … despite your stashbusting challenges 🙂

    Both Shipwreck Stew and King Ranch Casserole sound interesting. You used to have your cooking blog, but I don’t see it any more. Would you be able to share recipes for these two?

    Jeanne

  8. 8

    Bon says

    Judy, your organization skills blow my mind. You rock ! The roast recipe sounds wonderful. (I think it is in another post).

  9. 9

    bmorerealtor says

    Skip says Thanks Judy!!! I looked on myrecipes.com and found a recipe for Shipwreck Stew and made a double batch and I now have 3 meals of it in the freezer and we had King Ranch Casserole for dinner (found a recipe on myrecipes.com for that too)and have a tray of that in the freezer too. I’ve been following your menus when I have time and make lots ahead for the freezer. My kids love it and so does Skip.
    Thanks.
    June

  10. 10

    Lynn Dykstra says

    We are on our 3rd rice cooker in 23 years of marriage. It is so nice to have part of the meal you don’t have to keep an eye on. I also use it for rice mixes, adding a cup of plain rice to stretch the box and lower the sodium content per serving.