Friday, September 10, 2010

Cooking Ahead

Tomorrow I will be responsible for preparing a meal for 60. I decided on Sue's Stew (a beef/veggie stew), chicken rice soup, and chicken noodle soup. I made 5 gallons of sweet tea and have Saltine crackers to serve with the meal. There are also 5 pans of dessert, 9" x 13" each.

Thursday I cooked a lot of chicken (boneless skinless breasts and skin and bones on thighs). I cut up all the usable meat and froze it in 2-cup portions. I ended up with 20 cups of cooked meat. I think 4 cups per batch of soup will be plenty, if not too much. I saved the broth to reheat tomorrow, add carrots and celery, and then the meat. Divide in half, noodles in one batch, rice in the other. We have a girl in our church who can't eat any wheat products, so I am making rice for her.

Thursday evening I also cooked up 4 pounds of stew meat (after cutting it into playing-dice-sized pieces) to get a jump start on the beef stew. I cooked that overnight in the slow cooker and added potatoes and carrots to cook a couple hours today. Tomorrow I will reheat it, adding green beans and corn.

Cooking larger batches only takes a few more minutes of preparation and you get so much more out of it.

We had 3 bananas that were nearly bad (perfect for banana bread). Instead of just making a batch of banana bread, I also made a batch of pumpkin bread and 12 muffin tops since it would only take about 10 more minutes. What is left by morning will go into the freezer. I have updated my freezer inventory, so I know exactly what is in there.

Doing all this big batch cooking has renewed my desire to have good and fast meals on hand. I don't use my freezer as much as I should. I want to start doing that again. Many times when all my children were very young, I would cook 18-20 meals at one time and put them in the freezer. That's how I kept my sanity at meal times.

Do you cook ahead? What do you make that freezes well? I have found to be a handy resource and inspiration for cooking ahead.

As I was doing all this cooking ahead, it made me wish I had this much ambition every day. I think my lack of ambition is really a combination of poor planning and lack of an attitude of service. I used to love to it is a chore. I need to find my love of cooking again!!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Bed Skirt

My old bed skirt was one of those things that bothered me...daily. Unfortunately, there are too many of those things in my house. Fortunately, I sewed a new skirt today. I didn't think of taking a pic of the old one. It was cream, stained, and ripped on this side (the side everyone sees when they come in the room). It was perpetually crooked also. It was gathered onto a piece of fabric that was between the mattress and box springs, so it was crooked from the second the mattress was put back on.

I saw
this tutorial and decided right then and there that this was the skirt for me. It was incredibly easy to sew and put on. I used the self-adhesive Velcro. I thought it might not be sturdy, but it is on those box springs like white on rice. Very secure. The only hard part was decided which fabric to use. Since I recently bought over 500 yards, that should have been easy...but it wasn't. I think the fabric brings out the stars in the corners of the log cabin blocks on my quilt.

The middle picture shows the faux pleat on the center of the side.

I am about to sew the last side. In this pic this side and the foot of the bed are finished. I've been cleaning/decluttering my bathroom and bedroom yesterday and today. I'm beat. How does all that junk get crammed everywhere?? Don't answer...