January 26, 2020

Rainy days and prep cooking

Rainy days are good days to do some cooking and stock the freezer. It's definitely helpful to have meals made ahead for those days when I've been working outside and I'm tired. Who wants to cook if you've just spent three hours on a lawnmower? Or a couple of hours on the John Deere 1023 using the snowblower? Not me, that's for sure.

I used to hate leftovers. I guess that was a holdover from my formative years when my mother and grandmother shoved even the smallest amount of leftover food into the fridge and God alone only knew how long it would be in there until they pulled it out and ultimately had to throw it in the garbage. I learned to FEAR the leftover.

Things are different now. Managing the manor means managing food resources the same as managing how we spend our time. Sound a bit hokey? It's really not. Wise use of food is wise use of money. That's what all those science projects my grandmother and mother created were about - saving money. It didn't work for them because they didn't take the time to THINK about meal planning. They just cooked. That's all they had time for. They didn't have the tools we have today.

Homemade ricotta
My life is a little different. I have a computer and the Internet. Those two things are as big game changers as Gutenberg's printing press. I don't have to reinvent the meal planning wheel. I can pick and choose from hundreds of plans developed by others. Saves money and saves time.

So taking a rainy and cooking a few freezer meals is a no-brainer for me. One of my favorite things to fix is lasagna. I generally have everything on hand on except ricotta cheese, so I make my own. Instructions on how I make it are found here.  A gallon of whole milk makes enough ricotta for one 13x9 pan of lasagna. 

I don't just cook meals on my cooking-binge days. I brown burger, bake cookies, make French toast casserole, make homemade crackers - anything I have ingredients for. A couple of hours spent prepping makes life a lot easier when I come home from work so it's well worth doing. 

Of all the things we have in life, time is the most precious. I do my best to use mine wisely. How I spend my time UN-wisely is for another blog. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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