I’ve been experimenting with food lately, and learning as I go. It all started when I joined Pinterest, and saw tons of food links posted, especially for preparing freezer/crock-pot meals. I looked them over, and found some ideas I thought I could use. Due to odd food aversions (tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers) intolerances (lactose, eggs) and diabetes (carbohydrates other than fiber), food has been problematic for me for a long time. I spent some time years back and developed a cooking repertoire that was fun and useful when the kids were around — pretty good at cooking up beef, chicken and pork roasts and making gravy from the drippings, for instance — but those tend to be a bit overkill when cooking for one or two, so I’ve steered away from food that I need to prepare much, as it tends to become something I throw away because I never quite got the oomph to get started on it.
Freezer meals looked like a good solution to this. I do about as much prep as I used to for one big meal, and I get the makings of several meals that sit in the freezer until I’m ready to use them. If I can tie in the use of the crock-pot, I can pull things out of the freezer and put them on very low when I leave for work and have a meal ready to go when I get home late, probably with left-overs for another day as well.
So, I got a food processor, and it’s made chopping (well, slicing) veggies very fast and easy. I used the veggies I sliced with it and a whole chicken to make a batch of chicken stock and shredded chicken meat. And, right off the start, I was learning:
- I love the food processor, and will use it a lot with these recipes I’m looking at. It’s going to change how I buy food and use it.
- I can see that I’m going to want another food processor, as this one has an annoying spot on the lid where food catches between the edge of the lid and the edge of the feed chute.
- When cooking a whole chicken for stock, cutting it up into smaller pieces (even four pieces) will be a lot easier than trying to pull a whole crumbling chicken out of the broth.
- The neck and giblets don’t make good shredded chicken. But they do make a good soup with a little broth, some of the cooked veggies, and a bit of salt and pepper.
- The instructions I was working from said to discard the cooked veggies when I was done cooking them. I threw most of them away, but, after using some to make nonce soup, I think I will find something else to do with them instead. Maybe add back some broth to make chicken-veggie soup, or blender them with some broth to add to gravy or soup of any kind. They didn’t have a lot of flavor left, but they did have color left (indicating vitamins) and texture (indicating fiber).
I’ve found instructions for making broth using bones (even ones eaten off of with meals), veggie peelings, etc. All at once, it looks like it’s going to be very easy to make lots of broth. So I need to figure out how to use broth (never have used much up until now) — I think soup ideas will be an important next step. I’ve already got a gallon of the stuff, and I’m planning to cook another chicken (baked in a paper bag) tomorrow, so that will yield bones and things for brothing with. My poor freezer is getting very full.
I’m also thinking of putting these adventures in a blog format — perhaps my own food blog. “Cooking with Lazy Depressed Guy” has a bit of a ring to it, I think. And I’ve found this helping a bit with my depression the past few days — getting me up off the couch and this computer off my lap and doing things which need doing. If it can also help reduce my food costs, and keep me in food that’s better for my blood sugar than Chester’s Puffcorn (not jimmy-cracked corn, but corn crack — I can eat a bag in five minutes like it was nothing), then that’s a very good thing. Getting my Molly on is a good thing, I think.
It might be time to get my “Molly-er Than Thou” apron made.