How do we afford to have people over for dinner? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 37 Old 05-03-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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And, I definitely need to make some more stock, but I seem to find it much more hassle/work that most people do, at least the way people talk about it.



I used to find it a lot of work, mostly on the straining/cooling/storing end, but we discovered a new technique that works great. We let the stock cool in the stockpot to room tempish, then ladle it out and through a strainer into 1 qt yogurt containers (about 1/2 to 3/4 full), which go straight into the freezer. It saves us a lot of work.

 

Yeah - something like this would probably work. I cool it, then strain it into a big container, then scoop it into whatever I'm going to store it in. (One of my problems is also storage. I have very limited space for empty containers, so I've actually been freezing most of my stock in Ziplocs! It's a PITA to fill them).
 

 


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#32 of 37 Old 05-03-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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When we make fajitas I count 1/2 chicken breast per person & if we're not having many people I usually throw in 1-2 onions & some peppers. That along with chips & salsa seems to go a long way.

Something else that I like a lot is to have more small tapas type items instead of an actual sit down dinner. You can make a couple of different kinds of crostini inexpensively for a group - my favorite is one make with zucchini, tomato, onion, garlic & balsamic vinegar but I also like a rosemary cannelini bean puree or sauteed mushrooms with arugula. I also like to make a bean dip with lentils and cumin. You could also make polenta topped with yummies. Another yummy is chickpeas tossed in olive oil, cumin, chili powder & garlic then roasted until toasty. If you just pick a couple of things like that and set them out along with an assortment of pickles/peppers/olives/shaved cheese etc. you end up with something pretty inexpensive & unique.
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#33 of 37 Old 05-05-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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Yeah - something like this would probably work. I cool it, then strain it into a big container, then scoop it into whatever I'm going to store it in. (One of my problems is also storage. I have very limited space for empty containers, so I've actually been freezing most of my stock in Ziplocs! It's a PITA to fill them).
 

 


We used to ziplocks, and it's horrible. It took so much time. Sometimes we'd end up leaving the stock simmering on the stove for 3-4 days, just topping up with water, to avoid bagging them. We had several pots of stock go bad, after we cooled them, but didn't want to bag them and avoided bagging them too long, and forgot them overnight. We save our yogurt containers, they all stack inside eachother so it doesn't take too much space, and it's so much easier.

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#34 of 37 Old 05-06-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magelet View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



 

Yeah - something like this would probably work. I cool it, then strain it into a big container, then scoop it into whatever I'm going to store it in. (One of my problems is also storage. I have very limited space for empty containers, so I've actually been freezing most of my stock in Ziplocs! It's a PITA to fill them).
 

 




We used to ziplocks, and it's horrible. It took so much time. Sometimes we'd end up leaving the stock simmering on the stove for 3-4 days, just topping up with water, to avoid bagging them. We had several pots of stock go bad, after we cooled them, but didn't want to bag them and avoided bagging them too long, and forgot them overnight. We save our yogurt containers, they all stack inside eachother so it doesn't take too much space, and it's so much easier.


I'm going to switch - if I can break the "throw the containers in the recycling bin" habit. We eat a lot of yogurt around here...

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#35 of 37 Old 05-06-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Let your stock simmer down until it is very, very condensed.  Then just let it cool til it gels.  Scoop out onto a cookie sheet and stick in freezer til frozen.  Then bag and pop in freezer.  Or pour into ice trays and then pop into a bag when frozen.  Takes up way less room.  If you don't want the fat that rises, just scrape it off before you use it.  I keep it on ours. 

 

I have found that most people who come to my home for eats understand that they are going to have something they've never had put in front of them.  If they were rude about it, I wouldn't invite them back, but I cannot imagine any grown ups I know (and not even most kids I know) being rude. They might just politely decline.  But MOST people have tried what I made and most people seem to love it.  I make all kinds of things, and many ethnic dishes.  The thing that gets most people when they come here is the meat.  We eat alot of meat because it is easily available to us (our farm, or trapping, fishing, etc).  But the meats are not the same as in a grocery store.  We eat lots of domestic rabbit, goat, feral pig, etc.  We make our own sausage, use goat milk, and lots of our homestead eggs.  I'm a great homestead cook, though, and most people are stuffed when they leave.  I try to have many different dishes to choose from, and I think that is really key to keeping it interesting.  As someone else said, be daring.  Most people around me are pretty mainstream, but even they can be adventurous, lol. 

 

Use what's cheap/easily available to you and what you love to cook.  Others will taste the joy you put into it.  Don't worry about impressing anyone with anything other than flavor! (well, presentation helps since we taste w/our eyes first).  There's simply nothing wrong w/a big ole pot of rice and beans and a platter of raw veggies and home made smoothies or smoothie popsicles for dessert.

 

FTR, I just simmered and deboned 3 fryer size rabbits recently.  I get a bit more meat off of one of those than you would a regular chicken since the meat:bone is higher.  BUT, I have already made 3 meals of tacos (I added cooked black beans), 1 batch of scrapple which was enough for 4 meals if I serve w/eggs, 1 20 ga pot of soup (half of which went in the freezer), 1 big batch of spaghetti (enough for supper for 6, lunch for 6, and several servings into the freezer), 1 stir fry that was big enough to feed all 6 of us, plus 2 adult guests, plus lunch for 2 days afterwards, and still had enough meat to freeze in portions for 5 more meals, which will likely have leftovers for at least 2 people's lunches.  It's all in how ya use it.


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#36 of 37 Old 05-10-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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Pasta with pesto, pasta alla arrabiata (spicy tomato sauce), can you get a whole chicken to roast? It would go further I think, depending on how many guests, plus bones can be used for stock ,etc. Couscous with feta, olives and some red pepper for warm weather, lentils used as a base for a salad type dish or served warm with some homemade bread and olive oil, bean based dishes.   


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#37 of 37 Old 05-18-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Subbing!

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