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#91 of 107 Old 04-30-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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I've got a question re: soup. I make my own chicken stock sometimes (I do keep storebought on hand in case I run out), and I make my own chowder, and I've made some other soups. But...I'm not sure what's the best way to keep the leftover stuff. I like to have fast soup on hand, and the only way I've found to do that is the cans. What do you all do?

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#92 of 107 Old 04-30-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I've got a question re: soup. I make my own chicken stock sometimes (I do keep storebought on hand in case I run out), and I make my own chowder, and I've made some other soups. But...I'm not sure what's the best way to keep the leftover stuff. I like to have fast soup on hand, and the only way I've found to do that is the cans. What do you all do?
Freeze it in ice cube trays. Each cube is about 2 Tbsp. You could also measure it into 1-2 c servings in a zipper bag and lay it flat to freeze. With either method, the frozen stuff with thaw pretty quickly in a saucepan.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#93 of 107 Old 04-30-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
That show drives me a bit batty as well. And yes, in my world this show is not cooking which is why I put quotes around cooking. But in households everywhere in America, this is cooking sadly.
I used to do this a lot (before we had so many dietary restrictions). But I didn't call it "cooking." I called it "Assembling dinner from prefabricated parts." Back then, I didn't know how to make bread or chicken stock or mayonnaise, but I still knew the difference between cooking and opening bags from the freezer.

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My husband always comes home from the grocery store with tons of cheese and pickled hot peppers and things like that. I try to get him treats occasionally, but he just won't shop within our budget.
Ok, all these DH stories are reminding me of the other day when we went shopping. He's *usually* not bad (he doesn't like to look at prices, but the truth is there's not a lot of comparison shopping to be done with our specialized diet anyway). But on Monday I picked him up from work and we hit the store fast before getting home to the nanny; I went to the deli to pick up dinner, and he went to get a few things to cook later in the week. He did pretty well, getting standard ingredients we use and like. And then, just as I'm wondering "And what on earth is that?" he picks up the package in question and says "And these ADORABLE mushrooms!"

Yes, he picked up some mushrooms because they were goshdarned cute. We do like our mushrooms in this family, and I gotta admit, they were precious, but... wow.

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Originally Posted by ian'smommaya View Post
so what do we do if we work full time out of the home or are single?
I work full-time out of the home, and cook dinner pretty much from scratch five to seven days a week. I do prep work the night before or in the morning; I use the crock pot; and I'm fortunate that right now, we have a nanny, so I can get a chicken ready to roast in the morning, and tell her what time to put it in at what temp. I also work earlier in the day, so I can come home at 4 and have dinner ready by 6. And I spend more to buy pre-sliced veggies or ask the meat department to cut my meat into stew chunks or fajita strips or however I'm using it.

We do our meal planning and shopping on the weekend; I take the list to the farmer's market on Sunday morning, then go to Whole Foods to pick up anything I couldn't get there.

And my husband helps. And when I'm pressed for time or feeling out of it, we keep a jar of pasta sauce and a bag of pasta as emergency rations. ;-)

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Originally Posted by MelanieMC View Post
In 10th grade I took a home-ec class. We "cooked" tacos (browned meat and opened up packages of pre-shredded lettuce and cheese), grilled chicken salad (we opened a bag of lettuce, a bottle of dressing, and heated up pre-cooked chicken strips in a skillet). Oh, and we served all of the meals we made with "homemade" fruit punch - which meant we opened up a pack of kool-aid brand fruit punch mix, poured it into a pitcher, and added water and sugar.
On the other hand... I had a 10-week cooking class in 7th grade, where we made pizza as our "final exam," starting with the crust on one day, then topping it on the second. We didn't make the sauce by hand (it takes more than a class period to boil it down ;-), but we started with flour for the crust, which was most impressive. (Our group was the only one that had our crust turn out reasonable. We also brought in pepperoni and mozzarella... the school was only springing for cheddar... and some Pepsi to go with, had ourselves a little party. ;-)

In that same class, we made a cake from mix. However, we also made the mix ourselves ;-) starting with flour, sugar, shortening, baking powder, etc.
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#94 of 107 Old 04-30-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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I work full-time out of the home, and cook dinner pretty much from scratch five to seven days a week. I do prep work the night before or in the morning; I use the crock pot;
I always see this kind of stuff in advice for working moms, but I honestly never had the time to do it. The mornings and evenings were filled with other things. I still more-or-less cooked most days, but they were pretty sketchy meals (grab a chicken breast, coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with dried herbs, and bake...meanwhile, make rice, and either open a bag of "quick" veggies, such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas, or chop some veggie sticks). Fitting in meal prep just didn't work for me, whether I tried to do it at dinner, after dinner or before work...

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#95 of 107 Old 05-01-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I always see this kind of stuff in advice for working moms, but I honestly never had the time to do it. The mornings and evenings were filled with other things. I still more-or-less cooked most days, but they were pretty sketchy meals (grab a chicken breast, coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with dried herbs, and bake...meanwhile, make rice, and either open a bag of "quick" veggies, such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas, or chop some veggie sticks). Fitting in meal prep just didn't work for me, whether I tried to do it at dinner, after dinner or before work...
Well, since I don't have a choice, it doesn't get "fit in," I fit in other things around it. My kids don't get baths most nights, for example (if they need it, we take them in the shower with us in the morning, or the nanny sometimes gives them a bath). Some nights I'd like to watch a TV episode with DH, but I have to get stuff ready for tomorrow's dinner instead. When I get home from work, I kiss my big kid, I take the little one and put him on my back, and I dive into whatever needs doing for getting dinner on the table. I also sleep less than optimally (but that's standard for motherhood, I think).

It does help that my drive home is 15 minutes without rushing. Yesterday, I was in a hurry (miscommunication between me and the nanny about when she was staying until), and made it desk to desk in 18 minutes (DH noted when I sent my last IM from work and my first one from home ). But that was a deliberate choice on our part; we chose our house location so we wouldn't have much of a commute to likely places to work (including where DH works, which is 15 mins in the other direction).
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#96 of 107 Old 05-01-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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Well, since I don't have a choice, it doesn't get "fit in," I fit in other things around it.
I'm not really sure what you meant here. No choice? Everybody has to eat. I had to fix meals. I simply didn't do the kind of cooking that people talk about when they talk about doing morning or after-dinner meal prep. DS1 bathed about twice a week, so I have no idea where daily baths came from. I wasn't watching tv when I wasn't doing after dinner meal prep...I was doing dishes, clearing the kitchen, cleaning the cat box, helping ds1 with his homework (homework - K & 1st grade!), going shopping (on foot), etc. etc.

I didn't even get home until 6:30 at the earliest, and we pretty much never ate before 8:00 or so. That doesn't leave a lot of time for meal prep, yk? I dove into whatever I had to do to get dinner on the table as soon as I got home, too...but if I'd tried to cook the way I do now, we'd have been eating at midnight, and I've have had even less sleep than I was already getting.

I'm all for people cooking from scratch. I just have trouble with all the highly misleading stuff that WOHMs get about how they can have scratch meals quickly and conveniently by doing prep after dinner or in the morning or cooking "quick and easy" (rarely one of them, and almost never both) meals. The day has 24 hours...if you can't fit in extensive meal prep, juggling the things that are already filling those 24 hours isn't necessarily going to make a difference. If someone really is in that kind of time crunch, I really don't think anybody is doing them any favours by suggesting that if they just did X at Y time, then everything would work.

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#97 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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You think? DH said something to that effect the other day, and I was just kind of like, "Oh, pshaw".

I was thinking, though, of approaching our co-op with the idea of teaching a workshop that was one of those Super Supper type things, where I'd teach people how to make ingredients from scratch and then assemble meals that freeze and reheat well. (No, we don't have Super Suppers around here.) I taught a class for the co-op once about making your own cleaning products, and that was very well received. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow.

Yes! I really do think you could. And I think that now, of all times, it could go very, very well for you! You should write to morning shows, your local news, Oprah, etc, and tell them you have a show for REAL people.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#98 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I'm not really sure what you meant here. No choice?
There's precious little in the way of semi-prepared or packaged food that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, canola, and sorghum. I use a few pre-mixed spices (chili powder, italian seasoning, garam masala) and pre-cut fresh or frozen veggies, but 98% of what I cook starts off as single ingredients. And if I don't cook, I don't eat... not dinner, or lunch the next day.

There's about three restaurants (counting the Whole Foods deli) that we can reasonably eat at. No Chinese or pizza on busy nights, either.

ETA: oh, I forgot, we also avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. And "corn" cuts a broad swath... I can't have anything with "citric acid" or "dextrose" in it unless I contact the company and find out that their ingredient is derived from something other than corn. Jarred olives and tomato paste suddenly become a luxury.
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#99 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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There's precious little in the way of semi-prepared or packaged food that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, canola, and sorghum. I use a few pre-mixed spices (chili powder, italian seasoning, garam masala) and pre-cut fresh or frozen veggies, but 98% of what I cook starts off as single ingredients. And if I don't cook, I don't eat... not dinner, or lunch the next day.

There's about three restaurants (counting the Whole Foods deli) that we can reasonably eat at. No Chinese or pizza on busy nights, either.

ETA: oh, I forgot, we also avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. And "corn" cuts a broad swath... I can't have anything with "citric acid" or "dextrose" in it unless I contact the company and find out that their ingredient is derived from something other than corn. Jarred olives and tomato paste suddenly become a luxury.
We'd have been screwed. Quite utterly screwed. I'd have ended up in the hospital (I was close to it as it was) trying to find the time to do every meal from scratch. (Mind you, I did do a few meals back then that would have fit those requirements...but chicken, rice & prepackaged raw veggies - or even regular chopped veggies - would get really old if we'd eaten them every day.) Restaurants weren't an option for us, either - too expensive.

That sounds really hard.

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#100 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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There's precious little in the way of semi-prepared or packaged food that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, canola, and sorghum. .
:

*happily kneels, prostrates herself and kisses the (pretty filthy) floor in pure gratitude and extreme thankfulness that I do not have to deal with this*

You rock.

CPST
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#101 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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Oh, ditto bobandjess. I couldn't do it. Never in a million years. I don't think anyone gets what a really, really bad cook I am. I try so hard but nothing comes out the way it is supposed to. I can bake all right, so I don't know why I can't cook. Although the cornbread I make (all from scratch! Although no grinding involved hee!) comes out differently every. single. time. I follow the same recipe, measure the ingredients, and it never comes out the same. This is how all my cooking experiences go. I'm the absolute worst at cooking meat, unless I can just toss it in the crockpot.

I am happy to say that tomorrow's dinner will be completely from scratch: baked chicken (in the crockpot) steamed brocolli (although it is frozen, it's what I have on hand) and salad. I will cut up my own spinach, carrots, and mushrooms, and grate my own cheese for the salad.

That is about the limit of my cooking ability. Tonight's dinner was Hamburger Helper.
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#102 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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It's like the articles that tell you to save money and lose weight by not having that daily frappachino. Or give a list of 10 ways to have a cleaner home and one of the items is changing to plain white paper towels.
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#103 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by songbird45 View Post
while I totally agree with your rant, there are LOTS of people who go to the market without a list, throwing things that look good into their cart. my mom shops 2-3 times a week for her family of 2 because she does this. Also, some stores (particularly farm market type produce stores in the winter) are not conducive to list shopping - sometimes the produce looks good, other times it doesn't, so it's better to go and pick out what looks good after you get there.
For those places I put "soup vegetables" "stir fry vegetables" "new vegetable" on my list and then buy what looks good that would go into those categories.
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#104 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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You think? DH said something to that effect the other day, and I was just kind of like, "Oh, pshaw".

I was thinking, though, of approaching our co-op with the idea of teaching a workshop that was one of those Super Supper type things, where I'd teach people how to make ingredients from scratch and then assemble meals that freeze and reheat well. (No, we don't have Super Suppers around here.) I taught a class for the co-op once about making your own cleaning products, and that was very well received. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow.
My DH wants me to start showing people in a class this type of thing. I have already had a few people approach me about showing them how to cook. A Mom friend borrowed a few cookbooks one time and while looking thru it, the recipe called for "stock". I had to explain what that was and then I gave her some of my frozen stock to use. When her DH gave the books back to my DH, he mentioned what a good cook I was!


and to the wohm point-
Honestly, if I was getting home at 6pm or later like my DH, there would be no scratch cooking here as well. When I walked in the door, I would focus on my other FT job, being a parent which is much more important. I know a few people who have told mamas who hold FT jobs outside their home, cook on weekends! Add that to the 1000 plus other things you are doing on these weekends. Our weekend list is huge, then add your kids' activities or parties etc and yes, its either take out, semi home made or ready made meals.

When I worked FT before we had our kids, we cooked from scratch, but I also didnt have little ones to spend time with so it makes a huge difference. Plus we took turns, which we still do since DH is an awesome cook as well.

OTH, I know families where one parent is home FT and still with all activities etc, its impossible to get cook from scratch meals on the table. Either no knowledge, picky eaters, allergies, or just plan busy with life. Also, a lot of people really never learned to cook or just plain dont like it.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#105 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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okay really, who goes to the market and just wanders the store throwing things in their cart aisle after aisle?
I've been known to do this

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#106 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Our local community magazine had an article about a family that cutting costs dramatically and saving a ton of money. They had great tips like only getting the car washed once a month and only getting manicures for special occasions.
We don't have a tv so my commercial television viewing is really limited. Well, I was over at mil's (never turns the thing off) and they had an investment banker on the news talking about what a great investment the low cost of airline tickets were these day. Seriously???
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#107 of 107 Old 05-02-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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Shop with a list to avoid impulse buying. - okay really, who goes to the market and just wanders the store throwing things in their cart aisle after aisle?
A loooong, long time ago mind (10+ years). Dp and I were first married, had more income than sense, our first house, no kids and would go shopping whenever we felt like. More often than not we were hungry at the time.

Those were the days

Now it's a list made from a meal plan, a strict CASH budget and a time limit as we usually have our 3 satellites with us, all trying to orbit in different directions. Dp likes the challenge of coming in under budget. It's almost like we're grown ups now

mum to a crew...
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