Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tricks for Home Cooked Food Fast

During the weekdays I leave my house at about 7:30 in the morning and don’t get home until about 6:30 that evening.  This doesn’t leave a lot of time to cook a meal when I get home.   Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned to make home cooked food fast.

On the weekends when I’m really motivated to cook, I’ll cook up a storm.  I’ll make big batches of something, have some for supper and freeze the rest, in meal size. for later.  Or I’ll make several meat loaves or hamburgers (sometimes both), have some for supper and freeze the rest for other nights.  Maybe cook a large ham and use a small portion and freeze the rest in batches for quick ham and beans.  I’m not always in the mood to cook, but when I am, I try to cook big.

In the last year I’ve learned to can meat.  This is a great time saver because there’s no thaw time.
 I’ve canned cubed ham, pulled chicken, ground deer, and cubed deer.  My husband hunts, so I have a LOT of deer in the house.  Canned meat lends itself to fast casseroles, stews or soups.  I’ll make big batches of chili or ham and beans and can it too.  I made some quick chili just last night with canned tomatoes and ground deer meat from last year.  The hardest part was the dishes afterwards since I don’t have a dishwasher.
Canned deer from last December (2014).

Since I’m canning the meats I’ll go ahead and make the broth and can it too.  The broth makes for a much richer soup or stew and it can be just as easy to can as the meats are.  Here’s a recipe for homemade stock/broth from The Prairie Homestead which even goes on with instructions on how to can it.  That site has a little bit of everything.

Recently, I’ve discovered freeze dried foods.  Probably not the most natural or organic way to cook, but it is quick.  I can get freeze dried peas, carrots, corn, green onions, peppers, and all kinds of vegetables as well as all manner of things that can be easily added to any recipe.  There are so many different types of freeze dried fruits and veggies available, you can make meals and dessert in no time.  Some are even organic and non-GMO, and they are adding more and more to this category all the time.   And I dry my own foods using a dehydrator.  I’ll find it on sale and dehydrate it for later.

The freeze dried and dried foods category also has full meals that you can prepare and the ones I’ve tried have been pretty good.  I like to add my own touches by adding additional veggies or meats, then add a salad or other side and you’re done.  These are usually pretty basic which makes adding to them to suit your family’s tastes, pretty easy.

Well there’s just a few tricks to help make supper quicker.  Hope there’s something here that will help you out on a busy week night.  How do you speed up your evening meal?

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About Me

I'm a country girl working in the city (50 miles/day). I want to learn all I can about how to do for myself. My husband and I dream of a self-reliant homestead where we can live and work together, raising chickens, goats and rabbits, and growing and canning our own food.