Sunday, 18 December 2011

Convenience Food

I'm generally not a bad cook, but I am not the most brilliant one either. My main problem in the kitchen is the amount of time it takes to do things properly. I am quite capable of turning out Prue Leith-quality cordon bleu if I had to but I don't want to spend the time. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything which I want to fit in but I still want to eat properly. Over the years, Management and I have developed our own version of “convenience food” which involves occasional mammoth cooking sessions and freezing the results. Usually casseroles which require long slow cooking and benefit greatly from the flavours having a chance to develop.

This weekend turned into a major-mammoth and produced ratatouille, chilli con carne and a pork, apple and mushroom dish. Nothing comes from a recipe book and every batch is subtlety different. ☺

All this mess and palaver does mean that I can pull a portion of something delicious out of the freezer in the morning and at supper time just cook rice, fresh veg or whatever the dish requires, and have a “proper” meal in less time than it takes to heat up a supermarket meal of varied quality and unknown ingredients.

Nothing was wasted; the beef trimmings have been rendered down leaving a rich stock for gravy and fat & dripping for the birds, and the apple cores went straight outside and were immediately mugged by the blackbirds, everything else is on the compost heap.

Hell of a mess to clear up but a thoroughly satisfying end result.

13 portions of ratatouille, 14 of pork and 15 of chilli. Yum yum.


  1. I have just made lots of lasagne and beef in red wine. As you say Yum Yum!

  2. This year I bought a rotisserie oven (on sale $59) to make timesaving meals. I jam the spit through a mini roast or small chicken. Salt it and let 'er rip. Later, I toss a potato and carrot underneath in the drippings pan and presto, the whole thing makes itself.

    I love the look of that pork/apple dish! What a pleasure that must be to crack open a jar of, after a long day.

  3. Bet your kitchen smelled lovely Jill!

    Dawn, what an excellent idea, especially cooking the vegetables underneath.

  4. We do this too Bilbo, kitchen days are thoroughly enjoyable and the quick and easy meals much appreciated on days when you want to do something else. Never seen the point of these "cooking for one" books, if you're going to make a mess, you might as well make it worthwhile! I like the sound of the pork & apple, I must try that.

  5. Hi Ali, will email you pork & apple details, not so much a recipe as a 'guideline'!

    Isn't it lovely to have a proper dinner after a day walking or working outside without any work?

  6. I like having things in the freezer to use quickly. Unfortunately, all the cooking falls to me. DH just likes to eat it!!! But, he will do the dishes most of the time, so that's good.

  7. Hi Florida Sue, 99% of the cooking down to me too!


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