Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 27

Thread: Massive Cook Up - wdyt?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Funky Town, Vic
    Posts
    7,070

    Question Massive Cook Up - wdyt?

    Ok -so I'm sick to death of my kitchen. It's a good size but apart from that there is NOTHING conducive to be able to cook well (including an oven ).

    I am also sick to death of chucking out veg that doesn't get cooked etc. I also miss cooking alot.

    I was thinking of hiring out a church/cricket club kitchen for a day and making up masses of food to freeze. I'll get to the Vic market the day before for the best fresh stuff and get someone to keep the kids out of the way.

    I haven't really cooked on a large scale - I wonder if I could get a months worth of meals done?



    Any tips?

  2. #2
    Enchanted Guest

    Default

    I have no tips for you hun but it sounds like a great idea!!! I have been wanting to do something like this for a while but it never happens!

    Good luck with it and I will be watching the replies with interest

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in a house!
    Posts
    6,125

    Default

    fantastic idea!!

    Just before DS was born, I went a bit crazy and stacked the freezer with dinners.
    It was the best idea I've ever had and I didnt cook a thing for the first 3 weeks after getting home from hospital.

    I cooked a million lasagnes, heaps of bolognese sauce, heaps of different kinds of stirfry (chicken, pork, beef etc), rice dishes, casseroles, sausage stew thingys, soups etc

    have fun! And I reckon it will be so worth it

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Funky Town, Vic
    Posts
    7,070

    Default

    AND the other thing -

    are there any guidelines on freezing? Does rice freeze ok?

    I was going to par boil lots of the vegies to freeze as well...

    With having milk, bread and cheese delivered I was also hoping to avoid food shopping EVER again, well for a month or so anyway.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in a house!
    Posts
    6,125

    Default

    There was a segment on Sunrise last week with a lady and her book abuot freezing everything. There was a website but the name eludes me atm....sorry!

    I personally do not like rice that is frozen just on its on. I only like it if the rice is coated in a sauce, or in a casserole iykwim? same with pasta

    Potatoes shouldnt be frozen apparently, but the occasional few in a stew is ok.

    Par boiling is great for vegies. If you over cook them, then freeze them, they turn to mush!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Funky Town, Vic
    Posts
    7,070

    Default

    Hmm, what about mashed potato?

    I might check out the sunrise website.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in a house!
    Posts
    6,125

    Default

    im pretty sure she said thats the main one that goes yuck

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    6,975

    Default

    Is the cooler weather inspiring you Lulu?

    I've just had (actually still having) my first Big Baking Day of the year. It was all because the morning was so cold and I'm too stingy to put on the central heating. So I decided to heat up the house with cooking!

    Last night I had some nice home made bread that had gone hard and stale... was going to do a bread and butter pudding... but no jam or marmalade so had to think outside the square... I vaguely recalled a Delia Smith recipe for traditional Christmas pudding that called for a substantial amount of stale bread... so i dug that out and made it up substituting a few things; cooked pear instead of cooked apple... I don't mind experimenting... didn't have any stout but made up the liquid content in other ways... doubled the rum content for example hehe So that has to rest overnight and it was ready to go on this morning for it's 8 hour stint on the stove... yes, 8 hours with the gas burner on warming up our house... perfect.

    I also cooked: spanikopita (Greek spinach dish with filo pastry) and a French leek and potato soup! Oh and pancakes (but that was using the cheats Pancake parlour mix)... so lots of stove top use today... and cosy house. It's been so much fun

    My kitchen is old too but at least I have a double oven (two, on top of each other) this is my favourite thing and really helps make big baking days easier.... highly recommended if you decide to renovate Lulu! Much better use of space than those new wide ovens.... you can have two ovens on the go at two different settings.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; March 30th, 2008 at 02:50 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,732

    Default

    Ooh Bath I love a great big cook up Bummer is our place has floorboards throughout so no amount of oven use gets it toasty.

    Lulu, if you google "once a month cooking" you will find heaps of stuff on big batch cooking - problem is most sites are US-based so you need to convert from imperial to metric.

    Better go - I hear his (little) master's voice....

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    7,260

    Default

    If you are going to freeze vegies, you are better off just buying frozen veg to begin with - they are usually cheaper and they certainly are better for you - the vitamin ad mineral content is usually a lot higher than fresh veg these days.

    As for potatoes and rice, they are fine to freeze if they are cooked adn have a sauce on them to protect them. If you thaw out dry cooked rice, it generally goes crunchy as all the moisture (the thing its cooked in) is released in the thawing process. Same with potatoes and pasta, so they need to be sauced before freezing. iykwim

    WRT to the veggies going off before you use them, I make a soup once a week with the left over veggies - potato, pumpkins, zuccinni, broc/cauli, corn, just about anything can be put in to the pot, except capsisums! Doesn't have to be huge, could only do the family for one meal, but it gets rid of the veggies and is really healthy and yummy alternative to throwing them lol!! lo This is what just about every restaurant that serves a soup does btw, helps to keep costs down and you can add anything to it, herbs, curry powder, pasta, rice, or barley, to beef it up....nothing better htan a big fat veggie soup!!

    HTH Good luck!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    6,975

    Default

    Yeah, our house has floorboards except for the bedrooms (carpet)... I think because our main living area is so close to the kitchen it really helps. In between cooking I read the weekend papers at the kitchen table which is part of the open-plan kitchen/dining. The lounge is around the corner and the heat made that area comfortable... not as toasty as the kitchen/dining but at least the chill was taken away. When I finish using one of the ovens I make sure I leave the door open for it to cool down...

    Gotta get it cleaned up so DH can cook fish for dinner...

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
    Posts
    15,272

    Default

    If you are going to freeze vegies, you are better off just buying frozen veg to begin with - they are usually cheaper and they certainly are better for you - the vitamin ad mineral content is usually a lot higher than fresh veg these days.
    i'd be really reluctant to agree with that statement! certainly food that has been stored for a while may not cook up as well, but how can frozen vegies be more nutritious than fresh?? especially market fresh?? i'll be first to admit that the convenience of frozen vegies means they are usually in our freezer - but if we have the par boiled veg we've grown and frozen, or fresh from the market and frozen food - well, i'll put my hand on that any day - it just tastes better! we also use the "stock" from the par boiled vegies for soup or casserole cooking (as my nan used) - either fresh. or freeze and reuse later...

    lulu - i haven't done a month worth of cooking in a day. i think i'd struggle with knowing what DH would want to eat! but, we DO cook a lot of freezable meals - all stuff that can be heated in a single pot or in the microwave. DH takes frozen food away with him for work, and always gets lots of home cooked meals instead of take away crap! works a treat for us... we make up spag bol in bulk, and freeze meals for four or five nights, any casseroles are made in bulk (i'm loving the SC!) and frozen - even things like the meat for burritos, chow mein - we cook in bulk, and freeze in portion sized serves. we have a heap of reusable plastic containers that stack together, are dishwasher and micro safe - and ideal size for a decent meal. with DH away, he's able to stop, set up his portable cooker, and drop everything in a saucepan to heat up gently while he organises everything else for dinner. all of our containers are, if need be, disposable - not that i want to spend extra money (99%of the time they're recycled) - but with DH being in the truck, i'd rather lose a cheapy container than a good Tupperware one!

    pasta and spud cooked into something - freeze beautifully - especially if they're "just" cooked - if they're a bit softer to start, when they're reheated they break down a bit - i don't have an issue with that personally though! mashed spud i'd do on the day - though we don't have it often so it's not a drama.

    i spent last night making soup - heaps of fresh veg and homemade chicken and vegie stocks - chucked in the slow cooker for a few hours. when it cooled, i chucked it in the blender and made it into a beautiful blended soup - am thinking i need to go and divide it up for freezing about now...

    one thing - IF you're going to do something like you're suggesting - plan it out - have as much as possible exactly worked out - what to cook when etc. start one thing cooking, then move on to prep with the next - make use of the excess space for things like SC or electric fry pan so you can have a few things on the go at once - and don't try to do the whole undertaking yourself - yeah, having the kids out of your hair is important - but remember that vegie preparation can take a lot of time - so make sure you've got some one there to help peel etc - and borrow whatever extra equipment you need! be creative - bolognaise doesn't have to be be minced meat - we made the simplest bolognaise in the SC with diced chicken and spag bol sauce from the jar - when it was almost time to turn it off to eat, we put almost cooked spag in, mixed it through the sauce and let it sit there to finish cooking - the kids that were here LOVED it!

    good luck with whatever you decide to do

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Cairns
    Posts
    1,787

    Default

    Lulu - do you have a slow cooker? Our oven is utter crap and it heats the house up in minutes (great in Melbourne but not the desired effect in Nth Qld), since I got the SC I do a huge casserole (curry/tagine/etc) once a week or fortnight and freeze it. It only takes an hour at most to prep and I usually get about 7 nights dinners (for two). We have it with either rice or pasta - I cook enough for a few nights then reheat it as needed, or instant couscous with frozen vegies.

    I miss baking so much though - I haven't baked in months.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    7,260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy's girl View Post
    i'd be really reluctant to agree with that statement! certainly food that has been stored for a while may not cook up as well, but how can frozen vegies be more nutritious than fresh?? especially market fresh?? i'll be first to admit that the convenience of frozen vegies means they are usually in our freezer - but if we have the par boiled veg we've grown and frozen, or fresh from the market and frozen food - well, i'll put my hand on that any day - it just tastes better! we also use the "stock" from the par boiled vegies for soup or casserole cooking (as my nan used) - either fresh. or freeze and reuse later...
    As mad as it seems, frozen vegetables in most cases retain mor nutrients than store bought vegies. Obviously this doe not refer to freshly picked from your garden or from the a market they have been at for less than 2-3 days. But certainly to the average shop/supermarket, even some green grocers. It largely depends on where the veg is coming fro mto get to the shop you are buying it. The large supermarkets store their fruit and veg in warehouses for days on end, and to ship it around the country also take days. Add to this the time it takes to get them from the farm to the distribution points themselves.
    Vegetables nutrients largely dissipate over time as they begin to break down, light and temperature also affect the nutrient content.
    The chlorine solution they wash your lettuce with also affects nutrient content...Especially if you are in WA and any thing coming across the border into WA needs to be quarentined and treated before it is allowed to be sold here. Snap frozen veg is usually frozen almost immediately after being picked and processed, usually with in 4 days of harvest.
    So yes, if you want nutrient content, often frozen veges are the way to go.
    (they will never beat farm or garden fresh though)

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    275

    Default

    We used to do once a month cooking when I was growing up (7 kids in the house, give or take at any given time, we had no choice) and the key is planning, planning, planning. Write out your plan of attack. Maybe take two days to do what you need to do, also.

    We would do one day of chopping/prep work/ boiling chickens to make stock and for the meat. The next day was actually putting the meals together. I've found pasta and potatoes are ok, if they're in something and they're a little underdone. I don't freeze rice or potatoes or pasta if something else is going to be put over them, I just do them on the day I'm going to eat them. Like, I'll freeze the chicken stir fry alone and have noodles or rice in the cupboard.

    A note on re-freezing... Probably everyone knows this but my DH didn't even though he's relatively domesticated. Don't thaw meat and re-freeze it. Bad to do it with anything, but especially not meat. You can thaw it, cook it into something, then freeze it.
    Also, its usually a good idea to allow the food to cool down to room temp. before freezing it, just so you don't accidentally thaw other things in the freezer.
    Label the containers with what it is, how to finish/serve it, and the date. The date one is important, its amazing how quickly you'll forget how old something is.
    One last food-safety thing (I used to work in restaurants, does it show? ) is don't cross contaminate- use different knives and cutting boards for vegetables and for different kinds of meat. It can be kind of a pain in the neck but important to remember.

    If you're looking to save money, watch the grocery ads and cook with what's on special. Like, right now broccoli is cheap so I have a lot of stir-frys with broccoli, as well as several lunches of broccoli cheese soup in the freezer right now. The beauty of it is I love broccoli and can have it now for next to nothing, and will have it for next to nothing 4 months from now, too.

    If I don't make a soup with about to go off withered veggies, I chop them up and chuck them in a pasta sauce. DH and I like chunky veggie filled pasta sauces, they're especially nice with chunks of mushrooms, zucchinis, grated carrot (it cooks into the sauce), and handfuls of wilting spinach. I don't even bother putting meat in those sauces half the time, and we don't miss it. Nor do his carnivore mates who come round for dinner sometimes, they love my veg pasta and ask for it.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
    Posts
    15,272

    Default

    not particularly arguing the point limeslice - i guess i was more looking at it from the POV of myself (and lulu who was saying about going to the markets for her veg) - most of ours comes straight from our own or my bro's garden - spuds we go to the spud farm and get them day after they're picked, so frozen has nothing on that! its not unusual for us to pick the vegies just as we need them for dinner around here!! (there are definite advantages to living in the sticks - esp when the sticks are not too far from prime spud country!!)

    plus, whether they're more nutritious or not - frozen carrot, capsicum and the likes - they just don't taste right!!!

    just waiting on a reply from DH - this thread (and the delish soup i cooked up) have me motivated to cook some more - just not sure which chicken dish will reheat best for DH in the truck - so have to wait on him telling me what he wants!

    lulu - another thing i was thinking after posting earlier - have you thought about communal type cooking with others? we do it all the time with my bro and SIL - we cook for us and for them - they cook something different - we play swapsies - makes for more variety of meals without extra stress... would be a way of getting things that you don't have room to cook - you could do the SC type stuff (i'm assuming you have one - shoot me if you dont) that takes up minimal room - and someone else could make the more space-intensive things (lasagne and the likes that take up room for cooking spag base, white sauce, assembly etc) - win win for everyone...

    bellalass - we do something like that with vegies - little bit of everything, white sauce, pasta if we want to add some more bulk and have it as a meal on it's own - no pasta if we're serving it with meat. spud, sweet spud, carrot, zucchini, onion, peas, corn, parsnip, turnip, swede - whatever else we can find (cept pumpkin!) - fry it lightly in a small amount of garlic butter - boil some cauli and broccoli - make white sauce - mix it all up and bake it in the oven - we have requests for it when we're going out for dinner - that's my contribution most of the time - kids love it and it's got so many vegies - half of which they can't see!
    Last edited by briggsy's girl; March 30th, 2008 at 04:52 PM.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ubiquity
    Posts
    9,922

    Default

    Most fruit and veg we get at supermarkets we don't necessarily get "fresh". So if you can go to a Market Grocer you will be way better off. But they did do a study on frozen vs. fresh and frozen turned out to have more nutrients than the majority of the stuff we can get from coles etc. Not arguing the point, just saying you are both right :P

    Besides its better for the environment to support local grower markets

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Yeah! Eat local! (better for the economy, too...)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Can anyone recommend a baby and kids cook book?
    By Junglemum in forum Recipes, Cooking & Food
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 15th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  2. Pregnancy & Headaches
    By Phteven in forum Pregnancy Forums
    Replies: 159
    Last Post: November 25th, 2007, 11:57 AM
  3. Help me cook meat???
    By mumto1and1ontheway in forum Recipes, Cooking & Food
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: August 13th, 2007, 01:48 PM
  4. Slow Cooker Recipes
    By Rouge in forum Slow Cooker Recipes & Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: July 1st, 2007, 11:38 AM
  5. Two massive dips, pls help!
    By prama in forum Charting Your Cycle
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: June 18th, 2007, 02:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •