Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Nov 17 2008

The Monday after the food shopping

We've been working on frugality lately, due to recession-style cutbacks in the household budget. This past weekend we did something we rarely do. We went through the local grocery store sale papers and planned meals around the items that were on sale. We had a coupon for twenty-five dollars off our cost if we spent one-hundred dollars (or more) at one particular store. So we tried to maximize our use of that store and we came home with a lot of food. The problem is that we had to get right to work with storage and prep with that much fresh food streaming into the kitchen. Today we have the Rival Crock Pot filled with a big meal that will actually last for several meals, but I still have to portion out and cook (and/or freeze) several other items for future meals. I doubt I would ever become one of those once-a-month cooks on a regular basis, but there is something to be said for doing this once in awhile so that you can grab things out of the freezer and throw in a few fresh items to pull together a meal on days when you barely have time to eat, much less cook.

We have an electric oven which we've been trying to use more efficiently by cooking or baking more than one thing in it, once we have it heated. I don't always get to bake from scratch the way I'd like to bake, but I do often buy quick bread (or muffin) mixes when they're on sale, doctor them up a bit, and pop them into the oven. If two mixes require two different temperatures, I start one baking and then mix up the other one to bake immediately after the first. Then I can cool the loaves (or muffins) and freeze some for later.

I used to want to make up quick bread batter and freeze it to thaw and bake later, but I've learned that the batter will work better if baked immediately after mixing. What does freeze well is some cookie dough, including chocolate chip and shortbread doughs. And since the holiday season is upon us, making up dough and then baking a bunch of it in one day is a great way to make efficient work of it all.

posted at: 09:34 | category: /Food | link to this entry

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