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Meal Planning

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Something I vow to do. But, it doesn’t always get done.

This week, though, we have quite a full calendar. Lots of people coming, for work estimates, including those to clean up from the burst pipe.

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My better half has two amateur radio dinners, so I need food for my dinners at home.

A fellow blogger, part of my group that did an Eat Local challenge, had a post today that reminded me about the importance of planning ahead and using items in their prime.

Slow cooker recipes are always my favorite. Like my venison chili.

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Using my freezer items. The last of the ground venison. My roasted peppers aka the chili starter. Larriland tomatoes, that were blanched and frozen whole.

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Half the turtle beans from the Friends and Farms basket. They were soaked overnight. Drained, rinsed and cooked until almost done (making sure to boil them for ten minutes before simmering for two hours). Also adding that tablespoon of baking soda, recommended for those of us with hard water.

The other half of the beans were simmered on the stove, with half the basmati rice I made the other day in my Christmas present. My rice cooker. The half of the beef sausage not used in the frittata.

I now have three more meals from the chili I made. A meal from the black beans and rice with sausage. And, leftover lasagna. Most of those leftovers were flash frozen in order to keep them fresh. I bring them out early in the morning into the fridge. Put them in the oven on the slow cook setting, while we handle all our daily things.

Dinner is ready and waiting without time spent on our busy weekdays.

I have to say, my favorite items around here are: the crock pot, the rice cooker, and the chest freezer. It makes it easier to cook in advance, when I have spare time. During those hectic days, I have the equivalent of “TV dinners” in the freezer, that are simple to pop in the oven.

The other thing I did Saturday was cook all the potatoes, and half the eggs, for salads.

I wasn’t always this organized when I first joined a CSA in 2010. We gave away quite a few items, and some rotted before use. It has taken three years to get to this state. Where I can efficiently use CSA items and make use of those frozen goodies.

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This week, though, I need to find something more interesting to do with those lovely portobellos still in the fridge. They are really nice looking, and I am thinking about stuffing them. Or maybe a mushroom lasagna. I still have some Secolari noodles in the pantry.

Even when I plan, I get that urge to be creative. Great ingredients from our local sources make that easy, too.

hocofood@@@

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

One response »

  1. You’re so right, it is such a learning curve when you first start out with a CSA. I love what you’re doing here–I’ve been turning to my fruit-and-veg freezer to supplement the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve when I plan out our meals. Of course my planning starts at best 12 hours before the meal, but still . . .

    Reply

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