Convenience foods

Once again this holiday season, I’ve shown no respect for the calendar.  While most people were making grocery lists and thinking about a Thanksgiving feast, I was actually eating it.  I roasted a turkey and made my infamous full-blown dressing 10 days before the actual holiday.  That allowed space in my freezer for 2 fresher turkeys for roasting and eating later in the year.  Can’t beat 55¢ per pound for great-tasting meat I enjoy eating and sharing with my dogs.  They love it as do I!

Instead, for my Thanksgiving feast, I cooked shrimp fried rice.  YUM!

Since DH died, I’ve found myself relying more and more on frozen ‘convenience foods’.  I still love to cook but often it seems too much trouble for just myself.

Honestly, even after ‘doctoring’, those ‘convenience foods’, they taste pretty awful and reading the ingredients list is frightening.  Why must everything contain corn syrup and chemicals?!  Lately, instead of purchasing that pricey CRAP, I’ve been making my own ‘convenience foods’.  When I cook a meal for myself, I make it BIG, with more servings than I can possibly eat in a day or two.  I freeze the leftovers and when it’s too much hassle to cook (busy with other things or just feeling lazy), I thaw one of my ‘convenience foods’ for a hearty, healthy, home cooked meal.  I package the food in quart-sized containers and each makes two meals.  On days I’m particularly hungry, I eat half of one container and add a sandwich, eggroll or salad.  I easily polish it off the next day.

I also package and freeze some of the ingredients I use for cooking.  For example, when I purchase celery for a particular recipe, instead of allowing the remaining stalks to become brown water in my fridge, I chop up the rest and freeze it.  Then when I want celery in another dish, I have it on hand.  I do the same with bellpepper, buying several at a time when on sale.  I love the ease of grabbing a handful of fresh, tasty veggies from my freezer and adding them to whatever I’m cooking.

In the picture is some of my stash.  In the jars are veggie/beef soup, chicken noodle soup and shrimp/okra gumbo with rice.  The bags contain shrimp fried rice (left from Thanksgiving) and spaghetti sauce

This week, to add to my ‘convenience food’ arsenal, I’m hoping to make and freeze some homemade beef/bean chili and when I bake one of my newly acquired turkeys, I’ll stash some away for future meals.  I hope to continue this habit while our weather is cool enough for cooking.

Happy Black, Cyber, Spend-your-money Weekend!

Shirl

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