My family and I also had the pleasure of enjoying a lovely country estate in Virginia this past week. We had a wonderful time!
But all of this traveling and hectic schedule would for most mean fast food, take-out Chinese, pizza deliveries, and microwaved meals from boxes or cans. But none of this will do for my family or I as we understand the importance of good food, even when we feel that we are too busy to keep up with other things. So what do we do? Well, mainly we plan ahead.
Because I tend to make every meal worth 3 or 4, I was able to have many meals in the freezer far ahead of time, ready to be pulled out when we are super busy or I am away (as was the case last weekend and will be again this week). For our trip to Virginia I also had several meals prepared and frozen, and so I only had to do a little cooking each day, mostly for fun.
For fun? Well, a friend blessed us with about 3 pounds of home grown shiitake mushrooms, so I pulled a chicken from the freezer to make a good batch of stock for a base, and then added the mushrooms, sautéed with lots of garlic in plenty of butter and olive oil, a butternut squash (cubed), and seasonings (allspice is great for this)After pureeing everything together with my handy-dandy KitchenAid stick blender, I added about a quart of fresh, raw cream. This was one of the best soups I have ever produced, and it made enough to give as gifts to two favorite friends, besides feeding all of us! See what I mean by fun?!
Today was birthday day for 2 of our kids, so we had roast beef, creamed cauliflower, kraut, salad, and my special Belgian Chocolate Cake (gluten free, by the way). There were no leftovers, but I already have salsa fermenting in the kitchen for a quick Mexican-style meal tomorrow, which won’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare. I have also made fermented ketchup and chutney these past few days, and have a gallon of yogurt culturing even as we speak. There is even a big pot of chicken stock simmering on the stove from which will be made several meals of soup. Then I’m off again for the rest of the week, but there are more meals in the freezer to feed everyone while I’m away.
Next week it is time to start again. The laundry will need to be done, school work checked, projects worked on, and more meals must be prepared. But by week’s end we should have at least 1 or 2 meals in the freezer again, for another busy time to come!
I do not relay all of this to boast about my fantastic, super-woman abilities-to the contrary! I simply wish to share with you the simplicity and ease of planning ahead, preparing everything in quantity, and making life bearable and healthy, no matter how busy the schedule. If I can do it, I know you can too!