The food plan system is going really well. I’ve figured out some refinements.
- The slow cooker is my friend. I never used it much before, a wedding present that sat in the cupboard. Knowing what I’m cooking in advance makes the slow cooker a much more useful tool. I’ve been doing most of the soups and stews in it.
- The best opportunity for bulk cooking is the weekend, when there is another adult to take the baby during the little dude’s nap. Even a 30 minute meal is surprisingly difficult to do on a Thursday evening with both of them around. And the salad on Monday system hasn’t worked that well either.
- Cooking on the weekend is also good because the food is fresh from the market when we use it. Also I’ve been prepping the veges when I unpack them, and figuring out ways to store them well. For example if you wash spinach leaves, spin them in a salad spinner, and put them in a plastic bag tied at the top, they are still totally fresh and lovely several days later. If you wrap a wet paper towel around the roots of spring onion and put the whole thing in a plastic bag it also keeps really well. For mint, rinse it, then put a paper towel round it while leaves are still damp, then into a plastic bag – stays fresh for a whole week.
- There are huge efficiencies in bulk cooking. For example, the kumera soup for this week, I made that on Sunday and made enough for three further nights to freeze. If you’re making two servings, might as well make four servings.
- With two kids, we’re not doing much going out in the evenings, even to my parents’ place. So having food for weekends too is good. Actually on Sunday my parents’ came to us and we all had the soup. Yum.
- It only takes a few hours of weekend cooking to stock a freezer and get ahead of yourself.
- A rice cooker is great for reheating frozen soups and stews.
- Knowing what will be cooked during the week means you can decide week by week when to cook it (bulk cooking on weekend vs on one of the little dude’s creche days, etc), but either way you know what to buy at the market etc.