update on updates
Stuffed Squash: A concept

new(ish) weekly food prep

I often cook a lot on Sunday, especially in colder weather, but not always in a focused way. I'm going to start doing that every week, though sometimes it will be on Monday. And I'll record the results here, sometime during the week. :-)

On Monday I roasted a chicken and also made chicken stock. The chickens were 99 cents a pound, each weighed about 5 pounds. After the stock was finished, I put it in the refrigerator to cool. The fat rises to the top and if you keep it on there, acts as a preservative, allowing the stock to stay fresh for a few extra days. Underneath, the long-slow simmer with all those bones has created a sort of gelatinous liquid that's just lovely to put in many things. 

Rawstock


Stockchicken 

I always give the carrots to the old dog, and a bit of the thigh meat to the cat.

Chickenfat
In the refrigerator, the fat becomes firm and can be easily removed when you're ready for the broth. On Wednesday, I used some of the stock to make the stuffed squashes detailed in the post above this one.

Rawroaster
Those are Meyer lemons in there. I squeezed them over the top and inside, then stuffed the inside with a chunk of butter and a wedge of onion.

Roastedchicken
The next night we were eating the roast chicken but the young dog got it and ate most of it. This was odd, because he has never been particularly rude about our food.

I also cooked big chunks of pork shoulder. I'd gotten 15 pounds at $1.79 a pound. 5 pounds went into the crockpot with a bit of vinegar, some juice, garlic powder, which I rarely use, and a little onion and pepper. I set it on low and let it cook all afternoon and evening.

Crockpotpork

I roasted another few pounds in chunks in the oven, along with the chicken. That night, I shredded it and cooked it with canned baked beans; first cooking some onions, adding the meat and letting it crisp a bit, then stirring in the beans to simmer for about 20 minutes. That was delicious, but I wanted to eat late. By the time I got back to it, the kids had eaten it all. 

Carnitas
Carnitascooked
Porkforbeans

A third chunk went into the freezer for another crockpot day. Tonight I let everyone take some of the crockpot meat and make whatever they liked with it. Theron made me his specialty sandwich with some of it, and that was very good. Basically, he invented the Cuban sandwich, only without pickles. Plus, the meat is so tender and juicy and tasty, it's fantastic.

For tomorrow, there's still chicken broth left, some of the boiled chicken, and a good portion of the pork. But I also have a butternut squash from the garden, and leeks, so I might freeze some of the other stuff, and make either a pasta sauce or soup with the squash. 

That's more meat than we normally have in a week, but we will have some left for the weekend, and also  next week's food prep will be different, of course.

Besides all that meat, I also skinned some tomatoes, free from the garden, mushed and drained them, then froze and thawed them to drain still more liquid. Even though they are twice-frozen, they will taste good in pizza or spaghetti sauce.

Splittomatoes 

To remove the skins, you just stick the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, then when they're cool enough to touch, the skins squoosh right off.


Tomatodrain
Tomatofreeze

And while all that draining was going on, I made myself a very nice cup of tea. I rarely drink black (or green or white) tea, but when I do, I like to make it special. 

Afternoontea 

Sometimes I buy loose tea; there are some neat places to get that around here, but since I mostly drink herbal blends, it's not usually worth the expense.

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