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Bulk Cooking

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Pattie:
When the local markets advertise 10-lb. packs of chicken thighs/legs, I purchase two or three packages, cook them and do this:  Cool in broth and skim off fat.  See number 4.

1.  The skin goes in the food processor and is chopped and frozen in small packages to mix with dry dog food for our pet.

2.  The meat is pulled from the bone and canned with the broth in pint jars (see local agricultural extension office for canning tips).  Each pint is the basis for quick meals:  Chicken and noodles; chicken pot pie; chicken and rice; mexican chicken; chicken and dumplings.

3.  Any surplus broth is canned and I use it to flavor canned vegetables, soups and gravies.  It is an excellent way to flavor dried beans without adding a lot of fat.

4.  Speaking of fat:  Any fat goes into my solid fats from other cooking and saved until I have enough to make a batch of homemade laundry soap (6 pounds).  The recipe is on a can of lye.  Be very careful, this is caustic soda...if you choose to make soap, send the kids away while you do!  This is a most rewarding enterprise and the soap is a most excellent stain and grease remover.

5.  Pat yourself on the back!  You've used everything except the bones and gristle!

Pattie

cleo:
There is a book I would highly recommend, if it's still in print: Feasts for a Farthing by Molly Finn (1985).  Ms. Finn has wonderful ideas for using leftovers, cooking ahead, and in bulk. It's published by Yankee Books.  Hope you can find it, and that it helps!

CSinbad:
I bake lasagna, cook spaghetti, and freeze those meals. ›I bake chicken and freeze the excess to make casseroles, mix with mayonnaise to make sandwiches and cook the bones to make broth for soup. ›I freeze extra broth to mix with the chicken for soup. ›I save left over vegetables in a plastic container in the freezer for the soup as well.

I also make 2 or 3 different meals at the same time for use later in the week. ›Depending on the size of your oven you could cook and freeze 2 or so meals of each. ›Or maybe prepare and cook them one right after the other. ›In the winter I bake my meals and prepare chilli and hash at the same time.  I make enough hash for lunch and another meal or two later in the week. (We like hash.) ›I would cook those type of meals when someone is there to watch the kids because you need to keep a close watch on the chili and hash to prevent them from burning. ›I also buy canned meat for the nights I don't have anything else and I am too tired to cook. ›Then I cook some noodles or rice add some vegetables and cream of mushoom soup for a quick cassrole. ›Bake 30 minutes to an hour. ›You might want to borrow some cookbooks on frugal meals from the library and get some new recipes prior to the birth of your little one. ›I don't think you will have much time for learning or reading after the child comes along.

bigmomma:
Hello everyone.  I was wondering if anyone here does bulk cooking.  I don't necessarily do OAMC, but I try to make 2 or 3 batches of what I make for dinner, then freeze the other 1 or 2 meals.  I have another baby coming in July and want to stock up my freezer.  Just wondering if there's anyone out there to swap tips with!

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