I’m all about making cooking as easy as possible. For all my industrious appearances, I’m really lazy, and have the same longing for convenience as anybody else. That’s why I often fall back on the habit of making large, one-pot dishes that go several meals instead of lots of individual dishes. While easy, and certainly more convenient, this can lead to leftover exhaustion, and too much repetition.
There have been several posts on here about advance preparation of ingredients to toss together into different dishes on the fly. Although I do try to practise that myself, it can be difficult – especially in winter, when only hard vegetables with longer prep times are readily available – to avoid the temptation provided by one-pot cooking. Bung it together, simmer for an hour, and you’re done. Wash your hands and watch Netflix until the timer goes off.
This doesn’t mean there’s no room for prepping, but it might mean there’s room for adjusting what prepping includes. For example, what about prepping aromatics? I already do up celery and carrot on the reg. Then, I was watching one of my favourite YouTubers, and she said that when she’s hosting guests for a period of time, she’ll make sure to prepare larger amounts of garlic and onions in advance to make meal construction easier (and slightly less smelly).
What a revelation!
At the same time, it occurred to me that our new place may not have a compost stream for waste disposal. Even if it does, there probably won’t be room for our compost bucket in our new fridge; it only fits now because our refrigerator is missing the shelf that covers the crisper drawers, which is unlikely to be missing in our new place. So, I’m going to want to do everything in my power to gather up and get rid of organic waste in as close to one go as possible. I want to get a bag as close to full as I can, and I don’t want to have it sitting around, stinking the place up.
Plus, the more I prep in one go, the more sense it makes to use a machine, like the food processor, to make that prepping easier. What results is a whole mess of chopped onion (or garlic, or ginger) that can be tubbed with a bit of oil and stored in the freezer. The oil should keep it from freezing into a solid mass, and prepping when food is freshest should prevent waste from spoilage. Ideally, you’re not prepping more than you’ll use through the week, but by freezing instead of refrigerating, you might get two weeks out of one prep – bonus!
So, I’m giving it a try. After reading this post, I decided to use some of our tax return money to buy myself a bigger, better food processor. I was going to make the upgrade anyway, since I often find my old reliable Moulinex isn’t up to the task in terms of power or capacity. Now, I get to make it more or less guiltlessly based on sensible financial advice. After all, if save every penny and you never treat yourself to anything, what exactly is the point of saving? Any amount of saving is ultimately a kind of deferred spending, right?