Coordinating the Cooking

When I plan the menus for the week, I base it on what is in my co-op box or what I buy at the Farmer’s Market, plus what I need to add from a grocery store.

Sometimes there is food from unexpected resources. For instance, when we picked up some straw bales for photo props, there were also leftover pumpkins from fall displays. Therefore, I was able to bake and cube pumpkin for canning.

Once I have all the ingredients, I write down the order of what I am going to cook.

This allows for preparing the food to be pressure canned, water bath canned, baked or cooked on top of the stove.

I love being able to use previously canned food from my bulk canning to combine with fresh ingredients to create soups, stews, and conserves.

I am adding previously canned broccoli or asparagus to my turkey soups. I am adding previously canned spiced applesauce to my pumpkin tarts and adding cranberry conserve to my pumpkin breads.

I sauté vegetables to add to turkey for soup, then pressure can it.

I cooked four types of greens (chard, kale, collard greens and mustard greens) to add to the turkey and pasta.

Keeping this process rolling lets me prepare and preserve food in advance. I enjoy cooking many dishes all at once.

Then I can sew or write knowing that I have nutritious meals ready to eat (MRE’s).

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

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