Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Once-a-Month Cooking for One Person

With a blog called "Fruit of Her Hands," I really ought to blog more about actual "fruit producing" that I do around the house. Sorry about that. I'm just so busy with real life that I rarely take time to mention it on here!

However, I'm happy to pop in today (er, tonight), and tell you that I've been quite productive today! I figured it was about time for a "housekeeping" post. :)

Have you ever done once-a-month baking? I've always wanted to try it. I've done LOTS of cooking-for-a-crowd, and figured once-a-month cooking couldn't be too much harder. The idea of saving so much time and money - at the same time - enthralls me.

Mom didn't think right now was good timing to try month-cooking for the family, but because I am on a special diet, I decided to make up a bunch of stuff that I can eat - once-a-month cooking for myself! Mom gave the go-ahead, and I started my experience.

I spent over a week planning my menu and cooking-plan-of-action. Today, after a long day in the kitchen (9:30am -6:00pm), I can sit here with aching feet and tell you that the hardest part really was the planning. My initial menu was WAY too complicated. And expensive. I wanted to challenge myself to spend less than $80.00 on food for the whole month. That's plenty for one person, right?

Well...that depends. When your diet consists of a lot of fresh foods, cheap can be very illusive. I finally decided not to worry about buying every single item I'll be putting in my mouth this month, but to focus on three things; making up a few breakfasts, ingredients for smoothies, and making most of the main dishes. On my third attempt, the menu looked doable. I spent MUCH less than $80.00. Like...less than half of that. Less than $30.00.

I went shopping yesterday. I hit two stores - Walmart and Kroger - to get the best bang for my buck. I was very pleased with the results. Even Mom complimented me on how much food I made for the amount of money I spent; and, coming from the Queen of Penny-stretching, that's a compliment indeed. :)

Today was baking day. Like I said above, I spent about 8.5 hours straight in the kitchen today; and I do mean straight. I didn't even take a break for lunch. ....Just nibbled a bit as I went. :)

Honesty compels me to admit that even though my legs hurt right now, those hours in the kitchen today were not a burden. I love cooking and baking. I just kept on a'rollin', churning out dishes and getting tired, but enjoying myself. :) So glad God made me to enjoy that kind of work!

Anyway...would you like to see what I got done today? I'm so happy with what's been finished, and I have only a few things to finish up tomorrow. I hope the stuff that I'm freezing does well. Any of you ever frozen cabbage before? I hope it doesn't get too soggy when thawed. ....Oh well. :)

Here's what I did!

 - 4 containers of Chili (about 12 servings or more)
- 12 servings of Cabbage Lasagna (gluten free!)
- 12 Black Bean Brownies (gluten free, and yummy!)
- 1 bag of Lentils, cooked (for future projects)
- 1 bag shredded cabbage (for future soups. It was on sale. Couldn't resist.)
- Rice (for a casserole I'll put together tomorrow)
- Potatoes and carrots roasted (for soup, to be assembled tomorrow)
- 1 chicken, cooked and shredded (for the casserole and soup)
- Milk for kefir, divided and frozen so it will stay good all month long
- 12 Orange Poppy-seed muffins (gluten-and-sugar-free and yummy!)
- 4 bananas sliced and frozen, for smoothies
- 13 lentil sausage patties (they're delicious, really!)
- Chicken bones for bone broth ready for simmering tomorrow
- 16 (?) Cornwaffles (Ever had these? Basically cornbread batter made into waffles. DeLICIOUS topped with chili! Gluten free, too.)

I think that's everything. I still have things to do, as you can see, but the great majority of work has been done. I'm heading off to the kitchen now to wrap portions of the lasagna and package them for freezing.

I didn't actually do huge batches of cooking today - it was all what I'm accustomed to, cooking for 7 people - but because it's just for one person, I really ended up making a lot of meals! Someday I'd like to try making stuff for the whole family. I like making huge batches of stuff. :) :)

I'm off to the kitchen again! Hope you have a splendid week.

P.S. If you want to read how I freeze portion-sized meals for just one person, check out this post.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Wow, you've been busy, Amber! Thanks for sharing how you planned and prepared the meals...I'm sure it was a challenge to do that for just one person, but nice to be able to pull out what you need now.