Well, make-ahead lunch week 3 got eaten by Snowzilla here in DC. Couldn’t get out for ingredients. Too much shoveling to make lunch on Sunday. Didn’t get out to work a couple of days that week so no lunch needed.
Existing stocks of Peruvian Vegetable Soup and Burritos tided me over the days I did go to work. All goodness
So this Sunday the snow was largely melted, the game was on again, and so I found a soup recipe that was 1) fibre-tacious, 2) within my capabilities, 3) would freeze easily.
A bunch of kale, a half-head of cabbage. All good. Used canned beans instead of dry. Okey-dokey.
The ham bone itself was a problem. Our Whole Foods doesn’t do deep dish butcher-y things like cut ham bones in three. I sometimes even think they make meat without any bones, innards, or waste. Well, not really, but they give a good simulation.
In any case, Debbie was at the Whole Foods while I was doing stuff at the hardware store, and she got a already-cooked ham hock with bone in.
So I figured with the canned beans and the already-cooked ham there was excess cooking time in the recipe. I went straight to the cabbage and kale after bringing the ham to a boil, and thus reduced the cooking time by 1/2 hour.
Oh, and I used chicken stock instead of water. I prefer stock to water most of the time anyhow, and who knows what would happen with an ersatz (or at least jury-rigged) ham bone.
It was a huge amount of soup I froze four portions and there were still 3-4 portions left for the fridge. I had some for breakfast this morning. Pretty tasty.
The make-ahead scheme for the year is taking shape. Each Sunday make one new dish and have enough portions of the previous dish(es) left over to insure that there’s A/B variety each week.
This is all quite feasible in soup season, because these soups are actually pretty easy to make. I don’t know how it’s going to go once we get to salad season, since salads seem at least much more hard to keep than freeze-able soups.
I’m improving in my ability to eyeball a recipe and see if it’ll taste good and be within my powers to prepare. I guess it’s like sight-reading music. If you do it enough you build up a skill for it. Unlike sight-reading, you don’t have to do it in real time.
I’m also very marginally improving in my abilities to prep food quickly and efficiently. I can chop a bit better, particularly since I’ve begun to sharpen my knives a bit more diligently. If you take the time to put a decent edge on them they keep the edge better, so you get more effortless chopping and less holding-and-separating between chops. But maybe I should take a course in food prep or something. Couldn’t hurt.