Monday, March 1, 2010
Day 34 Cooking Basics and Logistics
For cooks who want to feel more confident in the kitchen, cooking by ratios is a good way to start. Very few recipes have to be measured precisely to be a good recipe. Giving recipes for our family of ten is not very useful for one or two person homes. Quantities in recipes can be cut in half or multiplied with good results most of the time. (Once we were making No Bake Oatmeal cookies and we doubled the recipe. Then we boiled the ingredients as instructed for the same amount of time as in the original recipe. The cookies never would set. We should have increased the time we boiled the sugar a little since we doubled the sugar.) Live and learn but Live.
We hit gold yesterday when my 12 year old son was reading recipes. He said, "I sure like recipes that call for the basic storage items. You can make as much as you want as many times as you want." He found a Chocolate Pudding Cake. It called for no eggs. It tasted like a chocolate heaven and a big success on Sunday afternoon.
Basic rules of thumb:
Macaroni will double in volume (Cook in 2 times the water as noodles)
Regular White rice will triple in volume (Cook in 2 times the water as noodles)
Wheat will double in volume (Boil in 2 times the water as wheat)
Oatmeal will double in volume (boil in 2 times the water for 1 minute to 90 seconds for 1-1/2 cup put lid on and let stand)
Logistics - I bought disposable diapers to instead of using cloth. Hopefully we can make it through the 90 days with the 3 cases from Sams. It was a $100 outlay but it is a good price for a decent diaper. For longer term I would sew some rubber pants to go with my cloth diapers on hand. We started with 6 cases of toilet paper (one case unpacked under the sink in each bathroom plus two cases in the storage room.) Each case is 45 rolls of 450 double ply sheets. I don't price compare. I just buy the case for about 18.00. The children say if we run out of toilet paper, we are going shopping. They are not enamoured with the newspaper option.
Thus far I'm glad I have Knox gelatin, flavorings like vanilla, peppermint, etc... the asiago cheese in the freezer, the barely on the shelf, a large variety of items if not a large quantity, Lots of the basics - wheat, dried milk, flour, sugar, salt, beans, dried apples, fruit drink mix, fresh celery (This extra little crunch adds a fresh touch to every recipe. Even if we were unemployed I may pay the $6.80 it would take to get a three months supply of fresh celery - a lot of bang for the buck.)
Breakfast yesterday: Six Grain cereal (Rolled Red wheat, Rolled White wheat, Oats, Barley, Rye, and Sunflower seeds)
Lunch on Sunday: Leftovers
Dinner on Sunday: Calico Chile with one quart each of white beans, red beans, black beans cooked from dry and put in the freezer, hamburger, diced tomatoes, spices
Breakfast today: Fried six grain served with savory spices or with maple syrup like a pancake. This is a variation of "Corn Pone" or cornmeal fried in bacon drippings with jalapeno peppers. The children liked it. Some even liked it better than suggesting that they eat hot cereal with dried milk. Boil the cereal. Let it cool then slice it 1/2-3/4 inch thick and fry.
Lunch: Fresh Hot Bread and butter, frozen vanilla yogurt
Dinner: BBQ Pork from the freezer ( I cook the large pork loin then divide in into meal sizes and refreeze and then heat thoroughly and add more BBQ sauce when serving.), Cheesy Corn casserole which is a new recipe for us. I burned it but the children ate it anyway and liked the taste. It is simply 2 cans of corn baked in cornmeal muffin mix with 1cup yogurt for the sour cream, 2 eggs, 2 TBS sugar. Canned fruit for another side.