Food prepping …

Food prepping for the boys and their wives as both their bubs are due in the next month. I’m doing what I always do, feed them.

I decided that there was not much else I could do for now except make a few meals so when we go visit we’ll take a home cooked frozen meal or two with us for use when they  need it.

Nothing really exciting, meat balls with mushroom and tomato gravy topped with potato slices (par cooked) and topped with cheese.

Spaghetti mince bolognaise, I was going to make lasagna but I can’t find any pasta sheets in the shops and I’m not that confident I can make them.

Bbq chicken drumsticks.

Crock pot lamb with mint, lemon and rosemary.

As I said nothing exciting but easy stuff to reheat and add your own pasta, vegetables, chips or other.

Why am I not adding rice or pasta, to be honest I’m not a fan of either of them reheated from frozen so prefer not to do it, and it’s easier to decide on the night what to have with that cooked meat. Lasagna is my exception.

I’m not filling their freezer right off because they only have the freezer space at the top of their fridges.

Food experiments

For me it’s food experiments in the time of … not a complete lock down due to Covid but we are very much encouraged not to go out unless absolutely necessary.

Buying food is not too much of an issue as most things are one the shelves, though there were a couple of weeks there where people went nuts on their groceries. There are a few price hikes for us but we are coming from a very bad bush fire season that burnt crops to be followed by floods in other areas to take out crops.

For me I had enough stock to tide me over until people settled down, mostly.

One of my experiments came the other night as I had a tin of pineapple with a few sliced left and wanted to use it up. Pineapple upside down cake I thought, nice for dessert but I only had a few slices and there is only the 2 of us to make it for.

So I decided that hey a cake mix is basically self raising flour, egg, milk and sugar, I don’t need to look up a recipe for such a small mix.

By hand I beat a couple of tablespoons of butter and sugar together added vanilla and an egg. Looks ok to me so then I folded in half a cup of SR flour, added a dash of milk and them more flour until I had the consistency I thought felt right for a cake batter.

Sprinkled some brown sugar and a bit of melted butter at the bottom of my small dish, laid on my bits of broken pineapple and topped with my batter.

Baked for about 15ish minutes in my air fryer on 165*C. Turned out onto a dish when cooked then halved for serving bowls.

For someone who usually follows a recipe for cakes my guess work here turned out pretty good I thought. I didn’t quite get my butter sugar ratio correct for the bottom of the dish so it wasn’t as caramelly as it could have been, but it didn’t stick to the bottom of the dish either and of course ice cream on top fixed everything.

Ps … My air fryer is not a big fancy one it just has one mesh basket that drops in from the top and slides into a drawer section. I found a small round cake tin that fits in and I line that with baking paper. If I want a square dish I have a glass one I picked up from Ikea a long time ago that fits in but with the glass and the full dish it’s heavy to pull out of the basket when it’s hot and a tad awkward, but I make do. Love my little cheap air fryer.

 

 

 

Egg shelling

Not a very egg-citing subject but I think a useful one. At work every Monday I shell 24 eggs, on tuesday I do the same it can be time consuming when your egg is not co operating and it seems every little bit sticks and you just can’t find the membrane to peel the shell off cleanly.

If I’m hard boiling eggs for sandwiches or salads etc I don’t time them, I put them in a pot of cold tap water until they are covered. I don’t add anything else only the water.  When I think they’ve been rapidly boiling for 5-10 minutes (depends on how big the pot is and how many eggs as to how long it takes) I take them off the stove.

Straight away I tip out the boiling water leaving eggs in the pot. Popping the pot in the sink I let cold water run over them while I crack the shell of each egg, about 2 o’clock with the pointy end being 12. Crack on the side of the sink or a flat surface not a sharp edge. Pop that egg back into the pot with the running water until all eggs are done.

Once all the eggs are cracked and back in the pot I turn off the running water and start peeling off the shells. They should slip off so easily as the water into the cracked shells seems to lift and separate. They don’t have to be really cold to be shelled.

Either use straight away or pop into a lidded container for a couple of days, for me 3 days is the maxi I’d keep them.

Don’t crack the shell into tiny pieces this makes the process harder.

I’ve found shelling them straight away  also stops the greyish sulphur ring forming around the yolk.

There are exceptions but 99.9% of the time this method works. Egg age makes a difference. If eggs are not totally boiled hard can make a difference. I’ve never used bi-carb or salt in the water to ‘help’ the eggs peel.

Let me know how you shell an egg.

 

Frozen vegetables

I’m not generally a big user of frozen veg as my whole vegetable content for dinner unless that dinner is soup, I love frozen vegetables for soup.

I always have store bought frozen corn nibblets and peas, these are my extras for salads, fried rice or to go with my other veg, these two I think turn out the best. I freeze my own diced capsicums and onions though these are generally for soups or stews or pumpkin for my pizzas, I have a few exceptions.

As fresh vegetables are getting a bit expensive right now I’ve bought a couple of bags of mixed vegetables with broccoli, cauliflower, beans, corn, carrot and peas. I also picked up a packet of frozen broccoli and bag of cauliflower. 

I’ve found that the only way I like them as a vegetable on their own is to steam them. Steaming them seems to be the only way to not make them soggy and you have to be careful not to over cook them. I’m guessing over cooked frozen broccoli is why kids don’t like the vegetable in general.

How do you prep your frozen vegetables or are you more of a canned vegetable person?

Broccoli and cauliflower stalks

Do you eat the stalks off both of these vegetables? I only ask as I had a conversation a while back with a lady who was lamenting the long stalk on her broccoli as it was something she paid for but would have to throw away.

I asked why she did not eat it and she said, are you supposed to? Huh, yes of course I said if not with the florette then slice or julienne  and pop in stir frys or soups. I wonder if she broadened her horizons and ate them. 

I guess it’s what we grow up with. So my question to you is do you eat your stalks?

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