Kitchen Prep Day » Little Learning Lovies

Kitchen Prep Day

KitchenPrepDay

About five years ago I made a choice to stop using processed food in my home if I could afford the fresh, homemade options.  This meant I had to make most everything from scratch.  I’m a single mom, who works full time, homeschool my son, and at the time was working on finishing my bachelor’s degree.  I don’t have to tell you how little time I had to devote to making everything we ate/used in the house from scratch.  Through trial and error I learned I got the most done through 2-4 marathons every couple of weeks. Saturdays have became my domestic diva days.  My friends and family always watch and listen in awe as I tell them everything I get accomplished in such little time.  Now, I’m not saying this to toot my horn.  I’m sharing this because I want you to know that even if you don’t use a menu planner, or don’t have a lot of money or time, and aren’t the best homemaker, you CAN use what you have and get ahead.

IMG_20141109_145713784_HDRThe pic above is how my latest diva marathon started.  My goal was to prep for Thanksgiving, meals for the coming two weeks, and homemade Christmas gifts for my friends and family.  Normally I’m what you call a Type A personality, detailed to the max, list maker, planner, and have a plan A-Z to cover every possibility.  But, when it comes to cooking and homemaking, I’m more of a free spirit.  I look in the fridge and cabinets, see what needs to be done, what’s been around the longest that needs to be used before it ruins, and think about what may be coming up, like a special occasion.

For all the ingredients above, this was my to do list:  make cornbread for dressing, bake sweet potatoes for sweet potato casserole, juice oranges and grapefruits then use skins for all purpose citrus cleaning vinegar solution, make peanut butter oatmeal bars, make cornflake candy, make tuna salad for the week, make tuna casserole, make four loaves of homemade bread, brown 3 pounds of ground beef for freezer meals, make pancakes for freezer packs, make homemade detox foot soak, make homemade laundry detergent, and last but not least a killer steak & potato dinner.  All in all I worked for about four hours and got everything done except the pancakes.

To make the best use of my time I multi task appliances and the tasks themselves. For example, I mixed the homemade bread first so it would rise while I was working on other things.  When the bread has risen and I turn it out to knead, I use the same bowl to mix the cornbread.  I also used the same pan to cook the peanut butter and honey for the oat bars to cook the peanut butter, sugar and corn syrup for the cornflake candy.  I baked all the bread, cornbread, and sweet potatoes at the same time to multi task the oven time.  I used the same boiling water to cook the macaroni noodles for the tuna casserole and the eggs for the tuna salad.  And I cooked the steaks in my large stock pot so when they were done I could brown the hamburger meat as well.

Homemade Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp active yeast
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 6 1/2 cups flour

Directions


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  • Mix water, salt, and yeast and let sit a few minutes.
  • Add flour to wet mixture.  Combine thoroughly until you have a loose dough.
  • Cover and let sit for two hours.
  • Divide dough as you wish to use.  In the above pictures, I formed four boules for soup bowls and spinach dip.  You can also do traditional loaves, rolls, sub buns, french baguettes, and whatever other bread shape you want to use. 
  • After bread is shaped, let dough sit and rise again for approximately 30 minutes.
  • OR you can divide up the dough and put in containers in the fridge and keep until you want to use.
  • Bake at 450 until golden brown.

I know what you’re thinking.

It sounds like I’m just lazy and cheap.

You’re right.  I am.

I want to get the most amount of work done with the least use of all my resources.  I’d rather be enjoying life then always working for my employer or working as a homemaker.  I have other things I want to do, like write, blog, visit friends, take my son on date nights and connect with him because at 18 it’s crucial for me to foster our relationship.

What methods do you use to make your time and resources stretch farther?

About the Author April Lewis

April is a Christ follower, mother of Kieran, aunt to Sebastyan, Stone, Mason, Savanah, Raini, and Saleigha, pseudo homesteader, and freelance writer. She blogs at An Apple A Day Wisdom where she touches on any topic that affects the life of a single mom. She proudly calls Tennessee home with her eighteen-year-old son. Her goal is to teach everyone that there are small things you can change or improve about your everyday life that will have an enormous, positive impact on your spiritual life, your family, your health, and the world.

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2 comments
Judith says 4 years ago

I’ve been trying to add some of these types of shortcuts to my routine as well. I’ve discovered that bulk cooking is a bit more difficult for a crowd (I have a family of 9) but there are some things I can do to help make things easier.

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Jill S says 4 years ago

Actually this is pretty smart. I sometimes re use bowls and etc. as well. It just makes sense. I’m surprised all the things baked at the same temperature! That’s my downfall. I need a double oven so I can do things at different temps! I have days that I do this sort of thing, but they’re usually in the winter!

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