As I mentioned in my last post, our Saturday morning was spent immersed in the kitchen. The goal? Fill our freezer with the basis for many of the awesome meals that we hope to eat over the next month or two.
One freezer, fully stocked
For the batch cook, we focus on preparing foods that will keep well in the freezer. We also try to pick a combination of foods that will minimize bottlenecks in the batch cook process by making sure that there is a good split between the use of the crockpot, stovetop, and oven, as well as some items that don’t require any cooking at the time of the batch cook. We especially like to do sauces or concentrated soup bases as they don’t take up much space in the freezer, and can then be mixed with different combinations of legumes, meat, and vegetables to create some variety as we eat through the freezer. Given all those constraints, what did we make this time around?
August 2013 batch cooking (recipes coming!)
Tom Kha soup (on the stovetop)
Moussaka-inspired casserole (stovetop and oven)
Garlicky white bean soup (stovetop)
Spicy peanut sauce (no cooking)
Chile garlic ginger lime sauce (no cooking)
Korean hotpot inspired broth/soup base (stovetop)
White bean and tomato curry (crockpot)
Quinoa and chickpea burgers (no cooking)
Executing a batch cook is a little like running a marathon. It’s not for the faint of heart. We start around 6 or 7AM, assembling ingredients for chopping and prepping.
Tom Kha soup in raw form
Five heads of garlic were used in the production of this batch cook!
As the morning progresses, the kitchen descends into a sort of organized chaos by around 10AM: every surface is in use, the sink is filling with used equipment (but never overfilling, as Mr. Chocolate Vegetables does a great job of keeping up with the clean-as-you-go end of things), and I’m pretty sure we both have a moment of wondering why, exactly, we thought the batch cook was a good idea
But then, things start to come together again. You notice you’re no longer prepping anything, just finishing things up. The number of burners in action slowly drops from four to none.
Getting ready to portion out the last of the moussaka casserole thing
Sometime around 1PM, we realize that once again, we’ve just cruised into the home stretch. After the last sinkful of pots and pans are cleaned, the surfaces are wiped down, and everything returns to its rightful place, all it takes is a quick shower and a clean set of clothes to forget that moment of mid-morning doubt. In fact, it’s almost as if the whole thing never happened:
This kitchen is just for show, right?