You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 17, 2009.
My daughter, Cerrin, recently discovered the usefulness of Batch Cooking. Cerrin wanted to eat home-cooked meals but literally did not have time to cook them every night. She has a Customer Service job by day, is taking her last college course on-line, and was about to start a three month job workings nights and Saturdays for a tax-preparation company. (We will not discuss her sanity in this post!)
She and I have done some marathon cooking in the past but this was her first session on her own. She did a good job of organizing: she gathered recipes, purchased all the food necessary, gathered freezing supplies, and borrowed an extra crockpot.
She started one crockpot Friday night. The next morning she emptied that crockpot and packaged the food for the freezer. She then started that crockpot up again plus another borrowed crockpot. Once they were going she started a pot on top of the stove and also got the oven going. On Sunday she finished with two more crockpots of food. Once everything was packaged and her freezer was filled she had 60 servings. Since she is single that worked out to 60 meals. You can adjust that to serve your family. Here’s a list of what Cerrin made:
- Crockpot Tamale Pie (6 servings) (recipe here)
- Crockpot Red Chili (8 servings) (ground turkey, red and pinto beans, tomatoes)
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili (6 servings) (recipe at Recipezaar)
- Meatloaf in oven or crockpot (10 slices) (recipe is here)
- Corned Beef and Cabbage in dutch oven (6 servings plus 6 slices)
- Crockpot Lasagna (6 servings) (recipe coming soon)
- Crockpot Chicken and Rice (6 servings) (recipe coming soon)
- Mini Pizzas (6 servings) (English Muffins, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese)
In each of these meals she made them into “plate meals” by adding servings of frozen veggies. As Cerrin said, ”It would be more like eating a home cooked meal and less like leftovers. Because you know how much I dislike eating leftovers.” She’s been eating from her stash now for a month and it’s going very well. She is staying out of restaurants or drive-throughs and eating healthier. In addition she’s saving money by not being in the grocery store every week. It’s what Working For Her.
For more Works For Me Wednesday, visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.
by Agatha Christie
Penguin Books, 1920
(The picture here is from the audiobook cover. It was prettier than the paperback cover.)
I’ve read a lot of Agatha Christie’s books over the years but this year I joined an interesting challenge. The challenge is to read every single one of her novels in order of their publication. So I am going back to the beginning and starting with her first book.
Summary: The story is set in England, specifically Styles Court, sometime during the first world war. The book is narrated by Captain Hastings who is back in England on a medical leave. He is invited by his old friend, John Cavendish, to spend time convalescing at Styles Court. Within weeks of Hasting’s arrival, John’s stepmother, Emily Inglethorpe is dead, obviously poisoned with strychnine. All this occurs while she is in her bedroom with all the doors locked from the inside. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of clues. Fortunately, Captain Hasting’s old friend, Hercule Poirot, is staying nearby and is willing to assist in solving this mystery.
My Evaluation: For me, good, fun books introduce me to new people. In this book we meet two who will be back in future books. In addition to the narrator, Captain Hastings, Hercule Poirot is the obvious star of this book. He is intelligent, clever, extremely observant, a thinking-man’s thinker and more.
“I looked at the extraordinary little man, divided between annoyance and amusement. He was so tremendously sure of himself.”
Almost everyone is a suspect in the book. And, according to Mr. Poirot, that is the way we must approach solving this mystery.
“Still you are right in one thing. It is always wiser to suspect everybody until you can prove logically, and to your own satisfaction, that they are innocent.”
But for me, it was all the clues that had me confused. There is the coffee cup, the coco, the scrap of paper in the fireplace, an over-heard conversation, some green cloth in the door lock, a fake beard. It goes on. I had my own hunch about who did it but I couldn’t figure out how they did it with all the clues. By the end I was right in my guess of who, but was thrown off by how they did it.
All of it – the many suspects and all the clues – made for an entertaining read. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good diversion from heavier books.
So, this is number one in my quest to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels. One down/only 79 to go! Not all in one year – it’s an on-going challenge. If you’d like to learn more about the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge go here. This book also fits my 1920′s decade for the Decades Challenge.