Saturday, September 1, 2018

Batch Cooking

I have been batch cooking for a long time. It began years ago when I had to do a lot of back and forth from IL to TN for my son. I found it much easier to spend one day a week cooking than to try to cook every day. I no longer spend lots of time driving on weekends or work through the week and so don't do as much batch cooking.

When my husband and I worked at the same company, we were away from home for long hours just like most other people. We found that batch cooking still worked for us. So we did. We would get lots of comments on how good everything we had smelled or looked. My husband is still there and he still gets the same comments. (The company had/has a high turnover rate in the accounting department so there seems to always be new faces to tell about batch cooking.)  He talks to the folks that ask about it. I have talked to folks at my work about it. It saves time and money. It's healthier than eating out. It's easy to fix supper when all you have to do after a long day at work is heat it up.

We are both amazed at how many people have never heard of it or never thought about it. We are both glad to share our experience with it and encourage others to try it. As with anything, some folks say they are going to try it and see, then don't. Others say they may try it, except they are skeptical and not sure they could make it work. Others see the idea as great and they can't wait to try it out, then do. I like it when my husband comes home from work and tells me that so-and-so at work tried out batch cooking and it's working for them, too.

If it saves time and money for someone, then I am all to happy to share any idea I have used. It's the same with gardening. We both like to talk gardening and will happily talk to anyone about it. If someone then decides to try their had at some tomatoes or any other veggie, then we have just put that someone on the path to providing for themselves. Even if it is just one plant at a time.

What ideas have you shared that has made life easier or cheaper for someone? It could be an idea that will work for me too!!


  1. LOL so that's what I've been doing! Batch cooking! I've always had trouble cooking less than will feed a family of six and there's only the two of us, so I cook and we have several days of leftovers to put in the fridge and/or freezer for a day I don't want to cook. Hubby doesn't like leftovers. From now on I'm going to tell him it's not leftovers, it's batch cooking!

    One thing that he doesn't mind leftover is deviled eggs for breakfast. We raise the chickens mostly for meat, but we need to keep enough of each breed to reproduce themselves so parts of the year we have more eggs than we know what to do with. Days like today I hard boil three dozen eggs. One dozen for treats for the dogs (they each get two raw eggs a day but they can get problems if they have too many raw ones) and the other two dozen made into deviled eggs will last us several days and make sure that hubby doesn't just skip breakfast.

    I butchered some of the older hens and one rooster last week and did my first canning session. Three batches - two meat and one bone broth. Out of 31 jars two didn't seal! It felt like a failure since I had sessions last year where I canned over 40 jars in three or four batches and all sealed. I have to remember back when I started there were some batches I had to do over because most of the jars didn't seal so two jars isn't bad at all.

    1. I too have a problem with cooking too much! At least I do still have a teen boy in the house to help eat some of it up. Although he doesn't much care for leftovers either.

      As far as breakfast goes, I make breakfast burritos. We make a big batch of about 15-18 and wrap them individually and freeze them. That way my husband has breakfast every morning. We change the recipe each time a little bit to make sure he has some variety in them. My son will eat deviled eggs a dozen at a time. He loves them! I can't wait until we can have chickens.

      So what happens with the dogs if they have too many eggs? Digestive issues?

      And only two that didn't seal out of 31? I would feel proud of myself!!! I can't wait until I get to that level. How many chickens do you have?

    2. I love left overs, I think they taste better then the original...

    3. I agree with that! Once all the flavors have time to meld together, it just has a more complete taste to me.

  2. Hubby is trying to avoid gluten and has some other diet issues which makes things a lot harder when it comes to food. So far the deviled eggs are the only breakfast food I've come up with that he eats consistently. Sometimes we do soup for breakfast and drop a few eggs in the soup for extra protein.

    There are pluses and minuses with chickens and there are also different levels of chicken ownership. Just keeping a few hens for eggs would be the easiest, but even then you would have to replace the chickens every two of three years to keep the egg production up. "They" usually talk about single purpose chickens (eggs or meat) or dual purpose chickens, but my perfect chicken would be a multipurpose chicken. For prepping/survival purposes the perfect chicken will supply you with eggs and meat but will also set on the eggs, hatch and raise the babies (for meat and replacement hens) AND will be good at foraging its own food. I live farther north, so having cold hearty chickens is also a necessity. In general multipurpose hens don't lay as vigorously and they don't lay at all when they are setting on the eggs or raising their babies. Right now I have around 15 adult hens, 5 adult roosters, and a whole bunch of this year's hatch, but we're only getting about 6 eggs a day. In my quest for the perfect chicken we have 3 pens with different kinds of chickens and a fourth coop with no pen that will eventually be a mixed flock that is completely free range. At this point we also have a couple pens of this year's crop and a bunch (23 at last count) just running around the yard with their mamas. I'm going to try to get down to 30 or fewer hens (10 of each breed) and 6 to 8 roosters to keep over the winter and everybody over that is going to end up in jars or in the freezer. Slogging through the snow with buckets of water for the chickens is no fun! So far the breed with the top marks is the Black Copper Marans. The only issue I have with them is they have a single comb so the roosters occasionally get frostbite on the comb. The Ameraucanas are pretty good too, but they're small so you don't get a lot of meat per bird. The blue eggs are fun but also a bit on the small side. The Ameraucanas are VERY good at foraging and looking after themselves, to the extent that we have to cover their pen so they don't climb out and wander. The Wyandottes are new this year so we'll have to wait and see, but they are very pretty chickens.

    There's something in raw eggs that can block the dogs from getting enough of one of the B vitamins. Can theoretically cause problems with their skin and toenails. Cooking the eggs removes the problem. Probably wouldn't be a problem unless you feed them LOTS of raw eggs, but we stick to around 2 raw eggs a day for each of the bigger dogs and one for the little girl.

    1. For the gluten free, our burritos do not have gluten in them right now. What we are actually making is the guts that we put in the burritos and bag that up since my husband is not ready to eat sandwich style foods yet. We put in sausage (which I would not promise is gluten free), potatoes, eggs and cheese. That's the basic ingredients with things like chilis or other veggies like mushrooms or green peppers added in to change up flavors.

      Thank you for the chicken info! I have read that Americaunas are good chickens but don't remember offhand what size they get to. If I am just feeding my husband and myself, a smaller bird would not be such an issue I wouldn't think. That being said, I don't know enough about chickens to assume anything! I have never heard of the Black Copper Marans. I will have to look them up. Obviously, it does not get super cold here, but heat might be an issue. Do you know of a book that will give a lot of info about chickens. I don't mind looking things up online, but am still old school enough to actually want the book in my hand.

      How much do your bigger dogs weigh? My dog is about 60 lbs. Would that be one or two raw eggs a day? And to make sure I understand correctly, you feed raw and cooked eggs to the dogs, right? I have not ever fed my dog eggs, although he really loves cheese which we do let him have. Not every day though. Do you know of a reliable source where I can find info on what is edible for my dog? As we all know, not every site is full of accurate info. :)