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Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:20 PM

Cooking for your Quarantine

So, if you're lucky like me - good looks, charm, a natural grace of movement that mesmerizes others AND you own five Crockpots then yay! If you don't have a Crockpot or just one, go buy one/another. They're $20. Over the years I've bought two, and then the rest were gifted to me.

Then it would be handy if you had the Foodsaver system - the thing that lets you cut up freezer bags to the size you want that you put food in then sucks the air out and finally heat-seals them for freezing. If you don't, then you can get regular freezer bags, put food in it, then zip it almost all the way shut. Oh, did I tell you to fill your sink with warm water? Do that. Put the bag of food into the water as far down as you can go before water can get into the unzipped hole you left. The water pressure will drive out the air, and then you can zip it the rest of the way.

Most Crockpot dishes can be cooked on low for 8 hours or high for 4. With just one Crockpot, you could get 3 to 4 dishes done a day, divided up into multiple bags. An hour before your first dish is done, prepare your second meal. When the first is done, remove it to a bowl or plate to cool. Wash your cooking basin in hot water (careful - it just got done cooking), and start your second meal. Once your first meal has cooled to being warm, split it up and bag it. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

I just bought $200 worth of food from which I'll make 10 dishes. Once separated into meal sizes and bagged, if I subsisted on only them, they would last a month and a half to 2 months (2 meals a day).

There are plenty of recipes on the net, and this is a good way to 1) Eat on the cheap 2) get a good store of food in place so you don't have to go out that much. And if you're not that great of a cook, Crockpot meals are really hard to mess up.

Good luck, you're welcome, Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

TlalocW

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cooking for your Quarantine (Original post)
TlalocW Mar 15 OP
samnsara Mar 15 #1
TlalocW Mar 15 #8
Bev54 Mar 15 #16
StarryNite Mar 16 #33
ninaholm Mar 16 #23
mucifer Mar 15 #2
TlalocW Mar 15 #11
no_hypocrisy Mar 15 #3
Freethinker65 Mar 15 #4
TlalocW Mar 15 #6
sinkingfeeling Mar 15 #10
Hortensis Mar 16 #28
FormerOstrich Mar 16 #31
Hortensis Mar 16 #34
mercuryblues Mar 15 #5
TlalocW Mar 15 #7
mercuryblues Mar 15 #9
csziggy Mar 15 #12
fierywoman Mar 15 #13
Hortensis Mar 16 #29
fierywoman Mar 16 #35
Hortensis Mar 16 #36
fierywoman Mar 16 #37
mcar Mar 15 #14
mia Mar 15 #15
frazzled Mar 15 #17
customerserviceguy Mar 15 #18
eleny Mar 15 #19
Hortensis Mar 16 #30
eleny Mar 16 #38
Hortensis Mar 16 #39
eleny Mar 16 #40
eleny Mar 15 #20
Blue_true Mar 16 #21
smirkymonkey Mar 16 #22
ecstatic Mar 16 #24
mshasta Mar 16 #25
eilen Mar 16 #26
Skidmore Mar 16 #27
Bmoboy Mar 16 #32

Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:22 PM

1. I wouldnt even know where to store 5 crockpots!

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Response to samnsara (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:32 PM

8. It's a challenge

I actually do this quite often to have a bunch of meals waiting for me at home to keep me from going out when I don't feel like regular-cooking.

TlalocW

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Response to samnsara (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 11:02 PM

16. Buy one Instant Pot

and cook meals in about 1/2 hour, under pressure cooking, it is absolutely awesome. I was afraid of it at first but now I love it.

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Response to Bev54 (Reply #16)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 10:28 AM

33. I love my Instant Pot!

And it also slow cooks.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 05:02 AM

23. 1. I wouldnt even know where to store 5 crockpots!

I agreed.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:23 PM

2. Today I baked bread and made vegan artichoke spinach dip. yum!

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Response to mucifer (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:35 PM

11. I've been meaning to try Crockpot bread

Got a link to a recipe you like?

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:25 PM

3. I rendered duck fat for roasted potatoes.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:25 PM

4. Actually if you are quarantined and have access to a full kitchen,

It is also a perfect time time to cook without a crockpot.

Many people I know that rely on crock pots, do so because they can set them in the morning and come home to a hot meal to feed themselves and family when they return from work, school, etc.

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Response to Freethinker65 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:29 PM

6. Agreed

But if you're going to be home, then this is a good way to get some pre-made meals stored up and frozen. I'm not suggesting you substitute it completely for cooking regularly.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:33 PM

10. Couldn't get another thing in my freezer. It's filled to the brim.

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Response to Freethinker65 (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 08:03 AM

28. Agree. Great time to finally take up breadmaking as a hobby. :)

I'll mostly just be reading, but here in Florida that includes a bunch (as in what "a bunch" means to a book lover) of cookbooks I've picked up for virtually nothing at garage sales and flea markets. They need more attention.

Putting away some meals ahead of need is always useful, though. Especially when you know a few days of not wanting to get out of bed are pretty likely.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #28)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 10:05 AM

31. Sourdough?

My sourdough "mother" is at least 14 years old. I have a weekly experiment, as time permits.

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Response to FormerOstrich (Reply #31)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 11:01 AM

34. Sounds great! :) I am afraid mine died,

coincidentally of some horrible infection, a long time ago.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:26 PM

5. if you do this

crockpot liners are a must. It makes cleaning it up easy. And don't forget to label and date the freezer bags.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:30 PM

7. Yes to both

Both the Foodsaver bags and many freezer bags have areas you can write on. I missed one one time and couldn't tell what it was even comparing it to other stuff in the freezer.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:33 PM

9. every now and then

I forget to label something. I don't know what I'm having for dinner until it thaws out.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:43 PM

12. Even before crockpots I made meals ahead for when I was working long hours

I used to run a farm and some days or weeks were very long hours. We just did not have the money to eat out and lived past any food delivery service so when I had time I'd make big batches of stuff - stews and such. Then I would put them into re-useable containers and freeze them.

Later when I started having operations on a far too regular basis, I'd cook ahead so there would be good meals in the freezer. It was hard enough talking my husband through re-heating food without trying to talk him through cooking from scratch!

I should plan and cook some things ahead now, just in case. We just restocked the freezer with big bags of frozen vegetables and individually wrapped fish from Costco. Those are harder to cook ahead but I think my husband could manage pan frying or even baking a fillet or two.

I do need to go ahead and bake the turkey that's in the freezer. It would make quite a few packets of pre-made meals for the two of us.

Thanks for the ideas!

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:44 PM

13. Or you could do something similar with a few Instant Pots. (Yes, I have more than 1.)

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 08:14 AM

29. :) Just one here -- my daughter decided I had to have one

when they were new, and she was right. What do you do with yours?

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #29)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 12:58 PM

35. beans, frozenmeat, stews, bone broths... the learning curve was a little daunting at first.

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #35)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 02:51 PM

36. :) Yes . My first big lesson was to pull up experts on

cooking times, etc., not just rely on a recipe author. One ruined dinner with bad instructions was that learning curve.

Enjoy.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #36)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 03:13 PM

37. All the info on the internet is such a joy!

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:53 PM

14. I've got 2 crockpots

The larger one runs quite a bit hotter than my old standby, that I regretfully donated years ago. So, I have to be home when I use that one - which I do at least once a month when I make my slow cooker oatmeal (to die for!).

I used crockpots regularly when I worked outside the home and raised kids. Now, my kids are grown, I work from home and it's just me and SO. I still make soup every couple weeks in the crockpot.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 10:54 PM

15. Today i made vegetable stock from my pantry herbs and the odds and ends

of vegetables in my refrigerator (broccoli and asparagus ends that i usually throw away) plus carrots, celery, yellow onions, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and tarragon. Tasted and added chicken bouillon cubes. I drank a warm mug-full while straining the broth into quart jars for use in this weeks cooking. It's delicious all by itself.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 11:38 PM

17. Gee, I haven't used a crockpot since about 1981

We got two for our wedding in 197X, and I donít even know where they went.
I own a lot of different pots, Dutch ovens, sauteuses, and skillets, though. I guess I just like to cook. Sometimes things that last 2 or 3 meals. Nothing like standing over a stove, stirring mindlessly, to forget the ills of the world.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 11:39 PM

18. Good points

I was lucky enough to score a used barbecue grill from a neighbor's moving sale, and since we already had a full tank of propane handy (from a grill that quit working) I now have a way to cook food if the power goes out. Clearly, if we have a bunch of stuff in the fridge and freezer, I will have to cook like crazy to keep it good enough to eat! But, we do have a lot of canned soup, etc. that will still be edible.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 11:47 PM

19. We've been finishing up lefotvers for several days

We've been home since the beginning of the month. I had a lot on hand and made a variety of things that first week. So we've been finishing them up.

Tomorrow I'll bake a bread and make two combo meatloaves. Tuesday is Italian cooking day and Wednesday is roast chicken. They'll all provide lots of leftovers that will taste better after their first day.

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Response to eleny (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 08:24 AM

30. I love cooking to have leftovers, and eating them.

Here in our winter MH, we have limited freezer space, though, so that both what's been purchased and what it becomes compete for space.

In any case, your meatloaf caught my eye. Going out to shop today, and could probably find room to tuck away a second loaf...

I saw your other post. I love my pressure cooker. Time's seldom a real issue for a retired empty nester, and certainly even less now with more hours at home and all family in other states. (I would even have plenty of time to peel eggs boiled on the stove that refused to be peeled, if inclined.) But I love being able to be able to impulse cook something that suddenly sounds good, and of course have the shells practically lift off cooked eggs.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #30)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 03:29 PM

38. We're retired so time is easy here, too

So I'm thinking about some gallon bags of tart cherries I have frozen. Our tree went wild in 2019. Pitting is a chore. But now I'm looking forward to it. It'll get my mind off "things" and then we can have a pie.

I've looked at so many videos on the best way to peel an egg. They all work. But then there's that stubborn egg!

Happy cooking!

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Response to eleny (Reply #38)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 03:41 PM

39. Yum! The county crew went crazy in 2018 and cut ours down, but

the birds always got most of them anyway. I haven't hard-boiled an egg since our daughter bought me an Instant Pot. It was the first thing I tried after unwrapping it, from the instruction manual.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #39)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 03:45 PM

40. Is the instant Pot the same as our traditional pressure cookers?

I don't know anyone who has one.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2020, 11:52 PM

20. P.S. When the virus passes find yourself a pressure cooker. It'll change your cooking life

It's a great companion to a slow cooker. I often start a tough cut of meat for soup or green chili under pressure and then transfer it to the crockpot to meld with the other ingredients.

Happy cooking!

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 12:05 AM

21. I follow Clemenza's advice on cooking for a holded-up group. nt

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 12:19 AM

22. I can only eat so much. I have enough ingredients to hold me over for a few weeks.

I just made some chicken stroganoff with egg noodles today that will last me a few days and will be doing some more cooking in the next few days. Probably make a Spanish rice w/ beans and beef and some paste e fagioli. I definitely won't starve.

I have tons of pasta, rice, beans, crushed tomatoes, grated romano and parmesan, onion, garlic, frozen vegetables, broth, lentils, etc. so there are a lot of things I can make, and most of them much better than restaurant food.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 07:03 AM

24. My first and only crockpot meal was a complete disaster

Will try again at some point.

Of course, these plans are heavily dependent on our electricity staying on.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 07:37 AM

25. beans, rice, tortillas, salsa

thats all for under $15 for 4 people

my mexican food at all times at any time

if you are a middle class ad avocados ...

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 07:51 AM

26. I tried a Once A Month Cooking plan one time

about 3 days later I got a horrible Influenza. I thought I would be an invalid forever. All I could do each day was crawl up the stairs and take a bath and wash all that fever sweat off me, change into dry, fresh pjs and then crawl back to my sofa. On the way back, I would pull a meal out of the freezer to defrost. My husband would heat it up after he got home and that is how my family ate for 2.5 weeks.

So, I can only recommend this kind of project. In the event you become stricken with Corona Virus, you may be incapacitated and you may also need to be installed in corner bedroom and be banned from the kitchen. Caring for you (and disinfecting the rest of the house) may be easier if they don't have to worry about meal planning.

of course, you will need freezer space.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 07:56 AM

27. Get a rice cooker too.

I cook rice and divide it into meal sized portions. I only have two crock pots.

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Response to TlalocW (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2020, 10:23 AM

32. Electricity hoarding?

I am feeling relatively secure. Full fridge, full pantry, full tank of gas, retired, money in the bank, house paid for.

Worried about what happens if my power goes out. Could be from a storm (see Nashville), could be from lack of maintenance on the system as workers get sick or need yo quarantine.

We live in a complicated system.

Even with my starting advantages, things could get rough without power.

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