Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Productive Days

On Monday, I started out week one of two weeks of Christmas break well. I soaked and cooked three pounds of kidney beans in a giant pot, and I soaked peas and lentils for *B*'s favorite soup (more on that in a bit).  I made and froze 8 quarts of vegetable stock with the scraps that have been in the freezer forever.  I also FINALLY used the San Marzano tomatoes that I froze from our garden this summer and made tomato paste, though it looks more like pizza sauce.

Apparently, that was way too much work.  I got a sharp reprimand from my body. So yesterday I took it easy all day and only went grocery shopping.

Today, I was feeling better, so I picked up where I left off but a little slower.  I got all of the laundry put away (a big feat in this house), washed all bedding, and finished up in the kitchen.
*B*'s favorite soup comes from Nourished Kitchen: Curried Lentil Soup.  It's a little rustic and very tasty.  It's so good that it could be served over rice as Indian food.  I doubled the recipe and freeze the leftovers in muffin tins.  When the soup is frozen, I pop the soup-popsicles into ziplocs and *B* can swipe a few cubes for his lunches.  It works so well. 

The kidney beans had melded into the perfect bean and bean liquid mess in the day's rest.  When I make lots of beans, I vacuum seal them and freeze them in one cup pouches.  That way, if I need to make chili, I just grab four pouches and throw them in.

I've found that if I cut the vacuum rolls in half, my canner funnel just fits perfectly in the neck.  The beans don't get stuck in the funnel, the bags stay clean, and all I have to do is rinse the funnel in the end.

When I packed and sealed all 20 cups that the 3 lbs of dried beans makes, I laid them flat on a cookie sheet.  Once they're mostly frozen, I dumped them in the basket in our stand up freezer.

Whew!  That was a ton of work.  But all my little food projects are done for now.  Aside from cookies, there are no things hanging over my head that I meant to do - just in time for Christmas.


  1. Sounds like you did a ton! I always burn out too when I do that much. It's so hard to find the right balance of how much to do.

    I love how you use the canning funnel to fill your bag.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. It seems I've been on a one day on, one day off pattern that appears to keep me from getting too burnt out. But Christmas is fast approaching. The canning funnel came from being SO frustrated that I couldn't get the beans in the bag without getting them all over the counter.

    Merry Christmas!