and what makes it so, is to prepare for four people instead of, just one. Leftovers can be put in the freezer for another day, but often enough, they come in handy to add to other dishes and of course, the flavour is so much better after a day or two.I always make large quantities of various soups and these are a mainstay in my kitchen. I find particularly, tomato soup is rich in flavour after having been caramelised, then further enriched with garlic, coriander, onions, celery, chilli and so on: it is the base of all my cooking. Whether it's a casserole, chicken dish, or whatever comes to mind.
Another thing I find useful, is keep French sticks in the freezer, some already with garlic butter or herbs, and ready to just pop into the oven. Stale bread, put through the food processor, provides enough crumbs for several meals, and these are kept in an air tight container in the pantry.
Of late, I have been cooking up quantities of vegetables and putting smaller lots into the freezer for later use.
Very little ever gets wasted in my household and there is always a meal at the ready. Particularly useful when people arrive unexpectedly: you're not stuck in the kitchen preparing food with a lot of cleaning up and missing out on all the chatter, or trying to concentrate and chat at the same time.
Another reason for cooking this way, is the cost factor: so much cheaper in the long run than buying takeaways, which often happens at the end of a busy working day, when the thought of cooking a meal, is daunting.
I use my microwave only to thaw out food, rather than to heat or cook it. By the time you grill or fry the meat, vegetables and soups (sauces) would have thawed out sufficiently to add to it, then, putting a salad together - is just a breeze.
Gravy mix added to boiling water is quick and easy: Cook in the Pot mixes, both thicken and add flavour to any casserole.
At the end of the day, cooking for one should not cost more that $20.00 a week. This covers seven delicious homemade meals that are both satisfying and healthy.
Desserts are just as easily made and, just as inexpensive. Once again, I make in quantity: a Lemon Meringue Pie for instance, sliced into single portions, thaws out well. Apple Shortcake, Steamed Syrup pudding, Vanilla Cream, Rice Pudding, or whatever you fancy, will keep in the freezer. I generally make these from ingredients I find on special at the supermarket, or from produce markets when ripe fruit is sold off at a really good price.
LEMON MERINGUE PIE
60g butter, softened1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Soften butter in microwave and then add other ingredients before pressing into a pie dish.
1/2 cup sugar
Grate the thin, coloured outer layer of the lemons, then squeeze out the juice, discarding any pips. Beat the eggs until combined, and cut the butter into small pieces. Place the lemon rind, juice, eggs, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl. Stand over gently simmering water and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thickened and lightly coats the back of the spoon. Be careful not to let it boil or the mixture will curdle and not set.
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar1/2 tablespoon vanilla
6 tablespoons sugar
Beat 3 egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla. Gradually add 6 Tbsp sugar till soft peaks form.
Press shortcake into pie dish, pour over lemon honey, spoon meringue over top of pie. Bake in moderate oven 160 celsius for 12 to 15 minutes.
This is really delicious and well worth making.....................