Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Last of the Toms and Batch Cooking

Here they are in order of size, the very last homegrown tomatoes of Summer.  I've had a poor tomato year this year, as have many folk.  The weather, combined with me trying to get used to a draughty greenhouse has scuppered my plans on filling the cupboards with jars and jars of tomatoey goodness.  The few we have managed to get have been added to various dishes as and when we've cooked them to enjoy them at their best.

I had a bit of a batch cooking session on Sunday while Lovely Hubby was 'playing' with the computer.  I had some packs of mince in the freezer that had been there for well over a year so I decided to turn them into something for tea and a few future meals.
I always think it's as easy to cook in bulk as it is to make each and every meal when you need it.  The Mince and veggie Quorn Mince was cooked with onions, tomatoes and all the odds and end of veggies that were lurking in the fridge and freezer, with lots of tomato puree and some garlic puree for good measure, Worcestershire sauce and sprinkles of this and that the kitchen was soon smelling very good.
Needless to say the portions destined for tea were eaten at lunchtime instead, just popped into the oven for the tops to brown before we tucked in.
The rest were left to go cold, one portion with a potato topping and a sprinkle of cheese for LH to tuck into while I am on holiday with my Mum in a couple of weeks and the others left with just mince, so we can decide on a topping when we thaw them out.
It's always satisfying to get a few homemade 'ready meals' tucked into the freezer ready for those nights when inspiration is thin on the ground or there simply is no time to cook from scratch.
Sue xx


  1. As an african friend of mine would put it: ''Very industrious!''

  2. I love having homemade ready meals in the freezer- I like using them at weekends when, for some reason, I never feel like cooking.

  3. What a lovely cook in. I'm using the last of my neighbours tomatoes she gave me in a veggie soup today ( then off to raid her green house for more which I have care of while she's away for two weeks !!!)

  4. I love it, very impressive. I haven't become expert in batch cooking yet, but I like the tin foil trays. I must get some and get started on it.

  5. Oh you are so organised. I am so jealous!!

  6. Those trays make sense. We use pyrex dishes with plastic lids for the freezer, which have the advantage of re-usability, but are otherwise a bit bulky to store. I love your tomatoes photo. We still have a lot, but not as many as last year (even the south of France experienced a poor harvest this year). Thanks again for your chicken advice - yesterday I felt that Valkyrie was strong enough to cope being mixed in with the other hens, and today she seems more active and involved - I'm really relieved and pleased that our early experiements in chicken keeping seem to be working.

    1. So pleased to hear that Valkyrie is doing better.

      I do use the foil trays a few times each usually, that's the reason I don't write on the lids but put a sticker on instead so I can take it off for the next use.

      I am finding that as I use up all the supplies from the freezer I am ending up with a cupboard full of empty containers and plastic tubs, some store inside of each other but the majority don't and as you say they are very bulky!!

      Sue xx
      Our New Life in the Country

  7. I batch cook too....saves energy and there is always something in the freezer.
    Jane x

  8. Very organised Sue...I need to get my batch cooking on! :)

  9. I love to batch cook, it is so satifying. I tend to do it early on a saturday morning when the family are all in bed asleep

    I love to have a full freezer too

  10. Totally agree with you Sue, we are trying to do as much as possible and keep those left overs for other dinners.

    I like the idea of the Quorn based dinners. And your handwriting is great! I love your labels.

    Sft x

  11. My tomato plants didn't make good root systems in the wet spring, and frizzled away in the hot weeks that followed! In a similar year, I bought a huge tray of soft tomatoes to make chutney and tom sauce, and it cost me very little at the end of the market day - the guy was happy to do a deal to get rid of them. I might do the same this year, as home-made beats shop-bought any day!


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