Saving you sanity in the kitchen with two kids running around is always a challenge! This post has been pulled out from the archives, redrafted and the idea revisited.
Sometimes, life can be so easy with just a few, simple well planned ideas. Take cooking for instance: A few months ago (that is a couple of more months added now), I had the fabulous idea to roast, grind and store stuff in the fridge. You just roast em, grind em to a smooth paste, fill up a jar, name it, date it and stack it up into your fridge. When life gets hectic, the kids are screaming, the house unkempt, there isn’t a single thing to cook, you’re running short on time or/and you’ve over napped, over slept or expecting guests; just pull out a jar, add whatever… meal in a jiffy! Not just the dry ingriedients, you can grind the fresh stuff that you mostly use like green/red chillies and ginger garlic paste too. We’ve all been brought up on garlic-ginger paste, havent we? We cannot be desi otherwise!
Idea number two came when I was out shopping one day. Beans. They can be real life savers. Easy to cook, ready in minutes and everyone thinks you spent hours doing it (especially if you make Haleem or Dal Mughlai! He,he he)! I usually don’t buy canned but ready, presoaked or canned ones are even more easier. Add tomatoes, throw in some masalas and life is bliss! (If you have kids anything canned and pakaged can be bliss!)
It also is a great idea to have your vegies cut up and frozen. You save up a lot of precious time cutting up things at the wrong time (and it is always, the wrong time to cut up vegies)! It saves you lot of space in the fridge too.
Another must have in your fridge, if you are Desi, is tomatoes and yoghurt. We all want our spice and tanginess. Cheese (all kinds) can make salads easier. I usually prefer to have Feta (salted or unsalted) in some salad form stored up. It can be consumed in two weeks and finishes off fast. These days making salads and coleslaw and storing up has become a craze. Is it just me or does coleslaw taste better over night and later?
The best idea for snacks and chats. Soak, boil and freeze Chickpeas. There are so many ways to make them and they can be real fillers as a meal too. You can make Samosas and Spring Rolls before hand too. Just store them airtight in the freezer. (Bad idea with the pakoras!)
I also like to bottle up fresh orange juice. When ever I have the time or my son is acting up, we pull out the juicer and the oranges and start filling up a big bottle with orange juice. It can be stored in the fridge for three days and it saves you a lot of time and energy in the mornings. You can freeze it into ice trays too. Frozen orange juice is fresh for a week. Ditto for stocks (vegie or chicken), if you like your soups with stocks. You can make and freeze baby food into cube form too but I prefer to give my baby fresh each time.
A lot of more ideas can be cooked up if we just give it some thought. In todays, high paced life,even if you don’t have kids to worry about, we still need some time elsewhere. And… although cooking is a girl’s job, no girl likes to cook all the time!