During our previous meeting at the home ec classes group, the lady who gives the classes talked about how much more effective it is to cook in bulk and do all the weekly cooking and baking in one day. It streamlines kitchen work and saves time. I then couldn’t refrain from speaking out, and said it’s a great idea to have a cooking day, cleaning day, wash day, etc; however, sometimes it just isn’t doable.
I used to do most of the cooking and baking on Friday, before Shabbat. Then Shira was born and I spread out the cooking over Thursday and Friday. Lately, I’ve found out I feel more at ease and work more effectively if I spread out the Shabbat cooking throughout the week, and throw in several meals to be eaten during the week. I do a bit each day, and so when Friday rolls around, almost all the cooking is done and I’m free to do other things (and there’s always enough to do).
The freezer is a wonderful invention, and if your time is very limited, it can be a good idea to cook in advance (whenever you have the time) and freeze meals for later. This way, I can start preparing for Shabbat right at the beginning of the week. For example, last Sunday I made challah buns for Shabbat and froze them. I’d make another batch if I had more freezer space. The week before, I made enough fish to last us for two Shabbat meals, and froze it in two portions. We ate one last week, and are going to eat the second portion in a couple of days.
Not everything keeps well in the freezer – one example is potatoes, which lose their structure when frozen, so I only cook them close to when they are going to be eaten. But bread, cakes, pastries, meat and fish, among many other things, keep beautifully when frozen and taste just like fresh when they are defrosted.
Most days, it turns out that I do a bit of this and a bit of that: a load of washing, some cleaning, some cooking, a bit of pulling weeds in the garden. Some writing, a bit of reading aloud to Shira, drawing and playing with playdough or building blocks. My days are full and busy, but not hectic.
These past few weeks have been the first long period in ten years that I’ve been without actively using the internet, and I must say the effect is very calming. Without the internet, some of the urgency of modern life is lost, and I find it all to the good. Of course, I suppose that when we can connect again, I won’t be able to give up on all the wonderful resources internet provides (limitless information on so many topics, great new recipes, craft websites, all my favorite blogs, free music and movies on YouTube), but so far, I’m enjoying my time offline. I hope you are all well, and look forward to the next opportunity of reading your comments and emails.