Last Monday I finally decided to go for it and put my crock pot to the challenge. Since getting it for my birthday I have used it 4 times, all to full content, but somehow it felt easier to just decide what to make for dinner last-minute – especially the hubby feels this way. So after some reasoning with him about costs, ease and luring him in with some tasty looking recipes I found on Pinterest, he agreed to give it a go. The advantage, I told him, would also be that since it was all in the freezer, there was no problem in eating something else in between. Luckily we have an online supermarket that delivers their (fresh) groceries all the way into your kitchen!
Come Wednesday morning I spent the time waiting for the delivery grading my students’ tests while eating my grilled pita sandwich (pita bread with a slice of ham and cheese tossed in the toaster, served with a bit of tomato ketchup – yum!).
The peacefulness of that morning was in stark contrast with the stress of the afternoon. Hubby was out on an assignment so I had our kingdom to myself. I rarely get the place to myself so I always thoroughly enjoy it.
Just a bit after noon my kitchen turned from a peaceful haven into this place laden with veggies, meats and cans. Besides what you see on the table here there were two huge bags filled with refrigerated items. I must admit, even after all the planning I had done I kind of panicked at the sight of all the work ahead of me. Instead of first chopping all the veggies, then adding all the sauces and herbs and finally dealing with all the meats I ended up doing one dish at the time, keeping the meats in the refrigerator to keep it safe. I spent 5 hours chopping, slicing, cutting, pouring food items into the pre-labelled freezer bags and another 30 minutes cleaning it all up. I was so busy trying not to have anything wrong or spoil anything because it was left out to long that I completely forgot to take pictures of the process.
I will keep you posted of all the dishes I am going to try and that are now resting in my freezer. If you want to peek ahead and see which recipes will be floating by, have a look at my Pinterest board made for this challenge. If you have any suggestions for other recipes to try please leave them below so I can add them to my challenge planning board!
First dish: Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks
I had found this recipe on Who Needs a Cape, a wonderful website ran by five mothers where you can find just about anything you might need – you will see me linking to them a couple of times during my challenge! Because I was going to do the challenge I wanted to make sure that the day I would start was already decorated with a crock pot meal. So I chose these because I had everything for this meal lying around already. Well almost, since I had some drummettes in the fridge that I decided to use for this dish instead of going out to buy drumsticks. On the bag I described what needed to be done with the dish once pulled out of the freezer or refrigerator. I made it Tuesday night so the meat could marinate over night.
At the end of this very long day – my feet and back were killing me and I usually stand all day in front of class – I was quite happy to have hubby come home to finish the meal off. He made some oven roasted potatoes (toss the potatoe chunks together with a bit of olive oil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and sea salt and toss it into the oven for about half an hour) and green beans and served them together with the balsamic glazed drummettes. They didn’t look like the drumstick – the original appeared black and with a dry coat, now the pot was still filled with water but the drummettes were well-flavoured and hadn’t lost their moistness. Score 1 for the crock pot in this first step of the challenge.