Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dinner To Go

If you are as busy as I am right now, you don't have a lot of time to cook. Breakfast is coffee and some nuts and dried fruit, lunch is something fast from the garden cooked in one wok and set over rice with some soy sauce and spices. Dinner? What do I look like?! There is no time for dinner. If there was, well, by 6PM I either want to be on horseback or visiting with friends. I don't want to cook. It's either hot or I am tired, (at least this week anyway). So I have started eating dinners in jars. They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? So here is my saving grace:

You slow cook whatever meat you choose. Right now it is pork, since I have that in the freezer, but this would work for lamb, chicken, mutton, and beef roasts too. You get the slow cooker plugged in and fill it up with a hunk of meat and flavor agent of your choosing. My recent combinations are bbq sauce, honey, and pork. But a can of tomato basil soup and rabbit or beef with diced tomatoes and kidney beans would be just fine as well. Mostly it is savory dishes, with a tomato based sauce. Add spices to taste, don't scrimp on salt. Let that slow cook all day while you work in home or office, run errands, raise children, whatever it is you do that isn't in the kitchen. Then come dinner time all you need to prepare is some rice (in a rice cooker, stovetop, or microwave) and fill half a jar with the cooked rice. The hot rice, then topped with the hot stewing meats, is all you really need. But here is the kicker: you chop up some veggies from the garden into dicey pieces and because of their smaller size they are able to be cooked (steamed) by the heat of the rice and meat with the mason jar lid closed. I make these meals in jars and can take them to friends houses for a quick dinner, serve them on game night, or wrap one in a towel and put it in Merlin's saddle bag for dinner with a view. It's delicious, super easy, super healthy, super fast. You can use local meats and veggies from your local farmers or your own backyard in an economical way too. Since local meats can be expensive, you can make one prok shoulder last for ten-fifteen meals! These freeze great, right in the jar, and so you can fill the fridge with ten or so and take them out when hungre strikes. Awesome.

Bon App├ętit!