Archive for the ‘work’ Category

What I did today July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012 5 comments

This will be picture heavy, as I just got a new camera and I wanted to play with it.

This is a fairly normal day at work – food for M, the brittle diabetic, and food for everyone else. On a sad note, that everyone else is reduce by one, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. I miss him very much.

Let’s start with the arsenal:

Knife case

That’s the first layer of my knife roll – a vegetable peeler that I know won’t disappear and a Sharpie because I label everything.

knives and steel

My babies. The knife facing left is my meat knife, and I use it more than any other tool I own. The one facing right is my dairy knife and I haven’t used it in months. The steel is in the middle. They’re ten inch blades, which is about the biggest my hands can handle.

Today, I made several puree’d vegetables, mashed potatoes and chicken meatloaf. I also made some non-puree’d vegetables.

I started with the chicken meatloaf since that took the longest to cook. That’s a mixture of spices (parsley, garlic powder, pepper, seasoned salt), oil, minced onions and, of course, ground chicken.

minced onions

These aren’t the most even cut, I’m sad to say.

The next thing was mashed potatoes. I peeled and cut up about 4lbs of redskin potatoes, and put them into COLD heavily salted water. This is the best way to cook mashed potatoes – it does good things to the starch content.
Pot of potatoes

Then I made the food for my diabetic guy. All of it has to be pureed and measured, none of which looks particularly appetizing, and mostly like this:

Zucchini puree

This, along with peas and green beans, will be measured into one pound aluminum containers, labeled and frozen. This way the counselors only have to heat it up and serve it to my hug monster.

At this point, the meatloaves were done.

chicken loaf

And so were the mashed potatoes.

mashed potatoes

These are simply potatoes, parsley and onion powder. I’d salted the water heavily enough that I didn’t need to add salt to the dish. That’s right – no fat or milk/milk substitute. They are actually tasty. I took out six half-cups for my guy, and packaged the remainder for everyone else.

Packed and ready to go

The closed aluminum pans are headed for the freezer. The plastic tubs will be used tonight, except for one meatloaf, which was also labeled and frozen. The little container of mixed vegetables is for I, so his counselor can mash them up with a serving of meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

This was the result of three hours work.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010 2 comments

Finally, a full week at work. Haven’t had that in awhile.

Walked in to find Misha watching the World Cup. Tomorrow, he graduates from school (meaning he’s now 21 and that’s it for him.) He’ll be spending his time at the DayHab instead. He had a medical appointment today, though, and they all left shortly after I arrived.

I checked for foods Mendy needed – chicken, gefilte fish and egg salad. I gathered up stew meat and ground chicken from the freezer, and carrots, celery and onions from the fridge, plus a sugar-free gefilte fish loaf from the kitchen freezer.

Started a beef vegetable soup and a pot of salted water for the fish, while defrosting the chicken. Added chopped mirepoix to the soup, plus a can of tomato sauce, garlic, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. I let that simmer on a rear burner, and took about a pound of ground chicken to cook up for Mendy. I also started a pot of brown rice.

I started cooking the rest of the ground chicken (about five pounds) while chopping an onion and batonneting a few carrots. When the chicken finally finished cooking, I moved it to a bowl and used the same pan to cook the veg. When that was cooked, I mixed the two. At this point the fish was done, as was the rice, and I started a pot of water for the eggs.

I pureed the chicken and portioned it out, and then portioned the gefilte fish. Portioned the rice and the chicken saute for the boys, put the soup in the fridge, and cooked the eggs, washing pots, etc, along the way. Made egg salad, portioned it. Cooked a bag of peas.

Made enough chicken saute to freeze one tray.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010 1 comment

Back at work! What a relief. Shiva is over for my husband.

I was very happy to see that my preparations worked well – Mendy ran out entirely of only two items other than the mayonnaise salads. The freezer itself was kinda empty – only two trays of food left for the other individuals.

Mendy needed broccoli and squash, and he was low on tilapia. I had all of that in the house. I also had chicken breast fillets and noodles.

I cut up the squash, put a bit of oil on it and slid it into the oven. I also dumped two bags of tilapia fillets into a pot with hot oil, paprika and seasoning salt. Meanwhile, I nuked the chicken enough to separate the fillets, and seasoned them with oregano, paprika and garlic chips. Those also went into the oven.

I put up a pot of water for noodles, and began to microwave the two huge bags of broccoli. By this time, the fish was cooked, so I portioned it out and washed the pot. The noodle water boiled at that point, so I dumped in a bag. Drained them, mixed them with oil, salt and onion powder and portioned them. Washed the pot and colander.

Pureed and portioned the broccoli. Cooked peas.

Took the chicken out to cool. Watched some television (TOP CHEF!) and then took the not-quite done squash out. I finished them in the microwave. Mashed the squash with salt and cinnamon. Portioned it. Washed up.

12:30. DONE.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 7, 2010

June 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Today was extremely easy. When I checked around the fridges in both houses, I noticed LOTS of leftovers, including a pot of matzo ball soup. There was NO point in cooking dinner.

Mendy *did* need food. He needed roasted tomatoes and zucchini. Zucchini goes fast, and the bags of frozen seem to grind up very small. Two bags will get me just over a week’s worth. And I had no frozen zucchini in the house. I went shopping for it and tomatoes.

And then decided to use fresh zucchini instead. After all, I wasn’t cooking anything else, so I certainly had time to slice and cook it properly. So I went to my new favorite vegetable place and got a half dozen NICE plum tomatoes and five nice zukes.

Got back. I took the tops off the tomatoes and put them two to a container and baked them with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and oil. Then I sliced up the zucchini and steamed it with spices. And watched tv until they were cooked and I could mash the tomatoes and puree’d the zucchini.

Funny thing – I had a greater volume of zucchini after puree’ing than I normally do for approximately the same amount of vegetable. Fresh seriously rules.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I had groceries today! I had everything I needed! Yay!

I made tilapia, noodles and broccoli for the guys. There was a funny moment, though. Ina walks in, wondering if I had leftover. I tell her I have fish that was probably done. She perked right up. “Fish?” Next thing I know, she’s fixed herself a dish of puree’d spinach (I was in the middle of Mendyness) and a filet, and was very happy.

Mendyness was, besides the spinach, green beans, tuna salad, and hard-boiled eggs. I need to make Mendy tilapia tomorrow, as well as soup.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Brief recap of the past week or so – they decided that they were not going to do a grocery order, so I had to use what I had on hand, plus what I could buy locally. It wasn’t so bad. I had to buy frozen broccoli and gefilte fish loaves, and a fair amount of fresh produce, but I got through the week, and today.

So, let’s talk about today. I assumed there wouldn’t be much, so I planned for that. And I was right. Almost no produce, no starches, and limited amount of meat. Mendy needed ground beef. I took out two 4lb packages (and that was pretty much it for the ground beef) and put one in the microwave to thaw.

I looked in my cupboards. I had rice. I had dried beans. I had spices. I had tomato paste. Okay. That spelled chili to me. I would rather have had canned beans, but I knew I could manage with the dried. I still hadn’t changed, so I just picked up my purse and went shopping for produce.

There’s a produce store – a small Russian supermarket, really, with meat and prepared foods as well as canned goods and fruits and vegetables – on the corner, but I’ve had really poor luck there. Last week, I had to toss out about a third of a bag of potatoes.

So I went to a more expensive but more trustworthy vegetable stand instead. And I got three lovely peppers and a bag of onions with nary a sprout.

And then I returned to the home and was ill – not very, but enough to throw me off my game. It’s been a long time since I was feeling like that. Fortunately, it was an easy day.

I set the beans up for quick soak (cover beans with water above two inches, boil for two minutes and let sit for an hour), put the other package of meat to thaw, and started cutting up the onions and the peppers. Got them in the post to saute, with cumin, garlic, cinnamon (yes, cinnamon), paprika and pepper. I was aiming for a “chili” powder without much heat. I love heat for myself, but these guys – not so much.

I also started a pot of brown rice. By this time, the second batch of meat was thawed. I added the meat (less about a pound for Mendy) to the vegetables plus more spices,and let that cook. When the rice was done, I portioned it out, washed the pot and started cooking the remaining meat.

During this time, I did sit down a bit more than usual. Not happy about that, but I did feel not so great, and I did plan an easyish day.

The beans being soaked enough, I drained them, put in fresh water and started cooking them. I pureed and portioned the ground beef for Mendy, and then added tomato paste and more spices (and water, of course) to the chili. When the beans were cooked, I added them to the chili pot and let it all simmer. I also nuked some green beans. Meanwhile, the grocery order I made LAST MONDAY arrived.

Did I put them away? No. Because the chili was finished. It took ten minutes to portion and label it,and another five to wash the pots. I put the extra in the freezer, took dinner over to Keshet and was gone.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook May 25 and 26, 2010

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Fast update. With two days’ work, I have all of Mendy’s meats and most of his vegetables and starches finished – he just needs his normal soup and mashed potatoes.

Dinner on Tuesday was blintzes and potato knishes. I’m emptying a freezer. Today was beef stew with sweet potatoes, and I made Mendy sweet potatoes and squash. I hope to get groceries tomorrow.

Categories: cooking, work