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Change the Way you Cook and Save Money and Time

Updated on January 12, 2024

Lemon and Ginger Roast Chicken

Cooking suggestions

With the ever increasing costs of electricity, gas and now the Australian government is going to add a carbon tax onto everything we eat or use, we need to be more frugal than ever. Therefore we have to find more ways to reduce time spent on cooking our meals which will also save electricity and gas expenses for starters. Plus we will free up more valuable time to spend with our family.

I have often seen people turn on the oven to cook or heat up a couple of pies for lunch. Many will do the same to heat up a pizza which is a waste of power and the heat of a hot oven. This is the sort of wasted expense I think everyone should try to avoid.

I am writing this to give you a few ideas on how to avoid this wastage and also reduce the time you spend preparing meals. Of course this is just to get you thinking of another way to prepare meals and use each shelf of your oven at the same time. Just because you have two shelves in the oven many people forget that you can also cook rice or other puddings on the bottom of your oven.

Scones and Crispies Biscuits

Readers Digest Cook Book

Bread and Butter Pudding

One particular day

I took a chicken out of the freezer and put it in fridge to thaw last night. This morning my husband and I went out cutting wood and we arrived back home at three pm in the afternoon. I lit the lounge fire and washed my hands then turned on my electric oven to heat.

I hate to disappoint anyone, but I have to admit I am not good on accurate measurements and quite often guess them. Although if you need good basic recipes I use my old Golden Wattle cook book as a back-up for some of my cooking ideas.

Roast Lemon and Ginger chicken

I rinsed out the inside of the chicken, cut up a lemon and put a few pieces inside chicken. Cut a slit either side just inside chicken leg and pushed lemon piece in under the skin. I dabbed pre-crushed ginger inside and around the outside and sprinkled lemon pepper and a dash of oil over the chicken and placed in the oven.

Scones- I could not give you an accurate recipe for these other than to say I use a quantity of Self raising flour, pinch salt, rub tablespoon margarine into flour and mix in enough lemonade to make stiff dough. Tip out onto floured board and knead then flatten and cut into portions and put on tray with sheet of baking powder and pop onto top shelf in oven.

Bread and Butter Pudding- For this I use up my bread crusts or spare stale slices. I use 6 slices, butter them and cut into strips. Place into a Pyrex or baking dish and sprinkle with a quantity of mixed fruit. In a jug mix milk add 1 egg, vanilla essence and a little sugar to suit your taste. Beat these up and pour over the bread and fruit. (Make sure you have enough milk so it’s not dry) sprinkle with nutmeg and place in bottom of oven. Your oven should now be full, but don’t stop there.

By now the scones should be ready to come out, if so boil the kettle and have a cupper with buttered scones and eat, before moving forward.

Boil and Bake Fruit Cake

Boil and Bake Fruit cake

The recipe for this is in the Golden Wattle cook book, although my specialty is a grate one granny smith apple into the mix before cooking on the stove. I find by adding the apple it makes the cake moister. Once the mixture has simmered, leave to cool. While cooling I mixed up a batch of Crispies

Crispies- This recipe is also in Golden Wattle cook book. These are little oatmeal biscuits, that are put on tray in little heaps. Instead, I save more time by mixing all ingredients together as directed, then pressing mixture out onto a Lamington tray and pop into the oven. Then once it is cooked and slightly cool I cut into small squares.

By now your boiled fruit mix has cooled and you can add the rest of the ingredients. Cut up your spuds and veggies and add to roast chicken.

The Crispies should now be ready to come out and the chicken can move up to the top shelf and put your cake into centre shelf.

Don’t forget to check on your bread and butter pudding in case it is drying out too much.

Now that everything is done, and in the oven it is four thirty. So in actual fact I have prepared all that and it took an hour and a quarter. I forgot I then put some frozen beans in a pot and made the gravy. We had eaten dinner and washed the dishes by six o’clock.

I can hear you say why you have written all of this. Because – anyone can save money by cooking more at the one time and save on your electricity or gas bills. Not only that; I actually cooked enough roast chicken and pudding for two nights, enough biscuits for several days and my boiled fruit cake, I cut this into two pieces and froze half.

I am not saying that you have to cook what I did. It was just a way to show you how anyone can make better use of their precious time by thinking ahead and preparing a variety of meals and dishes that you can cook at the same time. It is amazing at the different combinations you could think of with a little creativity and thought on your part.

Personal note: When I was young and naive I found a boiled fruit cake recipe in the cook book and thought it meant boiled. After preparing everything I continued to read and soon found that I had wasted my ingredients. It had to be finished off in an oven and I only had an old primus stove to cook things on. I notice they are now called boil and bake fruit cake in the later edition of the golden wattle cook book. Maybe I was not the only innocent.

So why don’t you change the way you cook and save money plus leave yourself with more time to spend with your family.

Kitchen time saver

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© 2011 Eileen hughes


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