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Helping family & Friends during difficult economic times | Host a batch cooking party at Home or Church
Hosting a batch cooking party may help unite family, as well as church members to stock up home freezers and pantries. The same type of gathering will work wit
It’s a fun social event that may really help those who are really struggling economically without hurting their pride.
It’s not really any new concept, just a long forgotten one that can be very useful even today during difficult economic times. With more modern processing equipment and food storage the concept of hosting a family or group food prep party is even easier.
It’s a perfect gathering concept to utilize in a church hall with a commercial kitchen or for the family to gather back home for a day of catching up on things in common and then be able to take home a variety of food items for the freezer and pantry.
During previous difficult times, like The Great Depression, families and or groups of people joined together to batch cook and can food items to fill home pantries.
It may have been to butcher poultry, livestock or to process the harvest from a large shared garden, each participating family left with a share of the day’s work to take home and stock their family pantry.
In today’s world the concept can be adjusted to fill freezers with pre-made dishes, such as casseroles, soups, and fruit and meat pies.
Other food processing by canning is still very applicable, but does require some initial investment in canning jars and hot water bath canner. You can still purchase this home canning equipment in most house ware sections of many department stores, or order the same large capacity canners used in the Amish communities from Cottage Craft Works. com
Home canning does open up so much more unlimited potential with so many recipes to make and can food items.
This concept does not take a large garden or farm to provide the food items either. It might be as simple as cooking more than one turkey this Holiday season and then dividing up the extras to take home in freezable family packs.
Ideally batch cooking will provide several dishes going at the same time, or in sequence. Let’s take for example purchasing several chickens or turkeys as they come on sale. This meat can be made into so many dishes, from just sliced, to casseroles, pot pies and even noodle soup.
Coordinating with seasonal harvest when food items are at their peak availability in your area, may also provide access to large supplies at reasonable cost.
The concept also works well by buying in bulk and then dividing it out into smaller containers, much like how Co-ops began.
Batch processing also helps to control the additives going into the food. It may actually benefit a family who generally lives on high sodium and preservative packed store bought frozen food items.
One of the easiest meals to make utilizes a 3” X 5” fold over pie crust or pasta dough. It also provides such a large variety of meal choices, as these fold over pies are used across so many nationalities. All types of meat and vegetable recipes are available, or the crust can be filled with fruit pie fillings for an easy dessert snack.
With a little creativity you can even expand and make other main dishes using the fold over pie concept. By cooking such things as chicken pot pie, and other gravy based mixes and then chilling before adding to the pie dough you can prevent it from absorbing the hot juice and destroying the dough pocket before it freezes or can be baked.
The Little Pie Maker, only available online at Cottage Craft Works .com, is one easy to use fold over pie maker that will produce several hundred of these pies in just one afternoon in such a setting. It can also double for church and civic club fund raiser projects to serve fired pies.
Don’t limit the host party to just cooked and processed foods. Filling pantries with food mixes can also be as beneficial for a family who normally has to purchase such items from the store.
Dry mixes for quick pancakes and waffles, muffins to a general Bisquick mix can also be made up in bulk and then divided into separate take home plastic containers. Other mixes like hot chocolate, and dry soup mixes will be a welcomed addition to the pantry on a long winter weekend.
Spice and seasoning mixes can also be expensive to purchase at a store and can be made so easy and stored in bulk.
These types of mixes can be found online, or are available in an Amish cookbook called Homemade Mixes that is also available along with many other Amish recipe and instructional books on home food preservation at Cottage Craft Works .com
For example here are two simple dry mixes from Homemade Mixes:
Taco Spice Mix
¼ c. red pepper flakes or chili powder
¼ c. ground cumin
¼ c. oregano
2 Tbsp. cayenne
¼ c. garlic powder
¼ c. onion powder
3 Tbsp. salt
To use: add 2 Tbsp. to one pound of ground meat with ¼ to 1/3 cup of water.
Instant Cream Soup Mix
2 c. instant milk
¾ c. cornstarch
¼ c. instant chicken bouillon
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. pepper
Combine and store in airtight container.
Spread the word and think about hosting your own cooking batch party to help those who just like to have a good time or may really need the extra money saving help.
Photos and products are courtesy of Cottage Craft Works.com