I'm a busy mom, I get tired, overwhelmed and just outright pooped sometimes.
In the past, on a day like that, I'd ask dh to stop by and pick up something convenient. After all, hungry kids, a frustrated mom, lack of time, a small crisis of some manner, and etc... were the recipe for disaster. And so I excused it.
Now, while we still eat out (very occasionally), it is a planned event, not a matter of convenience. In my life, Convenience has been Redefined.
It started rather simply. I needed a well stocked pantry. I needed to have things on hand. I needed to have an extra loaf of bread in the freezer or even a gallon of milk, I needed to have the basics available to me.
Then, it went a step further. I had to increase my skills and be able to turn that flour into biscuits without a huge ordeal. I needed to be able to improvise, out of milk...no problem we have powdered. No bread, no problem, I can make a batch of flour tortillas fairly quickly. I also began to think ahead. No one wants to face seven hungry kids without some sort of plan.
I began to experiment with foods that I wanted to incorporated into our menus. I learned to try to have a big pot of some kind of soup available at practically any given time. Vegetable soup, Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup, Potato Soup, Cabbage Soup, I could go on.
Then a huge step towards Redefining Convenience, I learned to home can. It was the meat canning that really changed my outlook. What a time saver!
Going to make chicken enchiladas? Just open a can of cooked, seasoned, tender and flavorful chicken. You could eat it right out of the jar if you wanted to.
Need a quick Spaghetti dinner, boil some noodles, open a can of your home canned ground beef, a jar of sauce...you're done!
Finally (and I'm skipping over a lot) I arrived at this newest project of mine. Learning to use dehydrated foods. I'm now amazed at how convenient these foods can make your life.
I ordered (some months ago) from Harmony House their Vegetable Pantry Stuffer http://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/Vegetable...t41_p_1845.html I also ordered some things from Honeyville grains (Powdered Buttermilk, Powdered Sour Cream, etc).
The last week or so, I've finally begun to open up some of the sealed quarts and tried incorporating them. I took a day to cook only from preps. I am so TOTALLY won over. You can make a vegetable soup that is wonderful out of these dehydrated goods. I even tried the TVP beef bits in my soup which were wonderful in a soup form. I made a hominy casserole and added the powdered sour cream and the dehydrated assorted bellpeppers, wonderful. I made buttermilk biscuits with the powdered buttermilk, lovely!
This is how Convenience has been Redefined in my life. Quicker than I can run through a drive thru, faster than a speeding pizza delivery, I can have a wonderful meal, without chopping, dicing, peeling, processing, etc...
I haven't purchased a really nice dehydrator yet to do more of the dehydrating myself yet, but will one day. You do have to have a good source of water to rehydrate but that could be found in the liquid/broth/juice of your canned vegies. I can't imagine spending unplanned money on convenience food any more.
Convenience (for me) has been Redefined!