The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Pantries and Preparedness. The help of frozen meals.

Today I am thinking about preparedness from a shorter term approach. Meals in the freezer for when you have the flu, the weather is terrible, life is hectic, cooking just isn't going to happen and all the times that you might otherwise think about getting take away. This is still preparedness. It's preparedness for lifes regular bumps.

Meals in the freezer are a huge help. They will get you through in all these circumstances and also when money is tight. They are a part of your normal food storage and emergency preparedness.

Building up meals in your freezer is really easy to do. Some of you will be better at this than me! If you regularly get take away this alone will help your budget and health to a huge extent. Using the savings to increase your emergency fund or pantry add to the benefits.

The simplest way to build up ready meals is to cook double and freeze a meal. There are many things I don't think it makes any sense to cook a single meal, when you are making them just make double. (or more!) Think about it and make a little plan based around what your family likes. I have heard people say this doesn't work as their family will see the extra and just eat it. If that is the case as you are serving separate the extra meal away and put it out of sight. Also there is nothing wrong with saying that something is for another night!

Some of my meals are so easy. Actually all of my meals are easy... like yesterday I made pasties. In the cooler weather I love a pasty and a glass of milk. I feel like a little kid with that combination. My Nan made Pasty Slice. So it looked like a square pie. Packed full of vegies and they froze perfectly. So you can make them individually or as a larger slice to cut up. I made a dozen pasties that are meal sized...

And I made 2 large and two small family size as Pasty Slices...

This made meals for 14 or more. We ate one each for dinner last night with spicy relish. A family one is going to the expectant couple... the rest in the freezer. Easy! So one afternoon cooking = at least ten back up meals. (and ten nights of no cooking!)

My cooking here is nothing wonderful. I even use bought puff pastry, I confess. Also I have left over pastry that today I am going to use up with some of my homemade jam and make cute little jam tarts. You guessed it... I will make a few, not just one!

The other day I had a spaghetti sauce cook up. It fills my biggest cook pot. It is simply mince, onion, tomato, tomato paste, pepper, oregano... I will add grated vegies like zucchini etc as I have them. The important thing is to simmer it for ages to develop the flavors. But once I have this I can make...

Spaghetti bolognese,
Savoury mince on toast,
Mixed through macaroni cheese as a bake. (kids love)
This mix as a meat sauce on a pizza, topped with cheese is great. Kids and men love it! I added salami to Andy's and he thinks I'm a genius. lol

You can fill tacos.
I line a dish with corn chips... fill the middle with your meat mix, cover in cheese and bake. This is a crowd pleaser and so tasty. This is the kind of thing we have instead of take away. That was our Sunday night dinner while we watched football. So easy.

"Chow Mien" the addition of shredded cabbage, rice and chicken noodle soups SOUNDS odd but it makes a savoury rice dish that is yummy and kids LOVE. It can be served with toast too. It is easiest to add cooked or partially cooked rice (about one cup) and sometimes you are going to need to add more liquid. This cooks up to be so tasty.
They are the usual things I will do from a spaghetti sauce cook up. One cook up produces so many different meals.

 Lasagna will go further if you cut it into serving sizes when it is cold and  freeze those. Then each package is one portion. There are no trays with left overs that way.

Another one is also mince based. I will make up a big batch of mince, egg, bread crumbs, tomato paste, herbs and make meat loaf and also make hamburgers. This will give me several spares of each and both can be frozen raw or cooked.
I often the cook my meatloaf in the slow cooker surrounded by vegies. Usually I will do two. One for dinner and the other will be sliced up for cold meat in lunches. Yummy! But for children I would cook my meat loaves in a muffin tray (in what size is suitable) and then you have individual servings which look neat and individual servings to freeze.

The idea of a basic thing that can then become something else is the biggest help. My most usual one is to make a chicken, beef or lamb casserole. I always add a huge amount of vegies. Make at least double and eat the casserole the first night. Then use this as filling for pies and use pastry to encase it or cover the mix with mashed potato or sweet potato and cheese and bake that. It is a sort of Shepherds Pie then. These are lovely and they also freeze. Or make individual sized little pies. Again for children use a muffin tray so your pies are child sized. Making things in good portioned sizes gets you so many more meals from a batch of anything. It saves waste. If you have lots of leftovers making everything in serving sizes pretty much eliminates that and it can be a huge saving!

This is a pot roast. The greens go in later. At the end this became pies. It gives you very tender and tasty pies.

Soup is easy to make in big batches and freeze in serving sizes. If you aren't well chicken soup ready to heat up is so good!

I cannot understand making A cake. I will always double or triple it and make several or make a cake and muffins or some combination so that I have a batch to freeze.
You can also slice a cake up into lunch box sized portions ready to drop in lunch boxes in the morning.

The same with scones or corn bread. Then you always have something to go with soup, for the kids when they come home from school, for visitors...

I multiply fruit cakes as they keep for a year or more. It is just as easy to make several as make one. This keeps in the pantry and is so good to have on hand.

These are the ways that when I am cooking I make it worth my while and then I have several meals from one. Then there is always something easy for a busy night, you never have to cook every evening and you always can build up your frozen meal supply. You no longer need take away. You have your own food bank ready to go. So often you hear people say how they are tired of cooking every night. You don't have to cook every night! Once you start making extra you soon are cooking a few nights a week at the most.

I also always keep pizza bases or turkish bread in the freezer. I always have cheese, ham or bacon, in the fridge or freezer and pineapple, tomato paste, herbs etc in the pantry. So in a few minutes I can make pizza, pizza subs, toasted sandwiches etc. This is far quicker than getting take away anyway and a fraction of the cost. Also I often wonder what is wrong with eggs on toast, baked beans, sandwiches or some other simple thing for dinner in a pinch?

My meals to build up my freezer are pretty basic but reliable recipes we like. Many things can be frozen or served different ways to make a variety of meals. Mostly I do this according to what is on special and sometimes what I have been given, as in the case with the use- it- up- fruit cakes and usually soups too.

What are your easy meals and good options as frozen meals? Having a selection is a big help. It gives you variety and choice. I am always on the look out for more.

Patsy really taught me that all our food storage is our pantry. This part of our food storage is very helpful. Imagine how much our Grandmothers would have loved to have the freezers we have!

In another post I will talk about meals to create from the non fridge/freezer part of our food storage and also how just a few fresh things in the garden make make a world of difference to the possibilities.

This week in South Australia tens of thousands of people are without gas and so have no heating, cooking, hot water. It has happened in two large towns due to a burst gas pipe. You can see those doing ok have alternative methods to cook and heat water such as a gas BBQ with a gas bottle or electric hot plates. It always pays to have plan B! A good reminder. It is also a reminder that when something like this happens all the things that you would need ie gas bottles, gas BBQ, electric hot plates, all sell out in minutes. So rushing out to buy them when the crisis hits is not a good time to go shopping! It would be a good time to have spares though.

I hope you are having a good week! xxx


  1. When I had more time I use to make up taco meat, spaghetti sauces, and breakfast item such as pancakes, egg and sausage wraps. I plan to go back to this. Thanks for sharing there are some things you do I had never thought to add.

    1. oops Chrissy I replied and I missed replies so its one comment

  2. Dear Chrissy, I see soon you will be able to do these things again! I am really happy for you. All these things fill a hungry family. It can seem never ending to feed everyone but big cook ups work so well and produce a lot of good food!
    Thank you for commenting! love

  3. Annabel a woman of my own heart. The other week I cooked up a large batch of porcupine meatballs in the slow cooker - my usual mode is in the oven but I found a recipe which was basically the same to use the slow cooker. Now they are in the freezer for a later time.

    My husband makes rissoles - he makes the best rissoles and has been known to throw things in them by pure accident and they have worked out well. They are a standby in our freezer.

    And of course impossible pies - or zucchini slice both free really well.

    Monday I was helping a friend and she showed me some darling little pie dishes - $2- each at Coles I had to have some - I now have 8 and the plan is to make up some shepherds pie and pop a mashed potato topping on them and some homemade pies. My friend's partner use to buy a sausage roll from a coffee place and he has now stopped doing so because they are charging $4-50 and he knows that you can make a whole lot of sausage rolls for not much more than it would cost him to buy 1 from the coffee shop.

    I make a brown stew in a massive batch and freeze it for the two of us - I then change it to suit what I have on hand or feel like - I leave the thickening of it until this time so that if I want to I can add some red wine or just some vegetables to make it a regular stew - doesn't take long to finish off either.

    I am going to put the slow cooker on over the weekend with chop suey (I know it as ky si ming) in it. So have a bit to go on with.

    Might have to make some pasties after seeing yours - I am going to make some sausage rolls to take away with us so pasties will be a welcome addition.

    When the children were little I use to shop once a fortnight, the other week I would bake and load the freezer up with biscuits, muffins and cakes - didn't know about the 120 biscuit recipe then.


    1. Dear Lynette, How handy your husband makes good rissoles! And they are something you can really make a good lot of for several meals.
      I love the sound of the pie dishes at Coles... I might have to have a look!
      Sausage rolls are yummy. I used to do them a lot. Not lately but it is something I could add. Lucy makes very good sausage rolls... she adds grated carrot to the mix. When cooked you wouldnt know its there and they are really good!
      Pasties would be handy with your other cooking. They travel well too.
      I really love Shepherds Pie. Thats a favourite and everyone seems to love it.
      I think I will do sausage rolls next week now, thank you for the reminder! Love

  4. I cook in bulk quite often. I do spag bol x 4 meals, meatloaves x 4 in the oven at one time, pie meat x 4,, soup etc etc. It's just quick and easy to do it this way. I freeze all leftovers before anyone claims them.

    We had a gas crisis in Victoria back in 1998. We were without gas for two weeks. We had no hot water after a few days so we used the kettle and microwave so we could have a very quick " shower ". Bunnings ran out of solar showers very quickly. Since then we have bought a few blower heaters and an electric hot plate. They are also handy to take on holidays as you never know what the facilities are like.

    1. Wendy the other week Fiona mentioned going through that gas crisis. Two weeks is a really long time if that is your hot water provider! It goes to show it happens and is happening now.
      I admire your frozen ahead meals. It is so good as we also all need nights off.
      Lynette has reminded me of sausage rolls so that is next weeks big cook up planned! xxx

  5. I used to do more freezer cooking, but don't have time in the season I'm in right now. I do like to do a couple easy things, though. I bake my rice at 350 degrees for an hour. It turns out just right every time. Last week I made two dishes of rice at the same time then froze one. I do the same with beans, cook up a pot of dry beans, use some for a meal or two, then freeze the rest, especially to make refried beans. At Easter, my husband bought me a large country ham, which I quartered. We ate one piece at Easter and I put the rest in the freezer. I pulled one out for dinner tonight, and it will provide at least 2-3 more meals, just from this piece. These are the only freezer meals I've made recently, the rice and ham and beans, but they are very helpful when I'm short on time or low on groceries.

    Also, I meant to comment on one of last week's topics, perhaps when you wrote about praying, or asking God for help when shopping. One of my favorite Bibke verses is 2 Chronicles 16:9, which says, "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." One version says "fully supportt." Such grace and wonder, help and assurance in this verse!



    1. Marie having rice and beans cooked and ready to go is a huge time saver. I totally forgot to say about rice. I do a big pot and when it is cooled I bag it up into the size portions we would normally use then freeze that. It is really handy.
      Also doing that with a ham is such a good idea. And ham has so many uses. Little left over bits I like in quiche or fried rice or even toasties with ham cheese and pineapple!
      Thank you so much for the verse. I am reading this to my husband when he gets home.

  6. Fabulous ideas here Annabel. I like the look of your pot roast you turned into pies! Those kinds of pies are gourmet and sell for a small fortune.

    Speaking of sausage rolls, I bought sausage mince at a rock bottom price and made some. I have very little room in my freezer so a lot of the chubs of sausage meat I have frozen as is to make more through the winter.

    Once my freezer stocks dwindle, I intend making soups, pies, quiche type slices and savoury and sweet muffins to have instant food on hand. Lasagne also freezes really well.

    I love your idea of bol sauce on a pizza Annabel. Meatlover style with some bacon or salami to top! I've never made freezer burritos but have seen many recipes for them so might try them sometime.

    I love reading all the comments also as I'm gleaning new ideas all the time. Thanks everyone xo

    1. Kaye I mentioned to Lynette above that Lucy adds quite a lot of grated carrot to her sausage rolls. It is great and you dont notice it but it bulks them out and tastes beautiful. Now I am planning sausage rolls..
      I only recently used the sauce on a pizza. After reading whats on a meat lovers pizza. Well it was a massive success as it is the tomato and first meat layer all in one. Andy just loved it. Now its a regular.
      I am loving what everyone is doing. The bulk rice cook up and portioning it off then freezing portions is something I forgot to mention and that is a big time saver!

  7. I used to do a lot of bulk cooking, but my fussy husband is a bit weird sometimes and unless I can sneak it out of the freezer without him noticing, he'll turn his nose up at a frozen home cooked meal! I have other sneaky tactics though. Spaghetti sauce is always a winner and he's never any the wiser. I just warm it in the morning so it's not frozen solid, and heat it again in the evening at which point he thinks it's 'just made'! We also eat gluten free so pastry and pizza is not for us....can you hear my humongous sigh? I'll occasionally do a GF pizza or pastry and now that the weather is cooler, that might be a good strategy for quick meals, so thanks for the inspiration there. Pies, pizzas and pasties are always cooked from frozen, right...insert a cheeky wink here. Yours look so mouthwatering! I really must perfect that gluten free pastry recipe I many options then! Wonderful post as always, Annabel :) Mimi xxx

    1. I am pretty sneaky Mimi, I would have things in the oven or crockpot and no one would know as you cannot tell once it is hot and ready to go. (like with the spaghetti!)
      You are really the Queen of big cook ups. Like your menu plan and the rice method which is the only way I cook rice. I always do this with a big lot and freeze portions. Also the impossible pies and many versions and all the ingredients that can go into them and use up what you have. Such a lot of food can be created in a cook up session. Your prep sessions too I love. But it lays the foundation for so many meals. What a help.
      Also when you wrote about the real cost of take away and what we can do for that money.... I am not sure if that is on your blog yet... if it is or you put it up I will link to it as it is AMAZING. xxx

    2. Mimi eating gluten free does put a dampner on a lot of the things that we use to have as a 'quick meal' especially in winter but I have looked at the orgran site after finding a magazine in the cookbooks that belong to our daughter and I have a few things that I am going to test after our holidays - there is a pastry recipe that may just work for things like pies, pasties and sausage rolls.

      My husband sounds like your husband but he has got use to what is served up, especially in winter when I switch the large evening meal to lunch time and then we have something lighter like soup in the evening.

      I have some slowcooker books here and I use to heat up precooked things when we lived in Melbourne and I wasn't sure what time I would be home - just remove from the freezer and let defrost in the 'fridge overnight and then put into the slow cooker on low.

      Sausages and mash as a meal in Melbourne was something like $15-00 this week and I will not even start on the chicken parma prices. Apparently it is no longer the 'in thing' in the pubs these days.


  8. Thank you for another inspiring post Annabel
    I did a huge cook up not long ago and it has been a life saver now when there is no income and we are living off our supplies. Not only did I cook up meals I also did a large cook up of fried rice full of vegetables and this as been so helpful. My chest freezer is filled to the brim right now and the freezer on top of the fridge only has space in it now for the leg of ham I am going to cut into tomorrow.

    One thing I have come to find is that it is not only illness and financial hard times or even a busy family that benefits from a freezer of ready food. I know that I became very down for a day or two recently when facing hard times and it was so easy to say I can't face cooking I will buy something but having easy meals all ready to go in the freezer saved the day. I have friends that sadly suffer from long term depression and I think on "good days" if the freezer is packed with nourishing meals then on "bad" or "down" days life is made so much easier.

    Tonight I came home from a short shift at work and it was late but since I had the fried rice made and the vegetables pre-cut I had a beef stir fry ready in less time than it would have taken to get in the car and drive to the take away shop, not to mention the time it would take them to cook it.

    Have a great week and God Bless my friends

    1. Fried rice is a really good idea as you can even add to it or alter it, use it as a main or a side...
      I am very glad you are the kind of person who puts what you can away when you can. Very handy at times like these. And when you are back to normal I know you will be stocking up again. Which I hope is very soon!
      I am hoping tomorrow is a good day for you with some nice surprises :) xxx

  9. And remember portion control too - it is a very quick way to build up a stash of freezer meals. For instance we are a family of 5, so most of my recipes are either 6 serve or 8 serve (4 serves x 2). I dish up 5 serves for our meal, and immediately put the remaining serve/s into containers, label them and into the freezer they go. We don't eat "leftovers" for lunch - we don't have leftovers, they are "free" meals for the freezer. We had freezer meals instead of the chicken pie I had planned for tea tonight. After a particularly busy day (I did my meat shopping a few days early and had to pack it all away) I couldn't be bothered baking a pie so it was pasta bake and moussaka from the freezer and I'll move the chicken pie to next quarter.

    1. It is true! I am amazed how serving the right portions I am able to save meals for another time. I am trying to do something too that Mimi said which is to restrain and leave one ingredient out or off the plate and save it for another recipe, one less thing... mostly I can do that and it is good for the waistline and the budget too. Simplifying that little bit... I am very happy with the meals in my freezer and it's almost chock a block full. This is been a priority as I thought I could be busy if I am needed to help with the baby... And I am tired I will have meals. Do I sound like a willing helper!? (I am that's for sure!)
      My goal was to really stock up by May and I am so pleased. Sausage rolls next... I can squeeze them in somewhere! Xxx

  10. Annabel! You have been so busy! I love all the freezer meal ideas and tips. I'm getting ready to add some low carb breakfast casseroles to my freezer while I have extra eggs from our chickens.

    1. I am thinking of Ricotta pancakes and also frittata would be good and would freeze?
      It is wonderful you have so many eggs. So many possibilities. Right now I have a major craving for crime caramel... Baked custard, bread and butter pudding. The first two work for you, not so much the last one though!
      Eggs are so full of goodness.
      I hope you are having a good week. Catching up at home I am thinking, it is always a big job when returning home after being away. Xxx

    2. Crime Caramel... lol.. Fiona pointed out that must be creme caramel with extremely high calories! I need to stop typing replies on my ipad!

  11. Annabel there are enough tips in your post to keep me busy for the rest of the year! And the comments are terrific too. I have only relatively recently started cooking extra and freezing meals and baking. I find the one thing that stops me is having enough equipment. For example I have only ever had one slice pan- which is not a slice pan at all really, it is a small roasting pan . Finally yesterday I remembered to buy another slice pan when I was out grocery shopping.

    Like Lynette my husband makes terrific rissoles and we always freeze half the batch for future use. I have put the scripture Marie quoted into my journal so I can re-read it throughout today.

    I have some frozen corned silverside in my freezer as I have been cooking and then halving the silverside and freezing half. Now you have inspired me to use it in a corned beef pie next week.

    1. Hi Sherri, I just read your comment about not having enough equipment. One thing I do is line a dish or pan with alfoil after giving it a quick grease with butter or coking oil. Fill it with whatever it is you wish to freeze, then cover it with some more alfoil, then into a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. The next day, remove the frozen meal from the dish, rewrap it in the alfoil and freezer bag and back it goes in the freezer minus the dish. When you are ready to cook it, it is the perfect size to fit back in the dish, and this frees up your dish/ pan to use in other cooking. Also, I wipe the alfoil clean to use again. A clever tip that my mum taught me!

    2. Thank you Stephanie! That is a great tip and saves room in the freezer as well as keeps your dishes free. I like your Mum!

      I hope Sherri sees this! Sherri I have built up my numbers of dishes and pans from op shops. They have some lovely ones. Plus thinking outside the box helps sometimes... like a pizza doesnt have to be round, an oven proof dish is good for a cake and all kinds of odd things can work!
      I try and collect pans that either fit inside each other or stack so they dont all take up so much room. My baking tray gets a work out too... for roasts, cakes, giant slices, quiches, impossible pies... I make them all in big slabs then cut up.
      I also swear by non stick baking paper. This means everything comes out perfectly and your dish is free again as Stephanie mentioned.

  12. Great list of freezer meals. This is something I continue to work on. I now have a go to pizza dough and sauce recipe, spaghetti sauce, muffin, and ravioli recipes that freeze wonderfully and meet my families approval. I have a goal to add a few more things as my budget allows next month.
    I added some jarred sauce, boxed macaroni and cheese, plus diced tomatoes to the pantry last week. My overall goal is to have on hand both convenience items and ingredients (like flour, sugar, rice, etc.) The convenience foods being there in the event I am the one who is ill my husband can have a few things to put together easily (we have a 3 year old and 4 year old so dinner can be challenging! ) - Melissa L.

    1. Melissa that is so good, a combination of easy to put together things and ready things. You are prepared for all kinds of situations. And when you have little children this is so important too. The things you cook are great! And all freeze perfectly.
      I hope your budget allows and that you find great specials to help you next month. This is how most times I have a cook up, finding mark downs and good prices and getting extra that way. I love that! I have to shop later today so I will be on the look out! Thank you so much for

  13. I do the soups and pasta sauce, too. Chili is always a good one to freeze since one pot makes five meals for us. I also freeze pasta casseroles since the two of us can hardly start on a whole one. Many recipes yield four meals for us. I also do lasagna in squares so that I can take out as many as needed.

    I like to keep cooked shredded chicken on hand as well as small packages of chopped ham. I buy a large pork roast when there is a sale and cook and shred it and mix with BBQ sauce for pulled pork sandwiches.

    I freeze small servings of applesauce for lunchboxes. I make 2 dozen cupcakes at once and ice and freeze them in a container. We can take out two for a treat. They keep 6 weeks without any flavor loss. I always have muffins in my freezer for my husbands lunchbox.

    After Thanksgiving I freeze the leftovers as meals for two and then we can have that meal again for a few months. I like to keep cooked meat and broth or gravy in containers that can be a base for pot pies or cooked with rice or noodles. Don't toss leftover gravy! It can be frozen in a container and reheats very well in a saucepan but will need some whisking to make it smooth again.

    I have a white sausage pasta sauce recipe that we really enjoy. I cook enough of the sausage, veg and seasonings for 4 meals and eat one and freeze the base for 3 more. I add cream and reduce it and serve over pasta.

    I make bagels and bread sticks ahead and freeze. I butter and garlic French bread slices to be toasted to go with pasta meals.

    I cut potatoes in one inch cubes and boil until just beginning to get tender. Drain and cool and freeze flat in a single layer in bags. These can go straight from the freezer to skillet for browning and taste just like fresh potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be baked and cooled and slipped out of their skins. I put each one in a separate sandwich size bag and then into a gallon freezer bag. They are ready to be thawed and used many ways and keep for a year. They are also great baby food for visiting grandchildren.

    Thanks for all the great ideas, ladies!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I am so impressed you make bagels! Thank you for this post. It is full of ideas and information. I love what you are doing with the potatoes and noting what you do with gravy for future use.
      Also I will do what you say with the sweet potatoes. I got an idea from Jamie Oliver. If you are cooking a roast or something, to use this heat and put pumpkin or whatever in the bottom of the oven and then let them cool and you have easy to cut up and use pumpkin for soups, scones etc. Brilliant! Plus eliminating the hard work of cutting hard pumpkin.
      I also love the idea to cook up bulk apple sauce. So good.
      I got a heap of ideas from the great things you do and I know others will too so thank you very

  14. A great post as usual, Annabel. I will have to come back to it and read it more thoroughly as I am feeling a bit under the weather at the moment. Young homemakers are so fortunate to have all these ideas online these days as when I was young and had little children I used to have to get my ideas from books. Now there is such a wealth of information on blogs such as your own which is very inspiring.

    1. I hope you are feeling better Nanna Chel. I love books and the library but I have to say it is blogs where I have felt the encouragement and friendship factor that has helped me so much. it started with Laine.
      And not to mention making friends and finding people with common interests and aims. Not always easy to find but thanks to the internet we can cast a much wider net! Its very nice!.xxx

  15. as always a lovely post Annabel, did have a good giggle though at your reply to Patsi. You mentioned you had hankerings for a "crime" caramel, now is that auto correct changing creme to crime or do you call it crime caramel cos it's not good for the waistline. Either way it pressed my giggle button. Last night for dinner we had a beautiful home made meat pie. When my partner was coming home I said to him what I'd made and he said "oh Lord I will drive faster". I said don't bother, it's not ready yet. didn't want him getting a ticket now did I? Needless to say sitting in front of the roaring fire with homemade pie on a plate was a perfect way to eat our meal. I haven't made a pie for ages, but seeing your gorgeous pictures (a blog would be so boring without pictures wouldn't it?) I went oh yeah, pie is good. xx

    1. Dear Fiona, you ave me too laughs! Crime caramel I have decided was "intentional" and means extra rich creme caramel. :)
      I just love your bloke saying he will drive faster to get home to meat pie! Yes men all over the country would be rushing home in the same way if they knew hot meat pies were in the oven! And eating near the fire. Perfect. These are real comforts! And really some of the nice things about the colder weather.
      Next week I am doing a big lot of sausage rolls. I like them as if I say soup Andy is a bit unexcited (but I love soups) but if I say soup and a sausage roll then its a bit like the drive-home-faster-effect.
      Now to go and finish my Friday report! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  16. Annabel, I just wanted to say I love all these ideas. Yes, I make extras and either freeze for another meal or use for lunches. But what I have never thought to do is put meatloaf in a foil pan, surround it with yummy veggies and put it in the slow cooker!! Great idea and one I will be using tomorrow for our dinner!! plus easy clean-up.
    My food storage has always included my pantry/freezer/frig but I've learned from you and others to include gifts/sewing/medicine etc. I've been taking inventory of my canned goods as canning season will be soon and we use our storage daily.
    Again, thank you for all the great ideas. Teri btw because of you, I'm going to learn to knit :)

    1. Dear Teri I am so happy you are learning to knit! Knitting, or crochet, are just so good and good for us!
      If you do the meatloaf and veggies this way add a little water to the bottom of the crockpot as that steams the vegies. The meatloaf comes out perfectly. It is a really easy meal.
      There are some ways to use the crockpot I didn't know once but now I do puddings and cakes and layered things... I will do a post soon about some of them. Many thanks Teri xxx


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