Who wouldn't like to find ways of saving time, particularly food preparation time?
Well am about to share some of my favourite kitchen time saving tips here.....
You can thank me later for it OK? *winks*.
First, let me say that if you have a medium to large family or you entertain a bit, then the deep/chest freezer is your friend - that is if you live in an area where you have access to some electricity power supply. Hello??? Am not forgetting that we are in Nigeria here ;D.
Anyways, you'll do well to have a freezer because then you'll be able to do bulk shopping and storage of some of the food items your family consumes regularly.
Do I need to point out that buying in bulk is waaay cheaper than buying in bits from neighbourhood stalls? Or that making one trip to the bigger market is less time consuming than making regular visits to neighbourhood stalls? Nah, I didn't think so :)
Something else I need to say is "If you can cook for one, then you can cook for 10, 20 or even 30"!!!
So my big tip is this......
Buy in bulk, cook in large batches and store in your deep freezer!!!
Yes that is it. In a nutshell...
But here is how I apply the tip.
JOLLOF RICE: Whenever I want to cook jollof rice, I make a large batch of the base sauce by frying blended peppers, onions and spices till its cooked. I then scoop out the excess sauce into freezer bowls to store in the freezer. The next time I want to cook Jollof rice, all I'll have to do is to bring out a bowl of base sauce, empty it into a pot and place over heat, once thawed, I'll just add washed rice and enough water, stir to evenly mix the sauce, cover the pot and leave to cook!
By having ready prepared base sauce at hand cuts down the preparation time significantly.
EFO RIRO: I also store base sauce for efo riro in the freezer. What I do is to fry a large batch of chopped peppers and onions with iru (locust beans), crayfish, smoked fish and shredded ponmo (cow skin). When cooked, I then store this in freezer bowls till whenever I want to cook efo riro. What I do then is to empty a bowl of base sauce into a pot on fire, prepare and wash the vegetables I want to use - it could be ugwu, waterleaf, shoko,green, then I add the vegetables to the simmering base sauce, stir and allow to cook.
AKARA (BEAN CAKES): When preparing Akara, I dehusk a large batch of beans. I wash and drain this very well before packing in polythene bags and storing in the freezer. When next I need to make akara, I just bring out one of the packed beans, blend with onions, season and fry.
STEW: I buy peppers, tomatoes and onions in bulk. I blend and boil them before storing in the freezer. This cuts down the cooking time when I need to cook a pot of stew as all I need do is to get some of the cooked pepper sauce and add to boiled meat, season and leave to boil.
I'll be sharing other kitchen tips as time goes on. Hope you find any of these useful.