If you are one of those who have their life regulated like clockwork, a life organized, so much so that at the end of each day you have always accomplished what was needed then this news is not for you. No ! It is for those like me who, every other day, have to deal with the most urgent matters and find themselves the next day having to do what they should have done the day before, which is not done to bring us up to date. This does not mean that I am not organized, but here with two children aged 13 and 9 who are my joy and what is dearest to me in the world and an independent activity which is my vocation, there is no there aren't always enough hours in a day to finish what was in business. For those who know me a little, I am the eldest of seven siblings and at less than ten years old, it was I who had full responsibility for them on a daily basis, that is to say, among other things, to feed them, keep dressed and clean and without, far from it, all the equipment of modern living conditions. And all this while continuing my education.
So very early on, I had to foresee, plan, accomplish, that is to say, be economical and efficient. Today among my acquaintances and my clientele, I regularly meet people who are overwhelmed and overwhelmed by daily tasks and who ask me how I go about it, in addition to everyday life, to find the time, among other things, to regularly practice an activity. physical. By asking them questions about their functioning I have the impression that in most cases the problem actually results more from a lack of knowledge than from a lack of organization. In the sense that in order to organize oneself well, one must have certain knowledge.
Until recently, I spoke with a client who told me that things were going well at work, but that when she went to the kitchen she felt lost. I asked her for a little more detail and that's when I realized that there was a practice that I used frequently that could significantly relieve her if I communicated it to her in a way that she felt to adopt it. I am therefore going to share it with you, wishing with all my heart that it can help some of you to be less overwhelmed and stressed.
It's a practice that allows me to offer my family an elaborate, homemade, healthy cuisine full of smells and flavors, and to do so on a regular basis without having to spend an infinite amount of time there every day. It is based on the fact that there are several culinary preparations which can each serve as a basis for the preparation of different dishes. I will take as an example “bolognese”, well known to everyone.
As its name suggests, Bolognese takes its name from the city of Bologna in northern Italy. For almost everyone bolognese rhymes with spaghetti. Ironically don't tell a Bolognese, the inhabitant of Bologna, that you eat your bolognese sauce with spaghetti. He will answer you that in Bologna we don't eat spaghetti, that spaghetti comes from the south of Italy and especially from Naples. No, in Bologna we eat egg pasta and especially tagliatelle. And in Bologna, the Bolognese accompanies above all tagliatelle but also, on occasion, lasagna or polenta. In my case, in addition to these three dishes, it also accompanies pizza and rice. Any Bolognese or Bolognese will also tell you that a bolognese worthy of the name requires several hours of cooking, so you might as well make one to accompany these different dishes on different dates by freezing a good part of it. I prepare my bolognese one day when I have time not only to start it but also to let it simmer quietly for nearly two hours while of course doing other things during this period but without forgetting to come and check on it regularly.
So when I prepare a bolognese I plan to make enough to accompany these five dishes. It is a question at first, already at the level of the races, of buying the necessary quantities of meat and vegetables for the preparation of at least five Bolognese. As long as you are not used to such a practice, this first step can be a little scary, the fear of ending up with a quantity of food such that you imagine it will lead to waste. It's a step to take that somehow forces us to step out of our comfort zone. But once you have crossed it and you only have to take a portion of Bolognese out of the freezer to prepare one of the dishes for which you have not yet used your surplus Bolognese, you will fully realize the whole advantage in flavor and time savings that this method will offer you. Secondly, it is therefore necessary to have cookware suitable for such quantities, quantities which represent roughly five times the volume of what you are used to cooking for a meal. Therefore if you are normally four at the tables, this means pans with a volume allowing you to cook the quantities necessary to feed about twenty individuals. Again, these are apprehensions that must be overcome at first to finally benefit from all the advantages of this new way of doing things. So in my case when I make a bolognese, that is to say once or twice a month, I make it for at least fifteen people since we are most often three and sometimes four around the table.
Once the bolognese is cooked I let it cool. Then I divide it into five parts, reserve one part for the dish of the day and put the other four parts in jars that close hermetically or freezer bags. On each of them I write the contents and the date and place everything in the freezer.
The day I prepare the bolognese I usually accompany it with pasta, be it tagliatelle, spaghetti, penne or any other pasta of your choice. That day I already spent a lot of time in the kitchen so I might as well serve this part of bolognese with pasta which takes little time to prepare. This does not prevent me from offering my family a most elaborate and tasty dish. A few days ago we were experiencing a heat wave and the temperature was almost tropical. I really had no desire to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So, the day before, I took a portion of Bolognese out of the freezer, which I thawed in the fridge, and the next day I incorporated it into polenta accompanied by a nice salad, just to add a little freshness. In half an hour the trick was done and we savored a very pleasant balanced meal and we all enjoyed ourselves.
For the preparation of each meal I try to leave with the freshest and least processed products possible, the ideal being to be able to buy its products directly from the producers as is possible in a good part of France on market days. . I make sure to offer my family, and especially my two young children, meals with always several vegetables while ensuring that there is a good balance both in terms of nutrients, especially protein, and cooked and raw. . Each of the five dishes with Bolognese as a base will be accompanied by a salad, most often composed. In addition to the vegetables cooked in Bolognese thanks to this salad, the meal will include three or four raw vegetables which, depending on the season, can be: onions, shallots, lettuces/green salads, endives, grated red beets, grated carrots, tomatoes, peppers, red radishes, grated black radishes, spinach leaves, lamb's lettuce, dandelions… The list is long, there's something for everyone and there's plenty to choose from.
Dressing question for the salad, another tip that saves me time and trouble. Of course you will have guessed, question of life philosophy, that I am not one of those who buy ready-made seasonings. I usually make my dressing for the month, then pour it into ice cube trays and just pop a cube out an hour before the meal. Once again there is a step to take! But believe me! Once you get through it, you get the hang of it, it's just a matter of habit and routine, you won't regret it and you'll wonder why you didn't do it more early. This will leave you time, as much time to devote more time to what matters to you.