A new trend?

Batch cooking – apparently the latest trend in the kitchen  – the media is full of it.

“Mum saves up to £100 a month with her batch cooking skills” (Metro Jan 2020)

“Savy nurse reveals she saves £25 a week by batch cooking” (Mail Online Jan 2020) 

Yesterday’s newspaper hailed ‘batching’ as the latest cooking trend and in today’s supplement was an article about Suzanne Mulholland, self-proclaimed ‘time saving guru’. Her “method” (again, her word) is to simultaneously cook several portions of meals that use similar base ingredients, and freezing them for later use. Am I’m missing something here? Taking a large pack of mince and making it into a base for use in cottage pie, lasagne, bolognese etc. – that’s a ‘method’?  Surely it’s simply what many of us have been doing for years.  Fifty years ago my school Domestic Science teacher taught the benefits of cooking several portions of food at once.

I’ve nothing against Ms. Mulholland and with her professional looking, well laid out website and soon to be available batch-cooking book, she seems to have hit on success.  Some of her recipes sound good and I like the way she offers some Slimming World compatible ones. But talk about teaching grannies to suck eggs… does anyone seriously not already understand that batch cooking saves time, and that it’s cheaper to buy in bulk? I’ve always subscribed to the notion that it’s as quick and easy to double up on quantity and pop the extra portion in the freezer as it is to cook a single dish, but even whilst making good use of my freezer, who wants to eat a week’s worth of pre-frozen meals? I like freshly cooked food.  Batching – the latest trend in cooking …NOT!

Now for what’s been happening in my kitchen today. There were cakes, of course: Chocolate & caramel crunch – two of these, one for Husband, one for a friend. And Carrot cake which will also be given away – this time to my daughter-in-law when the family visit next weekend. That one’s in the freezer.  Cooking ahead of time – who’d ever have thought of that? What a good idea!!

A vegi quiche is for ready for tomorrow and used up almost the remaining various  Christmas cheeses which I grated or crumbled and froze when it became apparent that they wouldn’t all get eaten at the time. I also made peri-peri chicken  for dinner this evening and a strawberry & mandarin orange jelly (the oranges sunk)!

It’s been a quiet weekend; anticipating bad weather, we’ve stayed in although Storm Dennis wasn’t, in the end, as horrendous as we’d expected, at least not where we are. Some of the footage on TV shows the devastation it wreaked elsewhere. As I type, the trees are still, the rain light and, all being well, the fence panels toppled by Dennis’s predecessor, Ciara, should be replaced this week. The snowdrops which looked much the worse for wear yesterday seem to have perked up.

I’m working tomorrow as I need to take Tuesday off – another week begins. Thanks for dropping in – back soon.

 

 

 

19 comments

  1. It’s in no way new but, as there is less home cooking generally, maybe some have missed the whole thing. I learnt from my mum as did many, but if you had a working mum, maybe you never really saw her cooking in that way.
    I’ll look up the lady you mentioned. SW friendly recipes are always worth consideration for me. 🙂
    xx

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    • I never saw my mum cook that way. I was rarely allowed to cook as I’d “make a mess”. It just seems like basic sense to me to cook more than one portion at a time. Oh yes, any recipes that are SW friendly are worth a look!

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  2. I make a batch of soup in winter. Often. And freeze it in portions. Cooking for one is not very exciting. With my two eldest, back in the 1970s, in the weekend I’d have that evening’s dinner cooking, like a roast, and two casseroles to have during the week, as I worked. I find the idea of modern batch cooking somewhat gross, to be honest. All those containers of measured food, often the same. But cooking something, making extra and freezing it for times you can’t cook – great. ps glad your lovely blog is back up. I find posting on my blog only once a week doable, and enjoyable.

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    • Thank you for your kind comments re my blog, Ratnamurti. You’ve summed up my attitude to batch cooking perfectly! I’d never decry its many uses but I definitely don’t want to be eating pre-cooked food every day

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  3. I also saw such a feature and thought, do we really need to be taught what should really be common sense?
    Sadly, though, common sense isn’t common to all! In a way, this (batch cooking) is how we’ve cooked for generations and als, we have ‘stretched’ food, which is another cost-saving method, such as roast on Sunday, cold on Monday, rissoles (you have to be careful how you say that) on Tuesday … then stock with the bones. OK, we no longer make rissoles (these were on the school menu in the 1950s) but we’ve batch cooked for years, have we not? Or those of us with common sense have done this! Aren’t people taught to do this by their mothers? Weren’t their mothers taught to do this by their own mothers? What a shame that Domestic Science doesn’t now appear to be a core subject in school. Feeding oneself must surely be the most important thing one can learn, a true life skill.
    Margaret P

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    • You’re right – cooking several things at once seems such an obvious thing to do. Whether for large families, couples or single people, there are advantages

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  4. haha, I really laughed at this. Like you , I learned everything in cookery class at school. Also from my mum. I am 71 yrs old now. When I was 14 I was looking after my dad, 2 younger sisters and grandad while mum was in hospital for nearly 5 months. They would never cope with that these days. Luckily I knew how to cook dinners and puddings as we usually had a particular meal for each day. I just copied what mum would have done.

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    • So sorry that I missed replying to your response. I just came across it. Nowadays we would say ‘what a learning curve for you,’ though we’d have said then’you just got on with it’. Either way, you took on a big responsibility. Your family were lucky to have you.

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  5. It always makes me smile when the next generation think they have come up with something that us older generations have been doing for years. I always batched cooked when the children were at home especially as they all did different after school activities and it was easier to grab something out of the freezer for them that wasn’t pizza. These days I don’t do it so often but as I can’t stand waste I will always make an extra ;portion to freeze rather than buy the smaller packet of mince or whatever. Just seems to make sense to me but maybe that s because we are from that older generation. May be we should write a book:-)

    Mx

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  6. Maybe it is a new idea to some people, Eloise. I know that, when I was growing up, we didn’t do batch cooking. The concept of cooking and keeping in the fridge or freezer was a novel idea to me when I first came to this country. Later, however, when I was working, I cooked for the week and kept in the fridge or freezer because it was easier that way. These days, I still cook and freeze for the convenience. 🙂

    Your cakes look delicious, as always. Yum! Carrot cake!

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    • Of course, I should have recognised that in other cultures things could have been different, Bless. It was common practice even when my grandmother had a family to cook meat for the roast dinner on Sunday, Eat it cold with bubble and squeak (mashed together potato & greens) and mince it on Tuesday. A ‘good’ housewife would make it a fourth day!

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  7. I’ve always done some batch cooking especially if it takes a lot of cooking. I’m always surprised though by how many people don’t do it. They like to cook fresh each time but don’t mind buying a frozen ready meal. Your cooking sounds good.

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    • As Husband have different tastes (we eat different meals about 50% of the time, it makes sense to make two portions of both meals and freeze one of each. I like to balance fresh and frozen. The latter being especially useful on those days when I just can’t be bothered

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  8. This made me chuckle. I love the new terms they have for ‘methods’ that have been in use for years. Surely it is just common sense, although like you, I much prefer freshly cooked food.
    All your baking looks delicious but that quiche in particular has my mouth watering. X

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    • Common sense seems to take flight at times! I always admitted to not having great presentation skills, but people do seem to like eating what I cook which is the most important thing

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  9. I find a lot of the young ones are jumping on any band wagon by telling us what to do, things we have been doing for years. It does indeed feel like they are telling us how to suck eggs. To my mind there is only one way to do anything, yep, the old tried and tested way. Why try any new way when the old way works perfectly well?

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