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Dale's 1 hour Christmas dinner, for 10 people.

 
master pollinator
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Your results may vary.

I made a beef stew, with mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. This was done on the 26th , since other family events happened on the 24th and 25th. So, my guests had already had their fill of turkey. And they had lots of leftover pies and other treats. When I extended the invitation, everyone asked what they should bring, and I told them to bring all of the things that they had too much of.

This certainly helped reduce my cooking time. We had pies, and cake and cookies, but I didn't have to make any of them. I just made the main course.
.......
The first thing I do, is fill the kettle and boil enough water, to get things going. Some water is put in the pot, and it's turned on high.

 Everything goes into the pot, in order of how long it needs to cook. I had bought a pot roast that was marked down to half price. It was chopped up and thrown into the already boiling water. Then came the onions and garlic, and a number of different spices. I have an Italian spice mix and one that is called poultry seasoning. A bunch of pepper and some dill were added. Then I chopped up half of a red cabbage. The onions, were called red onions. Both were actually purple.

This stuff was boiling or almost boiling, most of the time, while things were being added. One of my number 1 seasonings is Bragg soy sauce. I put in enough of that to reach the desired amount of salt. Assembly of all of these ingredients took maybe 25 minutes.

After the pot came to a boil again, after adding the cabbage, it was allowed to simmer for 10 minutes or so. Then, I added 1 kg of mixed vegetables from the freezer. A few minutes later, it was boiling again and was turned down to just a simmer.

 My organic potatoes come in a 5 lb bag, and that is an amount that fits nicely into one of my larger pots. So, there were two pots on the stove, one for the stew and one for potatoes.

About 45 minutes had elapsed since the meal was started. By this time, the potatoes were done and were drained. The potatoes were mashed. Done, in less than an hour.
......
There were no fancy serving dishes. I passed around the big Dutch oven full of potatoes, and told everyone to take the amount that they wanted. It was followed by the big pot of stew, which I set in front of myself. I got each person to hand me their plate, and I gave them whatever quantity they requested.
........
Clean up.
Several relatives wanted to help with cleanup, so I assigned them jobs. 1 gathered things that needed to go into the fridge, while another scraped things into the compost bin.
..........
I cleaned the floor with my leaf blower.

 It was fun demonstrating how I use my cordless leaf blower, for cleanup purposes. My niece enjoys clumsily irritating everyone for up to an hour, cleaning up after an event, using a broom around their feet. I opened the front and back door, checked wind direction, and then with the machine set on low, spent about 2 minutes coming down the hallway toward the kitchen, and then blowing everything from beneath the chairs and table, and everywhere else, to a 10 square foot section of floor by the patio door. This debris was swept up with a broom and dustpan.

Done. After everyone left, I spent about 20 minutes rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, washing down the stove and counter tops, and washing the table.

Total labor to feed everybody and clean up again, under 2 hours for me, and I probably engaged others for half of one man hour in total. Everyone was fed and I was left with enough leftovers to do me for 3 days.

I'm sure that many of you made a much more elaborate Christmas dinner. Unless you made TV dinners, few will have done it with less labour.  :-)
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote: It was fun demonstrating how I use my cordless leaf blower, for cleanup purposes. My niece enjoys clumsily irritating everyone for up to an hour, cleaning up after an event, using a broom around their feet. I opened the front and back door, checked wind direction, and then with the machine set on low, spent about 2 minutes coming down the hallway toward the kitchen, and then blowing everything from beneath the chairs and table, and everywhere else, to a 10 square foot section of floor by the patio door. This debris was swept up with a broom and dustpan.



I wish I could have seen that!!!

I think you and the inventor of the only Self-Cleaning House might have gotten along splendidly :D.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Here's a link to the thread on cordless blower home cleaning.
https://permies.com/mobile/t/73475/permaculture-home-care-cleaning/purity/Cordless-blower-home-cleaning

That self cleaning house is nuts. Or at least its creator was. She put huge expense and a whole lot of time into managing the systems. You could do a lot of mop time, with all the time she spent on putting something that didn't really work, together.

I have a much simpler plan for a washable but not self cleaning bathroom. Cover the walls and floor with rubber pond liner. Lay bedding sand, and flagstones on the floor. Suspend wire from the walls, leaving a 2-inch gap, which is filled with pebbles. You now have walls and floor, that can be hosed down and allowed to drain through the back wall. Just use a garden hose, and never worry about wiping up any water. It would be very similar to those outdoor showers, except that it is inside. Probably wouldn't be much less work, but certainly more unique than your standard bathroom.
 
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Dale’s Christmas sounds more interesting (= fun +) than those we have in my family!
 
Dale Hodgins
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chip sanft wrote:Dale’s Christmas sounds more interesting (= fun +) than those we have in my family!


My family has plenty of weird Christmas drama going on, for those who choose to participate. Some of them rush around like crazy, trying to make everything perfect and buying all sorts of crap that nobody needs. Some of them go out of their way to accommodate the black sheep of the family, who has mental issues due to his drug use. I told him that he would be allowed to speak less than 5% of the time. "We won't have any stupid conspiratorial conversations, lead by you." He didn't come.
.......
I didn't buy one manufactured item this year I only bought food, so got Christmas out of the way for less than $100. Several years ago, my oldest daughter was adamant that none of us need more crap. She told people not to buy her anything that wasn't consumable. She didn't want anything to hang on her wall or to decorate the house with, and she knows that people aren't very good at choosing clothing for other people. So, since then, it's been mostly chocolates, soap or some other treat, and then family meals. I find it amazing when I find out the fools have run up a credit card, so that they can fill a list of items that the recipients don't need.

I should have called this thread, Simplifying Christmas. Because I have seriously gone off topic here. Back to food. Did anyone else throw a very simple get together with one pot cooking?
 
pollinator
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Dale Hodgins wrote:

I should have called this thread, Simplifying Christmas. Because I have seriously gone off topic here. Back to food. Did anyone else throw a very simple get together with one pot cooking?



I counted 2 pots :)  Great thread Dale.  My family quit buying presents for each other.  Now we only buy things for the kids in the immediate family.  There are two of them.  Christmas is so much less stressful now that we spend it eating, playing games, and just generally interacting with one another.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Yes, I mentioned to pots earlier on. I don't count boiling as cooking.

My girlfriend, comes from very humble beginnings, in Africa. She was amazed, when I first showed her all of the stuff that I gather for free in my demolition business. And she was appalled, to find out that I don't think it would be appropriate to give all of this stuff to my family and friends. Her family, are all very generous with their meager earnings. As a compromise, I have promised to not be cheap with her, or with my children, but to still be cheap with every other human being. I actually do give quite a bit of this stuff away, but I don't want to create a situation where it's expected.

Now I have  really hijacked and sidetracked this thing. Back to one pot or two pot cooking of Christmas meals.

There is an old TV show called Mama's Family. During a chili cooking contest, one woman opened a can of chili sauce, poured it in and won first place. Mama protested. "That ain't cooking, that's heating."
 
I carry this gun in case a vending machine doesn't give me my fritos. This gun and this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
http://woodheat.net
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