I like to make delicious meals but I do not have the time or industriousness it takes to do things like the books say. I’m wondering if I’m missing out on some truly fantastic tasting food by doing things the easy way. OR. . . are there even easier, less time consuming ways to make good food. Below are some of my lazy shortcuts.
The experts say to take bunches of them, tie them with a string and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place. My lazy version: Put the name of the herbs you happen to be growing on a paper bag. When you cut too much herb for the meal you are making during the summer, toss the extras in the paper bags (you gotta make sure they’re dry. Even my lazy ass learned to take the effort to dry them before trying to dry them), put bags in a kitchen cabinet away from the stove. In the winter, you’ve got bags full of dried herbs for almost zero effort.
Soup from scratch-- My son, who is less lazy than I am, will sometimes make stock and freeze it. Me, I’m far too lazy and time constrained to cook something that can’t be eaten after I’m done cooking it, so I don’t usually make stock. But, if I’ve already roasted a hunk of meat on a bone and the family has decimated it over the course of a meal or two, that is the best time to make lazy soup from scratch.
Cut up what veggies you got into chunks-- onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic (not potatoes. This doesn’t work well with potatoes)-- the stuff you’d usually put in a stock. Put 1/8 of an inch (even less) at the bottom of a stockpot and heat it. Put all your spices in the hot oil. Toss in what veggies you have. If you are gonna be less lazy, you should toss them in in order of hardness but if you can chuck it all in at the same time.
Then take whatever carcass you’ve got and put it in. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and cover.
After this it’s all up to you. It’s like making the stock and the soup at the same time. If you got a ham you can now add split peas or, perhaps, lentils. If you’ve got a chicken, a little rice or maybe some more carrots and some peas. I like to put fideos in with beef. That’s because I’m Puerto Rican.