In advance

We’re so used to having ready meals and buying pre-cooked food which only needs reheating that sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we’re not saving money, and we’re not really saving time – going to the supermarket takes time, ordering on-line takes time, undoing all the fiddly packaging, reading the reheating instructions, coordinating different elements of the pre-made meal takes time.

I have part of a free booklet which came with an Electrolux refrigerator either my mum or my mother-in-law had. It must be dated 1950’s or 560’s, but the cover and the first and last couple of pages are missing. In the general information section, after Left-overs, Ice  and Wines and Other Beverages, comes:

Prepare your meals in advance

  • make up salad dressing and put it into jars
  • make aspic jelly and keep in jars
  • make a supply of pastry and wrap in greseproof paper. This can be kept for eight to ten days
  • make medium white sauce and keep in tightly covered jars. It will be ready for creamed soups, vegetables or escaloped dishes

There follows some helpful advice:

Look over the dinner, lunch and supper menu. Many items can be prepared some hours before, or for greater convenience and time saving, often a day in advance. The pudding for two or three meals can often be done with the same preparation by varying a foundation recipe. The sweet can be varied by the addition of either fruits, nuts or flavourings.

This recipe booklet must date from before the time when freezers were a common kitchen appliance.

You can make your catering easier, more interesting, and more economical by planning your meals one or two days ahead and cooking in a larger quantity. Food you cook one day and plan to use later, can be safely stored in your Electrolux Refrigerator

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