When you and your friends invest money and time into batch cooking, amazing things can happen!
We started 3 years ago, in my friend’s kitchen, making a bit of sauce while the kids were in school. We had a small hand mill to help us easily mash up some tomatoes. We were working on one stove filled with a single canning pot, a pot for lids, a sauce pot and an extra pot of water to top up where it was required. That was when we were thinking, hey this is fun! We should do more of it next year…Like maybe make a day of it!
Well…that day came!
Fast forward a year to the second annual, but first of the mass production sauce days! After some investment into a real industrial type food mill, we got a bit more serious about how much sauce we could make. We went out in the morning and bought A LOT more tomatoes than the previous year. We worked on the weekend so that we didn’t have to worry about school pick up or drop off, and we got right into it! We ended up making almost one hundred(!!) 1L jars of sauce. We had been working all day long, and I ended up heading to my own house by about 4:30 in the morning! While thickening the sauce we hashed out some efficiency details for the following year. Staying up until 4:30 makes for a long day! So we had to change a few things. Overall we were very excited about perfecting the system for next year.
The 3rd Annual sauce day!
Another year flies by and now we are committed! We have our industrial mill, we have two large propane burners and two pots that each hold over 100L, we have two stoves going with sauce thickening and different canning pots on each stove, we got started earlier and we had a few more people to help us out. We increased the amount of tomatoes to 10 bushels!!
We definitely improved our efficiency from last year, but I still didn’t arrive at my own house until close to 2am!
After a long day’s work, we ended up making almost 150 1L jars and a TON of great memories!
Once again, in the late part of the night/early morning, we tried to hash out some details to make next year go more efficiently. We really should make time to eat, or drink water! We also want more time to be social and laid back!
Batch cooking is really very boring AND a lot of hard work if you are doing it all by yourself – if you can find some friends to work with, it can make the time go by without making you feel like you are working your buns off!
Plus it means that everyone gets more!
Some people may think of recipe exchanges or bake swaps when they think of batch cooking. Others may think of cooking a bunch of casseroles and having a casserole exchange party. All of these options are great, but sometimes you just need to focus on one item that you use a lot of throughout the year. Being able to grab a homemade jar of sauce from the pantry and add it to whatever it is your making is a pretty good feeling!
So grab some friends, come up with a plan and cook up a storm with them!