Aluminum foil & Ziploc™ bags: Time savers & time travelers

I’m a big fan of saving time in the kitchen, especially the time it takes to clean up the mess from making home cooked goodies. I got real frugal on this project: I re-used the root vegetables ‘marinating bag’ for the scalloped potato casserole, then used it again to pack away the peelings that I’d pared onto old newspaper (it’s too cold to compost right now). A big meal created and not one dirty bowl or pan. Pretty cool, eh?

Normally, I prefer to use non-stick aluminum. It’s pretty pricey and the sheet is narrower, but it’s perfect for sticky stuff like nachos. For this recipe, the wide, heavy duty (and less expensive per foot) foil is better. It’s easier to make baking packets for the food with it.
How to:
I drizzled about a tablespoon of avocado oil in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag then added a few hearty shakes of Montreal Steak Seasoning (see Cooking with the Authors of Summer Heat for the recipe- the book is free http://bit.ly/CookingSH). You can scrub (or peel) then chop carrots, parsnips, potatoes, whatever you’d like (onions, turnips, potatoes) and toss into the baggie. Shake the works until they’re all coated evenly, then dump onto a large sheet of aluminum foil (shiny side up). Fold the foil into a packet that will fit into half of a large cake pan. I guess a cookie sheet could be used, but I already had a ceramic 13” x 9” pan ready.
The second part of my meal was the main course. I added more avocado oil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bag and swished it around until it was blended. Then I tossed in three medium chopped potatoes and half an onion. I shook them around until they were well-coated. Next, I opened the bag and tossed in two heaping tablespoons of flour (I’m not a fan of exact measurements). I shook this around until all was coated. Finally: the meat. I took the lazy way out. I had a large can of pulled pork. It tastes like ham to me. If I had chopped or sliced ham (or Spam), I could have used any of those. One more shake to coat, then this mix was tossed onto a second large sheet of aluminum foil. I folded and pinched it into a packet and put it next to the other one.
I put the works into a preheated 375 degree oven for an hour. I let it rest for a few minutes before opening. Watch out for steam!
From foil to plate. The cake pan was still clean and if I’d used paper plates, not a dish would have been dirtied.
Oh, and it tasted pretty good, too.


How does this tie in with time travel?
When Evie accidentally fell back in time, a couple of items she had were aluminum foil and Ziploc™ baggies. Did they help her survive the cold of a 1780s North Carolina winter? You bet they did! Read about how in Naked in the Winter Wind, first book in the time travel series The Fairies Saga.

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