I am going to master the bulk cooking way of life, because there is nothing more unpleasant than walking in the house at 6:00, have two or more hours of homework ahead of us, a group of hungry children and no idea what anyone is going to eat. So far, I have done three batches of cooking. Day one, back when everyone was still sick, I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup, which barely lasted until the next day, two crock-pots of sausage kale soup, which lasted a few days, and a triple batch of chili. We ate one portion of the chili and I froze the other two for future meals. Making three meals in one day didn't seem bad and it yielded five dinners.
|I soaked four pounds of kidney beans and two pounds of black beans for the chili|
Yesterday, I tried another approach. I printed a freezer meal plan - the shopping list, prep list and menus. I left for the grocery store about 10:00 and did not finish the meals until about 6:00. That did include grocery shopping, putting food away, prepping and preparing the meals. I made spinach quiche for last night's supper, corn beef and cabbage in two crock-pots for tonight's dinner and then five other meals for the freezer. While that may sound impressive, I did little yesterday but make meals and they are only going to last a week. Beyond that, James and Ben chopped almost all the meat and veggies for me; without them, I would have had to work all night! So, it doesn't seem reasonable to me to spend 1/7th of each week cooking and still have to do breakfast, lunches and some Moriah vegetarian meals.
So, I think I'm going to go back to my first (or second) plan, which is to double or triple everything I make. One for dinner and at least one more for the freezer. It shouldn't take too much longer to double what I already make and it should cut my evenings cooking in half.
|James cut up three roasts and countless chicken breasts|
These are the veggies I bought yesterday for the recipes, beyond the ones I already had in the fridge.
I made two different beef stew recipes for the freezer. When I have to plan on each meal feeding at least 16, they are large batches!
This is how I froze them; most required two bags. I then just wrote on the bags the cooking instructions and any last minute needed add ins.
I am going to work on a January/February menu that repeats for each month. I may be able to just repeat it for March as well depending on the weather - we eat a lot of soups and stews in the winter and then switch to warmer weather meals.