In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bulk Cooking

 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
 My second day was super simple. I made two double sized lasagnas. Normally one would go in the freezer, but I sent it with James and Ben to my friend's house to feed everyone the night I was in DC; my sister and the kids at home consumed half the other and we were able to heat the remainder for lunch after church. 

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. 

1 comment:

  1. The bulk cooking never worked for me because the meals on the plans were simply not what we liked to eat. My hubby does not eat any soup except chili. And he pretty much has to have a meat at every supper. For a long time I had a menu that allowed me to make double batches about half the time, I also cook enough so that DH has a meal to take to work the next day. I've always done repeating menu's, a month's worth of meals, and bought groceries by the month, for the most part.
    Several of our meals do repeat though, within the month. My brother-in-law is one of 13 kids. His mom did the same meals every week, ex. Monday was always meatloaf. When older kids wanted more variety, they could cook dinner.
    I hope your new plan works for you---who needs dinnertime stress!