You have all likely read about our family’s Cook-a-palooza weekends. While we love these endeavors, and reaping the benefits of a freezer full of home cooked meals, we have taken a slightly different approach to our freezer meal prep. We had planned on a big cook weekend several months back. Sadly, my mother-in-law became very ill. We decided to postpone for some time, as we wanted to focus our time and energy on spending time with her. Nonetheless, the demands of a large family do not stop. And, this fall was no exception. We were stretched very thin. And, not having at least some pre-prepped meals made things trickier. Patch suggested that instead of a huge cook weekend, we do a few hours of batch cooking every other weekend. I said, “Sign me up!”
We opted to have just one of us prep the meal, leaving the other to handle other duties–shuffling children around, laundry, homework, breaking up fights, etc. You know, all the exciting tasks of that go along with parenting five children. It made the task less overwhelming, as we only needed to scale up and purchase ingredients for one recipe, instead of many. Additionally, it is easier to carve out a few hours every few weeks, than a whole weekend every few months.
So far we’ve made soup, meatloaf, lasagna (vegetarian and meat), and lemon/caper/butter/onion sauce (goes on fish, chicken, tofu, and more). Some upcoming meals we’re planning to make are whole wheat waffles/pancakes, crock pot ready enchiladas, and power bites. We’re trying to cover various meals and snacks. Each time, we make at least 10 meals worth of that item. This method should help us to save money (we’ll need to shop less each week), save time (I’ll have a few meals ready-to-go each week), and stress less. We’ll keep you posted on this ongoing project.
What does this photo have to do with our batch cooking day? Envision this: I’ve just completed making 12 full size lasagnas. With our large Peapod order came a large amount of dry ice. Patch felt compelled to utilize said dry ice. He decided to make dry ice ice cream. I agreed, assuming it would be a neat learning opportunity for the kids. Well, as soon as he dropped the dry ice into the cream/sugar/fruit concoction, it “exploded” into this. There’s never a dull moment here!