Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Freezer Cooking

This is probably my single greatest time saving device. Of course it takes Ronnie hours of work, but it save me a lot of time! For the uninitiated freezer cooking requires you to plan ahead, have a deep freeze, and spend an entire day in the kitchen. I guess you don't have to have a deep freeze, but it does make things a lot easier.

First, make a list of items your family enjoys eating, and that freezes well. Meals like casseroles, soups, beans, stews, meatloaf, lasagna, spaghetti, gumbo, stroganoff. All of these freeze very well. Pick 3 or 4 that you want to start with. Hit the grocery store and get ready to cook in bulk. Ronnie will typically have 2 crock pots and several pots going at one time. On his last cooking day he made beef stew, pork stew, gumbo, red beans, black beans, stroganoff, and spaghetti sauce. Cutting veggies in bulk & prepping everything before you start will make it go smoothly. You can put a stew in the crock pot, while you cook beans & spaghetti on the stove & have a meatloaf in the oven. Make sure you time it so that everything isn't ready at the same time.

Think about the last time you made stew. You probably had leftovers for days. That was a lot of meals. We got 5 meals out of the last stew Ronnie made. We freeze our meals in serving size. A serving for us includes enough for me to take leftovers to work the next day. Using blue painters tape to label the containers will prevent them from getting marker permenantly embedded in the plastic. It peels off easily no matter how long it's in the freezer too. We've found that the perfect containers are the tall quart containers you get egg drop soup in from the Chinese restaurant. It's enough for all of us to eat, plus have leftovers.

Once all the hardwork is done, relax with easy meals for weeks. We usually do this, OK Ronnie usually does this, about every 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes longer. Once the freezer starts getting low we start making lists of what we want next.


Special K said...

Thank you for the advice on blue painter's tape! I use some sticker labels, but they tend to stick to the plastic and I attempt to scrape and get them off.

Good ideas! I wish my kids would eat any of the above ideas!

TesoriTrovati said...

Angie- have some great ideas and I appreciate your planning expertise! I used to plan out our meals each week, and buy what was needed, but that was before our family had things going on nightly! I miss those times. With basketball 2 nights, dance 3 nights, mommy working late/mastermind meeting 2 nights, there is not much left for meal planning, but that would be so great. We had an Entree Vous in town for about a year before it closed, and that was the same concept. Can I pay you to fly in to do it for me? I am all about finding experts :-)
By the way....I am Erin, and I thank you for the sweet frame! A great reminder on my wall o' inspiration that spring will come. Someday.
Enjoy the day!
Tesori Trovati Jewelry