It has been awhile since I have done any freezer cooking. I love the benefits of lots of meals in the freezer, but we have had a few barriers. First, our wheat business has been very busy and when I was baking an entire day for the local farmer’s markets, it left precious little extra cooking day to just do bulk cooking.
Second, we had a FULL freezer. We had several folks give us venison and that, combined with our beef order and bread in the freezer, we simply did not have space for freezer meals.
This week, after being finished with the bulk of our convention travelling, I decided it was time to get some meals in the freezer, so I called my sweet daughter, Christina and asked her if she would like to do a freezer cooking day with me.
So, we shopped Friday and cooked Saturday. I chose that day so that Duncan would be home to help with the boys and I could be busy in the kitchen without worrying about missing school time with the children.
Here is what we made:
Beef Chimichangas- 81 servings
Meatloaves – 6 meals
Mexi-chicken – 4 Meals
Turkey Pot Pies- 9 pies. 6 were deep dish for us, 3 were regular for Christina and her husband.
Maui Chicken- we made 24 servings but we ate 6 that night for dinner because we just could not help it!
3 Meals of Taco Meat (Ground Venison, refried beans and taco seasoning)
Cheesy Chicken Bundles – 24 servings
Two days prior to cooking day I baked a turkey. I had one turkey dinner then stored the rest for cooking day. On Saturday morning, I got up early to tape my recipes to the fronts of the cabinets and make my list for my “order of operations” to make sure I did not forget anything.
I started the day by chopping all the onions needed using my alligator chopper- my new favorite kitchen gadget! Then, I went ahead and assembled all the meatloaves, then packaged and labeled them.
Next, I started the Mexi-chicken (we substituted chopped turkey). Christina arrived at took over the preparations for this meal, so I went on to working on the pot pies. I realized I had purchased the wrong size pie shells- I use deep dish ones for our family and had accidently purchased the shallow ones. I went ahead and measured out the filling for the pie shells into ziplock bags and when my dear husband went out on an errand, he picked up the correct pie shells for me. When he got back with them, I just dumped the ingredients in the shell and wrapped and labeled it.
Once the mexi-chicken was finished and the pies were as far as I could go, I started browning all the meat for the chimichangas. Christina used my huge turkey pan and dumped all the other ingredients in there for me to mix the beef. Once that was finished, I realized I had three pounds of beef thawed that I did not use in that meals, so we browned it and added the refriend beans and taco seasonings and bagged those as well.
Next, I started the Cheesy chicken bundles and Christina and Anne Mary prepared the Maui Chicken.
Christina was fighting (and losing) the battle with her pregnancy nausea, so some of the time she was waiting it out in the bathroom. She was forced to wash a lot of dishes since she often arrived back around the end of a meal prep. That worked out well because working in a tidy kitchen is easier than just treading through your mess, so cleaning up after each meal is complete is a huge help.
David came in right at the end of clean-up top make a dozen peanut butter cookies for our dessert last night. He added a “secret ingredient” by putting a Reese’s piece candy on the center of each one. I was exhausted so Anne Mary helped him with those.
Sarah was sweet enough to do the “final kitchen clean-up” since my own pregnancy fatigue was starting to get the best of me.
We were finished with all the cooking and cleaning by 1:30 in the afternoon. That was not terribly quick, but considering that we are both pregnant and poor Christina was so sick for much of it, I was very pleased with our results and the amount of food we were able to put away for future meals. I did take a rest on the couch for an hour or so while the boys watched a movie.
Duncan rocks on the grill, so he grilled the delicious dinner for us all to enjoy that evening.
Looking for resources on Freezer Cooking? Here are my favorites:
Don’t Panic- Dinner’s in the Freezer
Don’t Panic- More Dinner’s in the Freezer