I love to cook. Combine this with a friend who has recently started fostering a sibling group of five (in addition to their own four) and you get Michele in the kitchen for a long time.
I have been doing freezer cooking for years. You know, cooking a bunch of meals and freezing for future use. I realised when I found out about the extra kids that the best thing I could do for my friend was to cook. She and I have come to an arrangement and over the next few days I’m going to be cooking some meals for her family. I love doing this. The planning, the shopping, finding an economical way to make a lot of food, and I love the cooking part too. But when I came home from Sam’s Club with 12 pounds of ground beef, 6 pounds of chicken breasts and 6 pounds of chicken thighs, as well as lot of other stuff, I start to get overwhelmed.
Because I bought a Coke at Sam’s (which is a big no-no after 7pm for me) I was raring to go when I got home. At 9pm. So I thought I’d get started.
I chopped and diced and threw some of the ground beef in the stockpot with some of the other stuff. It cooked and now it’s waiting to be made into Cheesy Chilada Bake tomorrow. I’ve got it packed in ice in a big plastic bucket in the garage, which is about 35 degrees. If I put it in the fridge hot it would compromise the temperature of the refrigerator, thereby creating nasty bacteria in the other raw meat I have stored there. I figure it’s pretty darn cold out there tonight and with the ice it will be just fine.
As I was cooking all this meat, I realised I was going to need to call in the troops. One of my problems is that when I do freezer cooking I just want to get it done. A lot of it. So I buy a lot of stuff. And of course meat doesn’t keep forever. Because much of what I make is frozen raw, I can’t freeze it and then thaw it and refreeze it again raw. So this is some time sensitive cooking!
Anyway. I’ve cleaned up the kitchen, written up my game plan for tomorrow. A friend is hoping to come over by 11 am and I’ll get her working on the meatballs. I’ve got a plan for dinner tomorrow night, which will be cooking in the crockpot all day. I love the crockpot. All I need to do now is take out the rubbish, brush my teeth, and go to bed.
Let me tell you, I am soooo glad that I put the clean sheets on the bed this afternoon instead of waiting until right before bed like I so often do.
So if you need to get in touch with me tomorrow, I suggest looking for me in the kitchen. If I’m not actually cooking I’ll be sanitising everything because I’m crazy about preventing food poisoning from cross-contamination.
Oh, just a side note. I tallied up how much the Cheesy Chilada Bake costs, per entree. Including the cost of the disposable foil pan, it will be around $7, to serve 8 adults. So for my family, we could get 2 meals out of that, making it only $3.50 per entree, feeding 2 big people and 3 little people. Add in some side dishes, and we’re probably up to $6. I aim to make our dinners average $5-6, so this fits in just perfectly.
Oh, second side note. I’m using the recipe from Fix Freeze Feast, the best bulk cooking cookbook I’ve ever read. And I’ve read pretty much all of them on the market. The recipes are tasty, easy, it’s simple to follow. I highly recommend it. The best $10.19 you’ll spend on Amazon.