Ashley @ The Rowser Family asked, “I want to hear more about bulk freezer cooking. Do you just cook many meals at once and freeze? are there some meals or even ingredients that are better suited for freezing?”
This is another question that I’ve been saving for a full post. (Oh the shame! Now everyone knows that I procrastinate and that I have a busy and full life. 🙂 ) On bulk cooking day we prepare about 20 recipes. Each family will get two meals per recipe.
The women that I do this with are very organized and have developed a system and computer program that they hope to put into an eBook to distribute to help others start their own groups. (They are also busy moms of many, so it may take them some time, but I know that a lot of the work has been done.)
The first step is to select the recipes that we will prepare. The computer program compiles the shopping list and converts a lot of the measurements for us. We shop 2-3 of us together and buy many ingredients by the case which gives us an even bigger discount than you typically receive. (Ask about buying meat by the case at Costco or Sam’s, you can save a lot of money.)
After shopping we figure out what the prep assignments will be and each family comes and gets the things that they will prepare before cook day. Ingredients are prepared, divided and labeled by recipe. (For example, one family will cook and shred the chicken, another will brown ground beef, and another will prep the veggies, etc.)
The night before cook day we (actually it is usually sweet Sofie) divide out the non-perishable ingredients by recipe, set up the work space and do any last minute prep.
I blogged a bit about the actual cook day with pictures. We start at 6 am and usually finish up around lunch time. Then each family packs up their food, usually around 40 meals and takes it home to stack in their freezer.
As far as good recipes and ingredients, we experiment and keep lots of notes. At the end of each cook day we talk about how the prep went, if we should change a recipe to make it easier (layer instead of roll enchiladas), if we should adjust any ingredient amounts, etc. and we make notes of those things for the next time. We also collaborate on recipes and have a HUGE store of that we draw from. We also always try at least a few new recipes each cook day. Some we like and keep and others, not so much. I do have well over a hundred recipes and will share some of my favorites, just keep reminding me. 🙂
I’ve started posting some of our bulk cooking recipes: Beef recipes.
We purchased both the brackets and the end caps with the gutters. You will have to get the type appropriate for the specific rain gutters that you choose. Here are some close up pictures.
Andrea @ Life in the Fullest has 6 children and wondered, “Do you ever get those looks from people or even comments? I am curious as to what would be a good response. I want to keep it Christlike but it really bothers me, especially when people make comments within hearing of the children.”
Yes, Andrea we get both the looks and comments and they can be tiring. Here are a few things that I remind myself often.
- This person does not realize that I get questions and hear comments about our family from nearly everyone we meet. To him, his comment is unique, original and probably the first time he has ever said something like this, even though I’ve heard it or something similar hundreds of times.
- This may be the first time this person has seen a family as large as ours and they are honestly curious.
- God has given us our children for many reasons and one is to give us hundreds of opportunities to bear witness to Him when people ask about our family.
- If this is the only time this person sees a large family, what do I want them to take away?
The first thing that I always do is smile, even if the comment is thoughtless. Then I always try to use the opportunity to point to God’s goodness and faithfulness.
“Are they all yours?” I respond, “Yes, God has truly blessed us.”
“You have your hands full.” I reply, “I’m so thankful for God’s blessing.”
“Don’t you know what causes that?” I respond, “Yes, God’s blessing.”
The comments being made in front of our children don’t bother me nearly as much as the comments people will make in front of their own children. You know the comments like, “I don’t know how you manage nine, the two I have drive me crazy.”