Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Freezer Cooking Friends
Years ago when there were only two little ones, my friend Beth approached me about freezer cooking. We would get together every 6 weeks or so, plan a menu, make a very large shopping list. The next week when all the ingredients had been purchased we would meet together for a very long day and cook. Sometimes our fun friend, Cindy, would drive up and join us.
We made a huge mess. The trash can would be filled to the brim. Our shirts would be stained. Chopped onions and various other things would cover the floor. The countertops and stove top would be covered in spills.
We were exhausted, but very happy. It was a great feeling of accomplishment to have 6 weeks worth of main dishes for the freezer. There's a lot of satisfaction in realizing that grocery shopping and kitchen clean up at home was going to be minimal.
We cooked together like this for 5 or so years. I seriously can't imagine what my life would have looked like had we not done this. It alleviated a lot of the stress that happens between 4:30 and 6:00 pm. More than anything, it was a great way to build a friendship and for our children to play together. I miss those days with Beth, but our schedules and family's needs changed.
A few times I coordinated a freezer co-op. I think at our biggest we had 8 ladies who prepared 2-4 separate meals for everyone in the group. We met to plan and then again to swap food out of the trunks of our cars. A group that size was hard to manage and many had specific preferences.
After that, I did the co-op scenario with my friend Jennie. This was such a blessing for several years. She really is a great cook and my family's favorite meals were always hers. But since her children have been diagnosed with some food allergies, we've had to stop for now. We do find other occasions to visit and go out to dinner together.
Last fall, I introduced our homeschool group to a freezer cooking party. It was a wonderful way to visit and be productive at the same time. This semester someone else picked it up and has another party planned. Fun!
Tomorrow, my very own sister, Barbara, is going to join the ranks of my freezer cooking friends! I'm so excited. She is expecting her fourth baby in the coming month I just know that this is going to make her life so much more manageable. Barb and I have always lived apart until this past fall. After a lot of prayer, God brought her husband a job here and now she lives less than 10 minutes away!!
Of course, I'll be so glad to have food readily available in my freezer. But more than that I'm looking forward to spending the hours in the kitchen talking and laughing and blessing each other.
I'll be sharing our menu and the recipes in the coming days so stay tuned. Also, feel free to ask questions or email me if there's anything I could help you with.