Friday, October 17, 2008

Freezer Cooking- Getting Ready...

Some of you know that I'm having surgery in less than two weeks. Yup. It's been a long time coming and it's of the major variety. I agreed to it in August and the end of October was the first available slot on the surgical schedule with my surgeon. All of a sudden though, it is coming up fast! I'll be in recovery mode for 8 weeks (this is the sixth surgery in the same area so I know what to expect). I am most grateful for all the help and support coming our way. Both of our parents will be staying with us helping for a week at a time. Dan has lots of days to take off for the week of my surgery and after our parents have gone home he'll be taking some days off each week so I'm not on full time duty for a few weeks after that. We also have friends helping with the kids while I'm at the hospital still.

And then there's the food... the steering team of my home MOPS group (the group I used to coordinate before becoming a Council Coordinator) offered to do some freezer cooking for me. It took us a while to settle in on how it would be done and where, but in the end I planned the meals and did the shopping and then we met all together this morning (6 of us or so) and put it all together. It took some effort to plan it and get ready for it, but the actual work was so easy! Thanks girls!!

We put together 6 full meals of stuffed shells and browned 6lbs of ground beef.
Here's the freezer after our cooking day- this does not include the taco soup still on my stove. I left out some important ingredients so I brought it home mostly put together and got it simmering. That one recipe will make about 3 or 4 meals for our family.

So, what did we make?
  • 1 meal of chicken cacciatore
  • 4 meals of taco soup
  • 7 meals of white chicken chili
  • 6 packets (3 meals) of parsley parmesan chicken (marinated chicken parts with a seasoning packet for each)
  • 7 meals worth of chicken nuggets (cut up raw chicken for seasoning later)
  • 12 cups of spaghetti sauce (enough for three of the stuffed shells meals)
  • 6 meals of stuffed shells (120 shells!)
  • 6lbs of browned ground beef
Our church has a few meals for us while I'm at the hospital and my MOPS discussion group wants to help out as well. We are truly blessed to have such a great support system so far from our families!

I do have a few more things to get cooking- several crockpot meals and some roasting chickens before I relax. I'm also hoping to get my bushel of apples processed into slices so we can make apple treats and fried apples (for breakfast) and to measure out the dry ingredients for lots of batches of our homemade waffles.

I'm working on updating my freezer inventory and marking what goes with each meal that is in the freezer. It's going pretty well all things considered. Here's a list of Freezer Cooking books I like.

  • The Freezer Cooking Manual (I have the first and fourth editions)
  • Once a Month Cooking (the grandmother of freezer cooking books)
  • Don't Panic (Dinner's in the Freezer)
There's also lots on line especially for the Freezer Cooking Manual. You get a code if you buy the book and they have tons more recipes online. I've tried a lot of their stuff- snacks, sides, breakfasts, desserts. We don't use this method all the time, but my routine goal is to have something in the freezer all the time so that carry out isn't necessary if I have a day when I can't cook or just don't feel like it!

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Amber said...

Wow! I am impressed! Freezer cooking is on my list of "things I would love to be doing, but haven't done yet"!

I am praying that your surgery and recovery goes well!!

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Your freezer is that clean? I have never in my life seen such a thing. It appears you can identify everything in there. What kind of freak are you?


Heather said...

Jana- notice I'm freely sharing photos of my refrigerator.

Dan is the one who insisted on a freezer inventory before we did this cooking day.

The fruit was already stacked together. The whole top shelf holds blueberries and strawberries.

Plus, the applesauce is all together.

Don't worry- the upstairs freezer is less immaculate.


Anonymous said...

Wow,that is a LOT of food! What a tremendous blessing! I'll be praying for you in the coming weeks.


deleise said...

Gee, Heather, maybe you should think about getting organized! ;)

Heather said...

Oh and one more thing Jana...Dan reminded me of last year's big thaw.

Here's the link in case you missed it. It's one of my favorites!

Shannon said...

You are one prepared lady - you inspire me!

I'll be praying for you - for quick healing and a good recovery.

Wanted to let you know that I nominated you as
Best Encourager for the Homeschool Blog Awards!
Thanks for always lifting others up. :)


Peggy said...

You are awesome! Look at all that food stored up - what a woman!