I am officially in full nesting phase. This past Saturday I was bound and determined to stock that new freezer of ours with enough food to feed our family for weeks, and I couldn’t rest until it was completed. Following the plan from Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead & Freeze Cookbook worked incredibly well. I had gotten all the ingredients and pans and whatnot the day before, and early Saturday morning had me looking at these daunting counters and full refrigerator with apprehension, for sure. But seven hours later, I had 26 meals in my freezer, and a fully satisfied nest for the day.
Some pros for this book include:
- Ease of knowing what to prep in what order. Thanks to the author’s plan, there was no thinking involved for me besides just reading and following directions.
- Even with the precise directions, there was lots of wiggle room for making it your own way, if you wanted. You could easily buy all organic ingredients, bake your own breads and cook your own beans, etc. instead of buying from the store, or substitute various meats for the meat dishes based on your family’s tastes. Me? I went completely conventional this time around and followed the plan to a T, the idea being ease at this stage of my pregnancy!
- There are lots of plans/recipes to choose from. There were three different full-day cooking plans that provide a whole month’s worth of meals each, but there were shorter plans to fit your needs as well, focusing on Breakfasts, Vegetarian, Beef, etc. that you can cook in about two hours or so and get 10-15 meals out of your time.
- And kudos for absolutely no canned soups involved! Part of the prescribed plan was to make a quadruple batch of homemade cream of celery soup at the beginning of the day that I used in several different recipes. Also, she had me start a homemade red sauce and simmer it for four or so hours as I worked on other things. I love that there was a real foods approach to the day, instead of buying all processed and MSG-laden canned goods!
I do wish instead of calling for 12 chicken breasts, the author had instead written how many pounds were needed, because I ended up with a ton more chicken then needed. But I guess that’s a good thing, when my goal was to stock up as much food as possible!
I typed up my own Freezer Inventory Sheet, listing what I had stored in the freezer, and also what to serve it with on the day we eat each meal. Hopefully this will not only help me remember what I have in the freezer, but also, again, cut down on any thinking needed after the baby gets here.
So all in all, it took me seven hours to make 26 meals for our family – my guess is someone who wasn’t 36 weeks pregnant could perhaps move around faster and get it all done in a more timely manner, but all in all I was very pleased with the whole process. And much, much thanks to my wonderful husband who watched the kids the whole time I was in the kitchen, and did two different loads of dishes throughout the day for me, and even ran back to the grocery store when I realized I had not bought quite enough sour cream.