Months ago, a friend hosted a freezer meal exchange. You selected your favorite freezable crockpot recipe, made a bunch of batches, then attended the party and took home a bunch of meals that others had made. I left with 11 meals to stow in my freezer. It was fabulous.
But there were…issues.
Issue one was the investment to make twelve batches of stroganoff. A few other folks ran into the same issue, because a couple of the meals were a little skimpy. That’s not a criticism. I have a larger family than most of the women and they are hearty eaters. I certainly found a use for everything that was brought home.
Issue number two was taste. I enjoyed every meal, but no meal is going to please everyone, especially a sensory-challenged six-year-old with a mile-wide stubborn streak. My husband and teenage daughter were both of the opinion that they had simply been spoiled by my near-magical kitchen abilities. (such complete and utter bull shit, I won’t even bother to blush and simper.)
Issue number three was the fact that it takes EFFORT to pull that sort of thing together. With so many families in play, there are a lot of dietary concerns to address. Then there are the flakes that don’t show. Life happens, but damn it, give a bitch a call, would ya? Anyway, with a move and a busy as hell life, it’s no surprise that my friend has put off arranging another swap and no one else, despite all the praise and wonder we expressed, has stepped up to the plate. I totally would, but I live a far piece out. (excuses, excuses. AKA, more bull shit.)
I’ve been thinking about how nice those meals were though. And if I forget, the Pin Nation is kind enough to remind me. Daily. So I should probably make some of those babies up, huh?
The work! The expense! The WORK! The knee pain and back pain. To make a long list of excuses short, the idea of spending an entire day in the kitchen, working my fingers to the bone, makes me weepy. Not in a single tear, trickling poetically down my alabaster cheek sort of way. In a full-blown, ugly cry way. We’re talking blotchy skin and snot, chickens. Not a good look.
Cut to this morning, when I had a little, teeny-tiny epiphany.
No one said I had to make 46 freezer meals at once, did they? That’s an actual question. It doesn’t say that in the freezer meal rule book, does it?
Why can’t I take the stew meat that was marked WAY down because it’s going to go bad in a matter of hours and make a single or double batch of stroganoff one morning? Why can’t I just take that extra half package of thighs and legs, mix up a batch of marinade and pop it in the freezer the payday after next? I could easily plan for a double batch of whatever was being thrown in the crockpot, budget allowing. In other words: I can spend fifteen minutes, instead of five hours, using the stuff that needs to be used or was on sale. Sure I only get one meal instead a months worth. But still…it’s there. And I don’t get PTSD the next time I think about doing it. Win-win.
Suddenly, a freezer full of prepped meals seems a LOT more doable. In related news, I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this earlier.
Oh, did you expect recipes? No, no, no, chickens. This isn’t that sort of blog. You can check my Pinterest though. There’s a metric ass-load of links there. And if you have a spectacular, freezable recipe? Link it up, kid!