Freezer Fritz was empty…
The container and lid drawers were overflowing (I had a stack of containers on the counter too!)…
To rectify the situation and to once again add variety to the menu at Chez Judy, I spent just over 8 hours cooking 11 different meals. It wasn’t the most relaxing way to spend my Saturday, but it was highly productive!
Why all the meals? About 23 years ago I started cooking full size meals and freezing them in individual portions so I could bring them to work for lunch. Many of my co-workers went to fast food restaurants and brought their purchases back to the office to enjoy. I had just purchased my first home and was truly house-poor. In order to resist the urge to participate in their awesome smelling lunches, I scrapped the idea of sandwiches and started to bring the home cooked meals so that my taste buds could enjoy something healthy and tasty. The system worked great so I still use it.
I love opening my freezer in the morning and deciding what I’d like to bring to work for lunch…kind of like a restaurant with all the choices…hence “Chez Judy”!
The key to cooking 11 meals in one day is organization. I set all the non-perishable ingredients on my counter, grouped by meal with the recipe on top of each pile. (All those dark bottles are flavored olive oils…not ingredients for the cook-fest.)
I’d been accumulating the meats for three weeks so they thawed in the fridge for the 2 days prior to the cook-fest. The fresh veggies were on shelves and in drawers, and the rest of the perishables helped fill the shelves.
I hauled out my large skillet, my large pot, a medium pot, the crock pot, my basket of spices and got to work.
First up was filling my crock pot with potatoes, carrots, sauerkraut and kielbasa. I was going to use the crock pot a second time so I needed to get that going right away.
Next up was lasagna because I needed to cook the noodles and the meat mixture.
Once that was in the oven I filled the big pot with pea soup…
…and used the large skillet to make Manwich sauce (the easiest thing I made all day!). I love to sprinkle this with shredded cheese and enjoy it over a bed of lettuce, spinach and kale.
I reused the skillet and made American Goulash…
…and while that was simmering for 20 minutes I peeled, diced and boiled 3 potatoes for the Shepherd’s Pie. I had just a few minutes to wait before I could reuse the skillet to fry the hamburg for the pie.
About this time the pea soup was done so after putting it in containers, I washed out the pot and filled it with my Mom’s spaghetti sauce.
I cut up two chicken breasts then sautéed them in the skillet. I added the chicken to a bunch of cut up fresh veggies and made a chicken pot pie, doubling the Bisquick recipe.
While that was in the oven I cut up a couple more chicken breasts and lots of fresh veggies and made an awesome chicken stir fry!
About this time my feet were screaming mad at me, my back was aching and my energy was sinking…fast. I looked at the counter and when I saw I only had two meals left to make I buckled down and plowed through.
The crock pot was emptied and refilled with beef stew, and the large pot was reused to make Joan Lunden’s Mean Bean Chili.
The final tally of individual meals in Freezer Fritz is 82!!!!! Manwich sauce – 8, lasagna – 9, pea soup – 10, American Goulash – 4, shepherd’s pie – 5, chicken stir fry – 5, chicken casserole – 9, chili – 7, beef stew – 6, kielbasa, sauerkraut & veggies – 7 and spaghetti sauce – 12.
Freezer Fritz is now about 3/4 full…
And the container and lid drawers are each about 1/4 full…
Next cook-fest will be Thanksgiving weekend when I cook a turkey just so I can make meals with leftovers…including soup!