Freezer Meals for Jenny!
Jenny really appreciated the freezer meals - so all of the hard work was worth it!
A few more Freezer Meal tips.
1) I really recommend the book - it's well organized, and provides options for cooking now or freezing for later.
2) She has 2 separate plans for multiple freezer meals in a day. I did the beginner plan - 7 meals in 2 - 3 hours. (It took more more like 4 - 5 hours -- but that's because I was inexperienced.) She also has an advanced plan where you can make 50 freezer meals in a day -- probably more like 8 hours of work - so you need to block out the time. But can you imagine the time that it would save you in the end! For the 7 meal plan, she provides the ingredient list so it's super easy to get things together, and do a shop.
3) I used Instacart for the Freezer Meal shop, which was a real time saver. I knew EXACTLY what I needed, so I first checked my pantry, then just ordered the rest with Instacart. ( I also had a lovely delivery person who noticed my St. Anthony garden outside, and said that his family had a particular devotion to St. Anthony. We had such a nice conversation - I double tipped him!)
4) When you are making multiple freezer meals in a day, the recipe calls for the meat to be placed into the freezer bags uncooked before freezing, and then when ready for use, it needs to be thawed, and either placed in a slow cooker or baked. Most of the recipes called for slow cooker use. One of the recipes asked for the chicken to be seared before baking, and that seemed not quite right - because that's a bit too much work - so Jenny will have to look out for that.
5) With freezer meals, you do have to think ahead when you want to use them - because the thawing can take 12 - 24 hours.
6) There are devices that you can buy that actually hold up the freezer bags as you fill them so they don't tip over, and you won't have the "incident" that happened to me. That's on my list for purchase! If you don't have this device, however, when filling the bags, it's helpful to import a helper. Thanks Robert for being my freezer meal assistant!
7) Each of the freezer meals that I made for Jenny's family will definitely feed them for 2 to three meals. The French Dip sandwich recipe alone was 3 pounds of Chuck Roast! So, even though I made 7 different dishes, they may provide up to 21 meals!
8) Despite the hilarity, and the complete chaos in my kitchen, I think this was a big success! I can see myself doing this again, and the joy and comfort that Jenny and her family will receive when using these freezer meals - it just makes me happy to think about it. Definitely a labor of love!