Monday, January 18, 2010

Once a Month Marathon

Holy. Cow.

If I had a dollar for every time we uttered the phrase "This is crazy!" on Saturday during our Once a Month Cooking adventure, well, we could've gotten better take-out for lunch.

Overall, I'm happy with how the day went. I did enjoy the process, I made meals that I would never normally take the time to make, and we are now well stocked with dinners in the freezer that will last more than a month. My neighbor Sarah and I made the full menu for two families, and then I split my portion into meals big enough to feed my family of four. So at the end of the day, I had frozen about 40 meals - each to feed the four of us. About 8 of those are breakfast foods, and another 8 are lunch foods, but we will likely eat all of them for dinner. (I'm not above having egg sandwiches for dinner, are you?) And I'm so excited to eat some of the meals - BBQ chicken quesedillas, asian chicken salad pitas, enchilada casserole, etc.

HOWEVER. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the time and energy output! I had heard estimates of anywhere from 4-8 hours of child-free, focused cooking time, with a partner. We chopped the vegetables and cooked half the meat the night before in order to get a head start on the day. And STILL, it took us TEN HOURS on Saturday. I also suffer from sciatica when I'm pregnant, and it gets much worse when I'm on my feet for a long time. On Saturday evening, I was in so much pain that I could hardly walk or stand up straight. All in the name of cooking!

A collection of ingredients, and 24 pounds of cooked and chopped chicken! (And Katy on her way out the door for Daddy Day)

The crockpots got a workout - 34 pounds in 3 rounds.

How many times can you wash 2 stockpots in one day?

We did a happy dance every time we put something in the freezer - boo yah!

My kitchen freezer at the end of the night.

My basement freezer at the end of the night.

What I would do differently next time (if I ever get the nerve again!):
*Read through all the recipes ahead of time (if you can't believe I didn't do that, yes, I'm that stupid!).
*Be selective about the menu and perhaps cut out recipes that are tedious or require expensive ingredients.
*Definitely do not plan a cooking day when I have a commitment with the 2 year olds at church at 7 that evening. Those poor 2 year olds didn't have much of a teacher last Saturday.
*Plan ahead to see if I need to borrow some equipment, like extra crockpots or large stockpots.


I enjoyed the rest of our weekend. It was a good amount of productivity and relaxation. Today Brian had off work for MLK, and my Dad and Sue came and watched the kids so we could go out and have a date day (as opposed to a date night).

But David is still sick, and I'm worried about him. Unless he has a drastic improvement overnight, I'm taking him to the doctor tomorrow. His cough is getting worse, his fever comes and goes, and we've had to get out the nebulizer and give him a few breathing treatments. It's been going on for too many days with no improvement, so I want to get him checked out.


Pam said...

I'm in awe of the cooking feat! I hope David is okay. X

Charity said...

Wow. Good for you! I bet all that work will really pay off.
I only do once a week cooking, but the first time I did it, I was WIPED OUT!
I've gotten better at it and now it's not so bad.

Sorry to hear about David. Keep us posted.

Kelsey said...

I really like the idea of that, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the reality of doing it!

You'll have to let us know how everything tastes...

Hope David is better soon!

Allecia said...

Great job! I bet you'll get the nerve to do it again after you enjoy the wonderful benefits of not cooking every night!