Thursday, August 5, 2010
Have you heard of this concept? I tried it, ONCE! The plan is to buy, prepare, cook and freeze enough food in ONE day that will last the family a whole month. There would be entrees to thaw out and enjoy for every day of the 30.
I bought the book, read it through, made the grocery list and headed for the supermarket. It took two buggy's to carry my supplies to the check-out. Evidently the store manager thought it strange also because he needed to investigate me and my credit rating before allowing me out of the store. (He was sure I was feeding an underground militia and therefore homeland security was involved!) I've never hauled so many groceries to my car, ever! It was an awesome sight!
Cook-day arrived and there was excitement in the air. The boys had never seen such action in the kitchen. The pans and pots were lined up, the book opened to "step 1" and all that food, exotic spices and plastic freezer bags were ready.
I sliced, diced, and boiled all day long.
After about 8 hours of mimicking Julia Childs I was getting weary of the whole mess. And it WAS a mess. That kitchen looked like something you might see in a back alley of a third world country. The health department would never have allowed me to stay open for business had they held an inspection. However, I was still hopeful that the plan would eventually save time, energy and effort and so I carried on. After a death defying, near-miss, potential third-degree burns accident involving draining a huge pot of spaghetti noodles I hung up my apron. The neat little freezer bags of future meals were lined up on the counter, stacked in the freezer and the family headed for the car. I was exhausted. It was time to go OUT for dinner.
As the month wore on I struggled each morning to remember to take the frozen entrees out of the ice to thaw. The Once-A-Month dinners were always a surprise and the boys were patient. Some entrees were tastier than others but all were eatable! And contrary to my understanding of the "no cooking for a whole month", I still had to plan and make salads, vegetable side dishes and the occasional dessert. What a revelation and disappointment! Shopping, looking for recipes and cooking were STILL a part of my schedule!
Everyone remembers the "ham delight" course! That was the night the guys stared in silence at the horrible sight on their dinner plates. The atmosphere was tense. They couldn't face another "once-a-month" meal and yet were afraid to say anything to hurt my feelings. It was a foot race to the car after I'd declared, "let's go to Wendy's"
That was pretty much the end of the experiment. Once-A-Month cooking is a once-in-a-lifetime event. I don't know of ANYONE that has tried it twice!