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Once-a-month-cooking: how to make your plan work - cooking-tips


As one of the oldest brood in a category of nine, I know that cooking for a crowd can just about be a full-time job. Once-a-month-cooking has been a lifesaver for our family. In the commencement though, when we first heard of cooking 30 meals in one day, it sounded fairly impossible. It was not until we had tried it, though, that we found it is not only possible, but it can even be quite clean and fun!


If you are disbelieving about attractive on what might seem like an overwhelming task to you, let me first share some of the blessings which have resulted for our children from once-a-month-cooking.

? It has saved us many hours of annoying to appear out what to have for ceremonial dinner and answered the infamous question, "What's for dinner?"

? We have been more eagerly able to show generosity to other families when the main dish is previously made and in the freezer. (We commonly plan ahead for this by doubling or tripling seven to ten of the recipes on cooking day to use as "company meals. ") In like manner, it is much easier to being meals to needy families when you have casseroles in the freezer ready to be pulled out and heated at the drop of a hat. (We also plan for this by preparing many of the dishes in disposable pans. )

? It saves time (You only have to do mountains of dishes one day a month, not every day! You also don't have to start feast at 4:30 p. m. or before everyday? just pull banquet out to thaw in the morning. ) and money (You can commonly save quite a bit by import in bulk).

? We are brought more rapidly as one as we spend a elite day as a category cooking these meals.

? This is an exceptional message in Home Economics for your children. Mom at all times has the oldest girls plan the menu, grocery list, and plan for the cooking day. She often has us do the grocery shopping, as well.


Proper arrangement is chief for a flourishing cooking day. I by and large start preparation at least a week in advance. First, pick which day will be your cooking day. Clear your schedule that day. You will want to focus your energies fully on cooking.

Menu Planning: After you have preferred your cooking day, begin menu planning. Go because of your cookbooks and find recipes as it should be for freezing. Strive for variety. My list commonly includes: one-dish dinners, meatloaf, meatballs, encrusted casseroles, soups, chili, hamburgers, meatless dishes, and so on. Make sure that you consist of a come to of ancestors favorites, in adding to any new recipes you may be frustrating out. You do not want to fill your freezer with meals your ancestors won't find appetizing! When you write down your menu, make sure and write down the recipe book and page come to the recipe came from. In addition, mark whether you are forecast to bend or triple the recipe.

Make Your Grocery List: Using your menu list, write down the quantities of ingredients looked-for for each recipe. I like to classify like ingredients on five to seven atypical lists (meats, vegetables, cheese, pasta, spices, etc. ). Take these lists and amalgamate all like ingredients onto a final list. For example, if there are fifteen recipes occupation for one pound of base beef, you will write "15 pounds base beef" on your final grocery list.

After you have made your final grocery list, make sure and check your cupboards to see what you might previously have on hand. You maybe have most of the seasonings. But be sure that if you need four teaspoons of garlic powder, you essentially have that much in the jar. I have not check carefully before, and it has been real headache.

I have found it most advantageous to keep a break "food groundwork list" along with my grocery list which states what is to be done with the items which I need large quantities (Such as, if one the items on your list is "20 pounds of chicken breasts," note beside that item how many cups need to be cooked and diced, how many chicken breasts need to be cooked and left whole, how many need to be left frozen, etc. ).

You will also want to make sure you have abundance of freezer bags and foil on hand. These will be critical on your cooking day.

Cooking Day Strategy: It is wise to arise a basic cooking day line of attack of what you will do when. This does not need to be an exhaustive list, but it will save you time and crack if you have intended the basic order of what you will be cooking when. If you are going to be operational as one as a ancestors on cooking, plan who is accountable for what tasks. Even if all and sundry will need to be flexible, it will beyond doubt save hassle to have most of the schedule worked out ahead of time.

Shopping: The day beforehand you begin cooking, do your grocery shopping. Make sure you do not rush by means of this. Read your list absolutely and check to get the best deal.


The closer you can start in the morning, the better. Begin by cooking the meats, exasperating the cheese, chopping the onions, or at all bulk provision your "food research list" says you need to do. If you have considered to make soups, you ought to start these early on, as they customarily need to cook for longer.

Cooking the meat is one of the most time-consuming projects and you will almost certainly find you end up browning broken up beef and boiling chicken most of the day! As much as is possible, use all of the burners on your stove at the same time.

Keep soapy water in the sink at all times and take turns being on "dish duty. " As soon as a dish is used, wash it. This will save you from having an colossal mess at the end of the day. You might also find it caring to take a five-minute kitchen cleaning break every hour or so to wipe down the counters and put clothes away which you are no longer using.


What do you do with the concluded dishes? Here are some guidelines for freezing:

? We continually designate the kitchen table as our "finished recipe" zone. We often have a big name who is exclusively just functioning on cataloging belongings and compelling them to the freezer from the kitchen table.

? Proper classification is a key dynamic in building sure you know what you have in freezer. Make sure you label the containers with the recipe, the cookery book it came from, the page number, how many it serves, and any extra directives for the dish. Also write out a list with all of the recipes you make and freeze and how many they serve on the beyond of your freezer.

? Transfer soup to a big bowl and cool for about an hour. You can each place the soup in fake freezer bags or fake containers with lids (32 oz. chalet cheese and yogurt containers work well for this).

? Most other recipes can be transferred to forced freezer bags. Do not fill the bags very full, as foods increase when frozen. Do not put whatever thing which is still hot into bags. You will possible split the bag at the seams and have a extremely large mess to deal with!

? Use less important labeled bags for cheese or no matter which else to be spotted on top once the dish is cooked. Make sure you keep these in a very affable place in the freezer.

? If the recipe is a little like lasagna which cannot be frozen in a artificial bag, freeze it in the size of pan the recipe calls for, cover with foil, and label.

I wholeheartedly cheer you to give once-a-month-cooking a try. If you are like us, you will soon admiration how you ever lived exclusive of cooking this way! You could also simplify this plan and just cook for two weeks at a time to start.

For added information, ideas, and recipes, I decidedly commend you read Once-A-Month-Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg and Dinner's in the Freezer by Jill Bond.

Happy Cooking!

Crystal Paine is a 23-year-old homeschool adapt and the owner of Convention Wedding Source, LLC (an online retail honeymoon business). She writes articles on a brand of topics and freshly authored her first booklet for young women, The Commercial Maiden: Earning an Earnings Exclusive of Compromising Convictions. She lives with her wife in Topeka, KS. They are in the family way their fist child in January. For more in a row on her big business and booklet, visit her website: http://www. covenantweddingsource. com.


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