When I was pregnant with my third I thought I was going to be all prepared and have some meals in the freezer so my husband would have some dinners he didn’t have to think about. You know, because he would be taking care of me and our other two kids. I thought I’d do a little something to make things easier for when we brought her home.
I hadn’t done any freezer meals for my first two, and I don’t usually do any for my regular cooking. I’m just not that good at using what’s in the freezer. I forget about it. I usually buy as much protein/veg as we need for a week and that’s how I cook. But it seemed like everyone else swears by freezer meals as a lifesaver when you have a newborn, so I thought I needed to do the same thing.
It was an epic fail!
It took forever to even come up with recipes.
I was sitting at work googling freezer recipes. It seemed like all the recipes I found were for things that you cooked and then put in the freezer. So basically just recipes that freeze well. I spent all kinds of time searching and didn’t really find any recipes that didn’t require cooking.
So after wasting all kinds of time googling freezer recipes, I had a pretty good idea of what would come up when I searched and I knew a few things had caught my eye. I decided to try three recipes.
Then I spent a bunch of time getting the recipes and the ingredient lists together.
I had some elaborate sheet of paper where I wrote everything down. I had the three different recipes and all the ingredients, but I put all of that “together” to figure out how much I needed of everything because there was some crossover in the ingredients. The list itself probably took an hour.
I had already spent hours and I hadn’t even bought any ingredients!
So of course I had to go to the store.
Finally, I could get to cooking. I should have known by then that it wasn’t worth my while. But I was committed. I had already done so much work, I couldn’t just back out.
Even the cooking was harder than normal.
I was running out of pots and pans. I didn’t have enough room on the stove. None of the recipes were turning out like I thought they would. Plus, I hate recipes right now. I just don’t have enough brain power leftover to follow recipes while I’m cooking.
Also, I picked bad recipes. One of them was a Pioneer Woman recipe. It had a lot of good reviews, but I don’t really like the Pioneer Woman. The way she cooks is not really my style. She takes normal recipes and makes them complicated. I need simple. Also, I like meat and cheese, so I should have noticed before I’d gotten this far, but the proportions of them were way off.
I didn’t even get as much meat/cheese as the recipe called for and I still had to cook a whole extra package of noodles to go with it.
After 3 or 4 hours in the kitchen I had made all the meals. I had to cut cardboard pieces to make temporary “shelves” in the freezer to store everything.
The kitchen was a disaster, but I had done it.
So was all this work worth it?
You guys, we just ate the last of it a month or two ago! (Yes, that’s past the ideal date. It should have been in the freezer for a maximum of 3 months.) I mean, that just tells you right there how useful it was.
I did 3 recipes. The chicken pot pie was pretty good. The sausage and cauliflower was ok. The Pioneer Woman recipe? Not so good. It was supposed to be a baked pasta dish, instead it was a glob of melted cheese with a bunch of meat and a little pasta. My carb-loving children didn’t even like it.
Also, did you know it takes that sh*t forever to cook?!?
The last freezer meal we ate I put in the fridge the day before. The day of, I went to put it in the oven and it seemed pretty frozen, so I touched it in the middle. Yup, still mostly frozen. The cooking directions said something like 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I knew this was a total lie. I started it out at 400, but turned it up after an hour or so because I was worried it wouldn’t be done in time.
After almost 2 hours it wasn’t even warm!
I barely get home 2 hours before dinner. Even when I stop home before daycare pickup.
I couldn’t wait any longer for dinner. So, I added some peas and threw it in the microwave.
Finally, after all that work dinner was served.
Oh, and to top it all off, my kids didn’t even like it. To be honest, I didn’t like it that much either because it just had too much cheese.
Seriously, epic fail. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time on dinner before with such terrible results.
Note to self, no more freezer cooking like that. Maybe no more freezer cooking at all. Or, I’ll just make a double batch of something I already make and freeze one…