Once upon a time there was a mom who had it all together. Her kids were always stylishly dressed and her laundry and cleaning were always caught up. She didn’t even own a freezer, because her perfectly organized schedule allowed her to make fresh meals throughout the day. Ah, what a lovely little fairytale. Which is exactly what that is, because NONE of us have our lives together like that! If you’re anything like me, freezer cooking is both a blessing and a necessity. Having meals stashed in the freezer for busy days is a MUST! That’s why you should host a freezer cooking party!
There are three key steps to hosting a fabulous freezer cooking party:
A freezer cooking party isn’t exactly a fly-by-night thing. You’re going to want to take some time to plan things out rather than just try to wing it. Trust me on that one! There are a few specific things that you want to plan ahead of time.
The most obvious choice is to host the freezer cooking party at your own house or apartment. It’s your own turf so everything will be familiar to you, and you won’t have to be carting supplies to another location. That’s not the only option, though. If your house won’t work for some reason, you could have it at a friend’s house, or even look into hosting it at your church if they have the facilities.
A party isn’t really a party without guests, so you’re going to need to figure out who to invite. A good option is to choose 3-4 other moms to join you. If it’s just you, you’re going to have a whole lot of work on your hands without a lot of fun. If you invite everyone you’ve ever met, on the other hand, your house is going to be way too crowded to get anything done!
Speaking of the menu, you’re going to want to figure out what to make! Ask each mom for a range of how much she can spend on food. This will help guide you in choosing what to make. Work together to decide if you want to focus on breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or a bit of each. You’ll also want to be aware of any allergies that your guests and their families deal with. Once you know all of that, it’s time to create your menu. You want to choose dishes that:
- Share some common ingredients to cut down on cost and prep time
- Will freeze and thaw well like my Allergy-Friendly Waffles or Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
You’ve got all your planning done. Woohoo! Now it’s time to prepare for the big day. Don’t try to do everything yourself! This freezer cooking party is a group effort, so ask each of the moms to take on a task. A few big tasks to assign are the shopper, the menu organizer, and the scheduler.
This is a task that can be managed by just one person, or divided between two. The first part of this job is to take the menu you planned out and make a shopping list. The shopper will need to go through each recipe and figure out the total ingredients needed. For example, if you need 1 onion for the first recipe, and 1/2 an onion each for 2 other recipes, the shopper needs to total that up to 2 onions for the list.
The other part of this job is to do the actual shopping. This could be done by the same person who made the list, or a different person. Have everyone send their money to her, either by dropping off cash or sending it electronically. The shopping should be done 1-2 days before the party.
The Menu Organizer
This person will need to divide the menu into dishes that need the oven, ones that need the stove, and ones that won’t need any cooking. She will also need to make ingredient prep lists. For example, how many cups of need to be chopped across all the recipes? How many cups will need to be sliced?
This mom will take the info from the menu organizer and use it to create a loose schedule for your freezer cooking day. It doesn’t need to be timed down to the minute, but a plan of attack for cooking order will make the day go smoother! For example, if Dish A needs to bake at 350* and Dish B needs to bake at 400*, it just makes sense to cook Dish A first.
Yay! You did it! It’s party day. All the planning and preparations are done. It’s time to get into the kitchen and get cooking! There are a few things you can do to make your day as successful as possible.
Set the Mood
Yes, you all have work to complete, but it’s still a PARTY. Put on some good music to put everyone in the mood! Have some flowers, balloons, or some small, inexpensive decorations. Make it fun and festive.
Put Out Snacks
You’re going to be working hard. You are also going to be surrounded by food that you’re supposed to save for the dishes, not munch on! Put out some tasty treats to reward and sustain you while you cook.
Divide & Conquer
Your day is going to go much smoother if you divide and conquer. If everyone is trying to cook their own batch of every meal, from start to finish, it’s going to be chaos! Instead, divide the tasks up. During prep time have one person chopping onions, another shredding cheese, etc. Once the dishes are ready to cook, put one person in charge of each dish and have her make enough of it for everyone.
Enjoy Your Freezer Cooking Party
As much as we all want to be June Cleaver, it’s just not reality for most of us. We spend our days homeschooling, working, taking our kids to practices and therapies, and so much more. Our lives are BUSY! Still, we want to make sure our families eat well. Hosting a fabulous freezer cooking party means you won’t have to resort to cereal for dinner when the hectic days hit!