Sunday, 20 July 2014

Cooking In Bulk

Are you sick of hearing that Husband's parents are visiting from Newfoundland this week? I hope not! While the weather is cool I have prepared some baking and meals to take the pressure off myself while we are touring and visiting in the next two weeks. This is something that I do when I know we will be busy, or when I know a friend might be needing some extra meals (ie a baby on the way or my parents during harvest, etc). So this is what I do:

The other day I purchased a few pounds of ground beef and last night I made half of that into meatballs which I baked and froze. I will throw those in the slow cooker with sweet and sour sauce before we leave the house on a busy day of sight-seeing.

Yesterday I made lasagna and chili. My basic meat sauce, chili and lasagna recipes all derive from the same few ingredients to begin with, so it speeds the process to brown the meat and add onion, garlic, peppers and mushrooms and then split into batches. I almost always make these meals in large quantity and freeze into smaller portions to use later or give away.

I don't always want the whole can of each type of beans in my chili, so I freeze the remainder to use next time. Yesterday I used up frozen chick peas and kidney beans and added a can of six-bean medley to the chili mixture.

So now I have 3 meals frozen and ready to be thawed whenever I need a quick fix. I also have in the freezer two homemade loaves of bread, a coconut square, and a loaf of pumpkin bread. If I find the time I would like to add buns and a couple dozen cookies to the list but if the weather dries up the yard desperately needs my attention! 

Do you ever prepare meals ahead of time for when you are busy or have a large group to feed?


  1. I don't have a very big freezer otherwise I would do it more. It's wonderful to know that when you get home there's a meal already prepared. I hope you all have a good visit. CJ xx

    1. We are fortunate to have a stand up freezer and a small chest freezer. I bought one years and years ago, the other was given to us after Husband helped a neighbour move. Most of the time one or the other is empty and unplugged, but we have ample frozen storage if we need it. This past winter we had only the freezer on our fridge because we had nowhere to put the freezers (no stairs to basement and no garage). I had to shop differently and finally kept a cooler on the deck during the coldest part of winter. I take the freezer space for granted and I missed it when I didn't have it! Thanks for commenting CJ!