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Our little boy has some trains, but hadn't shown much of an interest in them until the last week or two.  He even has a train with the track and all that I'd set up for him in his room.  I thought it was pretty cool.  He didn't.  So after a few weeks I put it back in a bin.  Now he thinks they are great.  He talks about the train on his shoes, he says "choo choo," he drives them all around the house.  It finally hit me the other day...I think it has something to do with the fact that while Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie were here we watched probably 5 trains go by while we ate our lunch at the 50's dinner.  
 
 
Yesterday I got to work some more on my freezer cooking.  I was able to finish up some Tamale Pies and Cheese-Filled Shells.  I didn’t get to the breakfast burritos or the lunches I wanted to make (although today’s lunch was delicious: Tuna Melt, fruit and yogurt).

 

I think if I continue to stick with this freezer cooking thing for a few months before I decide if I really like it or not, I’ll become more efficient.  I’m not so speedy in the kitchen.  My dad sometimes says, “Work smarter, not harder.”  I’m hoping this will help me do that.  Some of the reasons I’ve decided to give this a try include:

 

·      It’s helpful.  I made some meals this way before Abe was born and it was so nice to have them to just pull out and they were basically ready.

·      I’m hoping it will help with my grocery budget.  I hate throwing away food, yet, too often, I have to pull food out (usually produce) that is way, way past its prime.  (One of the reasons also that I’m interested in a worm compost bin).   Also, if I’m not planned out or just had a day that didn’t go as I thought it would, we run to the store (or a food joint) to pick something up.  This inevitably costs us more from the grocery category.

·      It’ll allow me a better chance at providing nourishing foods for my family.  If you know me very well, you know I have a desire to feed my family (and myself) foods that are nourishing, but I all too often fall short in the follow through.  All nourishment does truly come from the Lord, but He has called me to do my part to provide the best I can with what he has given us for my family.  It is certainly more time consuming to do all the prep work than it is to buy prepackaged stuff.  And it takes more planning.  I’m hoping this will help me so that I spend a couple days “all day” in the kitchen, but I don’t have to spend hours every day in the kitchen and yet, I’ll still be able to provide good meals.

·      It’ll help me learn what I’m doing in the kitchen.  I am certainly a novice or a beginner in the kitchen.  I can’t chop a pile of onions instantly.  I took me more than an hour to cut up sirloin for the stir fry the other day.  I still don’t really know what to do with a whole chicken once I’ve cooked it.  But by the end of dicing 12+ onions the other day, I was getting the hang of it.  By the third large steak, I was really moving a lot faster.  With this method it gives me more practice at each technique so I will hopefully improve my skills instead of finishing each cooking sessions feeling like a turtle.

 

Those are basically my main reasons for giving this a try.  I am hopefully about how it will turn out.  And you know what, after finishing the other day, my freezer is actually more organized than when I started.  That’s not such a bad thing either.

 
 
I’ll go over my reasons later.  Now I’m antsy to get started, but figured chronicling this as I go along would be a good thing to do.

A few weeks ago, I sat down and made my menu plan.  I already had an idea of what recipes I would use, but it still took a while.  In the planning session I did breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Then I went through and included side items and looked at the days overall intake to see if I should switch any meals around.  Then comes making the lists and stuff.  I can go over that more, but 30daygourmet has some great steps and worksheets to get you started.

Friday I looked over ads and made my list for Sam’s club and the grocery stores.  Saturday we did our grocery shopping.  Most of it anyways.  This morning I made a run to smiths for the stuff that I still needed or that was cheaper there (because of the sale it was cheaper to buy a whole bunch of small cottage cheese containers rather than a big one).

Now, I’m ready to start browning my ground beef.  It is about a quarter to nine.  The kids are here playing.  The kitchen has been picked up and organized.  Trash bags are all over.  I’m trying a new method to see how this goes.  I’m browning it in a pot of water.  After today’s session, I may have to start watching prices for a big stockpot.

9:15 Realized my pot might not be big enough.  Called Erin to see if I could borrow one from her when she brings Taryn over.  Started beans.  I should have probably started the beans last night.

10:40…Alright so far,  I’ve gotten two bags of onions chopped (about 1 gallon).  I’ve got that mess cleaned up.  The kiddos have had snack.  The ground beef is in the pot.  And now, I’m going to grab a snack while it’s cooking!

1:00 6 bags of Mexican meat, 1 mama and 3 toddlers fed and cleaned up.  2 big toddlers down for nap and now I’m going to start the next meal with my sous chef, Avery.

Well, I didn’t get much of an afternoon update and it’ll basically have to wait.  I didn’t get as much done today as I set out to do, but I still feel pretty productive.  The Lord really sustained me through the day.  I learned some new things (boiling ground beef, handling sirloin), I cared for three toddlers, and I got 6 packs of Mexican meat made up, 8 Stir Fry Steak Salsa Verde meals, Non-fried refried beans ready to go and and I’m ready for another day.  Tomorrow will have to wait though, unless I just do one batch of something, since I’m subbing and it is Bible study night.

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