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WRITE: Mega-Cooking FAQs, Part II

Today’s post continues a topic we began earlier this week when I posted a picture on Facebook of some meals I’d prepared for the freezer. Feel free to read the first set of FAQs here before you read these. Do you have to cook as much without all of your children at home, or is it just habit? As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, our meals have gotten smaller now that our three older children have left the nest. But I’ve noticed our remaining family members still like to eat. And mega-cooking is the most practical, efficient, and cost-saving way I’ve found to feed our family and keep up with my other responsibilities, too. I need a workshop on this! I’ve taught workshops on this topic several times but only once in the past few years. I would be glad to do so again. It’s a great topic for a church group, MOPs group, homeschooling group, etc. How do you decide what meals to freeze? I have a battery of recipes I’ve used and developed through the years. I also like to change things up every once in a while and add something new or different. Not all meals work for the freezer (celery is a popular ingredient, for example, but it holds too much water to freeze well in bulk). Whenever it’s time to do our mega-cooking, we have a family meeting and discuss what to prepare. Like any other family decision, meal-planning often involves compromise. Allowing family members to help make the list cuts down on future complaints, too. I would add that you don’t want to use a new, untried recipe in your mega-cooking rotation. If your family doesn’t like it once, they won’t want to see it five or more times. And yes, I speak from experience. When our oldest two daughters were small, I tried a Sweet-and-Sour Chicken recipe that my husband and I enjoyed but our children despised. We made the mistake of calling it “Chinese food,” and for years afterward, our older girls were sure they hated any kind of Asian cuisine! My spouse (children, grandchildren) won’t eat casseroles. Can this kind of cooking still work for me? Yes and no. If you read my recipe list from Tuesday’s post, you’ll notice a few casserole-type dishes there. The soups and sauces used in casseroles work well for freezing. But I also freeze entrees like Taco Meat and Marinated Chicken. I would say not eating casserole-style dishes might limit, but not prevent, mega-cooking. You shape your mega-cooking to fit your family’s budget, needs, and preferences just as you do whenever you cook. How does mega-cooking save you money? It seems as though the...

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