I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Thank you so much for teaching me all about freezer cooking, Scout! (even though I’m not done, yet) But you know what? I’m bored with all the recipes you have posted already. I need new inspiration!”
Ask and ye shall receive. *grins*
So, I was looking through old bookmarks, just to see if there was anything new and inspiring. And lo and behold, there was! 🙂 In a lot of cities across America now there are places where you go and you pay for the opportunity to make up a bunch of dinners to freeze for your family. Several of these places have published cookbooks of their past recipes, probably out of self preservation. After all, once you go and make one of these recipes, you just have to write it down in your car and it’s yours for life. This way, they save you the hassle out of trying to remember exact amounts, while still grabbing a few more bucks out of you. Well, one of these books needed some revisions, and the revisions have been posted on the web, including the recipes. 🙂 Here are 24 recipes, ranging from breakfast through cocktails, that you KNOW will freeze well.
Read on for what this has to do with frugality. *big grins*
Now, on the same subject, but at a slight angle: would I recommend you go to one of these establishments? Not really. It simply doesn’t make financial sense. You are paying to go to their store and prepare food for your freezer. They aren’t doing the work for you. Some of the work, they do, but if you have a food processor or a teenager with knife skills, you can get the same amount of prepwork done easily. Skimming over the current sessions for Dream Dinners, they seem to only have “gourmet” food, nothing is pre-cooked, and it all costs between $20 and $30 for a single 6 serving portion of main dish. The burgers are $23. For 6 servings. O.O Unbelievable. You could add side dishes for $5-$15. For 6 servings. O.O Even if I went with the expensive refrigerated alfredo sauce, I think I could manage to make Fettucine Alfredo for less than $14 for 6 servings. Even if I splurged and bought the really nice fresh fettucine, I could make it for less than $6 for 6 servings.
I don’t really understand how these places became popular, because they are popular. They aren’t actually saving you a lot of work. Most of the recipes seem to be of the “meat frozen in marinade” variety, which is fine, but then the all of the cooking is up to you. So the actual time saved is next to nothing. The costs are astronomical to me. I understand why; they have to pay for store rent, employee salaries, and I am assuming they want to make a profit. But shouldn’t McCormick be dropping some cash their way for such blatant product placement? The only two things I can think of is the “party” atmosphere, as in Tupperware (where a bunch of suburbanite moms get together and convince themselves they have excess money they need to spend), and of course, the preppy/yuppy/foodie thing. As in, I want to do the in-thing, especially if costs a lot of money, because then only the really important people can afford to do it. I live in a landscape devoted to this ideal.
Have I ever been to one? No. This is one of those times I do not ascribe to the idea that you can’t decry something until you have tried it, unlike new vegetables. I don’t feel the need to waste HUGE amounts of my money and my time to do something I am perfectly capable of doing in my own home. The only thing that I would like about this is cooking with other people. One of these days I want to find a local group to exchange prepped dinners with. Kind of like these stores, only no one is making any profits off of it.
Just in case you thought that elegant, dinner party worthy “Gourmet” food was out of your OAMC range, here is a cookbook of dishes for you to peruse. Some I have made, some I haven’t, some I desperately want to! 🙂
Dinner Party OAMC Cookbook