We are getting ready to go back to school (which also means going back to work). Today was part of the going-back routine. Today was my Big Cook. I am a passable cook - I rarely burn things beyond recognition and my family happily eats what I put in front of them - but I don't love cooking. I don't mind it if I have plenty of time and energy. But when I get home after a full day of wrangling preschoolers only to face my own kids demanding supper, preferable half an hour ago, cooking dinner is about the last thing I want to do. Several years ago, I heard about one of those businesses where you go in and make a month's worth of meals in an evening. I thought "Hmmm... I could do that." So began the Big Cook.
Every August (and usually again over Christmas and at Spring Break) I send the girls to my parents' house [We love you Granny and Poppy!] and spend a whole day cooking. I shop the day before and cram the pantry and refrigerator full of food. Then I get up early, crank up the stereo (or just enjoy the quiet), and cook meal after meal. I prepare and divide everything into meal-sized portions and put it in the deep freeze. Today I made burritos, enchiladas, lasagna, calzones, two different casseroles, pizza, and pre-cooked, chopped, and bagged chicken and hamburger. It was a lot of work, yes, but not at all stressful and there were no kids hanging on my leg. I can stand in front of the freezer and feel satisfied by a good day's work and blessed by the bounty of food. And the best part of the Big Cook? There are 29 meals that I am not going to have to cook later!