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Well prepared

It dawned on me the other day that if I knocked out a bunch of meals for the freezer I could get by with "not cooking" much more often. Because I am as easily fooled as the average toddler, taking a meal out of the freezer feels like someone else made it for me, even if that someone else was me, earlier!

So last Monday, I made:
a small turkey stir fry (marinated cooked meat, chopped but raw veggies, ready to stir fry)
a large turkey stir fry
a large taco casserole
small taco casserole (two)
a large beef stew, crockpot ready (marinated meat, chopped veggies)
ten beef and bean burritos to warm in the oven
eleven bean and cheese burritos to warm in the oven
a large turkey broccoli casserole
a small turkey broccoli casserole
two turkey pot pies
four bags of spaghetti sauce + meatballs
four bags of plain meatballs for soup
two small lasagnes
one large lasagne (for tonight)
five servings of turkey soup

Then I collapsed and Eric took me out for a nice quiet small dinner and a glass of wine.

Yesterday I made a couple more things, because I had the ingredients, and I still need to make a bean/cheese/rice bake to use up the beans in the jar in the fridge. I also have stuff to make sausage/lentil soup, and I made another batch of spaghetti sauce last night, and froze six muffin tins full so the big kid can make easy pasta for herself.

That was the last batch of homemade sauce from last summer's tomatoes, though, because this


is, alas, the last jar of tomatoes from last year. I didn't have that many, and I'm kind of sad, but strongly looking forward to this year's tomatoes, which I promise to manage more carefully. I love having all the stuff made, and I'd like to do it again -- with my own tomatoes! The "raw pack as you have them" approach worked really well -- maybe I'll remember vinegar and salt this time for all of the jars -- and I ended up using them much more efficiently by not saving them for one bigger canning session.

The weirdest thing about the big cooking day was that it didn't cost much more to make that many meals than it had cost to make a week's worth usually. Of course, all of the meat had been purchased before and kept in the freezer, so that helped, but the other stuff was not much, mostly pantry items like noodles and cheese and onions. I had beans, spices, and oils, so that was easy. . . I must be sort of wasting food most weeks, or at least wasting my money.

Guess we'll find out.

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