the evolution of freezer cooking with 3 preschoolers

Ah, the lovely idea of a freezer full of delicious meals. Yet the struggle of actually preparing those meals with a 1, 3 and 5 year old in tow is…well, daunting…to say the least.

I embarked on a bit of freezer cooking recently. I shared this pic on facebook if you missed it.
And because I found it humorous, here’s a recap of my day – in grainy phone pictures, no less.

Goal: make about 50 breakfast burritos & bean burritos. Or however far my burrito filling stretches.

Exhibit A: lots of chopping. I ended up using 4 green peppers & 4 onions.
Exhibit B: I got out the duplo blocks to keep my boys occupied. Anna Grace was in her room listening to a CD. I can’t believe I just wrote that…she sounds like a teenager. I think she was listening to the complete volume of Curious George at the moment.

fcI may have gotten 1/2 a green pepper chopped at this moment.

Exhibit A: Miles needed some redirection, so he picked out a book and sat at the kitchen table to read. That lasted about 1.7 minutes.
Exhibit B: There was a bit of quiet while I finished chopping ~2 peppers and then there was a loud kafuffle from the kids’ room. Miles had climbed onto the car and was messing with Anna Grace’s CD player. The nerve!
Exhibit C: I went back to my chopping while Miles played in the kids’ room. Upon several minutes of quiet, I discovered he was ripping all the disposable diapers out of our bin. Redirection #24057205345.fc2

Exhibit A: After putting the diapers away, I went back to my cooking. By this time, I had chopped all the vegetables, so I started sauteing them while cooking the sausage & hamburger for the burrito filling. All was quiet for several minutes.
Too long.
I was about to go check on Miles when he came walking out to me with some blue markings on his mouth. Whaaa? Markers?
Exhibit B: I opened his hand to reveal a fistful of m&m’s. I followed a little trail back to my bedroom to see that Miles had discovered Daddy’s secret stash of dark chocolate m&m’s. Foiled.
Exhibit C: Who knows how many he had eaten before waltzing out to me with his find, but I let him sit in his highchair to eat the contents of his fist.
fc3

For the majority of this cooking + redirection time, Nate entertained himself with the blocks and Anna Grace either listened to Curious George or sat up at the counter with me, eating green peppers and talking while I cooked.fc3.5

Exhibit A: After Miles finished his chocolate stash, I pulled out some animal magnets in another attempt at redirection. This lasted 4.37 minutes.
Exhibit B: He was getting to be a fussy boy, so I let him sit up next to me while I worked. 2.7 minutes.
Exhibit C: Poor wittle guy just wanted Mama to hold him, so I obliged. The poochy lip on my face is not because I was holding him, but because he was being clingy & I wondered if he might be catching a cold or something.fc4

Between the last poochy lip picture and these next 3 pics, Miles actually took a short nap…probably 30 minutes. So I powerhoused through egg scrambling and combined all the ingredients for my breakfast burrito filling.

Exhibit A: I decided to let the kids watch a movie they had picked from the library. That, my friends, was a very good decision. During that movie, I filled and wrapped ALL the burritos. (exhibits B, C, & D)
The kitchen was a ginormous mess. Ginormous may be an understatement.

fc5

BUT. After a full period of work? My freezer is full of lovely burritos. Jonathan asked me why I made so many. I told him it was so that I could have nights off of cooking. So whether I want to use my extra time to play with my kids, write, or eat nutella? Dinner’s still covered. He was pleased with this answer.

If you attempt a day like this, here is my advice:

  • make sure you have everything you need before beginning. not just ingredients either. foil. I ran out of foil and had to jet out to Walmart in the middle of my burrito wrapping. #notcool
  • don’t wait as long as I did to break into the movie stash. try something educational if you want. but running back and forth between the kitchen and diaper/m&m cleanup is pretty tough.
  • make sure you have something easy to eat for lunch/dinner the day of freezer cooking. or eat what you just made! because you don’t want to make all this & then make something else.
  • if you’re doing this with kiddos, remember that it’s tough for them to have Mommy working like a maniac. plan some time {whether on that day or a different day} to play/read with them and just be Mommy instead of maniac-mommy.
  • plan a nap into your day once the cooking has been completed. Or chocolate. Preferably, plan a nap and chocolate into your day.

And that, my friends, is the evolution of freezer cooking with 3 preschoolers. Fun. Exhausting. Profitable.
Have you ever attempted freezer cooking? Any advice? Recipes I should try? Share, share, share if you have any!

8 comments

  1. Sarah says:

    You need to come over and do a few freezer meals with me! You will love the Pampered Chef stuff that I use to crank them out, especially to dice those onions & peppers :).

  2. Bethany says:

    Great idea! thanks for posting. Love your humor and always enjoy reading your posts in the middle of my crazy day with 3 kids. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *