I spent all day yesterday cooking. No, I was not having a party–or even dinner guests. I was preparing a month’s worth of meals ahead of time.
I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this month, but once-a-month cooking would be ideal for those who are, and have to either prepare meals themselves, or subsist on junk for a month. I got into it because cooking is the last thing I want to do when I come home from work at night, and DH and I have been eating out way too often. Last month, I tried a “mini” menu by onceamonthmeals.com. This was 2 meals each of five recipes, intended to be made all at once, then frozen. It was a lot of work but worth it. It was so nice to just take something out of the freezer the night before, then come home and just heat it up and throw together a couple of side dishes! And they were very good.
So I subscribed, and yesterday, I went all in with a full menu. Or, I should say, over the past few days. DH did a marathon grocery-shopping trip Wednesday (a chore I despise that he doesn’t mind doing), I chopped and prepped Friday night, and did the cooking all day Saturday. I only ended up making 12 of the 15 recipes. One I’d planned to leave out, as it was a breakfast meal we wouldn’t eat. One of the others I missed an ingredient, so will pick that up and finish tomorrow. The other needed half of a beef roast–I goofed up and used the whole thing on another meal, but that ended up being a good thing because the meal I made is an easy heat-up on serving day, while the one I missed would have taken more effort (and been relegated to weekends). The meal I unintentionally doubled was French-dip sandwiches, part of which I left unfrozen so we could eat it now. It turns out this is something DH loves, and already gave it a big thumbs-up!
I will admit that, between my fatigue and the fact I’m not used to being on my feet all day, cooking day was exhausting. But as much as we enjoyed the mini menu, it will be worth it. The main thing I like about this is that it’s really efficient–grouping the shopping, prep, and cooking all up to make it take less time total. It’s kind of like when I’m fixing bugs in a software project, it’s much more efficient to fix a bunch at once than one here, one there, etc.
It’s also time-change day, when we gain an hour to switch to Standard Time. I hate Standard Time. I don’t like getting up in the dark (makes it that much harder), but I hate even more that it gets dark as soon as I get home from work. Bleh. I also hate the adjustment–it seems the older I get, the longer it takes me to adjust, although the springtime set-back is much worse. As you can see at the left, Isis is unconcerned with time change. 😀
What I read this week: This has been a slow week, both for writing and reading. I’m really enjoying the novel I’m reading, but am only about halfway through it, so I’ll write about it next week.
ROW80 update: I got a couple scenes drafted last week, and another couple this week. Not the kind of progress I want to make, but this book seems to be going more slowly, mainly because the process I used turned out not to work very well for me. But I want to write this one, so keeping at it. So shooting for three scenes this week.
What about you–have you found a way to make a task more efficient? Do you like the idea of cooking a lot at once, or do you like to spread it out, like my daughter does? How well do you adjust to the time change? How are you doing on whatever goals you may have lately? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!