Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Less Stress: a benefit of cooking for your freezer

Part of the "Meals for a Month" series.

Anyone with young children knows that dinner time is usually the most stressful time of the day. The mom or dad is frantically trying to get something on the table which the kids will eat, and the children are whining because they are hungry. Or, perhaps both adults work. With or without children, that scenario is stressful. When both arrive home tired from a long day's work, often the last thing they would like to be doing is cooking up a nice, healthy meal from scratch.

Enter cooking one day a month and stocking your freezer: the rest of the month, you can simply pull out something the night before and it's ready to go at dinner time the next night. Steam some broccoli, throw in some sweet potatoes to bake while the entree reheats, and dinner is ready with minimal thought or effort! I wish I'd tried this more when I was working--it would have been worth taking out a Saturday once a month or so to cook. If you're cooking for an entire family, you will obviously have to prepare more meals than someone cooking for one or two people. However, as I'll point out in a later post, you can double or triple meals easily enough, simplifying your cooking day.

Another stress reducer is fewer/shorter trips to the grocery store. Especially if you have to lug small children along or do your grocery shopping on the way home from work (or both!), fewer and shorter trips to the grocery will only be a blessing. Once your entrees are pretty much taken care of, you can simply run in, grab the dairy products for the week, pick up the produce on sale--or whatever you're in the mood for, grab some bread, and hit the express lane! This is also an easy list for hubby to pick up on his way home from work if you're home with the aforementioned small children and want to avoid the grocery at all costs.

Happy Cooking!

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