Baking Day: Filling my Freezer with “Convenience Foods”

freezer cooking day 230x300Filling your freezer with food isn’t just for having a new baby or to get by during morning sickness. It’s a wonderful tool that helps real mamas make real, nutritious food during regular seasons of life, without going insane. Especially those days where there just isn’t enough energy and/or time to pull anything real together.

Fish Mama and Money Saving Mom (smart ladies that they are) decided to get together and co-host a “baking day”, which is just their way of saying “a day where I spend all day in the kitchen preparing food so that I have time to do other things on all those other days!”. It’s a great idea, and one which I have often put into practice myself. So naturally, I decided to join them! My freezer is emptied out of that glorious after-baby stash that I worked so hard to make, and yet, there are still days when I wish I could just grab something from the freezer. Now I’ll be able to.

Though I’ll be working like a mad-woman in my kitchen all day, I will be doing my best to live-blog and Tweet what I’m doing during my baking/cooking day. I’ll keep you updated on my progress as the day goes on, and if you decide to join me (well, join us- the many, many moms who have taken up this challenge together!), you can check in on my blog or on Twitter (@keeperhome) to see where I’m at, and let me know how you’re doing! You’ll find us all tweeting away using the hashtag #bakingday.

And here is my ambitious list of what I’d like to accomplish…

I’m making:

2 loaves soaked, yeasted bread (from Sue Gregg’s grains book)

Double batch of banana-cranberry muffins

Triple batch of soaked tortillas

Double batch of granola bars

2 meals of Chicken Tetrazinni

1 big batch of meatballs

A batch of yogurt

1 large Shepherd’s Pie

Homemade mayonnaise

Dice several large, nitrite-free sausages I bought yesterday and split them into meal-sized portions

Cook 1 lb taco meat

If I have time:

Bake pumpkins for making pumpkin puree

It might be a bit much for one day, but whatever I don’t get done on Tuesday I will push over to Wednedsay morning.

It sounds like fun, doesn’t it? You know you want to join me! :)

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. I love this idea – but my freezer is so full already! It does have about 6 or so meals ready – half homemade, half “packaged”. Then I have some fruits, vegi purees, and vegis in there, as well as chicken and turkey that i bought on sale. No more room. I am assuming you have a second freezer?

  2. Can you tell me which movies you let them watch? I dislike about 99% of programming on tv, so when I allow something to be watched it is either The Lawrence Welk Show or Mister Rogers…. My littles are 4, 3, and 4 months and we are flying to Seattle (from Virginia!) right after Christmas, and WILL be bringing the portable DVD player we received, but I have no clue which movies to check out from the library or buy. Any suggestions would be very very helpful! Good luck baking, you must be exhausted after such a long day!

    • @Jen, Jen, we won’t let our kids watch most tv programming either. They watch movies that we chose. We watch a lot of Little House on the Prairies (the tv show from the 80′s) on DVD. Those are quite wholesome for the most part. We watch nature shows, like the Planet Earth and Blue Planet documentary videos (truly, they are amazing to watch!). Sometimes we watch a family movie like Lassie or Milo and Otis. Very occasionally they watch something like Veggie Tales. I also allow them to watch Everyday News, which are short movie clips made by kids for kids (just google Everyday New Network).

      And yes, I’m tired, but I’m off to a homeschool meeting, silly me!

  3. Over the past year I have put the freezing methods into practice more and more and it has been so helpful. Although my daughter is 21, we also have her boyfriend, my father in law, myself and my hubs in our house. I buy ground sirloin in 10 to 20 pounds and brown it then make some into taco meat, sloppy joes and just browned meat for easy use. I also make patties and just throw them on the the grill at a spurs notice. This has been the greatest part. I also have been make big batches of potato soup and chili and putting into ziplock bags and the kids grab and micro for easy use. I have made home made cream of mushroom and chicken soups for easy thawing. My pumpkin puree has been wonderful. I make desserts into two containers one to eat and one to freeze and pull out as we need them. I have pre shredded chicken, broth and much more going on…once I got into the grove and organized my freezer/deep freeze it has been a blessing. Most times I spend an extra few hours every few weeks to get things back up if I am low but other wise it is just an extra hour when making soup or something to make more. The hardest part is when we run low on meat and need to restock but the weeks or work that is already done when dinner time comes is invaluable.

    The one thing I can say is figure out what your family eats/uses the most of and then use those staples as your freezer stock. Don’t try new things and make tons of it if no one is going to eat it or it is going to go to waste because it is a meal that is not easy to access or so forth. I have lots of tips how how I made sauces and more on my site under recipes and economic tips. Happy cooking. :)

  4. Sounds like fun! I have been meaning to do this sort of thing too. I want to make it a regular part of my life actually. The only problem is how to work in an entire day with the kids. They have limited abilities to cope with me doing that all day long. Maybe you could share with us how that goes for you. I’m always open to hearing new ideas and tips on this area. My baby doesn’t want to be confined at all in anything at this stage, and my 3 year old wants to help sometimes a bit much for my patience level. LOL

    I do find that the best way for making supper type freezer meals for me seems to be doubling things while I make them. I know you already do this too.

    Yikes I really wish I had a freezer meal for tonight. I’m less than organized lately after being away on a trip!

    • @Nola, I just commented about what I’m doing with the older two. For me, Johanna is still young enough that it’s not too hard with her. She naps part of the time, and will also sit in her seat near me in the kitchen. When she fusses, I can use the sling. It slows me down a little, but at least I can keep working. I think it’s a little easier for me in that my 2 1/2 year old has his older sister to help entertain him. They’re good buddies. I think it makes total sense that you would find it easier to just do a meal here and a meal there, which is also a really great way of making it work. I’ll definitely update on how the day goes!

      • @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home,

        Thanks for the encouragement. :) You made my day.

        Its so true that at different stages (and different babies) that they can tolerate more. Right now my youngest is on the move and its a little crazy. I just get started and then she is screaming again from falling. She is black and blue, poor kid. I’ll check out the info you have about what you did with your kids all day. Thanks!

  5. I have a Kitchen Day planned today too. I’m not doing nearly as much as you are, but I have a few things on my list:
    -Double batch of raisin bran muffins: done
    -Corn muffins (for dinner tonight): waiting to go in the oven
    -Large pot of vegetable 3 bean chili-some for tonight, some for the freezer
    -Double batch of granola bars

  6. What a great inspiration! Thanks! If you can do it, I think I can too!

    Now to clean out the freezer…

    Val
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..The Netherlands, Part 2 =-.

  7. http://recipesdealsetc.blogspot.com/2009/07/do-you-have-recipes-that-freeze-well.html

    This is a link to freezer cooking I did in August. It lasted me over 2 months!
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Tempt my Tummy Tuesday: Whipped Butternut Squash and Butternut Squash Puree =-.

  8. You Go Girl! It will feel great to have those meals tucked away. I’m cooking double batches of soups this month for the holidays. That way we can have a quick meal when we have a church event. Instead of spending one day doing it, each time I make soup (which is often), I’ll make two – we’ll eat one and freeze the other.
    .-= The Cottage Comtesse @ River Rock Cottage´s last blog ..King Corn =-.

  9. Great idea! Do you have someone helping with the children? I know I would definitely not get all that done with the children around!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Vegetables = Comfort Food? =-.

    • @Amanda, Nope, no help with the kids! I only wish! :)
      I started while they ate breakfast, then got them going on a favorite movie. My 5 year old helped with bread kneading and muffins, then spent some time on Starfall (an educational. learn-to-read website). Now they’re going to do Playdoh at the table while I keep working, then we’ll eat lunch together (but I’ll keep cooking while I eat). After lunch, they’ll take naps/quiet times and then I’ll really get a lot more done. I’m still trying to figure out what they’ll do this afternoon after their naps! I’m going to finish it up tomorrow if I can’t quite get it all done today.

  10. Wow, that is quite the list! Good for you. I’m wondering how do you manage to do all that baking and watch your kids. Will you be having someone to help you? Thanks!
    .-= Greta @ Mom Living Healthy´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

  11. I’ve done this before in the past, and now is probably a good time to start that up again. Have fun cooking!

  12. Thanks for the inspiration! I really need to get back into this and this post was a push in the right direction!

  13. It will be a crazy day, but it will be worth it to get all that food in the freezer!!
    .-= Marci@OvercomingBusy´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – November 2, 2009 =-.