Jun 012006

Freezer Cooking News from Nanci

Becky_at_grad_with_textHappy summer everyone! Summers are especially great when you’re a teacher! After a full school year of getting up at the crack of dawn and grading papers until I fall asleep with a red pen in my hand, it only takes me about 1 week to slide right into that “stay up late, get up late” mode. Of course, that wouldn’t work if my kids were still little but since mine are older it works GREAT! I read for about 3 hours every night – ahhhhhh. Now that’s what I call a vacation!

Of course, there are a million other things happening in my house (just like at yours). Kaytee, our oldest, just finished up summer classes at IU and will head back to Ball State U. in August. She’ll be home to live with us for a few weeks before classes start up again. Becky, our 18 year old, graduated on June 3rd. We had her open house the next day. Last weekend she registered for fall classes at Huntington University (about 2 hours north) to major in missions. Adam, our 16 year old, is in Morocco on vacation with his best friend. Jenna, our youngest, turns 13 in a few days. Bob and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary next week.

Whew! The summer is already flying by and I haven’t had a big cooking day yet. I really want to stockpile my freezer before school starts. Eating a decent breakfast, packing lunches and eating supper at home saves so much money! I have meats in marinade and a few salads and some desserts in “frozen storage” but it’s really time for a marathon cooking spree. I’ll start planning one and tell you all about it next time.

I’m an “old pro” at this planning bit but If you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Many cooks know that they should plan ahead and freeze foods but they just don’t know where to begin. Our manual walks you straight through the process and our message boards have some great info and ideas to help you. When you see a great sale on chicken or pork or beef just clear an afternoon and buy several pounds. Cook some and freeze in portions to use for quick meals (sloppy joes, tacos, pork barbecue, etc.) and use the rest to make a few tried and true freezable recipes. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you can put 10 entrees into the freezer and by how much money you save.

We do a lot of last minute, drop-in type entertaining in the summer. I’ve gotten pretty good at always having chicken in marinade and hamburgers in the freezers and desserts are always easy to come up with but salads had me stumped. I never have enough time to do a Jell-O salad and get it into the fridge. Last week I went on the hunt for frozen fruit salads that I could make up and get into the freezer for our drop-in company. Both of the salads below turned out great and were big hits with our friends. One tip for salads: package them in portions that you will eat in one serving. Use the little freezer cups for individual servings. It’s a pain to thaw a giant salad so that you can carve off enough for your lunch – ha!

Click here to view/print a recipe for Lemon Fruit Salad!

Click here to view/print a recipe for Strawberry-Banana Frozen Salad.

Check out these other great salad recipes on our website:
Frozen Cranberry Salad 
Frozen Waldorf Salad 
Fruit Slush 
Celebration Salad 
Seafoam Salad

Company and Website News

Summer is a time for playing “catch up” in the 30 Day Gourmet office. Since Becky will be heading off to college in a few months, we’re trying to stockpile ebooks on CD and get a myriad of other things crossed off our office “to do” list. The goal of having our Freezer Cooking Manual available as an ebook is still on the list as well.

I got an unexpected e-mail from Mary Hunt’s editor the other day (of Cheapskate Monthly now Debt Proof Living fame) requesting a review copy of the Freezer Cooking Manual. Wow – getting a mention in one of her Woman’s Day articles would really be something.

Hearts at Home fans should sign up for Karen Ehman’s workshop on hospitality titled A Life That Says Welcome:Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others at the fall conferences in Minnesota or Michigan. She mentions 30 Day Gourmet in her new book (by the same title) and gives you lots of great ways to model hospitality for your children.


Here’s a quick list of our items.

Emails from Happy Customer

I have been a 30 day gourmet fan for many years. I keep buying the freezer manual and friends borrow it and don’t return it. I purchased my third book and have yet to get it back. I’m not loaning this book out anymore and friends that ask will just get one for Christmas!!                

Amy S. 

Thank you! You are a god send! Our realtor suggested we bake cookies before an open house to get that homey feeling……..So I made the mix and put it in my pantry and I figured this would be a cinch to bake a dozen cookies before the open house. But then I realized I had packed your cookbook, I was having a hard time breathing normally! hahahahaha Anyway, I thank you again! We have a few more open houses scheduled! Have a wonderful day!
Marie R.

Customer Question

QUESTION: I have purchased your Freezer Manual and have a question. If we have 15+ people in our cooking group how do we split the cost of the groceries??? Do we each purchase the groceries for our recipe, cook, divide the recipe by 15 then charge everyone accordingly?? Have thought about getting the Co-Op Cooking Book also. Please help.

NANCI’S ANSWER: Wow – that’s a large group. Since everyone is probably purchasing things for the cooking day, I would just have your most mathematical person take charge of receipts and payments. Everyone should turn in their receipts. She writes down all of the expenses and who paid what. Then tally it up and divide by the number of people. That will tell you what each person should be paying for the cooking day. Then look at the list that tells you who already paid what. Let’s say the total is $1500. That’s $100 per person. Have a central pot (a literal bowl or something) and based on the list have people contribute what they owe. If you bought $75 worth of groceries you would owe $25. Put it in the pot. After everyone who owes money puts it in then the people who paid over $100 for their groceries, etc. take their money out. Obviously, this works better if people bring cash. It gets very messy when Sally owes the pot $25 and Mary is OWED $27 so Sally writes her check to Mary, etc. etc. Just use the pot and make them bring cash.

This is pretty much the method that Jan recommends in the Co-op Cooking ebook. She has some great worksheets in there to help you keep everything straight. Have fun! Hope this helps!

Closing Comments

Enjoy your summer! E-mail me about how you make freezer cooking work best in the summertime.



Nanci Slagle

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