Jul 272004

By Tammy Davis

Hi everybody! I mentioned in the Jul04 News that I was off to PA to get some food in the freezer for my mom. She lost her balance and fell down her basement steps and shattered her right wrist and broke her left foot. She had surgery to put screws in her arm, and she isn’t able to do much. The church brought them meals the first week, but I wanted to get some meals in the freezer for them so I didn’t have to worry about them. So, here’s my assembly day(s) stories.

Mom gave me the list of recipes she wanted me to make on Thu nite. I entered them into the Advantage Cooking Software, and ran all the reports before I left on Fri. BIG time saver!! I checked the shopping list against what mom already had on hand once we got to her house, and then I was off to grocery shop. Got the grocery shopping done and then organized the recipes and the order that I wanted to make them.

Sat morning we started cooking at about 930a. My 70+ yr old mother-in-law who lives with us went along to help. And what a help she was!!! She mixed recipes, she washed dishes, she put completed recipes in freezer bags and she washed more dishes. “Grandma” was a huge help, and I couldn’t have done it without her!

Mom couldn’t help much, even tho she’s feeling a lot better. Mom has a huge kitchen, with lots of counter space. She sat on the other side of the counter and talked to us while we were cooking. And answered the constant question “Where do you keep………?”

Dad decided to help, since he was waiting on the grass to dry so he could mow. We gave him the pleasant job of peeling the onions and getting them ready for us. Mom sent him to the picnic table on the back porch so he didn’t make us all cry. = ) Then he chopped some onion for us. Turns out I had him do way too many onions, as I forgot to make the adjustments on the shopping list, since mom modified the meatloaf recipe to suit them. Oh well! Then, dad grabs a spatula with raw meat on it to scrape out the onion measuring cup, so I had to give him a lesson in not contaminating stuff with raw meat while you’re cooking. Then he made the meat for burgers into individual burgers and flash froze them.

My 11 yr old DD went along, and she spent the afternoon picking blueberries so we could make Blueberry Buckle for her and Grampy. What’s another recipe between family members, right?

We made 2x Pork BBQ (2 meals) in the crockpot (dad shredded the meat and picked the bone and fat out); 6x Master Meat Mix (6 meatloaves) with mom’s variaiton; 1x Pizza Burgers (5 meals); 4lbs burger + onion soup mix and eggs for burgers on the grill (dad made 19 burgers out of it); 2x Country Baked Beans (6 meals); 1x Freezer Pie Crust (16 crusts); 1x Taco Chili (6 meals); 2x Garlic Pizza Crust, which I made into 16 already cooked individual serving pizzas for mom for lunch; 2x Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (10 or 12 meals?); 2x Chicken Pot Pie (3 pies) 1 for dinner and 2 in the freezer, made and ready to be cooked. I kicked Grandma out of the kitchen at about 10p. I finished cleaning up and went to bed myself!

I forgot to add 2 Blueberry Buckles to the list for Sat. 1 was for dad, and 1 was for me to bring home. = ) Oh, and I baked the potatoes for Loaded Baked Potato Soup while the Buckle was baking.

Sun morning, Dad and Grandma went to church. DD and I started cooking. We made a batch of “Everything Cookies” from my dessert eBook, which makes about 12 doz cookies. She helped measure and mix, and scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets. Then she discovered what fun it was to wash dishes!! (You can tell right away that she’s never done it a day in her life!!!) = ) So I finished up the cookies, and mixed up 1x Oatmeal Cookie Mix… 3 bags of mix in the freezer, and 1 batch made into cookies. Mom helped the assembly line by putting the cooled cookies into freezer bags and shuffling them off to the freezer. Literally! = ) But she was determined to help. I think the real reason was to make sure most of the cookies were put away before dad came home and put a serious dent in them. 12 Doz Everything Cookies, and 2 doz Oatmeal. I mixed up 1x Apple Bread, while Grandma, just home from church, peeled and sliced the apples for me. 3 loaves of Apple Bread. Next we mixed up 2x Lazy Day Lasagna, making a 9×13 pan, and 3 loaf pans, all of which went in the freezer. Last but not least, I made 1x Loaded Baked Potato Soup, which went into 5 containers for mom to have for lunch.

We finished up cooking around 530p, and then finished cleaning. Dad made us burgers on the grill for dinner. Sometime in the middle of the cookie-making, I called my neighbor to see if she could watch my boys for me on Mon morning. I was supposed to drive back home on Sun aftn, but was just worn out and didn’t have the energy to do so. So if my neighbor could watch the boys, hubby could go to work, I could get a good nights sleep and drive home on Mon morning. She said she would, so I relaxed and finished up the cooking.

Oh, and another fun detail… Grandma brought her 8 lb Yorkie dog along for the trip. Grandma has had her about 6 wks, and the dog’s previous owners obviously fed her off the table. Coz everytime you’re in the kitchen and around food, she is at your feet hoping to get something. If you don’t promptly share, she starts growling at you. Then it turns into yips, and then barks. We put her in a bedroom a couple times for her to nap, but she about scratched the door down! So, we were working around a yipping, barking dog. Anytime anything was dropped, you about had to dive on it to get it before the dog! Potato skins, celery, she didn’t care! What a circus!!!

Anyway, mom was about in tears thanking Grandma and I for all our hard work to get it done for her. Grandma and I are exhausted… I have muscles that I didn’t know I have that hurt! = ) But mom and dad have lots of food to last them thru the rest of mom’s recovery. And that’s one less thing for me to worry about! I spent $75 at the grocery store, and dad spent about $50 at the butcher shop. So all those meals for $125!

Having the reports from the Advantage Software was wonderful for this adventure!! I had my recipe list to keep track of what we needed to make yet, the shopping list was an AWESOME time saver!!, and having the ingred list to refer back to numerous times was very helpful. As we finished up, mom said she’d need my help to go back thru the freezer and make a list of what all we made, so she’d know what she had in there. I pulled out the Recipe Inventory sheet and said “Done!” She was amazed!! I went thru and added boxes for the number of each recipe she had in the freezer, based on how we packaged them. She was so excited! I told her that she would be able to use her arm again about the time she ran out of food, and I bet she’ll be on the phone wanting to know when we can come help her cook some more! = )

Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

  One Response to “My cooking day for my parents”

  1. […] She kept saying “I can’t believe how much you guys are getting done!” Read my assembly day story, if you […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.