Anyone done Once a month cooking? : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I'm curious if anyone has done Once-a-month cooking out there - I just found a web site about it & it looked interesting, so instead of buying the book (!) I got it from our local library - I have just started to read & it looks really great! Basic concept is that you spend a whole day cooking, then freeze your meals for the rest of the month - I don't have a chest freezer, so didn't know if I could do it - but they say you can do it with just the freezer on top of your fridge.....ANYWAY, if anyone's tried it, I'd be interested in your ideas. THANKS

-- hmm in western PA (, January 31, 2002


I did that for years when I worked full time and had tons of kids. I shopped once a month and had a cooking marathon all day on a Saturday once a month..lasagna,, pizza shells, stews, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, stuffed bell peppers, manicotti, etc. I only did this in the Wintertime because in the Summer, we always ate later than 6pm so I actually had time to ccok after work. Since we liked alot of pasta, it really is no big deal to cook several of thses meals at once..depends upon how many large pots you have for boiling water and how many stove burners! Here is the only drawback that i found: I had an upright freezer in the cellar. I had to be careful not to open the door for a few days before that just cannot throw a bunch of still-hot food in the freezer at one time and have the freezer work well.Your freezer needs to be 100% and you also have to stagger the things so one does not freeze hours after the others,etc. I made the mistake once of doing all that cooking and then remembering I had ice cream for the church Valentine's party in the freezer..uh oh. A few frantic phone calls and that worked out Ok, but you do have to really paln everything well. God bless.

-- lesley (, February 01, 2002.

Yep, I do that all the time! Heck, sometimes I go for two months without cooking. But I gotta tell you, eatin' out can get mighty expensive. And these Texaco gas station tuna sandwiches are gettin' mighty old. Sometimes the widow lady Olson invites me in for supper...usually after I shovel her snow. But we've gotten so little snow this year, that I can count her invites on one hand. I always enjoy going to the Luthern church ladies basement smorgasbords, those hotdishes are very good. And sometimes the Legion serves up some dern good meals. Yep, I suppose I cook about once a month. It's no fun cooking for just one person. --Happy trails, CF

-- Cabin Fever (, February 01, 2002.

I"ve been doing OAMC for a little over a year now. You can do it with the freezer on the top of your fridge if you're organized and really cram things in. It also depends on how big your portions are, there's just the two of us so I make a lot of little containers rather than just a few big ones. It's kind of a hassle but it can be done. My MIL gave us some money for Christmas and I used my share to buy a Foodsaver Vacuum sealer and a chest freezer. The freezer is being delivered tomorrow, I can't wait! I did a longer post about OAMC over on the Cooking and Crafts forum recently, you may want to check the archives over there.

-- Sherri C (, February 01, 2002.

I am happy for your family that you have decided to give this a try. You should have more time with your family over the course of a month, since you won't be spending all that time in the kitchen. I do have one suggestion for you though. It is really easy to get into the rut of making the same dishes over and over. My family has their basic 10 that we all love and I always pick out one day a month to shock their taste buds! I pick a recipe out that they have never had before. I try not to get anything to off the wall. Anyway, it's fun to experiment with a few different recipes. Who knows your family might find a new favorite. Anyway in doing the OAMC, be sure you keep into account leftovers, and things that are just better freshly made. When I did this, I way overcooked the first month. Actually I think I cooked for almost 2 months at once. I thought I needed at least 30 suppers in the freezer. Not true, I found that 18 was plenty. That left evenings for leftovers and Hamburgers, etc. I hope you have a good time. Remember, if you add up all of the ingredients together, then buy them in bulk, you save tons of money. If a friend is going to cook with you, you might be able to split on some of the items. It's also lots more fun.

-- Stacy in Michigan (, February 01, 2002.

If you've not done this before, I'd perhaps caution you to start slow till you see what you're in for. I personally cannot stay on my feet for a day or two to get it all done. (One day shopping, one day cooking) I do know a couple of ladies with larger families who do this and it works well for them. What works for me is to pick a day when I know I'll be in the house all day, and get a number of similar type meals going on the stove. I have my hamburger days - huge pots of spaghetti sauce, chili, bean casserole, lasagne sauce, etc. I freeze everything in meal sized portions, except for the chili that I hold back for dinner that night. Another day I'll find a great sale on chicken hindquarters or something - the next day is spent cooking chicken. Some I throw in kettles along with onion, celery & seasonings for making soup, etc. I also season some and put it in big shallow pans, cover with foil and bake in the oven. Then I skin, bone and package for quick meals. I do the same with turkey. Other days I'll pull out a bunch of chuck roasts or steaks, cook and make into meals and freeze, another day it's ham I've found on sale.

This isn't authentic OAMC, but it works for me. It gives me some precooked meals, along with precooked meats, sauces, etc. that allow me many quick and easy options for meals. If I have meat and broth in the freezer, it's easy to add some vegies and turn it into soup. If I have the lasagne sauce already made, throwing the lasagne together is easy to do. And I never have the huge mess to deal with like the "real" OAMC. I'd say start small and see how big a project you want to turn it into. BTW, there are lots of OAMC sites and recipes on the internet, as well as the original cookbooks that were so popular.

-- Lenette (, February 01, 2002.

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