Trying a new recipe for the first time when making multiple batches for freezer cooking can lead to disaster.
A busy mom sees a great new recipe and really wants to try it. It is the weekend she plans to prepare a number of meals for freezer cooking so she adds enough ingredients to her shopping list to make a three dinner batch of it. Sometimes, she gets lucky and her family loves the dish and cannot wait until it comes up on the menu again. However, especially with picky children, sometimes it doesn’t work out so well and the meal doesn’t get a great reception.
Perhaps your family loves chili and so you think there is no way that you can go wrong with adding the chili recipe a co-worker told you about to your freezer cooking rotation. Unfortunately, your family is used to your traditional chili and really doesn’t like the change. It is incredibly discouraging to know that you have two more batches of the chili in your freezer. Frozen meals are not like canned or packaged goods that you can donate to the local food drive. Making a large batch of freezer food is an immense commitment of time and resources. If you end up throwing away meals, it is easy to think that freezer cooking is not for me. You can avoid this by never trying a new recipe for the first time when making multiple batches for freezer cooking.
A great time to try a new recipe is a weekend when you are not doing freezer cooking. Just making one dinner is a breeze compared to the long session required to create a number of meals. When making the recipe for the first time, think of ways to streamline the preparation for making larger quantities. Also, think of ways to alter the ingredients and improve the nutritional value of the meal without significantly changing the flavor and texture of the dish. Consider how well the ingredients will hold up to freezing and how the dish will be reheated. Finally, really pay attention to your family’s response to the dish. If it is a strong positive, you have found a new meal to add to your freezer cooking rotation. Whenever possible, look for recipes that use local produce. A great incentive to become more adventurous in your cooking is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). For a yearly fee, you receive a portion of a farm’s harvest. Many CSAs last for 10 – 15 weeks and you get a variety of produce each week. Freezing extra vegetables or making a dish such as corn chowder is a great way to use the bounty.
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