No I'm not kidding....we really rolled 336 of them....I have pictures to prove it...and witnesses.
And so the question at hand would be, "Why did you need that many meatballs?" And I am so glad you asked....
You see, I live in the south....the deep south....where football is, well...like a religion. They take it serious here....and no I'm not just talking about the SEC...I'm talking about my boys that are playing this year for the first time. Gulp. (That's another post for another time.) But after signing up....I realized that we were looking at three nights of practice a week PER child.....and I knew what that meant....we wouldn't be home very much.
So I began to entertain this apparently not-so-new-fangled idea of "freezer cooking" and decided that maybe I should try something new. Not to use for our meals every night, but just to see if perhaps it could lighten my load a little, and allow for us to have a "home cooked meal" even when our schedule didn't allow for it.
I scoured the internet for different tried and true recipes....I
Just keepin' it real.
(and please don't get me started on that....I could write a whole entire post about how many times I could have paid for the movies and books that I was supposedly borrowing-for-free from the library until we realized we were a WEEK late in returning them and that the movies EACH were a doller per day late!!!!)
Sorry...I am way off track.
You name it, I researched it.
I discovered that people actually cook for the entire month in one weekend.....and I knew immediately that wasn't for me.
But in searching and reading, I discovered a website called www.moneysavingmom.com and I felt like the way she broke it down, it was do-able.
So I decided to give it a try.
And nothing is fun when you do it alone, so I enlisted the help of my dear friend, Audra who's husband is a head football coach....need I say more? (I think it's safe to say that she needed freezer cooking more than me!!!)
But it's always better when you're reading about it.....you know....how "proper planning is key", and "shopping the day before and prepping ahead of time"...."never try to do it all in the same day"....
Well, our lives didn't exactly jive with that schedule so off to Sam's we were at 8am Monday morning....to shop...then prep...then cook....all in one day.
And I think it's safe to say that whoever gave all that "don't do it all in one day" advice was probably a well seasoned freezer cook....because I pretty much was useless to my family yesterday after our cooking day on Monday. I CRASHED into bed that night and could hardly gimp around the house yesterday...but we did it..and learned some things for the next time.
If there is a next time.....
Lesson Number One:
- It isn't necessary to double a meatball recipe the first time in your life that you decide to do "freezer cooking". Especially when a single batch uses 6 lbs. of ground beef.
What was I thinking???
And can you imagine my horror when I turned my oven on and instead of it coming on, it sat at 100 degrees forever....temperature not going up at all??? It had done this twice before....and then eventually started. I think the igniter is about to go out.....but moments after we have rolled 336 meatballs is most definitely not the time to decide to die on me. Thankfully.....it eventually kicked on!
Lesson Number Two:
- When a recipe says that you can take a boneless, skinless chicken breast and "simply press down on the thick part with the palm of your hand to flatten it"....they probably weren't dealing with the "chicken breasts on steroids" that we bought.
And no...I didn't get a picture of that work in progress. I didn't want to risk getting salmonella germs on my camera.....you know...that whole cross-contamination thing??
Suffice it to say that Audra and I had a few good laughs, and a huge sigh of relief that we didn't have 336 of those to do!!!
Lesson Number Three:
- Redbox movies and theater candy IS the best way to occupy children on a marathon cooking day....
Good ole' Alvin & the Chipmunks....they never disappoint.
But don't let that picture fool you.....they did manage to get underfoot a few times, but all in all...they did great....while we slaved away in the kitchen. Thank goodness for growing boys strong enough to take out the trash every thirty minutes as we filled it with garbage!!!
Lesson Number Four:
- This is probably not what they meant by "be well organized and have your prep work done the day before".....
And please don't ask me why only one window blinds out of the three are open.....it gets hot it my kitchen but the light was helpful.... I know it looks ridiculous, okay??
Lesson Number Five:
- Always keep a secret stash of sugar handy when freezer cooking....you never know when you're going to need a burst of energy... Can you see it?
Lesson Number Six:
- Take more pictures!!!!
Because believe me.....by 5pm....we were done. Physically, mentally, culinarily.....(is that a word?)....DONE. Until we turned around and saw the mountain of cookie sheets from those darned meatballs that had to bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Yea....that wasn't exactly the easiest mess to clean. I think it's safe to say that Lesson Number Seven was:
- Parchment Paper is your friend next time
This is just my half of what we made.....she took home the exact amount!