Every Sunday my insta feed fills with the pictures. Fresh bread, ribbons of vegetables about to be transformed into edible beauty, bliss balls, home baked muesli bars and menu plans.
Evidently there are scores of parents productively spending their Sundays in the kitchen with a view to the week ahead. I won’t say it’s a cult. But I know some of them own Thermomixes.
Before going back to office work my Sundays were full of, well, work. It was always a great opportunity to catch up while the boys were diverted by Dad. Nowadays, I’m trying my hand at preparing frozen lunchbox treats and meticulously meal planning the week ahead. Boys are still diverted by Dad.
I am not a natural cook or baker. People presume I might be because I can sew. But any talent I received in one home-maker arena must have been stolen from the other. So this is all a bit new and foreign to me. Undaunted, I have thrown myself into the weekend tradition of baking, cooking and prepping.
Although I have to admit three hours into cooking last Sunday, I was getting a wee bit bored. I may have gone in search of wine.
That morning I went to the fresh food markets to gather all the ingredients. I always come away from the markets in a hazy glow, feeling all nature-mummy and proud of the obscure vegetables I have bought (even when I know the kids won’t eat them). High on my market experience, I over-shot. I made two frozen dinner meals, that night’s dinner, pizza scrolls, ham and cheese scones, bliss balls and assisted with the muffins. (I was a bit exhausted by the time we got to the muffins.)
So here’s how all that went …
The tuna, spinach, mac ‘n’ cheese (which the kids always have) went down a treat because my kids are boring eaters and hesitant to try new things. At least it froze well and somehow spinach doesn’t count as a vegetable in our house. Win.
The Mexican casserole (which I loved) was akin to poison and induced all kinds of exaggerated gagging. It’s cheese, salsa, beans and polenta little people – what’s not to like?
The ham and cheese scones are still chilling in the freezer a week and a bit later – not because they aren’t nice but because I forgot that my kids don’t actually eat that much for lunch.
The pizza scrolls got a huge tick of approval and were, by far, the easiest thing to make. I absolutely love this pizza dough recipe – it’s awesome and does not require a Thermomix.
I learned that any recipe that makes only 12 bliss balls needs to be tripled or quadrupled immediately because those things last about 20 seconds. Particularly around me. They are super healthy right?
The muffins started out lovely but I forgot about them and left them out in the tin overnight, rather than putting them in the fridge. Not a great idea during a heat wave.
I also learned that freezing things requires de-frosting things. I warned you — I am no kitchen genius. Popping the completely frozen mac ‘n’ cheese into the oven for 30 minutes or just until it was a bit bubbly on top was ridiculously hopeful. Keeping in mind that our oven doesn’t reach over 180 degrees (which I wrote a post about last year and still haven’t bothered to get fixed). Suffice to say my genius plan where everyone would be fed and in bed by 7:00pm didn’t work that night. Also remembered that we own a microwave. Face palm.
Clearly, I need help. So I am excited to join up to Amanda from a Cooker and a Looker’s Rediscover Your Kitchen Mojo challenge – starting March. I don’t know that I have much mojo to rediscover, but maybe I’ll find some to get me going.
Have any frozen meal tips for the culinarily challenged?