Freezable Dinners: It's All About Prep
In our inaugural DIY-reezable dinner session, we ended the night agreeing that we should do it again. The primary lesson learned from our first experience was that the load
on the organizer to select and quadruple the recipes was a heavy
burden. We made some tweaks and planned on a future date to get together.
Mother's Day eve, we gathered at Blair's house intending to make dinners for our five families. On the menu was:
- Chicken Tinga;
- Caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and bacon quiche;
- Korean spareribs;
- Meatloaf; and
- Cranberry walnut scones.
We emailed the recipes to the "organizer" who undertook the huge task of shopping for the ingredients. Fortunately, Olivia came with the Chicken Tinga bagged for everyone which meant we could focus our efforts on creating and assembling the remaining meals. The result was four yummy meals, and some terrific scones for breakfast or snacks. With each experience, we walk away with more tips to make it easier on our busy schedules. Some changes for our July gathering:
- Do as much prep work prior to gathering. Caramelizing the onions and sauteeing the mushrooms proved time consuming. The quiche also needed to bake prior to taking home which meant additional time. Not that we minded each other's company, but streamlining the process makes gatherings more efficient and means more time for drinking wine after.
- Our best friend is the food processor. I can't even count the number times we used the food processor for chopping veggies, shredding cheese, crumbing bread, etc. The more the better and the next time we might even make sure to have more than one on hand.
- Print out recipe labels. Good thing JJ had impeccable handwriting, but I'm certain that on the 10th bag of spareribs, she was ready to toss the trusty Sharpie aside. Next time we will assign someone to print out recipe labels to facilitate this step.
- Recyclable containers. Ziploc bags and disposable aluminum containers were used for all of our recipes. Next time we might try to bring our own dishes and containers from home.
Do you have any great tips to share with others thinking about doing an assembly party? As always, we are looking for additional recipes for future gatherings.