Last weekend we did our "big cooking" for the month, give or take. The last time I did this was July 15 and it lasted until now. When Paul comes home, we'll be lucky if it lasts three weeks! He was a little worried about the chaos of cooking for a month...with good reason...
After I pull down the specific menu I want (www.onceamonthmom.com) and all the grocery lists and instructions and everything, we head out to Whole Foods, a local farm stand and the commissary to get everything we need. The bill usually comes to about $300 all told, and that's only because I buy 'happy meat' and organic veggies. For people who buy factory stuff, it will probably be $50-$75 less. We still buy fresh fruit, coffee, milk and stuff like that throughout the month, but overall I've cut about 30% off my monthly grocery bill just by going into the store so much less often.
Okay...so this is night one. ALL the chopping, plus Breaking Bad on Netflix...this part takes a good couple of hours. I usually put together the 'throw and go' crockpot meals that don't require any cooking right now, too. Example: beef bulgogi is just strips of beef with a bunch of ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. I threw it all in baggies and tossed it in the freezer. Good to go!
Now, the way you're supposed to do it, is just stay in the kitchen for six hours and make everything at once. That's impossible for me right now, so I do it in stages, doing as much as I can before someone starts losing their mind. You can see all the ziplocked baggies of prepped veggies to the right, that pink bowl that gets washed and used over and over (and over!). I was making chicken masala right there and there were tons of spices, so we used our rad spice bowls from my mom to manage them.
So pretty, right? Note: turmeric stains like a b.
This little peanut was about over playtime in the bouncy chair and cooking session 1 was about to have to end. You can see her millions of mosquito bites from our aquarium trip (the paths outside are wretched with mosquitos!!!) that match her size 6 month sleepeer. We all love the neon ladybugs on the feet! =)
And, almost finished! You will note the much-shortened paper chain in the background (yay!!!).
We were having tomato soup and cheese bread for dinner because I didn't want to mess with freezing the soup and I'd accidentally bought too much bread for the apple French toast casserole we were making for one of the breakfasts. My two sweet little taste testers...believe it or not, they love the chicken masala.
As you can also see in the background, Paul is right to be less than enthusiastic about the mess OAM cooking makes. Half of it is in the kitchen which gets truly destroyed, and the other half is spread throughout the house as my kids find other (cluttery!) ways to entertain themselves while I'm rushing around in the kitchen. Even with all of that, it's still a LIFESAVER, oh my WORD.