Fit Friday {and the freezer cooking has begun}

It’s been a busy week of knocking everything off my To-Do list I can, just in case baby decides to arrive early. I realized last weekend that even though my babies have never wanted to come anytime before the 40th week, and in fact probably would have stayed in there until 43 weeks had they been permitted, my going into labor early is still possible. I had a good number of more intense but still completely irregular contractions Saturday, prompting me to prioritize those things on my list that are most important. So I tacked the nursery and washing the baby clothes and all those must-do things first. Then I hit some house projects that were almost-but-not-quite done and tied up all the loose ends.

I realized a major item on my list hadn’t even started to happen yet–the freezer cooking! Before I had baby #2, I managed to bank about 40 meals in our freezer. And it was a normal size freezer, not a deep one by any means! I was 2 weeks before my due date when I did all that cooking last time around, and enjoying the months that followed with a newborn was far easier when I didn’t have to do much cooking. Plus the pocketbook and the waistline benefitted from not ordering in or eating out.

So I grabbed a pile of library books this week that were filled with healthy ideas for freezer or crockpot {I figured I’d put some crockpot “kits” together and freeze them ready to pop in the slowcooker}. I also ordered “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker” book, which I’d heard rave reviews about. It arrived yesterday and I spent the afternoon thumbing through all these books as well as my recipes and all that I’d pinned about freezer cooking, trying to come up with a plan. I hit the grocery store last night while my husband played with the kids {shopping for all I needed without the littles in tow was quite easier}, and he even unloaded everything for me when I got home!

I’m not sure how this always happens, but of course everything today took twice as long as I expected. I managed to crank out 7 whole-wheat vegetable-packed chicken pot pies, as well as 24 big twice-baked potatoes stuffed with caramelized onions and a little dubliner cheese. I shredded a pile of italian cheese for my planned pesto I’m going to finish with all the garden’s last basil. But once all that was done I just couldn’t do a bit more. My feet were in pain and my back was in pain and at least I’d remembered to put on compression stockings this morning before I started the whole ordeal. My little ones did well for a while, playing on our porch and inside and then I let them watch Ratatouille, but after lunch they kind of fell apart, and by the time I put them in their rooms for naps I was barely able to get the potatoes in the freezer before collapsing in the easy chair.

Driving me to finish several more mass quadrupling/freezing of other recipes is the notion that healthy meals are easier to make now than later with a crying hungry baby involved. So I’ve got tomato soup to finish, the pesto to process and freeze, and I’m still trying to decide on which crockpot kits to assemble. Then, next week I’m thinking I’ll have a italian day, where I make a pile of spinach lasagnas and gallons of marinara sauce along with a pile of lowfat meatballs. {I’d love to find some kind of vegan/vegetarian ‘meatball’ recipe, as I refuse to buy fake meatless meatballs but want to create something great without having to resort to turkey meatballs instead}.

My husband is going to put in the fall garden during his paternity leave, and if it turns out anything like last falls garden, it will supply us with piles of fresh salad greens and huge cabbages for soups–we had fresh salad every day we wanted them, and it went straight through the winter last year!! There is really nothing like picking your lettuces from your yard, washing them and eating them within an hour. You can’t buy that taste in any store, and it makes me crave greens just remembering…


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