Pages


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stocking my Post-Partum Freezer



In 18 weeks or so, I'll be a mother all over again. It's scary business. We've got a good thing going with just the three of us, and a part of me is mourning its loss. I'm snuggling our firstborn more so that he knows I cherish this special time when I am just his Mommy and no one else's.  Our whole world is about to change.

But the other side of the coin is that our whole world is about to change. Again! Like the first time, only completely different. My little boy will become a big brother! I will see him grow and learn to love and share in ways he's never known. I'll see just how far my love (and patience) can stretch to make room for this new little one.

Once again, I'll see that I'm made of strong stuff -- I didn't realize it for a long, long time with my first because depression gets its grip on your mind and makes you feel so many untrue things. But now I know how the ugly lies it tells and that its foolish to believe them. I know when I need help, too, and how to ask for it.

I know that I can handle what's coming. I've done this before.

What I haven't done before is stock up my freezer before baby. When our first was born, we were living with my parents while hubby finished his Masters degree. There was no need for me to worry about feeding the family after the baby came -- my mom took excellent care of us.

This time around, after my mom comes out for the first little bit, we'll be on our own. And I intend to be prepared. I'm sure I'll be busy nursing and diapering. Going to the store will be challenging, but the family will still need to be fed. Having homemade meals on hand in the freezer will go a long way to making life manageable. These are things I could take from the freezer and get to the table with minimal work, or that hubby can make up after a long day at work so we won't resort to take out. (The options where we live are abysmal anyhow.)

Here's what I'm stocking up on for after baby makes his arrival:



Pre-Cooked Steel-Cut Oats

Oats are great for breastfeeding moms, and my preschooler adores oatmeal. Having it cooked up in advance and frozen in individual portions will be the perfect start to fuzzy, sleep-deprived mornings. Just add a little extra milk and a smear of jam or maple syrup.



Waffles

From the freezer to the toaster to your plate in just about a minute. And who doesn't like waffles?


Bagels

I have a 25 lb. bag of high-protien flour sitting in my pantry for homemade bagels (it was the same price for a 3 lb. bag as it was for 25 lbs. at Cash & Carry, so I guess we'll be making a LOT of bagels...). I know the recipe will make more than we can eat in one sitting, so the rest will keep nicely for later tucked into the freezer. Just toast and add cream cheese!


Chicken Noodle Soup

I'm due in November, prime soup season. Make up a batch of your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe, only omit the noodles until you're ready to serve. Then all you have to do is reheat and cook the noodles. My favorite noodles for chicken noodle soup come from the freezer section anyhow, so I'll just slip a package of those next to my soup in the freezer.



Pumpkin Chili

Any chili makes a great freezer meal. Just reheat and top with your favorite things (mine are cheese and sour cream).


Baked Pastas

Baked pastas are a great freezer meal option. I'm planning on making up a pan of Baked Ziti, and may also make up some Stuffed Shells. Both will go straight from the freezer to the oven beautifully.



Sloppy Joe (or Sloppy Sam) Filling

Sloppy Joes are one of my favorite dinners, but making them from scratch is a lot of work. Do it in advance and freeze it for an easy dinner. All you'll need are fresh buns and a green salad.

Calzones

I considered making a couple batches of pizza dough, but with arms full of newborn, it's difficult to roll out pizza dough. Reheating pre-cooked calzones, however, would be a cinch -- whether I'm doing it one-handed, or hubby gets it going after a long day at work.

Slow-Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

Freezer-to-crockpot meals are a fabulous option for hands-off cooking. I love that I can throw this in the slow cooker in the morning and have something worthwhile for my family to eat come dinner time. Just dump and go.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

I consider these a meal all on their own. Just bake the potatoes, stuff as desired, then freeze. When you're ready to eat them, bake them again from frozen until heated through and golden.



Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I don't know who wouldn't consider these essential. I'll make up a big batch of the dough, scoop into portions and freeze for cookies any time I need a little something sweet.



Do you stock your freezer with easy-prep meals to make life less hectic? What are your favorites? I'd love your recommendations!


1 comment :

  1. Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family!!! I'm sure your little boy will make a great big brother. All your "freezer" meals look delish!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment. Let's keep things friendly!

LinkWithin