Not too long ago, a good friend emailed a group of us asking if we’d like to take part in one those stock the freezer parties she’d been reading about on Facebook. Spending a morning in the kitchen with friends sounded great to me, and the fact that I’d walk away with five delicious meals to feed my family made it sound even better. The organizer (cannot thank her enough!) asked us for some of our favorite recipes, made a master list, and then did all of the grocery shopping. Another friend offered to host and secured a babysitter for the kiddos. I basically showed up and chopped onions…but there were A LOT of onions!
Following are the recipes we made:
- My VERY organized friend. You really need one individual who can take charge and is good at follow-through. Bonus if she (or he) is a list maker and enjoys spreadsheets. She went through all of her recipes and those that others submitted and presented us with a great list of easy-to-prepare, freezable, and not to mention delicious meals. She then went through each recipe and figured out all the ingredients and the amounts needed for five different recipes for six families. Finally, she did all the grocery shopping…yeah, she’s pretty amazing. Of course, you could divide up some of these responsiblities, and we hope to next time as it was a lot for one person to do.
- A great kitchen with some elbow room. The host has a wonderful open kitchen with a large island, and the extra counter-space was really helpful. Also, it helped that her dining room table was in view of the kitchen as we organized all of the dry goods there and it was easy to quickly grab whatever groceries we needed next.
- Good knives – we all brought our favorites.
- Plenty of good pots & pans – the bigger, the better. After preparing some of these meals, I realized that my kitchen is lacking. We make due with what we have, and really, it’s fine, but wow, could I have some fun in Williams-Sonoma!
- Food processor – made a lot of the chopping much easier.
- None of us are very picky eaters. Everyone seemed happy with the recipes as they were, and thankfully, we weren’t dealing with any major food allergies among us. If you decide to try something like this, just keep that in mind when you are planning the party. For instance, if your family eats vegetarian, then either do an all vegetarian party or make sure to include recipes that can be made with or without meat. Also, if there are gluten sensitivities, just make sure all participants are aware. I think this one is pretty easy to get around with all of the amazing gluten-free products available nowadays, like brown rice pasta, corn tortillas, etc.
- If you have kids, hire a good babysitter, or hold the party after bedtime as there is no way we could have kept up with all the kids plus gotten all the cooking done.
- And last but not least, pick a group of people that you know you’ll work well with and make it fun. We shared stories and laughed all morning. Makes me wish I could do all my cooking with friends!