Who only cooks once a month? Someone with a personal chef? A person who works in a restaurant? Certainly not a busy mother of four Bottomless Petes who routinely insist that I, you know, feed them! Well Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson insist that it can be done. According to them, you can grocery shop one time, do all your prep work at once, and stock your pantry and freeze enough to feed your family every day for an entire month.
Does anyone else remember those meal prep places that were all the rage a few years back? I went a couple of times, and it was pretty neat. You’d gather a bunch of friends, choose from several menu selections, and read off of a recipe card as you dumped ingredients into plastic bags and containers to take home and freeze for future consumption. Everything was prepped and ready for you to assemble. My friends and I discussed the possibility of getting together on our own to do something like this, maybe once a month. How great it would be, we imagined, to have a ready supply of pre-made meals to draw from on those crazy evenings when baseball practice, Cub Scouts, and gymnastics all seemed to converge at once, resulting in exotic dinners of peanut butter and canned soup! Alas, we never figured out how to do it.
But now I’ve discovered Once-a-Month Cooking: Family Favorites, and I’m newly inspired! The aforementioned Lagerborg and Wilson have even trademarked their Once-a-Month Cooking system, so it must work, right? I’m learning all about their cycle method, whereby you shop for either monthly, bi-weekly or seasonal cycles, do all your prep in one day, and voila! A freezer full of well-planned and balanced meals! I can’t wait to get started. The way I see it, buying in bulk for these mass prep sessions will not only save us money because we’re buying in bulk, but also because we won’t be making gratuitous trips to the grocery store, where we’re naturally tempted by all kinds of costly impulse items. But the absolutely best part is that I don’t have to figure out how to do any of this on my own, because I have the book to lead me, every step of the way. Who’s with me? C’mon!0