“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“Comfort food” conjures up different images for each one of us. For me, it is Sunday dinner as a child-no matter what happened during the week (maybe, a pot of beans that seemed to have the directions “heat and repeat” on it) Sunday dinner was always something special. Granted I might have been party to wringing the neck of the chicken we were enjoying, but I overcame that when juice ran down my chin from my mother’s roasted hen. Along with the eating of the roast or hen was the glorious smell when we walked into the house after church. I don’t ever remember a crock pot in the home of my youth, but slow cooking was a Sunday tradition.
Even though my nest is empty except for me and the MR., I have long loved that same nostalgic moment when we return from church and the crock pot is declaring it is time for dinner. After a few experiments, I determined which of the meals were Sunday dinner worthy and developed a plan. I found 3 types of freezer-to-crockpot meals and selected from each of these categories:
- cook the chicken for 3 hours-add sauce,
- cook from frozen and thaw overnight and
- cook according to directions
Once every few months, I sit down with my grid and recipes and check the ingredients to make a Costco shopping list. Another day is shopping/prep day. You will notice no photos of prep day accompany this blog-it is never a pretty sight-and we usually go out for dinner on prep day, because I am so done with the sight, smell and thought of cooking/clean up 🙂 I have labels made for each gallon-sized bag – again, the advantage of knowing exactly what recipes work is that you have the labels already made. I label the gallon-sized bags which will hold all the ingredients and some quart sized for the sauce with recipes requiring chicken to be cooked first and sauce added after 3 hours.
I gather all the ingredients (fresh and prepared) by recipe and group them on the counter accordingly. I go group by group prepping the fresh ingredients and measuring them into small bowls. I then add the spices to the fresh ingredients. I pull out the electric can opener and start pouring into the gallon bags. I now have Sunday dinner for several months-and Monday is always, “heat and repeat.” The feeling of accomplishment when I carry these flat little bags to the freezer is off the charts. I am slow cooker woman, hear me roar. Oscar Wilde had it right-after enjoying the joys of a slow cooked Sunday dinner, one is sated with not just food, but full to the brim with love and gratitude for the blessings of family.