DH calls is all 'leftovers'....

Dances in Garden-CDNApril 3, 2001

I have wanted to do this in the past, and I have "double batched" things like chili, soup, lasagne, etc.

My problem is, if I cook for a whole week and freeze all or part of it, DH calls it "leftovers" and does not want it. He won't even eat the chili if he knows it was defrosted, although I have tricked him, and he said it was the best chili I ever made.

So, how do you get over the feeling that everything you eat is "reheated" rather than cooked fresh? DH will cook (at least start dinner), but I can't be happy eating a plain skinless boneless chicken breast (untrimmed - ick) and rice a roni! LOL Don't get me wrong, I am not ungrateful. It was great having dinner on the table when I came home, but my skin was turning yellow from all the yellow dye number 5 (joking).

I would love to be able to cook up a storm on saturday and sunday, then have meals to heat during the week that taste like they simmered for a while.

Any suggestions?

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No, I have no suggestions, because this is exactly how I feel about this cooking method too! I know much of this food can be quite delicious, but there is a certain trough-like aspect to it that repels me. I do it a bit, however, out of absolute necessity because my mate and I both work full-time and have two small children. But I dislike the whole implication that cooking is terrible drudgery. I try instead to feel inspired about it, and to prepare what everybody really feels like eating or what is in peak season. I get a lot more pleasure and joy out of feeding my family this way than when I just pull out the chili pot and dish it up (tho heaven knows, there are evenings when that is all I'm up to!).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2001 at 11:30AM
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Dances -

Maybe instead of making entire dishes and freezing them, you can cook parts of the meal. Ex. cook the chicken ahead of time so then on the day you're cooking, you can chop the already cooked chicken and prepare something that way. Same with pasta or rice. Cook it ahead of time, and then you save the 15-20 minutes cooking time when you're preparing it during the week and instead focus on the sauce that you're going to making.

At the very least, maybe you could do the "prep" work ahead of time? *grin* anything to save time especially when you're working all day...


    Bookmark   April 3, 2001 at 3:39PM
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Krysta, does he eat say, Stouffer's? or anything like that?
but if all else fails doing what Rini suggests - pre-cooking a little would really help, even cutting up veggies for a stir fry, anything to get a head start on a meal.

take heart! tune out the complaining, at least he'd have a hot meal! LOL!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2001 at 9:54PM
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Well for one thing nothing says you have to eat a prepared meal every day but I for one do use all of the really good in season things at my meals. I also would not consider it trough food as I put a lot of time, effort and planning into my meals. As I see if I am working doubly hard to see that he has a great meal on the table.

I think the idea of doing as much ahead as possible and then putting it together at meal time is another great idea. You will never believe how much time and energy is saved by having the meat cooked or at least prepared and ready to cook. The prebrowned bag of ground beef is the best thing I have ever done. I am going to do some chicken breasts on the grill as soon as I have a really nice day.

I think I am being even more creative with the meal doing it this way.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2001 at 6:56AM
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You have to wrassle him to eat anything frozen. His mother had freezer-itis, and never wrapped anything well, and really didn't understand how to deal with frozen foods.

He won't touch TV dinners or anything like that either.

I have him to the point where I can buy raw meat and freeze it, but that is about it. I will try to 'sneak' in some "early" preperation here and there and see if I can convince him that he won't relive his mothers specialty:

Raw pork chops, dipped in flour, egg, then crumbs
frozen in a plastic grocery bag (tied at the top)
Taken out, the entire frozen lump dropped into a roasting pan

Cooked just until the top is burned, the bottom is soggy, and the middle is raw and (usually) still icy inside.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2001 at 1:57PM
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Uhhhhhhhhh I can see why he might be freezer shy. I find the foods so good.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2001 at 4:45PM
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Tell him to stay out of the kitchen unless HE wants to do the cooking. I've often wondered what it would be like to be called to the table every day, and have some wonderful suprise waiting for me. Or have my socks washed for me, my bed always made. In my next life, I want to be a man!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2001 at 4:03PM
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Have you considered the foodsaver II? It really does eliminate freezer burn. Couldn't live without mine. It is great for buying in bulk and freezing, or cooking in bulk and freezing.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2001 at 8:17PM
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fix him a martini, give him his slippers and the newspaper.
if he dares to enter the kitchen, leave him there, and you drink the martini while he prepares the food!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2001 at 9:26PM
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I truly love left overs. One of my favorites is to make one of the ground beef rice dishes and have tons of left over. I always keep tortillas on hand and I use the leftovers for rollups for lunch and they are so good. I warm my rice in the microwave and if anything it tastes better as leftover than on serving day. Can you tell I just ate one. so good.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2001 at 12:01PM
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I am with Daisy, My Dh rarely complains about dinner because let's face it, he comes home to a home cooked meal 28 out of 30 nights a month and the other times we eat out!! I do the cooking so therefore if its from the freezer and its easier for me, he eats it, one major complaint from him has been when I make a big batch of stuffed peppers, freeze them, then have them as needed, because they are solid and don't always thaw as well as I would like oh well they are great regardless to me!!!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2001 at 12:59PM
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Dances, Just change the name to what I call them-

Planned Overs-works for me

    Bookmark   April 9, 2001 at 6:19PM
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Recycle certain leftovers into new dishes. For example make for Chili one night's dinner. In it's reincarnation make a tamale pie with cornbread topping...Roasted or baked chicken can be reincarnated in a bunch of dishes like pasta, etc.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2001 at 6:39PM
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I made Chili last night for dinner, and filled five of those little 'Glad' containers for lunches and dinners at work. I told my DH that I was going to buy more of those containers for stew and pasta. I don't consider anything that I froze on purpose to be left overs. To me, a left over is something you didn't finish eating and put in the fridge to be finished if you got to it before the green fuzz did.

I'm so happy my family isn't picky. They'll eat just about anything I put on the table. But then, they learned a long time ago that if they EVER insulted my cooking, I would quit cooking, and they would starve. :) I just asked my DD if she felt the chili I put in the freezer was 'leftovers.' She said "No. You made a double batch to make it easier for you."

    Bookmark   April 9, 2001 at 6:48PM
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Luckily, my husband's family was trained to eat what was put on the table...LOL! (bless you, mother-in-law)...so I can cook ahead and freeze. But I've found that menu planning and shopping accordingly saves me nearly as much time as cooking ahead.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2001 at 12:48PM
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I don't mind suggestions, but twice my guy questioned the timing/way of cooking my turkey. TWICE he ended up finishing the meal! Just handed over the apron. :))

I don't know how I managed before freezing my food in quantity. There is no end to the possibilities!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2001 at 2:31AM
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Dances - I say, share the cooking duties. Especially if you both work full time, it is not fair that you are expected to cook from the "not frozen state" every night. If he understands the demads of cooking when nothing is pre frozen every night, he might see the light. Kinda like putting on someone elses shoes for a while. It can put a whole new perspective on things.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2001 at 8:02PM
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LOL @ Donnabear! Sounds like the best solution to me too!!
Doesn't like home-cooked-by-you 'leftovers' but will eat packaged, fake Ricearoni til the cows come home? Hmmmmm...........

    Bookmark   July 19, 2001 at 4:15PM
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Ask for your husband's cooperation in conducting an experiment. Have him write out a menu of meals for the next week, make out the grocery list, accompany you to the grocery store to do the shopping, carry in the groceries, put them away and then tell him the FUN is about to begin. He gets to cook for the next week. You will help him by coming to the table as soon the meals are ready. If there is one thing I would refuse to cater to, it would be a man who believes that any meal he eats will be prepared by someone else with no frozen, pre packaged, or pre prepared components. He would learn quickly the only way he would eat this way is when he put forth his own effort to prepare the meals or when he learned how to show proper appreciation for your efforts. After he has done this for a few weeks, then you can make a few meals that are planned ahead and frozen. When you serve the planned overs make no effort to make him anything else. I wouldn't cater to picky eaters very long, whether it be husband or children. Once they learn that the alternative is that they will do without, they won't go too many meals without eating whatever is prepared. The best way to help someone with an attitude problem is to give them some first hand experience at what is involved in fulfilling their requests.
I had a father in law with 4 sons. He taught each of those sons to have respect for the person doing the meal preparation. NO ONE was to lift a fork to eat before the person who prepared the meal was seated and had been served. The person who did the work was to be the person who got the FIRST benefits. More fathers should teach this level of respect for someone elses efforts.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2001 at 10:52AM
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My DH and I like many things better when they are prepared ahead - it gives the flavors more time to marry. There are some recipes that I do ahead of time for that very reason - especially sloppy joes, spaghetti and stews. Tell your DH that it isn't a time saver - it's a way to increase the flavor.
(Although, I also think he should get a chance to do some cooking and serving!)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2001 at 1:47AM
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Hi! I love my Tilia Food Saver II. It protects against freezer burn, plus I can throw the bag in the microwave, or snip a corner of the bag and throw it in a pot of boiling water, or put it in a pan to bake. The choice is mine, depending on how much of a hurry I'm in, and whether I want to heat up the oven (and the kitchen--I HATE using the oven in the summer time!) Plus, the bags go on the top shelf of the dishwasher, (turned inside out to wash out the food) and then I re-use them.

Also, I read on one of the OAMC web sites that to freeze OAMC meals without that "leftover taste", you should only partially cook the portions you are going to freeze.

When I make for instance--meatloaf, the one we eat tonight is fully cooked. The ones I'm going to freeze are only cooked 1/2 of the time. (This works especially well with pasta that is only partially cooked--it doesn't turn into mush when re-heated.) When re-heating, I cook the freezer meatloaves extra time to allow the food to be completely cooked and then it doesn't taste like left-overs. Works for me!

Rosellen @--->--->---

"As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.... "

    Bookmark   August 27, 2001 at 10:47PM
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You can pre-chop lots of onion, green peppers, mushrooms etc... on the weekend for meals during the week to help out, use a crockpot or even make some frozen meals like chili, stew, bbq beef, sloppy joes, chicken ala king stc.... and put it on the crockpot frozen and it will be hot when he gets home and think its a new meal I will never undertand why someone doesnt like what they see but never know the difference otherwise.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2001 at 8:45AM
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