I think we all know that the freezer can be a glorious secret weapon in the daily tussle to get healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly dinners on the table. This month we're helping you clean out, organize, and restock the freezer in our 4-step Freezer Cure (it's not too late to join!). But that's just the beginning.
The ultimate step is filling your freezer with meals — cleverly cooked and organized to help you pull off the last-minute magic of a meal already made. But this organization and work is really better done with friends, so our Gathering from The Kitchn this month is something I've wanted to do for a long time: A freezer meal party!
What's a Freezer Meal Party?
At its simplest, a freezer meal party brings a few people together to cook, package, and freeze meals for their households or families. You share the work and get to spend time together.
Why Have a Freezer Meal Party?
Why prep meals together? Lots of people do this on their own; I know several cooks who have assembly line-style freezer meal cooking down to a science. I imagine that helping hands might just make it more complicated. A party or gathering isn't always the most efficient way to prep a lot of meals. I'll be the first to admit that prepping a ton of meals at once is easier to do in my own kitchen, without directing people or coordinating.
But efficiency and speed are not always the point.
4 Reasons to Host a Freezer Meal Party
Beyond efficiency of time, there are other reasons for prepping a lot of meals together:
Introduce new cooks to big-batch cooking: A party like this is an opportunity for cooks experienced in freezer cooking to share their knowledge and experience with other cooks. Or, if none of you and your friends are experienced in this, you can all learn together.
Save money through bulk shopping: Bulk shopping isn't always for everyone, especially households of roommates and couples with no kids. But big-batch cooking with a group can help everyone take maximum advantage of buying in bulk. It consolidates resources and helps everyone save money.
Diversify your menu: The meals I think to make for my freezer are different than the ones my friends might choose. By getting together to do this we share recipes and ideas and make our meals a little more interesting.
Have fun together! But the best reason, in my mind, to host a freezer meal party is the excuse to spend a weekend afternoon with friends or family whom you may not see as often as you would like. You get time to talk and hang out, and the satisfaction of a box of meals at the end.
This week I'll show you the freezer meals party I hosted a couple weeks ago with my sisters and mom. I'll share the recipes we made and the things I learned about having a successful meal prep session together. But this was my first time hosting a party like this, and I know that some of you do this frequently — I'd love to hear your own tips and good ideas along the way!
Coming Up This Week...
Freezer Meal Party 101 - What you need and how to prepare.
How I Threw a Freezer Meal Party - A recap of my own party.
Great Bakeware for the Freezer - A look at bakeware for freezing.
Pro Meal Party Tips - From a pro who throws these parties all the time!
More Freezer Meal Plans - Great freezer meal plans from bloggers.
And Recipes! I'll share all six of the recipes we made during our marathon cooking session, most of which were from our featured columnist this month, Jessica Fisher, and her book: Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook
(Image credits: David Hopler of D Squared Photo & Video)