…You fill in the blank! 🙂

So it’s November, obviously, and I’m late posting this, obviously, and I basically never post anymore. Obviously. Sorry about that. I’m super, super trying to get better about that, really I am.

Anyway, this month, having my freezer stocked with ready-to-go meals and starts of meals that I have made myself by simply DOUBLING WHAT I’M COOKING WHEN I’M MAKING A FREEZER-WORTHY MEAL has been maybe the greatest thing that’s happened to me in my dinner-making life, ever. I’m possibly exaggerating. But it’s been such a help.

As always, I’m singing with a choral group that performs multiple times a year — sometimes with the state Philharmonic, sometimes on our own, always with a grueling schedule during performance weeks. I’m talking about 5 or 6 days out of 7 where I need to be physically gone in the evenings and I’m running out the door before our technical dinnertime, coming back after my preferred jammie time. It’s a fun and rewarding thing that I do, but it is a logistical challenge to say the least.

You can imagine that when I sat down to meal plan for concert week, I was drained by the very thought of having to feed people on top of everything else. And then I realized: It was already done! I didn’t have to cook unduly during this performance week, because my freezer was full of stuff I could use. (Insert happy dance here.)

Chicken breasts I’d marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce, then popped into zip top bags and frozen, now became the basis for a quick stir-fry noodle dish. That chicken pot pie filling I threw together with leftovers on a rainy day came out of hiding and got topped with ready-made puff pastry for a decadent and labor-free meal. Meatballs were pulled from retirement, bathed in sauce, and stuffed in crusty buns. And I know that when I come home after the last concert, sore and tired with aching feet, there will be a piping hot chicken parmigiana waiting for me.

God bless you, Past Me. The Present Me thanks you.

Incidentally, I’m not only using the freezer for concert week — after all, it’s not like November is going to suddenly become a month of leisure, what with Thanksgiving and school functions and the usual humming beehive busy-ness of a family. The rest of the month will occasionally pull from the stores, as well as re-stocking when I can double a recipe and pop something back in there. This school year, that chest freezer of mine has really become the gift that keeps on giving, as long as I remember to feed it every now and again.


Sunday, 11/1: Beef Stew, mashed potatoes and salad
Monday, 11/2: Freezer meal — Teriyaki chicken with rice noodles and vegetables
Tuesday, 11/3: Freezer meal — Chicken pot pie with puff pastry crust, salad
Wednesday, 11/4: Freezer meal — Meatball subs
Thursday, 11/5: I can actually cook dinner! Pasta “poulet”
Friday, 11/6: Giving the freezer a break in favor of Make Your Own Sandwich Night
Saturday, 11/7: Making Provencal pork chops and risotto before I head off to my concert

Sunday, 11/8: Freezer meal — Chicken parmigiana with pasta and salad
Monday, 11/9: DIY Salad night
Tuesday, 11/10: Slow cooker Broccoli cheese soup and bread
Wednesday, 11/11: Honey Mustard Skillet Chicken over rice, vegetables
Thursday, 11/12: Pasta with sweet potatoes and red peppers, salad
Friday, 11/13: I’ll be out with L. — honestly haven’t decided what we’ll do about dinner!
Saturday, 11/14: The annual Thanksgiving Supper at our church, so we’re potlucking

Sunday, 11/15: Sunday roast chicken dinner
Monday, 11/16: Freezer meal — Chicken and lentil soup, corn muffins
Tuesday, 11/17: Steak fajitas
Wednesday, 11/18: BBQ Chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries
Thursday, 11/19: Pumpkin carbonara, salad
Friday, 11/20: Chicken sausages with cabbage and apples, baked sweet potatoes and broccoli
Saturday, 11/21: French onion soup, salad

Sunday, 11/22: Bracciole with pasta or gnocchi
Monday, 11/23: Brown butter chicken with broccoli rabe
Tuesday, 11/24: Freezer meal — Tacos
Wednesday, 11/25: Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday, 11/26: THANKSGIVING
Friday, 11/27: Dinner with family
Saturday, 11/28: “Picture Pizzas” and salad

Sunday, 11/29: Possibly with family again, so I’m not planning anything right now
Monday, 11/30: Creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches