03 August 2011

OAMC, Month 2

So, yesterday was my second try at my ‘Once A Month Cooking’ experiment. After my first full day of cooking last month, I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. But after a whole month of not having to worry about what to make for dinner or lots of little last minute shopping trips, I decided it was worth the work or getting all done in one day. So, I decided to do it again this month, and learned some important things:
· So, on Monday I had my shopping day. We went to BJs (a store like Costco) and also to a normal grocery store, but I made the mistake of trying to fit in a few other short errands at several other stores nearby before I got the groceries. Note to self: don’t try to fit in more than 2 extra long grocery shopping trips in one day, especially with 5 children in tow. (Also, try not to forget to get one of the ingredients on the list, causing you to have to go back to the store again on the long cooking day).

· I wore my flip flops in the kitchen while I cooked. We usually don’t wear shoes around the house, but after July’s 7-hour cooking day in our kitchen with wooden floors, my feet were aching (not just for that day, but for several days afterwards), and my whole body just seemed exhausted. This time I wore my flip flops, and after standing up cooking/cleaning for about 8 hours, my feet were a little sore, but not aching like before, and in general my body wasn’t nearly as worn out as last time.

· I decided that on my cooking day, it would be the boys’ chore day. Since I would be busy in the kitchen all day, I encouraged the boys to get their daily chores done. Then I encouraged them to work on their “extra chores” (we have two different kinds of extra chores at our house – either a boy has misbehaved and “drained Mommy’s energy,” so an extra chore is needed to “fill Mommy’s energy back up;” or the boys may choose to ask me if there are any extra chores that I need done around the house if they would like to earn a little bit of money or sometimes a ‘silly band’ or two). So, with our busy schedule, and because my brother was visiting with us last week, the boys had accrued a few extra chores that needed to be done to fill up Mommy’s energy. They worked on those. And Isaac even finished everything and then asked if he could do some extra work so he could earn some pennies. Don’t get me wrong, they also played a lot throughout the day, and I had my fair share of normal disciplining to do, but overall it was a productive day: I prepared 24 meals and got the kitchen all cleaned up, and between all 5 boys we got clean bedrooms, a clean study, vacuumed rugs and vacuumed floors downstairs, swept-off 2 sets of stairs, organized the shoe cubby in the garage, got all the clothes and towels folded/hung up, cleaned the upstairs bathroom floor, picked up toys under the couches, picked up in the back yard, and wiped down the white part of our dining room walls. I’d say that was a pretty productive day! And the boys had less time left for bickering, when I wasn’t able to give them as much attention as I normally would.
So, I think it was a successful day. I made 24 new meals. If you count the 12 other meals left from last month (we like to throw in other things like BBQing in the summer, or making homemade pizza, so the meals actually last longer than 1 month – before too long I’m thinking I’ll have a free month when I won’t even have to do a long cooking day), that should last for quite a while. I’d say one really long day of cooking is worth it, to not have to worry about it for a whole month, and to have really good meals prepared and ready to go.

Oh, and if you're curious, yesterday I made chicken fried rice, lasagna, a Mexican casserole, bruschetta chicken, and enchiladas (and just made a lot of each recipe).  Can't wait to try some of them out.


Andrew | Susan | Grayer said...

Wow, what a good idea!! I should totally do that! So the next time you do it will you make the same meals or do you switch it up?
I have loved looking through your blog, I'm glad I asked if you had one because no matter where you move to we can always be blog friends!! Your boys seriously are so cute, I love the hair cut post!

siredge said...

Happy Birthday, Michael!