Filling the Freezer

Over the last few days I’ve done a lot of cooking – and I mean A LOT – involving at least two kilograms of minced beef, around eight onions and several hundred grams of chopped tomatoes, amongst many other things. At one point today I had two enormous saucepans on the go, both full of the same bubbling Bolognese sauce.

I’ve got a cosy image in my head that I’m quite willing to acknowledge is unlikely to materialise. But in my fantasy land, once the baby is here and Ian has his two weeks of paternity leave, we’ll be able to snuggle up together and just get to bond as a family. We’ll only go out because we choose to and there will be some degree of suspension of normal life rules. Obviously we’ll have to eat though, and I want to eat well. I don’t, however, fancy spending precious time trailing around supermarket shelves with our newborn in tow and nor do I want to eat take away food or ready meals every day. So the only solution is to do all of my home cooking up front and stash it in the freezer. Eating well will simply be a matter of pulling something from the freezer and cooking it through. I know that life post-baby is unlikely to be that simple, but a freezer full of lovely food is an achievable aim, so I’ve been working steadily towards it.

And honestly, it’s been fun. It started with planning a number of suitable recipes to batch-cook and freeze. I came up with Bolognese, Chilli Con Carne, Chicken Curry, Moussaka, Stroganoff, Spanish Chicken Pie and Shepherd’s Pie. I ordered all of the ingredients in one go in a big online shop, along with individual portion size foil trays and freezer bags to store them in. And then I started cooking.

There has been something enormously therapeutic and comforting about chopping and preparing ingredients and watching these big batches of food evolve, before portioning them out, labelling them up and then slotting them carefully in the freezer. It may be a version of nesting, but I feel calm and in control, as if I’m preparing us for the storm that our baby may bring. I feel efficient and organised and quite possibly the closest to “Domestic Goddess” that I’ll ever achieve, all whilst eight months pregnant.

And if nothing else, it’s a fantastic way to pass time that just seems to be dragging. And being eight months pregnant is a cast iron excuse to make the mess in the kitchen and then somehow not get around to doing the clearing up….


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