31 Meals in 31 hours

As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I spent time a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend making 31 Crockpot Freezer Meals. We put our favorite music on the iPad, cracked open a bottle of wine and got to work. We talked and laughed a lot and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was a nice little bonding experience for us as a couple. It felt like old times when we traveled overseas and made meals in youth hostel kitchens.

For your entertainment, the following provides a snapshot of how it all went down.

Note: It just so happened that our son was scheduled to be “on vacation” at Grandma and Grandpa’s house this weekend so he was not at home. I’m pretty sure the dynamic would have been different if he had been at home with us. 


Day #1: Friday Evening

Jonny and I met at the grocery store. We split up the grocery list in an attempt to divide and conquer. I tackled the produce section and Jonny set off for the other aisles.

We met back up in the Spice aisle. My cart was overflowing and Jonny literally had eight small items in his. His explanation? He wasn’t very familiar with this particular grocery store layout. Oh….AND he ran into several people he knew so apparently he spent a lot of time chitchatting. He is very social and I love that about him, so he gets a pass on the lack of productivity. ☺

We FINALLY checked out and left the grocery store. Grocery store tab = $205.00

Michelle: “I can’t wait to get started – this is going to be fun!” Our favorite music was playing on the iPad and we cracked open our first bottle of wine. Optimism level: VERY HIGH.

We officially started the crockpot meal assembly. Jonny: “Let’s do this!”

We had some easy recipes right out of the gate which overinflated our confidence. I had guesstimated each recipe would take about 30 minutes. We were already way ahead of that pace. Michelle: “We ROCK at this. We’re going to have these meals assembled in no time!”

Jonny: “What?! We’re only on recipe #4? This is going to take forever!” Proceeds to pour himself another glass of wine as he shakes his head in disbelief.

We picked up the pace and cranked through four more recipes. Our confidence is officially BACK!

Michelle: “Is there any wine left?”

We decided to call it quits for the night and spent a few minutes cleaning up the kitchen. We high-fived each other for making it all the way though recipe #17 in just four hours.

We were over halfway done! Boom.


Day #2: Saturday evening

Round two of meal assembly begins.

I looked at the clock and thought, “There is NO way an entire hour has passed already!” Start to feel stressed that we are never going to get it all done. Optimism level: LOW and rapidly declining.

Literally sweating while trying to cut up a pineapple with an extremely dull knife.  Michelle: “I HATE pineapples!” Jonny: “I don’t think you should blame the pineapple.” He grabs the knife out of my hand and proceeds to sharpen it.

Michelle: “Wow – having a sharp knife is AMAZING!” Optimism level: shoots up briefly.

Deep sigh as I angrily start chopping my 25th onion. The good news: they no longer make me tear up. I have become immune to their cry-inducing power.

Jonny completely loses it when he realizes he has to chop an entire pound of carrots for a single recipe.

We’re both feeling annoyed because we’ve been listening to the same playlist over and over and over again. Neither one of us wants to take time away from chopping to change the music so we continue to barely tolerate it.

Jonny asks, “Exactly HOW do you cut up red peppers ‘roughly?’” This led to a 30-minute discussion that can’t really be repeated here but we were cracking ourselves up. Rhianna’s song, “S&M” came on at just the right moment.

We’re in the home stretch. Why don’t I feel happier? Oh yes, that’s right. Because my back and legs are KILLING me from all this chopping.

Jonny realizes he put milk in the wrong freezer bag. He is convinced this will ruin the recipe that he just spent 80 minutes preparing. He almost blows a gasket shouting, “Are you KIDDING me?!”

After doing some online research, we realize that all is not lost with said milk-infused recipe. Blood pressure is starting to get back to normal. The clock keeps on ticking…

We realize that we somehow have an extra 12-ounce container of fresh mushrooms. Hmmm…turns out it was for one of the recipes I worked on. I blame the wine and secretly wonder how many other mistakes I made! Oh well. At least I didn’t put milk in the wrong bag.

Final meal is placed in the freezer! Exactly 31 hours after we stepped foot in the grocery store, we had 31 crockpot meals assembled and sitting in our freezer.

I sat in a chair slumped over the table in exhaustion as Jonny silently drained the remaining wine…straight from the bottle.

Optimism level? Non-existent. We are numb.


Looking Ahead

We’ll start cooking and eating the meals once school starts in September. We bought a brand-spanking new crockpot with a timer on it so we can set it for a 6pm dinner each night. We’re anticipating cooking four meals each week and eating any leftovers for lunches. This equates to almost two months of dinners already accounted for.

Two months of reprieve from the dreaded question: “What’s for dinner?”

Yes, please.

I’ll keep you posted on how it all plays out.

Until next time, thanks for reading and happy ball juggling!



Question: Do you have a memorable meal preparation experience? Please leave your comments below.

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