Well, this is a fun experiment. I’m halfway through the first week and I have to say I am LOVING it. Not having to think about what’s for dinner is extremely liberating. I am not afraid to cook, even complicated recipes, and I think the hardest part is planning. That allows me to focus my efforts on other stuff around dinner time. Yesterday, I ended up vacuuming and doing laundry instead of cooking (or sitting on my butt). Very cool!
This week, after the screaming success of the first week, I learned a couple of things:
- I over-prepped. This is way too much food. I considered leftovers, but not well enough. I still have a good two or three servings of chicken tikka masala. I have easily another 4 servings of braised beef. I haven’t even cooked the chicken yet, but while I was prepping it, I said to my girlfriend, “This is way too much. We’re so not going to eat all of this at one sitting.” I didn’t even make my meatballs and sauce recipe on prep day. Upside: This is even more budget friendly than I thought it would be!
- That prep day is hard. I’m not physically fit at the moment, and I never worked food service, so I had no idea what to expect. I should have cleaned my kitchen the night before, but I waited until the day of. I had a lot of dishes to wash (two loads) and I did a very thorough job of cleaning my kitchen. I did my other house cleaning chores, too, like vacuuming and laundry. So by the end of the day (we were prepping for over two hours), my feet were killing me. Next day, I’ll baby my feet until prep time and wear more supportive shoes.
- I did a haphazard job of veggie prep. I should have laid out all of the onions and chopped them all at once. I had extra carrots that I peeled that didn’t go into a recipe. I chopped some garlic for one recipe, then did a lot of other stuff, then chopped more garlic. Chopping each veggie group at once makes more sense and is a lot easier. But that takes planning! I was better with chicken and meat prep (did all of the meat first, then the chicken), but I learned my lesson on the veggies.
Those are my lessons. I’m hoping for a painless second week. That is, of course, if I ever finish all of the food from this week…