There are a bunch of bloggers doing a once a month cooking day this week. I find that it works best to do mine Sunday afternoon while my toddler sleeps and my baby (who is hit and miss whether he'll nap without me laying down with him) plays with dad. And mine is more just plain bulk cooking rather than once a month, since I don't do enough to last all month of most things.
If you're on twitter, we're using the #oamc hashtag, there's a Facebook event, and Money Saving Mom and LifeAsAMom are hosting the whole thing.
I love bulk cooking because
a. it lessens the amount of Papa John's pizza we consume.
b. I don't have to do as many dishes and
c. it's easier to stick to my menu when I don't have to do much for dinner.
2 out of 3 lbs of meatballs that I rolled, mixed in sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and ginger before rolling.
When I'm prepping for a big day (or naptime) of cooking, I prioritize what takes longest or is most helpful (start that first) and what isn't (pumpkin seeds are nice, but aren't going to prevent the whole Papa John's pizza thing from happening)
Meatballs are our substitute for the kid-standard of chicken nuggets. If you're doing them not on GAPS, you can add bread crumbs or ground (dry) oats and an egg to stretch the meat. My kids like them because they're kid-sized and easy to chew.
Pizza dough: I can fit enough for 5 mediumish pizzas in my KitchenAid. Five a month works well for us.
Roughly: (I'm awful at measuring)
5 cups white flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
2-1/2 cups warmish water
2 tsp yeast
Dump in. Turn on mixer. Turn off after 10 minutes or so and allow to rise.
I roll it out with a rolling pin. It doesn't work right after you mix it, you have to let it rise a little first, then you can roll it. I got 5 good-sized pizzas out of it, and if I had mozzarella I would have made up the whole things, but I didn't, so I just have pre-rolled crust (freezer paper between) in the freezer on a cookie sheet so they freeze flat. These are for hubby since he's not on GAPS.
Buttercup squash and seeds. No water in the pan this time, I greased it with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Sea salt and coconut oil on the seeds; this squash had a ton of seeds!
I did a bunch of juice to clear out my fridge and so I could reduce the amounts of times I washed the juicer. Above is apple/orange, which I did first.
Then I threw out the fruit pulp and did veggies, saving the veggie pulp to put in my chicken stock (which worked really well, thanks for the idea!) I did 3 quarts, we drink about a quart a day.
And the dishes- this is the main reason why I like to cook a bunch at one time. It pretty much takes the same amount of dishes to make meatballs, whether you're making 1/2 a pound or 5 pounds, and the same for everything else. Now to heat up, I just use one pan and that's it.
Not a ton of food today, but a good head start for the week for me. I also do cookies 3 batches at a time (picture coming soon), scoop with a cookie scoop, flash freeze on a baking tray, pop off and put in ziplocks. I do the same thing with rolls for hubby's sandwiches (when I make those) and dinner rolls. I cook enough chicken to last all week at one time, then do all the chicken stock at once too.
So this is how bulk cooking works into my life right now (and I know that some families would eat this all in one setting!) with little ones who need mom. I don't have a problem cooking dinner with them underfoot, or even something like crabapple jelly, but I don't think it would work for our family to do all 30 dinners in one day.