Today my husband and I are about to embark on our second journey towards our Once A Month Cooking Project. And we are excited! You see, for us, this is the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously!
Headed into our adventure seven weeks ago, the jury was still out for us whether or not we would like OAMC. We cooked for 12 hours in order to complete over 35 meals plus sides. We were exhausted and unsure whether or not we’d ever try OAMC again! What is worth it? YES!
So, here we are seven weeks later prepping for another day spent in the kitchen. I know that things will go a lot more smoothly and a lot faster this time. Why? Simply because we now know what we are doing! Last time around we didn’t know how the day would progress, which meals would take the most time, and which meals each of us would be making.
Some things we learned last time around…
:: Preparation is key. Chop of your veggies, thaw any frozen meat, boil any chicken and prep as many things as you can the day before your big cooking day. This helps a ton when you do not have to stop to continually to chop up onions and peppers.
:: Have a Game Plan. For us, this means that I divide certain recipes for each of us. I’m a multitask oriented. Meaning that I can have three meals going on the stove/in the oven at once and not blink an eye. My husband is what he calls a ‘Uni-Tasker’ 😉 He is better at concentrating on one thing at a time. So, our game plan is for my hubby to work on the more detail oriented tasks such as pie crusts, pizza crusts, and recipes that are going to take time and focus. I do not work well on recipes that require a lot of time or attention because I always feel like I should be doing more than just one thing. Problem solved!
:: Have your Recipes Handy. I’ll admit – I have a lot of meals that I do not use recipes for – I just pour things in and we’ll see how it turns out. But, then again, since we’re cooking a months worth of meals here, I do have written recipes as well! Last time around I printed or copied the recipes I would be using so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the recipes getting wet or dirty with all the activity in the kitchen. This was a little more prep work before hand, but saved me a ton of stress from worrying if my recipe books were going to be readable at the end of the day!
:: Make sure to have all your ingredients before you begin cooking. We made this mistake last month and Andrew ended up making a quick run to the store. Which seemed to put a major gap into our afternoon even though he was only gone around 20 minutes. Last time I looked over each recipe and counted how many cups of flour, noodles, eggs, onions, and all the ingredients that we would be using. I always over estimate so we ended up with a few left over ingredients, but better some leftover then a few short! 😉
:: Have Fun! This is a must – you’ll never want to do another OAMC day if you spend all day cooking and working. Take small breaks. Play different CD’s and sing along. At one point, I even thought about bringing my laptop into the kitchen to watch a movie to help pass the time. Whatever you do, have fun while you do it!
:: Always make the hardest recipes First! By the end of the day you are going to be dead on your feet so start out your day by getting the hardest recipes out of the way and leave those easy recipes for last.
Stay tuned next week for pictures and updates on how our second Once A Month Cooking Day goes! 😉