I’ve been stocking up the freezer. I’ve amassed quite an edible stash. There are 35 double portions of hand-made meals in plastic containers, plus 10 single portions of random things. That’s 80 individual meals, frozen in time.
There’s a good reason for this bizarre hoarding. We have just embarked on a back-of-house extension and kitchen renovation, which will render us kitchen-less for about eight weeks. The fridge-freezer and microwave have been redeployed to the dining room: we’ll be eating defrost/reheat-style for several months.
Coincidentally, I have frozen meals to cover every week night of the predicted eight-week build (I’ve factored in eating out on weekends), although I didn’t keep a tally of the inflating frozen cache. It’s just how it turned out.
We could use the renovations as an excuse to eat out more often, but I know how tired we are week nights. Ours are busy working days; mine sandwiched between 60-75 minute-long commutes. By early evening, we’re all out of juice.
We could order take-out more often, but we’ve never really relied on external, often inferior, forces. I’m a die-hard home cook and old habits are hard to break. So home-made meals it will be — defrosted, reheated and eaten together, casually.
It took at least four weekends of bulk cooking to stash away this wholesome loot. It includes curries, long-simmered casseroles, slow-cooked sauces, burgers, a couple of pies and some soups. This covetable booty spans the cuisines of Sri Lanka, Thailand, The Philippines, India, Italy, old-school England and modern Australia.
The freezer is comfortably full: it’s frozen inner sanctum loaded with dozens of carefully organised, assorted plastic containers bearing hand-written labels: the hallmarks of a half-crazed home-cook.
The cooking frenzy of the past month pretty much finished me off. There will be no more cooking, no more planning, no more ferreting away of food like a loon. I’m hanging up the apron, vacating the kitchen, throwing in the tea-towel … for the next eight weeks. Then hopefully I’ll rediscover my home-cooking mojo in time for the arrival of the brand spanking new kitchen of my dreams.