The Assembly Line

This blog post is specifically for all the moms in Northern KY who are joining in the dinner assembly line–much like Dream Dinners or My Girlfriend’s Kitchen, only cheaper!

Okay ladies, here’s how I think it will work best.  Since its our first time out, let try for 12 meals each.  That means that each mom will go home with 12 meals for your freezer. 

First, a few guidelines to consider: 

  • Family Size–I am making an assumption that 6 servings per meal is enough for most families, some leftovers likely.
  • Food Allergies–remember that many are allergic to nuts or shellfish.
  • Strong spices or Hot and Spicy foods are usually not family-friendly
  • This is NOT a contest.  No one needs to worry about outdoing the other moms.
  • Health–watch the fat and salt contents, as some moms are health conscious.
  • We will not be cooking on site–this is assemble and freeze.
  • Because this is assemble and freeze, you can adjust your portion sizes as you assemble your meals.  For example, if you only need two portions per meal, instead of assembling one bag with 6 servings, assemble three bags with 2 servings each.  You will go home with 36 meals of 2 servings instead of 12 meals of 6 servings.

Second, a few questions to answer:

  1. Do we want to include sides in our cooking session? 
  2. Food Savers–anyone have one they wouldn’t mind sharing that night?  I have a Seal-A-Meal, and anyone who wants to buy their own bags and use mine is welcome to it at my station.  Might help if we had more than one.
  3. Anyone allergic to specific foods or have a family larger than 6 servings?

Okay, here’s how it will work.  Each mom picks 2 recipes, and brings all the ingredients ready to assemble the meal.  This would mean that any veggies that need to be chopped are chopped, spices in bags/bowls, meats ready to go into bags.  Each meal should feed six, and each recipe should have enough for 6 meals, meaning a total of 36 servings of each recipe.  Please bring appropriate spoons, measuring cups, etc for moms to use in the assembly process.  Every mom should bring 12 containers to put their meals in–be it aluminum pans, casserole dishes, gallon ziploc bags, and so on.  It’s your choice.  I will say that if storage space is a concern for you, using ziploc bags and laying them flat on their sides to freeze will allow them to stack neatly in your freezer and use less space.  Foodsaver bags do the same, and have the added benefit of being usable in the microwave or boiled on the stove, and are reusable if not cooked in.  Last, bring a paper with assembly instructions for moms to follow that night, and printouts of recipe directions–or post its with the directions pre-written for us to use.

We will break the food down into stations–each mom will set out her two meals, and then we will begin moving around the room assembling meals.  Each mom will take home 12 meals.  Please bring a rolling cooler, a laundry basket, something to allow you to carry the 12 meals home.

Plan to spend $10 or less on each “meal” that serves 6.  I would expect most of us to spend between $80-$120 on groceries for this venture–but you get 12 different meals for 6 out of that.

Last, consider adding vegetables to your meal if you can, or sides.  I will wait and see the response on sides, but it might be nice if we can each bring one side dish already cooked and ready to freeze.

Okay, we don’t want all chicken or casseroles, so below is a breakdown list of meal types.  Please reply to this post with your choices.  We don’t need to know your recipe names, just the type of food you will be bringing.  By the way, its okay if your pasta dish has beef or chicken in it, or your casserole has those as well, we just want balance.  And “other” is for the other white meat.  ;P

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken
  3. Chicken
  4. Chicken
  5. Chicken
  6. Chicken
  7. Beef
  8. Beef
  9. Beef
  10. Beef
  11. Beef
  12. Beef
  13. Pasta
  14. Pasta
  15. Pasta
  16. Pasta
  17. Pasta
  18. Pasta
  19. Casserole/Other
  20. Casserole/Other
  21. Casserole/Other
  22. Casserole/Other
  23. Casserole/Other
  24. Casserole/Other