To those of you who do OAMC I take my hat off
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  1. #1
    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    Default To those of you who do OAMC I take my hat off

    A few days ago I bought over 10#...less than 11 lbs of hamburger. Over the weekend I decided to cook and freeze alot of meals for upcoming days when I'm tired when I get home. Granted I work 6 days a week and yesterday was no different so say a day & a half to do this along with errands to get stuff to move. However I've spend hours and hours getting as far as I have.

    So far I've made...
    Dutch oven of chili
    Stuffed cabbage rolls
    Stuffed peppers
    Sloppy joes
    Spaghetti...a one dish deal for the kid

    And that's as far as I got. Unreal. I'm amazed. And there's nothing really there.

    I still have tons of hamburger left over and when I can get up (my backs hurting/pain like crazy) I'm STILL going to have to ziplock and freeze a ton of it and STILL have to cook. Don't get me wrong..I'm grateful to have it but I never dreamed it took that long to do so little...at least as far as a lot of having a lot of meals in the freezer. I had also planned to make mini meat loaves and seal up. Not happening. Maybe tomorrow night. Maybe not.

    So to those of you who do OAMC...and make tons and tons of meals over the weekend I take my hat off and bow to you. You deserve applause and accreditation. It's not as easy as it sounds nor as quick.

    Now off to do the tons of dishes....I don't think there's anything clean left in the house....
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I don't usually do it all at once, although I have at times.

    If you have the hamburger browned, you can freeze that in meal-sized portions. I freeze in pint jars which works in any recipe that calls for a pound of hamburger, and I throw in onions, bell peppers, celery, etc depending on what I need to use up at the time. It helps the meat go further and adds flavors. I don't add herbs and spices though. It's a big time-saver because you can thaw in the microwave and use it in so many things without having to fry it up and then clean up the mess after. I often make stuff like sloppy joes by just mixing in the fixin's and nuking that. Sandwiches in seconds. It's just as easy to make spaghetti sauce or chili or lots of other things with it.

    One important thing when doing OAMC is to wear good shoes, the same shoes you would wear for marathon shopping or going to a zoo or theme park or anywhere else where you have to be on your feet a lot. It'll help your back. Also sit down when you can, such as when chopping things.

    Do things assembly-line style. Wash all the produce at once, then chop it. Use a food processor. Don't jump back and forth between tasks any more than you have to. Use the mixer or food processor whenever you can to get through it all quicker and save your energy. Here's one of my OAMC sessions after cleaning all the veggies:

    Love, love, LOVE my drainboard sink! The bowl of veggie scraps in the background was later frozen and saved for making broth some other time.

    Don't give up, just break the task into smaller chunks so it's more manageable. If your kids are old enough to help, then put them to work too. It's their food too and it won't kill them to contribute to its preparation.

    Re-use dishes as much as possible when doing OAMC, without washing in between. If you're making something with eggs like a quiche, mix it up, then use the same bowl to mix the mini meatloaves. That kind of thing. Plan the order of the dishes you'll be mixing, so you can mix stuff in a logical way to minimize washing in between.

    If you need cooked rice, you can cook that ahead and freeze it if you want, then thaw it to assemble the dishes. It won't hurt it any to be thawed and frozen again.

    Get your storage containers out the night before you start. Get the prep dishes out, too, and put them in the work area. Chop stuff that'll keep and put it in the fridge the night before or even a day or two ahead.
    Last edited by Spirit Deer; 02-12-2012 at 09:23 PM.

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    Registered User brenda67's Avatar
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    Boy do I know what your talking about..everytime I get a good deal on hamburg & chicken breast it takes me all day or the next day to finish cooking,making meals,foodsaver and so on..I could never do the oamc period..I could put up maybe a 2 week including eating leftovers freezer meals using the one batch of whatever I got on sale..I really don't know how anyone can do it? I tend to just make a double meal and freeze one..I did buy 50lbs of chicken breast on sale for a $1.00lb and instead of making some meals with it I just cooked all up, skinned deboned it hen I cubed all the meat put into 2-cup servings and foodsavered them..I'll tell you that saves me so much work..and what a convience I might add. I also for the first time realized that I could saute slice mushrooms in some butter sprinkle a little salt on them divide them into 1-cup portions and also foodsaver or ut into freezer bags for future meals..I can't tell you how many times I wanted to make a recipe that requires mushrooms and I didn't have any and I LOVE them..I have a 3lbs in my freezer now..I hope you feel better hun!

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    The cabbage rolls and the peppers look like a lot of work. Stuffing anything takes twice as long as preparing the filling in the first place.
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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    I have never done more than 20 lbs of burger at a time. It is a lot of work but it sure pays off later. I have 10 lbs of burger and 10 of venison to do tomorrow. I'll be doing

    plain ground beef crumbles
    taco meat
    stuffed burgers
    meat balls
    meat loaf.

    All easy stuff .

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    Registered User brenda67's Avatar
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    I layer my stuffed peppers & stuffed cabbage..my elderly mil taught me that trick.

    Spirit Deer..you are my hero! thanks for the detailed info..HUGS..

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    I tend to do more batch cooking , than true OAMC (although I originally started out that way).

    I find it's easier to do things in assembly line fashion. . . do the plain meat first (browned crumbles, etc.). .. . then make a meat mixture with onions, peppers, etc. for patties, etc. Then add stuff for meatloaves and shape ( I freeze these unbaked), then do the sloppy joes, tacos. . . .

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    SD...you're right about the shoes and I did a definite no no. Bare feet on a tile floor. That sure didn't help. I slathered on the Ben Gay and swallowing the Aleve. My body is held together with cortisone so I should've known better. And I agree with Brenda....great advice. Kinda like an assembly line with layout before night before. Thank you.

    Nod...along with the meatloaf a big batch of tacos was on my list too. Thanks for the reminder. I might manage that tomorrow if I'm not still paying for this. Hopefully the mini meat loaves too.

    Brenda, thanks for the tip on the mushrooms. I hardly ever buy because I don't know when I'm going to use them.

    I still give you kudos/admiration for your ability to coordinate all of it and get it done. Going to read a few more posts, slather on some more Ben Gay and lay down. I WILL remember to wear shoes the next time I plan on working on it that long. Thanks everyone!!!!
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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I guess I do batch cooking more than true OAMC, too. For the two of us, it goes a lot further than if I was doing it for a family, so that makes a difference, too.

    Forgot to mention cooking poultry ahead. I do that, too, as others mentioned above. If I'm making a turkey for the two of us, it's not unusual for me to do a twenty pounder so I can freeze the leftovers. Anything like that is so convenient for so many things. I keep the turkey carcass and make broth using the veggie scraps I save along with it. Very easy and hardly any hands-on time. Free food made from what normally would be thrown out, and it's way better than canned.

    I also make up rice and freeze it. Especially wild rice. Having all this stuff ready in the freezer really speeds up meal prep time, and because it's not all made into a specific dish, it's easier to flex and make what we're in the mood for. OAMC has its place and I'm happy I do that type too, but if I had to choose between the two methods, I would stick with pre-cooking the components instead of complete recipes just because it's more versatile.

    Some people also pre-cook pasta and freeze that. I haven't tried that but it would also be handy. Ditto for pre-cooking beans, but that's one thing I'm definitely going to try.

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    Registered User brenda67's Avatar
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    Niko..not trying to take over your thread hun..I'm wanting to maybe give some more idea's on what I have done with my hamburger freezer meals.

    meatloaf..line your bread pan w/foil bake the meatloaf, when cooled I put in the freezer to flash freeze then I take out of bread pan and foodsaver..or you can leave in your pan...or buy disposable tin containers..hint: I've put bread at the bottom of the pan to absorb the fat. I know this disfeats the purpose of the extra fat but I put slices of bacon on top of my meatloaf..it kee's it real moist..

    chili..I cook it and put into quart plastic containers..I either use freezer Ziploc screw on top containers ..or I buy the large,meduim & small plastic containers from my local stores deli that sell them to me for .10 which also included the lids. I also have repurposed the chinese takeout plastic quart containers that I get my soup in they work really well..

    Meatballs cooked in the oven,cooled and foodsavered..I have flash frozen these also but find once cooked in the oven they are firm enough not to have to do that step.

    Swedish meatballs cooked in their sauce.. I put these in the freezer containers.

    Hamburger soup..make up a huge batch put into freezer containers.

    Shape hamburger into patties and flas freeze on cookie sheet foodsaver..my family doesnt care for these to much..trial & error on my part.

    Sh** on a shingle..make the whole recipe.. again I put it into freezer containers.

    Salibury Steak..I cook these also..flash freeze on cookie sheet foodsaver..I have made the sauce before and combined also..but I found I just don't have the room in my freezer w/so many dishes in there..so I make the sauce and put into freezer plastic quart containers..

    I foodsaver 2lbs of raw hamburger.

    Or cook it up and put into freezer bags or in my case I use my foodsaver.


    I put all plastic quart freezer containers in the side shelf in my upright freezer...I label the top of the container so I can see instantly when I open the freezer door what I have to choose from..HTH.

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    A hint I learned from this board - boil, rather than fry the hamburger crumbles. You don't have to stand over the stove, you can get rid of most of the fat, and you have wonderful broth for making soups (drain out the meat, cool the water and remove the solid fat, and use the broth for soups, noodles, etc.)

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    Registered User brenda67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by known2him5 View Post
    A hint I learned from this board - boil, rather than fry the hamburger crumbles. You don't have to stand over the stove, you can get rid of most of the fat, and you have wonderful broth for making soups (drain out the meat, cool the water and remove the solid fat, and use the broth for soups, noodles, etc.)
    I only boil my hamburger..I never thought to mention it as it is my normal process..Thanks for mentioning it.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Niko - take it easy! You've already accomplished a lot today.

    Maybe next round do the 'mise en place' the day before or two. You know, dice up all the onions, peppers etc so when it comes to actual cooking its just 'cooking'.

    I do batch cooking vs OAMC. Dad's a bit fanatical about using up anything cooked in large quantity. So its hard for me to cook once and eat it thrice by freezing it in meal sized portions for my family. DH just bought us a new larger upright freezer and I totally plan on cooking in bulk & freezing portions for the ease of meal preps on lazy days.

    The crockpot is my savior. All I do is toss all the necessary things in, crank it and walk away til its time to eat. Its up to me how to portion it out once its cooked. One full crock makes 3 meals worth (1 to eat and 2 to freeze) OR 2 really big meals (1 to eat, 1 to freeze)

    Is it possible to use the crock to make your chili's, soups, stews & broths? You can turn them on high when you get home after work and let it go for approx 4 hours and let cool overnight & put away in the AM before you head out the door?

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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    Niko I hope you are feeling less sore today! I sure don't do true omac but I guess big batch cooking. Our meals tend to be protein, veggie, fruit so as long as the meat part is done I have very little excuse to pick up ready made food unless it is a treat.

    I freeze a lot in freezer bags. Soups, meats , or whatever. I freeze them flat on trays. Then they can stand up in the freezer like books on a shelf. Once frozen I label the part that would be the spine or a book with sharpie marker.

    For hot dishes I line the baking pan with foil and freeze after baking. Pop the frozen block out of the pan. Double wrap. I also stand those up in the freezer and label the side.

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    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~I do big batch ingredient processing. I like the versatility of having cooked meats prepped in the freezer, bread cubes containers, bananas peeled, shredded cheese and desserts ready to go and veggies diced and bagged.
    It cuts down vastly on daily cooking time but doesn't seem to take the hours and hours of making actual meals for the freezer. It also doesn't take the concentration of making multiple meals at once.
    I worked for years in a restaurant kitchen. As much as I loved it and learned from it, working like that now with the constant distraction of children would be a recipe for failure and frustration. I was still able to pull the ingredient prep part of my experience for use now in my current, highly distractable, life.~

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