:: in which I debunk the Fajita Chicken hype ::
If you are on the internet in any form, I’m sure you’ve seen the constant stream of articles and ads touting the benefits of once-a-month freezer cooking. This is the bizarre practice of preparing a month’s worth of dinners all in one day, then stashing all the food in the freezer like a hoarder. It’s supposed to make life easier, cut down on meal prep time, and generally be an ideal for which we domestic managers should strive. Always up for a new debacle, I decided to try it. I will now relate my experience to you in the form of an imaginary Q&A session.
Question: How do you know what to cook?
Answer: You could go the sensible route and find a freezer meal menu online that breaks down all the meals and ingredients for you. But in reality, it doesn’t matter what you cook. It’s all going to turn into mush and be only nominally edible, so don’t get too worked up about the menu. Cook whatever.
Question: How do I know if my family will like the meals I make?
Answer: Does your family like mushy goop with unidentifiable chunks of vegetable swimming in it? No? Then your family won’t like any of these freezer meals. Know that ahead of time.
Question: I saw a freezer meal menu online that looked pretty good. Why are you being so negative?
Answer: Because I’m hungry. I’ve been eating these disgusting freezer meals for the past three weeks.
Question: If freezer meals are so bad, why are they so popular?
Answer: Because they’re an efficient way to serve dinner. Here’s the secret to freezer meals: all the meals are the same. Island Jerk Chicken is the same as Hawaiian BBQ Chicken is the same as Spicy Chicken Fajitas is the same as Chicken Soft Tacos is the same as Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry. I chose 10 different meals and I swear I put the exact same ingredients in every bag. It doesn’t take a supersleuth to figure out that it’s the same meal even if the chicken is cubed instead of shredded. Adding a dash of ranch doesn’t make it different, either.
Question: Why are my pots and pans covered in cobwebs?
Answer: Because the only kitchen appliance you’ve used in the past month is your crockpot. By state law, freezer meals always have to be cooked in a crockpot/slow cooker, so they all come out with the same stewy consistency. That never gets old. Oh wait…I guess it does.
Question: Why did we run out of Pepto Bismol earlier than usual this month?
Answer: Because Hawaiian pork is not supposed to have ketchup in it. And your last five dinners have been served with rice or potatoes. That’s too much rice and potatoes! You need to stop feeding your family these freezer meals. Take what’s left in the freezer and feed it to some seagulls. Free yourself and cook some real food!
Question: Can you be serious for a minute?
Answer: Yes, for you I will. In actuality, we did find three things that worked for our family. First was Chicken Chili. It wasn’t gross and you can freshen it up with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream that you add at the time of serving (not in the freezer, in case I needed to spell that out). Second was Sausage and Peppers. It was a couple ingredients different from Chicken Chili, and you can cook it in a skillet rather than the slow cooker. Third was the brilliant idea of browning plain and taco-seasoned ground beef and then freezing it in one pound portions. Those came in handy for quick tacos, spaghetti, and nachos. Other than these exceptions, I stand by my negative review of freezer cooking.
Question: Are you ready for a flood of comments from people who love freezer meals and who are offended by your obviously satirical review?
Answer: Yes I am. Bring it.