There’s been a lot of talk at John Henry’s about Freezer Meal Workshops and until I attended one I had no idea what benefits this event would be for me. For years I did what I called “power cooking”. I worked all week, spent my weekends playing catch up and rarely got to see my friends. I had a family to feed and when I got home from work there was no energy left to make a home cooked meal. Fast food was detrimental to my budget and my waistline! So my solution was to run to the grocery store at 7 am on Saturday morning (that was before I knew John Henry’s would deliver Farm Fresh Meat right to my door!); and while I unpacked my groceries I started putting together three or four meals for the week. Chicken went in the pot to boil, ground beef started frying with my chopped onion and so on. Five hours later after all the clean-up was done, my weekly meals were ready and in my fridge. Then it was on to more chores.
Fortunately I was introduced to the Wildtree Freezer Meal Workshop. This event revolutionized my life along with so many others I know. It solved my dilemma of cooking healthy for my family, being budget friendly and some much needed “me time” with my friends. I hosted an event in my home, invited ten of my dearest friends and had the time of my life. There was so much laughter and yet we accomplished what didn’t seem like a chore that night-10 meals in 2 hours!! We all went home with a freezer full of food! I guess it reminded me of the good ole days where women would get together and quilt. They worked with their hands, did something productive but got a chance to talk and have a good time. As my life changed, so did the importance of the Freezer meal workshop to me. I found myself as a single mom of an only daughter. I didn’t think the workshop would fit into my budget and my need to feed more than two disappeared. Then it was brought to my attention that I could package the servings to feed 2 and Make 20 meals that would feed us for almost the whole month with the cost of less than $3.50 per serving. That beat Taco Bell and frozen dinners!!! Not to mention the health and time benefit.
Freezer Meal Workshops are as simple as contacting Katie at John Henry’s and inviting friends. Once you pick out your option of what workshop you want to make meals from http://www.johnhenrys.net/t/freezer-meal-workshops you are sent a “grocery list” of the groceries that you need to purchase. In the options of meat, my family is not too big on pork and I am not a fish eater. Mind you- the Cajun heritage comes alive if we are talking shrimp, crab or crawfish, but “fish” is not on the top of my favorites. So I just substituted chicken or beef for those recipes and it still tasted amazing. The first workshop that I did, I wasn’t connected with John Henry’s so I had a lot of prep work. Time spent shopping, cutting up meat and labeling the bags to prepare for the workshop. I was used to a lot of prep work but when John Henry’s partnered with Wildtree it has been an overwhelming asset with the service they provide. One call is all it takes and my Grass Fed Meat is cut, bagged, labeled and delivered right to the Workshop!! I have my choice of meat to use in the recipes and it is always delivered fresh. My time could be focused on other things in my life. It was such a benefit.
Since the time with my friends was so great, I hosted one for the girls at my previous work that I had always said, “We need a girl’s night out to get together”. There was always “need to” in the conversation, but time restraints for everyone seemed to be an issue. There was talk about a painting party, meeting for dinner but when I mentioned the Freezer meal workshop they all went crazy. Everyone likes to do something new, and even though this isn’t “new” it was new to them. It was something that they felt good about knowing it was going to help their family. One of the girls has sensitivity to gluten. People with food sensitivities seem to feel like the odd guy out. They can participate, but not fully in activities and especially those related to food. I have seen her celebrate birthdays and not eat cake, come to a cookout with a glass dish of food she can eat in hand. It is really hard and fortunately for her and unfortunately for others; more and more people are forced into understanding how it is; due to their own food sensitivities. Wildtree was founded by a mom whose children had food allergies and she had to create the products so her children could eat healthy meals. We at John Henry’s also share the same reality as some of our families are affected by food sensitivities. There even is a Paleo workshop for those who follow the Paleo diet!! My previous coworker was in awe when I told her Wildtree was certified gluten free and she could participate fully in all the meals. I thought she was going to come unglued!!! We all got together and were able to see and catch up with those we had not seen in a long time. My coworker continues to attend and have Freezer Meal Workshops to keep her fridge stocked. Her kids began to eat things because they tasted so good. Her dietary needs and budget needs were met and for the first time in a long time dinner was not a strain on the family. She could cook and eat the same meal as her husband and children. It changed her life. All the girls later told me they were impressed with the service John Henry’s provided and the quality of the Healthy Meat, not to mention the fun they had. It started a regular meeting of getting together because that is important for us too. In one of my first workshops that I hosted, my friend’s husband loved the food and the convenience so much he happily watched the kids while she went to “cooking club” every month.
If you find yourself strained for time, strained budget, worried your family is eating healthy or just worn out while you keep going… A Freezer Meal workshop is something that is a must on your calendar. If you feel you “don’t have time” for it, you definitely don’t have the time not to do it!