Harrisonburg Playgroup

Monthly Archives: October 2016

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Freezer Meal Swap Guidelines

We’ve had a lot of questions about the meals swap and how things worked so here is a wonderful guide to help you make your meals. If you have already chosen a meal but realize they do not fall into these parameters please pick another meal. Alternatively if this doesn’t work for you, you may let me know that you don’t want to participate anymore so I can divide the groups knowing that.

PREPARING

  • Each entrée should cost around $10 to prepare – how carefully we shop impacts how much each one costs.  Some months the entrée you chose may be more expensive, but the next month you might choose something that costs less to make. The $1o price point is a general idea, you don’t have to actually spend that. Sharp Shopper, Costco and Zaycon are your friends.
  • Prep should not take more than 4 hours, including packaging.  I have found that doing it all in one block of time is most time-effective, rather than doing a little bit a few times.
  • Meals need to contain a protein and be a FULL well-balanced meal.

COOKING

  • Choose quality ingredients, the same quality that you would like to have in the meals that you receive!
  • Do not use MSG (monosodium glutamate) for any families’ meals
  • Be prepared to make as many meals as there are people in your group PLUS ONE for family in need. This means that if you are in a group of 7,  make 8 meals.

We are SO thrilled to people able to donate meals to the moms in our playgroup who need assistance due to a baby being born or anything else that may come up. THANK YOU for helping to take care of other moms in this way.

PORTIONS

  • Each meal should include SIX adult servings (previously it was 4 adult servings however after more thought and input from members 6 seems like the perfect number. If you have a smaller family this is a huge win for you since you will have plenty for leftovers and lunch).
  • Always err on the side of being generous (do unto others and all that jazz)

PACKAGING

  • Buy good quality freezer bags, Label bags with month, name of entrée and number – I.e. March 2013, Chicken Cordon Bleu, 1  of 2,  2  of 2
  • Do not re-use freezer bags for the swap (even if only used as outer bag a previous time)
  • If you choose to use a disposable pan, Costco is the best place to buy them in my experience. I saw 30 for about 5.99 earlier this week.
  • Take as much of the air out of the freezer bags as you can when packaging
  • Make every effort to freeze as flat as possible.
  • If part of the meal should not be frozen (i.e. refrigerate or store in pantry), package these items separately.

SWAPPING

  • Please bring meals frozen to the swap, we understand that sometimes things come up so as of now we won’t be too strict (hey it’s dinner for that night) but for the most part meals should be frozen.
  • We highly suggest a bringing a cooler for easy transport of your meals and the meals you recieve.
  • If something like rice, buns or taco shells is part of what is needed for the entrée, that should be provided. Please make note of condiments or “extras” that we each need to provide (oil, lettuce, ketchup, etc.) etc.
  • Either the day before or the day of please provide your recipe to the Facebook event page so people can replicate it if they want too.