Occasionally I do things that my younger, much cooler self, would never believe she’d one day do. Domestic things, mostly, so get your mind out of the gutter.
Today, I decided to pre-make several meals to freeze ahead. I discovered the magic of meal-swapping with a group of mom friends, where we each make a really big batch of something, portion out one meal for 2-3 people for each mom involved, and then trade. We all end up with several different meals to grab out of the freezer for an easy homemade dinner, yay! We have a planned meal exchange coming up later this month, and since I was feeling especially motivated (and didn’t know when that would happen again), I decided to knock it out. I always make a few extra portions to keep at home, so I was making 10 pans of lasagna. I dropped the boys off to their half-day of day care/pre school and got going cooking as soon as I got home. I was sauteing veggies and meat, mixing up the cheese and seasonings, making a few adjustments to the store-bought sauce to really make it mine; I was feeling like a domestic superhero! That feeling should have served as a warning.
Things were nearly done when I ran out of noodles to top the last layer, and I was cutting it close on sauce, so I ran to the grocery store on my way to pick up the boys, got them home and brought in the couple of bags of groceries, set them up with lunch and got back to my lasagnas. The hiccup with insufficient ingredients was smoothed over, everything was back on track, and even having the kids home while I was doing this wasn’t causing any problems! Woo hoo! Still doing a great job at being domestic!
I get all of the pans done and wrapped in foil, and now all that needs to happen is for me to get them into the freezer in the garage. I’m like a lasagna-cooking rock star! I grab the first two pans and head out, smiling a big smug smile, because I’ve got this shit down. My house is laid out in a stupid way so that I can’t go directly to the garage from the kitchen, I have to cross through the carpeted living room and dining room areas. So, having made these kinds of frozen meals before, I figured I should be able to stack them two high to carry them over and still have a hand free to open the garage and the freezer doors. I notice that the bottom pan is just barely beginning to leak, spilling just a few drops of red sauce on the carpet. I hurry to the garage door and rush to set the pans onto the shelf, where I unstack them and start to rearrange the other items in the freezer. Crap. If I can’t stack them because I’ve made them too saucy, I may not have room for them. Once they’re frozen, it’ll be fine and they can be stacked, but how do I get them to freeze first if they won’t fit?
The kids are finishing up lunch, and I have to pause my lasagna tetris to get them cleaned up. Once that’s done, I set them up with a few toys so that they won’t be as likely to wreak havoc in the next five minutes. Back out in the garage, I now know I’m on the clock, because Dash and Ozzie will only stay interested in one thing for a few minutes at a time. I go back to rearranging things, and place the last pan of lasagna up near the top on a few bags of frozen corn and peas. One last glimpse shows that something is dripping again. Damn. I’m checking the edges and feeling along the foil to see which pan is leaking when something becomes unstable. one of the pans starts to slide forward, and I grab it, but then another and another shift. Somehow everything in the freezer is no longer cooperating with the laws of physics, and it’s all trying to fly out.
Several scrambling moments later, I have shoved and scooted things back into what seems like a perfect arrangement, and I begin to close the door. Just then, a pan starts to fall and I fling open the door to catch it, but instead I just catch the edge and it flips against me, then sort of slides down the front of my shirt and falls top-down on the garage floor. The pan may as well have been covered in sunshine and happy thoughts, because the foil managed to hold nothing back. I am covered in cold, gooey red sauce, meat, and cheese. Somehow this meal that would have looked delicious and impressive if it had been properly presented hot from the oven, looks like half-processed barf on my self and my garage floor.
I walk back into the house, trying to keep from spreading the mess covering me to anything else, and Dash says, “Ozzie is playing in the toilet.”
So much for being a domestic superhero.