How to Cook When You’re Moving

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There are some days you just have to power through and know that it will be better on the other side. These are the days you dread, but you tell yourself it’s only a matter of time until it’s over, and as long as you will yourself to push on through, it will get done. Like packing. And moving.

The last time we moved we had a 1-bedroom apartment and the smallest Uhaul truck available to drive us a few miles from Boston to Brookline. We started packing the truck at 5 pm and had until 8 am the next morning to be out of our apartment. We were up until past 4 in the morning carrying out furniture, loading the Uhaul, boxing up last minute items in the apartment. Needless to say it was an exhausting night of tetris-packing our perfectly calculated amount of space. (Lucky I married a math man!) The worst part was once we drove the truck across town we had to unload it, the very same stuff that we just packed in the truck so neatly less than 24 hours ago now had to be unpacked and put away in the new place.

I swore I never wanted to move like that again because it was exhausting and stressful, and I think Sam felt the same way. This time we did it a little differently and we can almost say that we’ve made it through. Last weekend we packed all of our apartment (minus a few piles of things we donated or trashed) into a shipping container which should arrive in Seattle in a few weeks. Though there was still some tetris involved, this time we had the whole weekend to load up our shipping container instead of one night. This time we also get a couple weeks off before we have to unload and unpack.

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In order to get us through the last week of the move without a fully stocked kitchen, I decided to whip up some tasty homemade freezer meals that we could pull out on a whim and reheat. It only took me a few hours in the end and we ended up with a ton of food! In fact we may even have extra when we leave tomorrow. After a quick internet search I decided to make some of the most popular freezer meals – Chicken, Bean & Cheese Burritos, Italian Meatballs, and Baked Chicken Nuggets. (Oh and a batch of brownies to use up some ingredients! Yum!)

The results were delicious and so convenient. I’m starting to think I need to stock my freezer like this more often for the nights when you just don’t want to cook!

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Frozen meatballs reheated with some sauce.

Though I will save the recipe for another post, I will share with you a few things to consider when planning your freezer meals if you are also moving.

  1. Utensils – If you still need utensils to cook or eat with make sure you save a few that are heatproof. You can eat with plastic ware, but you can’t cook with it. Save one or two spoons or spatulas that you can easily throw out or pack in your suitcase. If you want to keep it simple make sure you have meals that don’t require utensils to heat or eat. Burritos are a great one!
  2. Focus on the details – Think through everything step by step before your stuff is packed away. Do you need a knife, some cups, a skillet? If you can’t keep all of those things than simplify what you’re cooking. If necessary buy some disposable oven pans for reheating.
  3. Freeze individual servings where possible. Freeze in small portions so that if you need to thaw something ahead of time you can just grab a bag without thawing more than you need. I wrapped each burrito individually so they were easy to grab and reheat one at a time.
  4. Side dishes – plan what you will have along with your main dish. If it can’t be frozen too, make sure you save a pot to cook it in.

For now, the moving part is mostly done. In a few weeks we will be on the other side of the country, making a new life, starting a new routine, and learning a new city. I will be happy to have my full kitchen back, but for now I am happily enjoying the meals I prepared and thanking myself for planning ahead!

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3 thoughts on “How to Cook When You’re Moving

  1. Pingback: Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Erin Eating Everything

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