Even though it was as hot as a "cat on a hot tin roof" yesterday, my mother and I had a cook ahead session. I had a mound of flat leaf parsley and carrots that had to be harvested because of the heat, so we got together to make meatloaf. We each walked away from the project with six meatloaves in the the freezer and had a great time doing it.
I don't like the idea of make ahead meals, except "The Sauce," but the realities of life make having something in the freezer that just needs to be reheated comforting. Princess wants to audition for The Nutcracker again this year which means that I will spend many hours driving her back and forth to Jackson for rehearsals between now and the beginning of December. Add that driving and waiting to my work and homeschool schedule and there is little time for cooking. So, I have the six meatloaves to which I can add a jar of green beans or a salad, 5 bags of pesto (without the cheese and some of the oil) which can quickly become something fantastic, 3 quarts of ratatouille which I can serve on pasta or with some meat or by itself, and several quarts of "The Sauce" that when poured on anything will make it taste as if you spent the entire day in the kitchen (I did, just not the day I served it). If the weather breaks, and maybe if it doesn't, I will make eggplant lasagna or a tasty eggplant, zucchini, pasta dish to round out my options.
Cooking while everything is fresh makes the food, though frozen, still retain a certain quality that makes it not a terrible option. Having a kitchen afternoon with your mother (or some other friend) is a great way to be productive and socialize.