Title: Fix, Freeze, Feast 2nd Ed.
Author: Kati Neville, Lindsay Ahrens
Genre: Cookbook, Non-fiction
Source: Free ARC from Storey Publishing
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Storey Publishing. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Synopsis: In a nutshell, this cookbook offers tips, tricks and recipes for people who want to cook in bulk and store heat-and-go meals in the freezer, for the purposes of saving both time and money.
Review: A few pre-review caveats: I’m not a cook, I don’t enjoy cooking, and as a result I’d say whatever I prepare tends to be acceptable, but nothing to write home about. But I LOVE food, and because I don’t like to cook, I prefer to get things done ahead of time so that day to day meal prep is quick and painless, hence the appeal of this book. Also, I didn’t make anything from this book, so I can’t speak to the quality of the recipes. That said…
In theory, this book sounded like everything I needed. It’s clear that the authors have a very specialized expertise, and I can see how buying and cooking in bulk would be extremely helpful to people who have a lot of people to feed, but not a lot of time and/or a tighter budget. When my three younger children are older (and my freezer much bigger), I can see the value this kind of approach brings. However…
I do think that in order for this to work for my family, we’d need a bigger fridge/freezer (we have a 23″ built in 2004). Or a chest freezer (which, in all honesty, we would benefit from at this point regardless). Even if you are building up a stash of freezer meals slowly (doing one new recipe a week, for instance), I find it hard to believe there is going to be much room for other things.
Then there is budgetary concerns: most of these recipes call for meat. Meat is expensive. And yeah, I’ve heard of discount clubs, but a family on a really tight budget might not be able to swing 9lbs of meat for one recipe, even if it’s going to save them money in the long run. The problem with buying in bulk is you have to “have” money to “save” money.
My third concern is, what if you made this huge recipe and you hate it? If you’re on a tight budget, you can’t afford to just give away food that you don’t like.
And finally, pictures. This is not a complaint particular to just this book, but most cookbooks: there should be pictures for every recipe. Food, in general, is a very sensory thing. Smell is our first go to sense when it comes to food, but sight is next in line…and the only one you can possibly appeal to in a cookbook. For an already wary cook like myself, pictures go a long way to helping me choose what I’m interested in making, and shoring up my anxieties about whether I prepared it correctly (hey, it looks a lot like the picture!).
In a nutshell, I think I’m probably not the audience for this book, though the initial concept was extremely appealing.