Sample Handout for first Gathering….


(here is a copy of the actual letter that I wrote and copied for each gal who came to the first meal swap meeting.  You may copy and paste and add to this as you wish for your own group)Freezer Meal Group

Guidelines:

  • All meals must feed a family of 2 adults and 4 children one serving each. These meals are not meant to be the ONLY food on your family’s dinner plate, but they should be the MAIN part of the meal so the quantity should be satisfying.
  • Each participant will shop for and cook two recipes serving 6 families each. (for example if I choose Beef Enchiladas and Corn Chowder, I will multiply the ingredients of each meal by 6 and shop for a total of 12 meals)
  • When you are picking your meals you must do meals that have two different kinds of meat or one that is without meat.  For example- Chicken enchiladas and Beef Soup or a Veggie Lasagna and Pork Carnitas Burritos.  This helps ensure that we do not end up with all the meals being of one kind of meat for that particular month. 
  • To feed a family of six (and to ensure more equality in cost per meal with other swappers) make sure that dishes where the meat is the main ingredient (marinades, meatloaf, tacos, sloppy joes) use at least 1 ½ lb. meat.
  • Meals in a pan should be frozen in a 9×13 foil pan. Soups should fill a gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag. USE ZIPLOC BRAND BAGS. THEY ARE OF HIGHER QUALITY AND ARE LESS LIKELY TO OPEN AT THE SEAMS.
  • They should be covered with freezer foil and don’t forget to write on the top of the foil or on the ziploc bag with a Sharpie (permanent marker) BEFORE it touches the food as it is almost impossible to do so after they are hot or have been frozen.  Write the name of the food, baking or reheating directions and date.
  • To maintain some quality control- Do not make meals that you yourself have never made for your own family before. You and your family be the guinea pigs, not us. You make it for your own family and then if you guys like it you can make it for us too! 
  • Because every family has different tastes it would be impossible to make a meal that all 6 families will love… o.k. maybe not impossible… I think this has happened once or twice. Just try to appeal to the majority. Let me just ask that we keep spiciness to a minimum. SOME Spice is o.k…. but SPICY HOT! Is not o.k. If it’s so hot that you have to drink milk with dinner then… it’s too hot. Regarding spicy:  it’s better to err on the side of being too mild. We can add extra oomph! if need be.
  • If you have to switch your meal right before a swap, please let me know so that we can avoid duplication. Plus… I try to pick my meals last to see if we have too much of one type of meat and I can fill in where there is a need.

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