Back when they were babies I cooked everything for them. But when they were hungry, there was no time for waiting around for chopping, steaming, pureeing.
One of my friends introduced me to the genius idea of making batches of steamed, pureed vegetables, freezing them in iceblock trays and then tipping them out and quickly zapping one or two whenever I needed them.
Fast-forward six years. My kids are still hungry NOW! (with the exclamation mark).
Last month when I was cooking up some pasta for lunch, I realised (ka-pow!) that I could make a huge batch and freeze some individual portions for later. But how to store them? I dont’ have much freezer space so lumpy bagfuls of unidentified frozen dinner tend to get buried and forgotten and quickly fill up the freezer. I’ve toyed with squeezing the storage bags flat, but even at that, they end up slipping and sliding and causing a slippery, pointy avalanche whenever I open the freezer; plus I run into the problem of reheating them quickly inside their plastic prisons which, I’m assured, is not the most healthy option. (mmm, melted plastic).
Enter The Dinner Brick
While an icecube tray would no longer fill the stomachs of my growing lads, I realized I had, in my pantry, a nine-portion mini-loaf pan.
I lined the pans one at a time with cling film 1, dolloped in a three quarters of a cup full of pasta and meat sauce, wrapped up each portion and shoved the whole pan into the top of the freezer.
When they came out: bricks of nutritious goodness ready for the zapping.
(Sorry I didn’t take any pictures. We just polished off the last one at lunch time)
The Fun Part
When I first pulled one of my little packets out of the freezer I was being hounded by a hungry six year old.
“What can I have? What will you make me?” he repeated.
Losing patience I slapped one of my nutritional super-packets down on the quartz surface where it made a KLONK loud enough to silence the boy for a moment.
“That.” I said. “A dinner brick.”
Admittedly, I did have to endure about five minutes of wailing about how he didn’t want a brick for dinner while I defrosted and reheated said item, but when he was finally presented with a steaming plate of pasta and meat sauce (liberally dusted with grated parmesan), his face lit up, and he dashed off to tell his brother that he was getting to eat a Dinner Brick, like it was the most exciting thing in thing in the world. 2
I’m planning on making more batches of Dinner Bricks in different flavors and contents, so that the journey of discovery can continue! I’m thinking mini shepherd’s pies, next…
And so, I give you: the Dinner Brick. Use it well.