This is what my fridge looks like when I stuff it full of groceries. I try to make sure I don’t have a full fridge to begin with but if I run out of room I have a small mini fridge that I can use, or a cooler. If you are still short on space take everything out that doesn't need to be chilled, like mustards, drinks, soy sauce, etc. The canned goods I will be using I set up on my breakfast table where I can grab them quickly. In previous homes I pulled out my card table for this purpose. The first thing I do to prepare is clean off the counters of anything I won’t be needing. For me that is my mixer, coffee pot, plant, and decorations. They will just be in the way when I am working. I then pulled out all of my spices, measuring cups and spoons, flour, oil, and eggs. These are the items I will use the most and I don’t want to have to bother with opening cabinet doors and drawers all day long. I also pull out all of my mixing bowls and put them in a convenient place. I use and reuse these all day also, especially the large ones when tripling recipes. You will want to prepare as many ingredients ahead of time as you can. I chop onions, garlic, and peppers, shred cheese, and crumble crackers. Then when I am cooking I can just measure out what I need instead of chopping or shredding for each recipe. I also prepare my meat. Some of my recipes call for sliced steak, diced chicken or chicken strips. I wear rubber gloves when cutting so much meat as it starts to make my skin itch form handling it. My husband helped me this time, he likes to play with raw meat. This step takes a lot time!Some of the other things I do to get ready are create a place for all of the recycling that the cook will generate and make sure the trash can is empty. I gather all the containers I will use to store my meals in and get out my kitchen scale. I also get my sharpie for writing on my containers so I will know what I have my my freezer. I don’t bother with the dishwasher when I am cooking but I do make sure it is empty. It is easier to wash by hand when cooking all day. I don’t have time to wait for the dishwasher to wash things I will be using over and over. I store my meals flat in Ziploc bags or in the plastic containers you see below. They are made by Gladware and come in an 8x8 or 9x13. I have had trouble finding them in some areas but they always seem to have them at the stores around Thanksgiving. The last step is to order your cook. I decided this time to make all the marinades first as they are easiest and don’t generate a lot of mess. Then I moved on to my beef and chicken dishes. I made the Manicotti and Shepherd’s pie last as they are my two most time consuming meals this round.
There have been cooks where I have not prepared well or did not have the time to prepare and I always wish I did. It just makes things so much easier. It’s like your very own cooking show with all the little bowls of ingredients waiting for you to use. Now if only I had someone to prepare them for me.