Cooking for the Masses

Cooking for the Masses #realoilfieldwivesCooking and baking happens to be one of my favorite hobbies. Sure, it isn’t the best hobby for my waistline, but it has a way of calming me. I always try to pass my dishes along to neighbors, friends, or family members, but they always have something I seem to lack: self-control. So, I end up eating my creations, my pants get tighter, I feel bad again, I bake some more, and the vicious cycle continues.

However, there is always one group of people that I know will never turn down my cooking. My oilfield man and his crew. Ooh, let me tell you! Do they ever LOVE my cooking, and I love that they love it!

Before OFM’s rig moved him out of the state ,cooking was a bit easier, and I was able to cook more for the crew instead of just my husband. Anything from breakfast casseroles to Thanksgiving casseroles complete with desserts. I had a blast! I also felt good knowing they had something warm and hearty in their bellies to get them through the shifts on those cold winter nights. When OFM started going out of state I had to get creative and figure out how to pack anything and everything to ensure a variety of things: 1.) that he was full, satisfied, and healthy, 2.) that we were saving money and avoiding any unnecessary purchases, and 3.) that things were safe to travel and easy to reheat.

This new skill of mine has also come in handy in other areas of life! My mommy friends thank me when I pass along my tips and ideas for freezer meals. My organizational skills are superb. I’ve learned how to save time and money. And finally, I’ve started utilizing a large array of kitchen utensils I didn’t even know I had (thank you, bridal shower attendees from 5 years ago!).

I’ve noticed on the Real Oilfield Wives Facebook page that many women ask for ideas on what to pack for their husbands. So, what better time to share some ideas? It would be awesome if all of you lovely ladies reading this added some of your own ideas as well! Let’s begin:

Breakfasts: Breakfast Sandwiches (English muffins (toasted), cheese, ham/sausage, and egg), Oatmeal Squares (Amish baked oatmeal), Muffins (banana, blueberry, chocolate chip, apple), Pop Tarts (yep, I cheated on this one), Homemade Granola Bars, Hash browns (make extra crispy so they seem “fresh” when warmed).

Lunches: Okay, when OFM was home I made all of his lunches and had a big dinner for him when he came home. Now that he’s away, I focus more on his meal at night and he prefers to be responsible for his lunches. However, here is a list of some of the things I know he enjoys: Tuna, canned chicken, soups, bread, peanut butter, fiber bars, pulled pork, crackers, hot pockets, burritos, protein bars, and cheese.

Dinners: Freezer meal time! I love making these! OFM’s current favorite item: Hamburger Helper meals (I get 2 frozen meals out of 1 box). Hint: for the ones that call for chicken – use 2 large cans of the canned chicken. It works amazingly, and there isn’t the mess of cooking raw chicken beforehand. Ta-da! Other favorites include: chili, spaghetti, tuna casserole, chicken casserole, mini chicken pot pies, spaghetti squash with meat sauce, zucchini spaghetti pizza bake, meatballs, pulled pork, pulled BBQ chicken, stroganoff, chicken corn chowder, grilled chicken and vegetables, pot roast and potatoes, mac and cheese (with ham for protein), and meatloaf. Most of these can be made in large casserole pans or in the crock pot. You can easily get a few individual meals out of each one, so once you get a stash built up you don’t have to make so much at one time.

Snacks: a few things I buy on a regular basis include: trail mixes, peanuts, crackers, pretzels, granola bars, pickles, chocolate covered pretzels, peanut butter (always a good source of protein), and fruit cups. Nothings needs refrigerated and everything can be eaten on the go if need be.

Desserts: cookies, brownies, fudge, a variety of breads (banana, pumpkin, blueberry, cinnamon), and sometimes cakes/pies (these are hard to serve, eat quickly, and dish out on the rig floor if making for the whole crew).

Pretty much all of the dinner ideas can be made in large quantities if you want to cook for the entire crew. I stock up on large aluminum baking dishes at Thanksgiving time, double the recipes, and send them in warm with OFM. Have some fun with it! One time, the pusher had to keep everyone a little later than usual. We had one car at the time so I was there to pick up OFM. I was pregnant, hot, and I had to use the bathroom really badly! I also planned on making cupcakes that evening. Ha! I made nice, big cupcakes for everyone else and I got out my mini muffin pan and made 1 single mini cupcake for the pusher. He knew I was joking, and I’m pretty sure he got a big cupcake too, but it was fun! Another time someone asked for banana bread. I sent in a gallon storage bag with 2 slices of bread, a banana, some nuts, and written instructions on how to smash it all together. Fun times!

Anyway, we all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and we also know how much we love our OFM and adore the crew that becomes our extended family. Take good care of them, ladies! Happy cooking!

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!


  1. Can I please be your neighbor? I hate cooking. 😉

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