Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's in the Freezer?

Everything from my freezer(s).

I talk about being a freezer hoarder.  And I am.  But I also am a little bit organized, sometimes.  So about once a week I straighten things out in there (it gets bad) and write down the important stuff on my whiteboard (what should we use?  what did I forget we had?  what are we low on?)  Sometimes, you just have to lay it all out and figure out what fits where.

I moved the island into the middle of the room (it's on wheels) and got to work.

I save bread ends in the freezer for croutons and breadcrumbs, and when I say I freeze bread ends, I mean any bit of bread that comes my way.  Like if I order a salad and it comes with bread... any bread.

I also hold onto butter wrappers when I buy standard sticks of butter.  Take a frozen butter wrapper out of the freezer and use it to grease your pan when you're making baked goods.  Instant butter.

And all the ends of veg and some fruits for veg stock.  Always a gallon bag full of ends of veg for this in the freezer.  And usually several cubes of stock as well as a few jars.  Lots of stock.

I save the last bit of sauce that didn't get used to build another sauce out of it.  A wee bit of pasta sauce can be the start of chili, or help out a stew. I cook dinner for six when there's only two of us so there's always something to eat in the freezer.  I look over my farmshare and try to make a quick decision about what won't get eaten this week, whatever that is gets blanched and frozen for winter.

I also keep my "active" bread, the current loaf in rotation, in the freezer, pre-sliced.  I buy frozen rice, because I'm terrible at making rice.  I have that, the storebought meatless meatballs, ice cream and some storebought fruits and veg, ooh and some dumplings...everything else is badly packaged and inconsistently labeled homemade stuff. 

Except sometimes there's a gallon of milk or a quart of yogurt in there.  And I have frozen heavy cream before, and cream cheese, and I have some buttermilk in the fridge specifically to freeze.

I have two freezers, one on top of the fridge for most things, things you might want to grab and heat up, things that are more ready-to-go, or things that don't fit in the other freezer.  The other freezer freezer has drawers for backup cheese (more of a problem with last year's cheese share) and meats and frozen fruit (where all the bananas go that I hold for banana bread) and another drawer for frozen veg.  It's a lot of stuff.

Banana bread, falafel, English muffins.

Bread ends, polenta cubes, quinoa bread. 
Scary pile of foods:  meatless meatballs, corn tortillas, veg stock cubes, baked beans, green chilis, butter, bread, seeded and blanched tomatoes.
The fruit drawer.  What will I do with all that frozen watermelon? Note the pickle jar almost off camera here, full of blueberries. Mmm. Frozen blueberries.
Some fairly labeled-and-organized stuff.  Tomato juice, stock, sauces, beans. Masking tape and Sharpie.  Jars. Tupperware.
Meats.  That's chicken, starting to unwrap itself in the corner.  Bison. Bacon.  Hot dogs, seriously.
the stock bag, seeded tomatoes, breadcrumbs, veg stock cubes, banana bread, etc. 

the veg drawer.  Not much to see here.  Frozen spaghetti squash and chard, green beans, packaged edamame.

fairly organized, for a few minutes at least.  this will crumble. the shelves?  I got the shelves at a yardsale years ago and had them in my old freezer.  
 I wash and reuse the bags, but I don't have a great system for that, so there are freezer bags everywhere.

How does your freezer work?  What do you save?  How do you know what's where?

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