Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Knight in Shining Armor. . . .

I'd like to introduce you to the Queen's Knight in Shining Armor.   He lives in the basement in a nook just off our Coca Cola themed bar/dinette.  He was a gift from my dad when we first moved to Hilliard, OH, in 2004.  He has enriched my life in more ways than you can imagine.  He's offered me sweets when my cookie jar is empty.  He's provided a taste of summer on yucky, gray Ohio winter days.  He's saved me from dinner despair when plans change and I can't make what I had planned to fix.  He's held hundreds of dollars worth of protein sources that I've found at low, low prices.   He's been better to me than I could have ever dreamed.  It's like he was heaven sent into my life, the perfect gift for a Foodie like me.

Just who is this Knight?                                                         My upright freezer. . . . . . . .

Now, he might not be much to look at.  He's pretty plain.  You might have seen fancier models or even bigger ones.  But, he's perfect for me, and he makes my reign as Queen run smoothly.

I keep a list on the front of the freezer of his contents.  Notice that my list is not cutesy or high tech.  It works for me.  Yes, it might look better if the list was color coordinated to my decor or if I kept it updated on the computer with a clean copy rather than the pencil scratch offs, but. . . . this works for me.  I used to get so bogged down with aiming for perfection in every area of my life that I was frustrated all the time.  As I have aged, I just go for what works for me.   You should do the same.  Just find what works for you even if it looks different than what works for me.

Open his door, and you can see the wealth of goodness that he has waiting for me each week as I sit and menu plan.  (Again, it's not perfectly neat and color coordinated on the inside, but it works for me.)

The top shelf holds my bread products, both store bought and homemade.  Breads will freeze well for up to 3 months.  I like to stock up on buns and sandwich breads or bakery breads when I find those Manager Special stickers.

This shelf holds a mix of things that I need to "use up".  Currently it is holding many of our Christmas cookies.  I like to store cookies in the plastic containers rather than bags to keep them from getting crushed. I also have lots of fruits ready for pies or cobblers.  Once the cookies are gone, this shelf will hold also premade meals that I can fix on busy nights.

This 3rd shelf holds my protein sources.  On the left is a bucket that has ziploc bags of meats, most of which I found on Manager Special or weekly special.  In the middle are the precooked meats that I have made using batch cooking.  On the right are the bags of cooked beans which go into soups, stews, or added to other meat free dishes.

The bottom bin contains applesauce, blueberries, strawberries, and peaches that we have picked during the warmer months and I've frozen in ziploc bags or freezer containers.  We love having these tastes of summer throughout the year.

In the door, I have jams and jellies that I have made and a few other things that don't fit when the freezer is packed, like it is today.

My kitchen freezer contains all the items that we use regularly - ice cream, popsicles, bags of frozen veggies, waffles, make ahead breakfast and snack items, etc.  I also toss in single servings of leftover meals that I can put into John's lunch if needed.

Having a well stocked freezer means that I can offer my family a variety of meals at a lower cost.  I have experimented freezing almost everything over the years and have found there are very few food items that cannot be frozen.  I love my freezer!  And I love my dad for giving me the freezer!  I think it might just be one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

How do you make use of your freezer?

1 comment:

  1. I do not use my six year old, upright basement freezer to the extent that I should. Once or twice a year a little boy will leave the door ajar after reaching in for an ice cream treat, and cause the entire thing to thaw. Consequently, I am hesitant to fill the entire thing to the brim. After a few upsetting incidents, I am hoping that the boys have learned the importance of pushing the door shut!! Then it happened again in November, and it was a grown man that could only be mad at himself. Oh well!