Friday, August 24, 2012

August Exchange

From this months exchange.
Even if our group were to lose interest in exchanging and I couldn't find another set of people to trade with I would still freeze quite a bit. Veggie burgers are a great example. If your family does veggie burgers often, and I don't know a vegan family that doesn't, then perhaps making a large batch once a month a freezing portions would serve you well. Breakfast burritos also are great to make monthly. 

Even if you don't want to end up with six gallons of chili, making a double batch and waiting a week to thaw a eat the other half may serve you well. Freezing like this is all about reducing overall cooking and prep time. You can scale up or down according to your needs, freezer space, and interest.

This month we exchanged:
Zucchini Carrot Muffins 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chest Freezer Organization

This afternoon's addition to our freezer:
Oh She Glows Veggie Burger
I have long resisted getting a chest freezer. I enjoy cooking freezer size batches (in case you couldn't guess). But I did not want to use the energy/money/space of a whole chest freezer. For a number of reasons I caved this month.

This may be strange but I really like packing. The couple days before a vacation where I get to plan and pack are actually something I look forward to. So in a weird way getting to organize a chest freezer, essentially "pack" a freezer, is oddly enjoyable. I found this and this source helpful and came up with this system:

You will need:

White Board and Pen
Reusable Grocery Bags of Different Colors

Example format from last month:

"July 2012: Red Bag
III Stuffed Shells in Al Bread Tins
II Gallon bags Butternut Squash Ravioli
IIII Quart Blueberries
I Gallon bag of bags of Breastmilk
II 2 cup Kale portions
III Quarts Chana Masala"

Why hash marks? Why not numbers?
Because if I take a quart of blueberries out all I need to do is erase a mark.

Red Lentil Thai Chili Frozen Flat

Why sort items by date?
To assure that nothing gets too old. I know some people prefer sorting by object type but the contents of my freezer are a bit too random.

Why bags? And why specifically different colors?
Bags have handles. Bags are cheap. Bags stretch. The colors are an easy visual cue as to which month or category you are looking for.

Why packaging size?
So I know what to look for.

A note on freezing flat:
Whenever possible try to freeze flat on a cookie sheet before transferring to a grocery bag for storage. In the case of a freezer group this is an important courtesy. You will always be able to see the writing on a flat bag and is often easier to find room for a flat bag.