Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stocking my Freezer and Pantry

One of my goals for the upcoming weeks is to fully stock my pantry and basement freezer for the winter.

It's not as if we live in such a rural area that we're afraid of being snowed in or anything. Just now that we have the baby, we'd like to avoid taking her out if it's too cold.

If we keep the freezer and pantry stocked, then my husband can just stop for the essentials (milk, bread, eggs, or any last minute recipe ingredient) on his way home from work.

During the winter, a lot of our meals are soups or stews with bread or biscuits. Not only are they excellent comfort foods, they also freeze well! That's very important to us.

Since it's just the two of us eating (for now), there would be too much left over to keep in the fridge. We would have to eat it every night for a few nights to finish it. That's boring!

So, I freeze whatever soup or stew is leftover. I try to determine if I can get another night or two (or THREE, if I'm lucky!).

My favorite method of freezing is ziplock freezer bags:
Let food cool before storing.
Fill ziplock with soup or stew or pasta sauce.
Carefully, squeeze out the air while zipping up.
Lay flat in freezer until frozen solid.

I like this method of freezing, because the bag can be frozen all flattened out. Allowing more freezer space. When you have several bags frozen this way, they stand up or stack nicely, using freezer space more efficiently.

I keep a space empty in my kitchen freezer, so that I can easily freeze my ziplock bags. Once they are frozen solid, I carry them down to my chest freezer in the basement.

Sometimes, if I am too busy, I'll grab for a plastic, quart-sized container (won-ton soup container is perfect) and store my soup in that. But these seem to take up too much room in my freezer and waste too much valuable space.

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