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The Great Freezer Cleanout: 2011


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#31 mkayahara

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:21 PM



My freezer clean-out problem is "what do I do with 13 frozen pig ears?".

Do you have "Beyond Nose to Tail"? If you can find one more ear, you could make the "Pressed Pig's Ear."


There's a sequel? Good to know.

I'm not sure if Mike the Butcher lost an ear along the way or if I got a baker's dozen. Does the Pressed Pig's Ear involve a terrine?

Yes, but it says you could use a loaf pan, instead.
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#32 Doodad

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:46 AM

We are in. It was coming anyway as the garden is producing and we really don't need the winter calories. Lots of dumplings to eat from what I can see and some various sauces and stews. We already depleted a bunch of the fridge to adjust to a new schedule in our lives.

#33 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:57 AM



This is an excellent idea. I tend to be pretty disciplined about regular freezer cleaning (it helps that I only have a small freezer), but there are some items that have been in there for entirely too long.

Number one, lamb stock. Any suggestions?


Scotch Broth with barley, carrots etc.

Kay


Or mulligatawny soup.


All good ideas! I once had a really wonderful Indonesian lamb soup and had ideas of trying to replicate it. But mulligatawny sounds even better!

#34 natasha1270

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:48 AM

Great timing. Just the other day as I gingerly opened the freezer door to avoid falling objects, I decided to write down everything in the freezer on a dry erase cling I have on the door and start using up my freezer pantry until most are crossed off. If this works, I may adapt the list to use full time since I am terrible at managing the grocery shopping.

For your stock, maybe a pot pie, risotto or rice pilaf?
"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

#35 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:55 AM

Pot pies sound perfect. We have some frozen vegetables in there that would be good to use up too.

I rarely make pilaf, but that sounds like a perfect school lunch dish for the rice-lovin' six year old.
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#36 Darienne

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:37 AM

Now that I am finally older than dirt, I have finally put my freezers into order. Of course it helps that we bought another chest freezer: all the dog stuff goes in there now freeing up everything else.

After last year's "Great Freezer Cleanout", DH bought all these large recycled squared off deep plastic pails...the kind that muffin mixes, etc, come in...about $1 per...and they stack beautifully in the freezer and no space is wasted. I made a diagram on the computer which I then use to note the contents roughly in the freezer, changing the notes when I have to. The diagram is then pinned by magnets to the oil tank which is just beside the freezer.
Freezer diagram.jpg

It then takes only a few minutes to pull out the entire freezer and go through the contents. I can't believe what a change in my freezer life...
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#37 Marlene

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:38 AM

There's a parmesan rice pilaf that I make in my rice cooker that uses chicken stock and is really awesome.
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#38 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:41 AM

Darienne, can we get a shot of those pails?

There's a parmesan rice pilaf that I make in my rice cooker that uses chicken stock and is really awesome.


I've always been hesitant to do this with the ZojiRushi I've got. Not a problem for you? Can you share the recipe?
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#39 Darienne

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:11 AM

Pails:

#1 upper set of pails, lids off to accommodate stuff (cracked my head on the support beam taking this photo. Forgot how low the ceiling is on this very old cellar)
View of freezer top.jpg

#2 pails: one with lid partly on; other lidless
Freezer pails.JPG

Larger pails: 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" x 13 1/2"
Smaller pails: 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" x 8"

Edited by Darienne, 15 March 2011 - 07:14 AM.

Darienne


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#40 Marlene

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:32 AM

Darienne, can we get a shot of those pails?


There's a parmesan rice pilaf that I make in my rice cooker that uses chicken stock and is really awesome.


I've always been hesitant to do this with the ZojiRushi I've got. Not a problem for you? Can you share the recipe?



I've never found it a problem at all

3 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup long grain rice
1 2/3 cup chicken stock
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 T finely grated parmesan cheese


Using a rice cooker, set it to Quick cook. Add two T of the butter and let it melt. Add the garlic and onion and stir occassionally for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly. Let the rice, garlic and onion cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and salt and pepper. Reset the rice cooker to the normal rice setting ( I had to wait about 5 minutes till mine cooled down enough to re-set). When the rice is done, wait 10 minutes and fluff with a fork. When ready to serve, add the last T of butter and the parmesan, and serve immediately.


Sometimes I also add a couple of T of toasted slivered almonds at the end as well.
Marlene
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#41 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:39 AM

Thanks! Any particular kinds of rice that you like in this dish?
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#42 naguere

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:07 AM

Too late--cleared mine out on Friday to make room for the side of beef I picked up on Saturday. My co-worker raises Corrientes, which are the little steers rodeos use for roping. After the rodeo season is over, he fattens a few for the freezer. They are delicious and lean, and, as a plus, they are very small. (And, no hormones or antibiotics.) I live alone, and the 214 pounds of beef I picked up doesn't overwhelm.

I tossed a bunch of stuff from the bottom of the freezer--an old tube of sausage, a pound of bacon, a big bag of flaxseed, some chopped nuts from a couple of years ago--and canned the 4 gallon bags of whole tomatoes and the 2 of green peppers I put in the freezer in August. (My kitchen smelled like summer all weekend!)



You learn something every day 'Corrientes,'

This could be a good line to be in.

You lucky guy. :biggrin:
Who cares how time progresses..

Today I am drinking ale.

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#43 llc45

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:17 AM

Too late for me too. Between work, grad school, and husband's knee surgery, we managed to clean out most of what I had in the freezers in the last few weeks - many creative meals were necessary. Felt wonderful to finally do a major grocery shopping event this weekend. It's been years since my freezer(s) were so empty. Now that the kitchen and basement fridges/freezers are relatively empty, if becomes apparent how many condiments and booze were buried just waiting to be rediscovered. Found three partial bottles of lemoncello in the back of downstairs freezer, not to mention how many bottles of alcoholic lemonade, ice tea, and various beer brands were leftover from parties. For me, it is now time for a Great Booze Cleanout 2011!

#44 Marlene

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:04 AM

I usually use just plain long grain rice.
Marlene
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#45 AnneN

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:05 AM

I'm in. I have 2 freezers that are always jam packed. I honestly think things multiply in there in their own. This will force me to clean them out and use up what I can. I'm waiting for my copy of Modernist Cuisine and just purchased a Foodsaver that I could put to good use. I'm making the pressure cooker chicken stock recipe and I need to make room to store it.
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#46 Darienne

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:11 AM

Hello AnneN, and welcome to eGullet, place of much learning and much sharing.
Darienne


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#47 Jeffery C

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:18 AM

We keep our freezer uncluttered by creating dishes once a month to take to a local shelter. The freezer stays clean and organized and takes the "chore" aspect right out of doing it!

#48 rebecca

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:21 AM

Wow! I am impressed by the number of freezers you guys have! I just have the one standard with various breads, stocks, a chocolate salami from new years and a random huge bag of sesame seeds. Any recomendations for that one?

#49 weinoo

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:33 AM

It's not really fair hearing about everyone's giant freezers and the sides of beef so ensconced.

I mean, I consider myself lucky to have a decent freezer in my NYC apartment...I used to get by on one of those ice-crusted freezer compartments that lived inside the fridge.

Be that as it my, my great freezer cleanout usually consists of throwing away all the little bitty ice cubes that end up at the bottom of the ice cube storage bin and making new ones to refill it. Though last night I found a wild king salmon fillet that johnder had given to me sometime late last year. It was, of course, cryo-ed...and it tasted great pan fried along with some fried rice.
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#50 Jeffery C

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:33 AM

and a random huge bag of sesame seeds. Any recomendations for that one?


tahini, honey sesame bars, honey sesame chicken

#51 Emily_R

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:39 AM

For the bag of sesame seeds -- benne seed wafers?

Ok, what I need help with is the insane amount of frozen strawberries and raspberries I have in the freezer. My garden produces upwards of 75 pounds of strawberries and 50+ pounds of raspberries a year... I probably have about 25 pounds of strawberries and 20 pounds of raspberries in the freezer right now. The problem is that neither my husband nor I like smoothies :-(

Other than making tons and tons of strawberry or raspberry coulis, (or frozen strawberry margaritas, which is the primary thing I use the frozen strawberries for) what should I do with them?

Emily

#52 weinoo

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:08 AM

Ice creams and sorbets.
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#53 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:10 AM

Raspberry vinegars or shrubs.
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#54 Darienne

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:17 AM

Ice creams and sorbets.

Mitch got there just before I did. To have enough raspberries to make a really luscious ice cream would be wonderful. :wub:
Darienne


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#55 vice

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:55 AM

David Lebovitz's strawberry ice cream is truly phenomenal. If your berries are top notch, you can even cut back on the quantity by a third to a half, which further improves the texture.
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#56 natasha1270

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:05 PM

Jealous of your strawberry and raspberry stash! Maybe jam or fruit leather? Just found this strawberry bbq sauce recipe that sounds interesting: http://www.epicuriou...BQ-Sauce-358990
"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

#57 ElsieD

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:10 PM

Darienne, where did Ed buy those pails? They are a great idea.

#58 Darienne

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:58 PM

Darienne, where did Ed buy those pails? They are a great idea.

Ed got them at a local convenience/lunch bar/ etc place, named Charlotte Pantry. I suspect you could get them at a bulk food place or a small Mom & Pop breakfast type restaurant. I know that our local bulk food store has round pails which they sell for a few pence.

I just checked three of the pails. They're all labeled Tasty Batters and all contained muffin batters.

That square shape is the best!
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#59 Paul Bacino

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:22 PM

If you have access to anyone who has cat litter, that is the size of the buckets/pails ,litter comes in, at least what we use.

Edited by Paul Bacino, 15 March 2011 - 01:23 PM.

Its good to have Morels

#60 Peter the eater

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:20 PM

If you have access to anyone who has cat litter, that is the size of the buckets/pails ,litter comes in, at least what we use.

I buy 15kg pails for $8 and use them for just about everything once the litter is gone. There must be 2 dozen in the wood shop and a bunch in the kitchen -- organics disposal, paper recycle, blue bin recycle, trash, dirty laundry, etc. I have a couple of sterile pales for defrosting/brining big birds.
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