Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Challenge: Cook your way through your freezer (part 1)


Anna N
 Share

Recommended Posts

Every year around November, when cranberries hit the market, I buy at least 10 bags to freeze so I will have them when cranberries are no longer around. Because I just love cranberries. So anywhere I stick my hand in my freezer I'm likely to come away with a bag of cranberries, which is what happened the other evening. I decided to bake a couple of cranberry walnut loaves, which are now in my freezer taking up decidedly more space than the original bag of cranberries. :P Last night I pulled out a couple of chicken legs, which I'll decide what to do with later this afternoon. I once had a recipe for something called Cranberry Chicken, I wonder where that went to? 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, HungryChris said:

Stuffed cabbage and corn from last summer. I may not empty the freezer, but do want to join in the fun.

HC

IMG_0912.JPGIMG_0915.JPGIMG_0916.JPG

 Everyone  is welcome. Even those who are trying to rid the world of zucchini.

  • Like 3

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

Every year around November, when cranberries hit the market, I buy at least 10 bags to freeze so I will have them when cranberries are no longer around. Because I just love cranberries. So anywhere I stick my hand in my freezer I'm likely to come away with a bag of cranberries, which is what happened the other evening. I decided to bake a couple of cranberry walnut loaves, which are now in my freezer taking up decidedly more space than the original bag of cranberries. :P Last night I pulled out a couple of chicken legs, which I'll decide what to do with later this afternoon. I once had a recipe for something called Cranberry Chicken, I wonder where that went to? 

 I think this is the biggest problem with the challenge. You pull out something, make something else and instead of emptying the freezer you are filling it up again.  There is probably a Newtonian law that explains this.   If not, we need to hypothesize until we find one.

Edited by Anna N (log)
  • Like 4

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Anna N said:

 I think this is the biggest problem with the challenge. You pull out something, make something else and instead of emptying the freezer you are filling it up again.  There is probably a Newtonian law that explains this.   If not, we need to hypothesize until we find one.

 

 

I think this principle probably relates to the number of people you feed when you first prepare the dish. With four healthy adult appetites here (the grandson gets dinner with his sitter, a family friend with six sons of her own) combined with my effort to not prepare more than a meals worth, I rarely have leftovers.

 

When I was a poor starving college student (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) I had trouble motivating myself to cook proper meals. I had a friend who would join me for dinner Wednesday evenings, so I did cook at least one decent meal a week.

  • Like 2

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I was responding more to @cakewalk's attempt to use up cranberries which resulted in cranberry bread which took up more room than the cranberries themselves. That's why we need a law we can understand.:D

 

Here's my first attempt.

 

The first law of freezer management:

 

Any attempt to reduce the inventory of a freezer will be successful only if said inventory is consumed in its entirety, gifted or consigned for eternity to the garbage pail or the compost bin. Any attempt to put an ingredient through a phase change will likely defy all laws of logic and increase in mass proportional to your desire to make room in said freezer.  

  • Like 7

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, robirdstx said:

 

Or L for legs?

 

You are so right.  It's L for legs, not for breasts.  Us old folks sometimes get brain cramps.  And there goes the Beets I was thinking of having......

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

You are so right.  It's L for legs, not for breasts.  Us old folks sometimes get brain cramps.  And there goes the Beets I was thinking of having......

Beets are still good if you go with for bird :P

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

You are so right.  It's L for legs, not for breasts.  Us old folks sometimes get brain cramps.  And there goes the Beets I was thinking of having......

 You also live in a bilingual country so you could go P for poulet.

  • Like 3

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So this is what we had.  I followed a Good Eats recipe for the chicken, sous vide at 165F for about 3.5 hours, then tried to brown the pieces as instructed.  The skin was supposed to be crisp, but it wasn't.  The sauce while flavorful I thought was thin.  So we had Chicken and had Corn with it.  As Chicken is Poultry we had twice-baked Potatoes.  Thursday I will reach in and blindly grab something else.  

image.jpeg

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did a reach and grab and came up with some chicken tenders.   I have a head of broccoli that I just cut up.  Now just need a breath of inspiration.   Tick tick tick,  oriental chicken and broccoli.  Didn't have all the traditional ingredients.  It was a mix of Chinese and Japanese ingredients to make the sauce.   Did a velveting technique on the chicken.   This always produces such a tender end result.   Not exactly sure why corn starch has such an effect but glad it does 

 

 

image.jpeg

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think while we are attempting to clear out our freezers it might behoove some of us to try to understand how we come to this pass.

 

For most of my life I was pretty meat-centric in my eating habits.  There were five of us and so keeping a freezer istocked with meat seemed essential. After the kids left home my husband and I remained meat-centric. In fact there were very few vegetables that John would eat willingly.  After I was widowed I began to cater to my own likes and dislikes and became much less meat-centric in my eating habits. Eggs, cheese, bacon, etc., were often are often my protein of choice and many meals are largely vegetarian.   But I still stick to that old habit of stockpiling meat in the freezer!  

 

 In an ideal world I would not freeze meat at all. I would buy it fresh and cook it fresh. I believe that I enjoy it much better if it has never been frozen.  But I don't live in an ideal world so some meat will always need to be frozen if I am going to include it in my diet.   But going forward I realize I do not need to stockpile meat but could make better use of my freezer space for ingredients such as homemade stock, sauces, etc.   I need space now for ready to eat meals that I have made myself and some commercial products that fill a gap on those days when I simply cannot muster up the energy to cook from scratch.  

 

Anyone else see a change coming in the way they utilize their freezer if they succeed in the challenge?

  • Like 4

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I think while we are attempting to clear out our freezers it might behoove some of us to try to understand how we come to this pass.

 

For most of my life I was pretty meat-centric in my eating habits.  There were five of us and so keeping a freezer istocked with meat seemed essential. After the kids left home my husband and I remained meat-centric. In fact there were very few vegetables that John would eat willingly.  After I was widowed I began to cater to my own likes and dislikes and became much less meat-centric in my eating habits. Eggs, cheese, bacon, etc., were often are often my protein of choice and many meals are largely vegetarian.   But I still stick to that old habit of stockpiling meat in the freezer!  

 

 In an ideal world I would not freeze meat at all. I would buy it fresh and cook it fresh. I believe that I enjoy it much better if it has never been frozen.  But I don't live in an ideal world so some meat will always need to be frozen if I am going to include it in my diet.   But going forward I realize I do not need to stockpile meat but could make better use of my freezer space for ingredients such as homemade stock, sauces, etc.   I need space now for ready to eat meals that I have made myself and some commercial products that fill a gap on those days when I simply cannot muster up the energy to cook from scratch.  

 

Anyone else see a change coming in the way they utilize their freezer if they succeed in the challenge?

 

I doubt I'll change much.

While I prefer fresh — by far — there's no way I can stretch my food dollar (especially in terms of meat) as much as possible without utilizing the freezer (or canning.)

 

I buy in bulk when I find bargains:

39¢ per lb. chicken leg quarters (~70 lbs.)

88¢ per lb. whole chickens (16)

49¢ per lb. whole turkeys (2)

99¢ per lb. pork shoulder roast (pork butt) (~8)

89¢ per lb. pork picnic roasts (3)

$1.26 per lb. pork chops (~20 lbs.)

$1.69 per lb. 80/20 ground beef

Veg from the garden, etc.

 

I do buy beef steaks and the like fresh but they're a rare treat.

  • Like 2

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly see your point Anna. 

 

Currently I'm not trying to clean out my freezer(s), just cook from them as they are at max capacity.  They hold everything from meats, seafood, stocks, grains that tend to get buggy inside, to spices, and a few other things that freeze well.  Even though the grocery store is not far away the freezer affords me convenience and a wide variety of items to cook from.  And like Martin I stock up on good priced items 

 

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I finally qualify for a FCO point :

 

UnoFz.jpg

 

its not going back in.  Ill pay a bit more attention to the cooking this time than the last one.  if done correctly these are OK.  Pizza

 

Home Enthusiasts have already turned away , so no disclaimer.

 

and I award myself One ( 1 ) Kudos as these are on sale for 50 % off .  when this happens I generally get one if Im at that store for for other

 

reasons.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goodness me, as they say, it has been a while since there has been this much fun to be had over some overfilled freezersxD. FCOs.  It's time I added mine up.  

  • Like 3

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, ninagluck said:

@Anna N, there were never five of me.where does this come from? btw, same here, take something from the "rare" freezer, cook it up, and put 2 containers into the precooked :-(

Sorry. It was just way of speaking. A week or five with you  was just my way of saying I may have to spend one week or perhaps five weeks with you to learn how you manage your marvellous meals.  

  • Like 2

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...