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Okanagancook

Challenge: Cook your way through your freezer (part 2)

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9 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Frozen vegetables are really quite good when given some love.  For example, bagged frozen, chopped spinach at our local small chain grocery is fabulous..very hard to tell it's frozen.  We also like the 'vegetable medley'  which has green bean, mini carrots, peas, corn and lima beans.  Just say'n.

I have given up on frozen spinach although it was very handy to have on hand. I don’t know what it is but it seems as if every second bag tastes like fish. Do you have any issues along those lines?


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

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The frozen spinach I had last night was one of those “steam in bag” types (one of the major brands, don’t recall) and tasted fine, much better than the frozen blocks. Not too far off from the taste/texture of fresh spinach that had been cooked thoroughly.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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@Okanagancook  What chain/brand of spinach is this?  I have frozen veg in my freezer right now mainly because these days I don't want say, broccoli that has been handled possibly many times by many different people.  I was in our local little grocer yesterday and people were keeping their distance which was especially notable at the check out lines.  Fish, which are normally laid out on ice, are now wrapped.  They have a lot of prepared food in hot trays - gone.  I was a bit disturbed that the pastry section, kept refrigerated under glass, was also completely empty.  We only have 1 box of Potugese tarts.😿

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1 hour ago, BeeZee said:

The frozen spinach I had last night was one of those “steam in bag” types (one of the major brands, don’t recall) and tasted fine, much better than the frozen blocks. Not too far off from the taste/texture of fresh spinach that had been cooked thoroughly.

Do you recall the brand?

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IGA chopped about $2.29.

We also enjoy the PC Vegetable Medley.

spinach.jpg.3ecd087ebbea0355e943f68482948e5e.jpg

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

I have given up on frozen spinach although it was very handy to have on hand. I don’t know what it is but it seems as if every second bag tastes like fish. Do you have any issues along those lines?

Can't say we have had any off tastes.

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3 hours ago, ElsieD said:

Do you recall the brand?

Sorry, do not and last nights trash has been taken out...

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Posted (edited)

I often find that supermarket deli ham tastes a bit fishy. DH never notices. 🤣


Edited by TdeV (log)
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Well I have not yet started cooking from my freezer. I’m not even sure there’s anything to eat in there although it’s totally full. But I have begun going through it to see what can be tossed and what is still viable. No point in making up a shopping list when there’s nowhere to put the food. 

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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

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Posted (edited)

Well apparently there is food in there!

 

I just did one side of the bottom drawer and this is what I found

 

Left-hand side of freezer

Loin lamb chops

Ryebread

Artichoke hearts

8 ounces of ground beef

8 ounces of ground beef

8 ounces of ground pork

1 pound of lamb leg

8 ounces of ground pork

Strip loin

Four boneless skinless chicken thighs

Bread

More ground pork

Sliced pork belly

Rice on

 

And I know there are small duck breasts in the upper drawer along with some scallops and some shrimp. So it looks like I need to order in some vegetables to go with this lot and I’ve rearranged enough so that I could put some frozen veggies in there. 

 

Right side the freezer drawer
 
 
Duck breast
Scotch bonnet peppers
English muffins
Wonton wrappers
Frozen peas
Garlic Nan
 
Gluten free flour mix
Xiao pancake mix
She Sheetal peppers
Duck leg
White bread
Duck breast
Pizza times 4
White bread
Rice
English muffins
Okonomiyaki flour
One slice cooked prime rib
Three 100 g portions of pork butt

 

 

Threw out various things including eight servings of potato leek soup. I didn’t like it when I made it but I didn’t want to waste it. 

 


Edited by Anna N Delete the echo chamber to add the other side of my freezer drawer to the list. Typo (log)
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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

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I use C&W / Birds Eye chopped frozen spinach (you guys might like it):

 

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Comes in a bag and is sort of crumbly, rather than frozen in a solid block. No "off" flavors that I can detect. Not the same as fresh spinach, but I don't expect it to taste the same.

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In anticipation of my upcoming move I've placed a moratorium on any new proteins and am working on using up all the meats in my freezers; and there's a lot in there.  It appears I could easily go the next three months without any new purchases.

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in a related manner...I decided to inventory all of my pantry ingredients...5 pages (one side), single item per line...so around 125 unique items. Kind of an interesting exercise. Some things are not "food" per se, but ingredients like capers in brine (2 jars), for example.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Posted (edited)

We have 3 freezers - the bottom of our French door refrigerator in the house, an upright and a chest - both in the shed.  We try to keep an inventory up to date, try being the operative word.  I am pretty good about adding new items to the list, Mr. Kim less good and both of us are lousy at marking things off when we take things out of them.  Since knowing what we have is especially important now, we updated the lists yesterday (ignore the date - I keep forgetting to change it when I update - and the silly names Mr. Kim gives to the outside freezers):DSCN0771.JPG.9401b1b0460ba319ce1a3278c717587c.JPG

 

DSCN0773.JPG.a73c9b18bfed2f1a32a01109ab239598.JPG

 

DSCN0772.JPG

I have lots of stuff I need to use!


Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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I love a woman who keeps three kinds of barbecue in her refrigerator's freezer. I think we may be kin.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

I love a woman who keeps three kinds of barbecue in her refrigerator's freezer. I think we may be kin.

 

And that was just the purchased/other people stuff.  Usually I have some of Mr. Kim's in there, too!

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Posted (edited)

I'm nearly through the freezer!  :)  There's a vac-sealed duck breast that was initially intended for sous vide to 135F and sear, but sadly forgotten and been there for over 2 years.  It has some ice build up in the package.

Safe to eat?  What should I make, if so?

Pantry items are running low: five small cans of tomato paste (wtf), a handful of dried porcinis , an onion, package of wakame, 1lb unroasted cacao beans, some gelatin, lots of flour, oats, buckwheat, sugar, some quinoa and rice, one can of garbanzo beans, and a small package of shredded coconut.  I have some green onion in the garden as well, and can pick up fresh kale from my neighbor's garden.  Eggs and butter in the fridge, two carrots, garbanzo miso, and a small package of frozen cauliflower florets.  Hmmmm.

One-person soup or stew?  Chop up for ravioli filling?


Edited by jedovaty (log)

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27 minutes ago, jedovaty said:

I'm nearly through the freezer!  :)  There's a vac-sealed duck breast that was initially intended for sous vide to 135F and sear, but sadly forgotten and been there for over 2 years.  It has some ice build up in the package.

Safe to eat?  What should I make, if so?

Pantry items are running low: five small cans of tomato paste (wtf), a handful of dried porcinis , an onion, package of wakame, 1lb unroasted cacao beans, some gelatin, lots of flour, oats, buckwheat, sugar, some quinoa and rice, one can of garbanzo beans, and a small package of shredded coconut.  I have some green onion in the garden as well, and can pick up fresh kale from my neighbor's garden.  Eggs and butter in the fridge, two carrots, garbanzo miso, and a small package of frozen cauliflower florets.  Hmmmm.

One-person soup or stew?  Chop up for ravioli filling?

 

The rest I'll leave to your judgement, but as long as it has stayed frozen food safety is not an issue. The question is more one of quality and taste.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, chromedome said:

The rest I'll leave to your judgement, but as long as it has stayed frozen food safety is not an issue. The question is more one of quality and taste.

If it's been frozen that long, then it would make sense to pursue a more processed product, rather than a simple sear to medium rare/medium.  It was an expensive duck (and the other parts were tasty, iirc), so, I'd like to at least try something.

Forgot to mention, I also have fish sauce, mirin, mustard, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, but no soy sauce.  I just found yuzu jam and honey.  Garlic's not ready for harvest, but I can use a few of the leaf sprouts in a pinch.

I wonder if I could try smoking it on my gas grill.. it does go down low to about 200F, and I've got some woodchips and lump charcoal.  Other ideas floating in my head now, hmmm.


Edited by jedovaty (log)
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Yeah, smoke or a marinade should help mask any off-flavors. If it was vacuum-sealed, they shouldn't be too obtrusive.


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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yesterday I finally gathered the courage to tackle my smaller upright freezer.  There was SO MUCH ice.

I wish I'd thought to take a picture of it before I started.  It had been years sinvce I last defrosted it.

I ruthlessly pulled out and trashed all the leftovers and meats that I won't have time to use before the move (probably in July sometime).  My garbage trolley is three quarters full and I'm just hoping it's not so heavy that I can't push it out to the street.  It feels like such an accomplishment to have it done as it was a huge jog that took half day using big pots of hot water as well as a hairdryer..  

wasteful, yes, but it had to be done.

Next I have to start on the bigger freezer in the garage.  That one's not quite as ice-filled and should go faster.

That will wait until  I have an empty garbage can.


















UCH

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So Friday I tackled the big upright in the garage.  It was loaded and there was lots of ice.

I thought this one would go faster than the smaller one I cleaned recently but that didn't happen.

It's quite large and there was a lot of meat in it.

I found three whole chickens and two corned beefs (that I didn't even remember) as weel as a load of ground meats, vegetables, leftovers and lots and lots of pork.  

It rook most of the day to get the ice to melt.  I used my big 8-qt. All Clad stockpot filled with boiling water; risking life and limb carrying it through the house and into the garage.  Then I started with the hairdryer; after several tries I finally turned the dryer on, put it inside and shut the door and waited for 45 minutes.  At last most of the ice was melted.

I trashed almost half of contents simply because time is running out and I don't want to have to move more than is necessary.  But, boy am I glad to be done with that job.

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36 minutes ago, lindag said:

Then I started with the hairdryer; after several tries I finally turned the dryer on, put it inside and shut the door and waited for 45 minutes


Maybe it is just me, but that method does not sound safe to me. I am glad you did not get electrocuted!

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Posted (edited)

With the supply chain interruptions happening and/or coming for beef, pork and poultry, etc., I am now glad that our freezer is relatively well stocked. I went through the freezer today, adding labels to containers that I had been too lazy to label when they went in and updated my inventory sheet. I feel confident that we have enough protein and ready made items to make 45 or more dinners for two, so do not feel the need to go out and binge buy.

 

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Edited by robirdstx (log)
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