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


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8 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I seriously doubt I could cook through my freezer, but only because I keep adding more the minute there's room!

 

Maybe adopt a FIFO approach (first in -first out) Right! - hear your laughter

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4 hours ago, weinoo said:

I seriously doubt I could cook through my freezer, but only because I keep adding more the minute there's room!

 

A kindred spirit!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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  • 1 month later...

Well...my Cooking Through My Freezer challenge just got solved in a hot minute (more like hour and a half), as I discovered the outlets into which the two, count them, two chest freezers were plugged had no power. I have emptied about 100 pounds of beef, pork and chicken out of one. About to take on the other assorted stuff out of the other one.

 

Meanwhile, electricians were here to install two fans. One was bad, out of the box, and has to be returned. 

 

And my A/C is out.

 

I think I'm going to run away from home.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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47 minutes ago, kayb said:

Well...my Cooking Through My Freezer challenge just got solved in a hot minute (more like hour and a half), as I discovered the outlets into which the two, count them, two chest freezers were plugged had no power. I have emptied about 100 pounds of beef, pork and chicken out of one. About to take on the other assorted stuff out of the other one.

 

Meanwhile, electricians were here to install two fans. One was bad, out of the box, and has to be returned. 

 

And my A/C is out.

 

I think I'm going to run away from home.

 

Did the guys laugh? Maybe you can crank out a chuckle too. Really though that is an astounding amount of food loss. Can any of it be donated?

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50 minutes ago, heidih said:

 

Did the guys laugh? Maybe you can crank out a chuckle too. Really though that is an astounding amount of food loss. Can any of it be donated?

 

Oh, no. It was way too far gone. I wouldn't trust it.

 

I'd guess about 40-50 pounds of beef, 10-15 pounds of chicken, 10 pounds of pork, a bunch of veggies and fruit, and some frozen convenience stuff.  I have given the freezers a thorough cleaning, and have them unplugged and airing out before I start restocking.

 

Could be worse. I'm a lot better off financially than I have been at times in my life, and I can afford to restock. Time was, that would have meant being hungry til the next paycheck.

 

Plus, it took stuff that needed to be chunked anyway, and I can organize things as they go back in.

 

They were at least small chest freezers -- a seven-footer and a 10-footer. And not full.

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I'm stuck with a narrow sliver of freezer in a side-by side fridge and have long envied those of you with big freezers.  

After reading these last comments,  I'm at least consoled to know my losses will always be limited! 🙃

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Oh, boy. As I was starting to shake off the cobwebs this morning, I heard my better half make a sound of dread from across the apartment -- looks like something knocked the door to our upright freezer ajar, probably late last night.

 

It's not a total loss, but a whole lot got pitched. To be fair, some of it had been in there far too long.

 

Two freezer thermometers with audible alarms have been ordered to prevent future occurrences.

 

Trying to figure out now what to do with a lot of stuff that was still partially frozen and thus still salvageable -- as well as making room in the fridge for the resulting creations. Mostly meat -- a big pork shoulder roast, some locally raised beef stew meat, a little thing of lamb stew, a bit of pork belly, and a few steak cuts, plus two packages of sausages.

 

Also managed to save some (formerly) frozen fruit and some tomatoes I roasted and froze from the farm last year. 

 

Thinking I can make some big batches of things — stew, chile, etc — and then refreeze in portions. Inspiration very welcome...

Edited by dtremit (log)
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you know what, my husband has a bad habit of assuming the fridge and freezer doors will fully close themselves all the time...I should probably get some alarms for my peace of mind. Preferably something that sends me an alert on my phone so when I'm at work, I can tell him to close it.

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

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24 minutes ago, dtremit said:

 

Thinking I can make some big batches of things — stew, chile, etc — and then refreeze in portions. Inspiration very welcome...

 

I think that is all you can do Get at it. Hard to imagine how that happened. Sure pro-active strategy inplace. Show us your creations.

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Ours, both fridges and freezer have an alarm that goes off if a door is even slightly ajar.  However, we did have a stand-up one once that didn't.  A lot of cooking went on when we discovered the door had been left ajar.  And as is the case with @dtremit a far bit got pitched due to it having been in there far too long.

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2 hours ago, BeeZee said:

you know what, my husband has a bad habit of assuming the fridge and freezer doors will fully close themselves all the time...I should probably get some alarms for my peace of mind. Preferably something that sends me an alert on my phone so when I'm at work, I can tell him to close it.

 

I think you could just use a WiFi or similar door sensor for this along with something like IFTTT (without going too far down a rabbit hole, protocols like Zigbee have better sensor battery life but require a hub).

 

I ended up just ordering two ThermoWorks dual fridge/freezer thermometers -- the kind that sits outside the fridge and has a temperature probe on a wire. One will go on the fridge/freezer in the kitchen, and the other will split duties between the upright freezer and the small dorm fridge above it we use for drinks. Our apartment is a 1000 square foot loft, so the audible alarm will be plenty of warning.

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@andiesenji wrote, long ago, about the ability of her basenjis to open refrigerators and perhaps freezers...but not to close them again. As I recall she had to latch them with very strong, dogproof latches. I'm sure alarms are cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing, however.

 

Good luck, dtremit. I too would like to see some of your creations. Yes to stews, soups, sauces. Are you up to making, say, stuffings for pastas?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

 

I think that is all you can do Get at it. Hard to imagine how that happened. Sure pro-active strategy inplace. Show us your creations.

 

The freezer was pretty packed -- my guess is that when my partner checked the freezer for soup at lunchtime, he put something back in a precarious position, and said item ended up working up enough momentum as it fell to knock the door open.

 

I have a vague recollection of hearing a weird noise as we were watching TV last night, but figured it was something outside our apartment door (which is very close to the freezer). Wish I'd remembered to check. Sigh.

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7 minutes ago, Smithy said:

@andiesenji wrote, long ago, about the ability of her basenjis to open refrigerators and perhaps freezers...but not to close them again. As I recall she had to latch them with very strong, dogproof latches. I'm sure alarms are cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing, however.

 

Good luck, dtremit. I too would like to see some of your creations. Yes to stews, soups, sauces. Are you up to making, say, stuffings for pastas?

 

Hah! Given what must be in @andiesenji's freezer I can hardly blame the dogs for trying 😀 We're lucky that our dog is a saint when it comes to food -- if we don't put it on the floor, she won't touch it.

The pasta filling isn't a bad idea -- though I don't have a pasta machine to make ravioli or the like. I could do a lasagne, though; I have a few cheese options that would be good for that. Actually the first thing I did was make a few fresh cheeses to use up a gallon of milk I'd bought for that purpose; I needed the fridge space for the freezer meat!

Thinking of trying to turn the frozen black cherries into a sorbet.

Edited by dtremit (log)
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3 hours ago, dtremit said:

Oh, boy. As I was starting to shake off the cobwebs this morning, I heard my better half make a sound of dread from across the apartment -- looks like something knocked the door to our upright freezer ajar, probably late last night.

 

It's not a total loss, but a whole lot got pitched. To be fair, some of it had been in there far too long.

 

Two freezer thermometers with audible alarms have been ordered to prevent future occurrences.

 

Trying to figure out now what to do with a lot of stuff that was still partially frozen and thus still salvageable -- as well as making room in the fridge for the resulting creations. Mostly meat -- a big pork shoulder roast, some locally raised beef stew meat, a little thing of lamb stew, a bit of pork belly, and a few steak cuts, plus two packages of sausages.

 

Also managed to save some (formerly) frozen fruit and some tomatoes I roasted and froze from the farm last year. 

 

Thinking I can make some big batches of things — stew, chile, etc — and then refreeze in portions. Inspiration very welcome...

 

 

I feel your pain, in light of my own recent experience.

 

I have baskets, etc., and am ready to start restocking my freezers now. Ordered some meat from my farmers, which I'll pick up tomorrow, and reserved my quarter steer, which I cannot get until DECEMBER. 

 

I also have the freezers connected to a brand new double outlet that the electrician converted from an unused 220 outlet in the garage. This is on a non-GFCI circuit, so the loose wire thing should not result in tripping the breaker, which was what happened before. Because after all, I'm not going to drop the freezer in the bathtub.

 

ETA: You could sous vide the steaks, then freeze them. Could do the same with the pork roast.

 

 

Edited by kayb (log)
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2 hours ago, dtremit said:

 

The freezer was pretty packed -- my guess is that when my partner checked the freezer for soup at lunchtime, he put something back in a precarious position, and said item ended up working up enough momentum as it fell to knock the door open.

 

I have a vague recollection of hearing a weird noise as we were watching TV last night, but figured it was something outside our apartment door (which is very close to the freezer). Wish I'd remembered to check. Sigh.

Jackpot !

What do you want to buy? Make sure the partner is always aware that it was their fault (no probables, no maybes). Be firm.

Guilt will ensure you can buy whatever you like, watch whatever you like, get taken to the best restaurant...the scope is marvelous 😃

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Didn't think to snap a picture, but managed to use up some freezer meat tonight along with a related project. Turned a little package of lamb "shish kebab" into a quick Instant Pot dum biryani, and made saag paneer from a variety of greens (turnip, baby kale, and some komatsuna nearing the end of its run). The paneer was homemade, from the gallon of milk I tackled yesterday to clear room for the half-thawed meat.

 

Also cooked two packages of locally-made sausages in the CSO, but didn't use them for anything yet -- just cooked and chilled. They'll be good in breakfasts and lunches for a few days.

 

I think I have the rest of the dishes mapped out: the pork shoulder will become kalua pork tomorrow, and I'll probably cook off the beef stew into either stew or the Texas-style chili from the Food Lab. Leaning more towards stew as I have a bunch of roots to use up.

 

I have a couple of steak cuts I'd normally sous vide to medium rare; I don't think I want to serve them anything less than thoroughly cooked under the circumstances, but am thinking they might do well in a Stroganoff. Have at least some oyster mushrooms lurking in the fridge.

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  • 3 months later...

I finally decided to make a list of my freezer contents. I have a bottom drawer type freezer, which I honestly hate. I thought I had more stuff in there, but it is just poor capacity (and I am a jenga master when it comes to packing things in small spaces).There was some chicken from May, so that will be defrosted to grill tomorrow, along with another package of a more recent vintage, so that I have my grilled chicken salad supply restocked. I had frozen some milk and lemon juice in small amounts for recipes, I defrosted a 1/2 cup container of milk in the micro to use in a muffin recipe...only needed half of it so I drank the rest for quality control (shaken up, it was fine). Tonight I am inclined to use one of my portions of pesto (from May) and maybe some grilled yellow squash (from July) in something...

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

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