|"Oh Lord Girl, your freezer looks amazing." ~ Why thank you, but its not mine - its from myrecipes.com|
A few days ago, I was chatting to someone about an apple sponge cake I had cooked that had turned out rather well. I mentioned that the apples were frozen.
"Hold up. You mean pureed?" The friend asked. (Okay, they didn't say "Hold up.").
No, no, they were just chopped and frozen.
She looked incredulous. She didn't know that. I looked incredulous. I thought everyone knew that.
It was awkward.
But it did make me think for us busy working and non-working wives, there are some extreme freezer shortcuts that you can take to make life much, much quicker.
For me it started because I was always throwing so much food out as it spoiled. For the two of us, it is a balance between buying smaller quantities of, say, tomato paste, at ridiculously inflated prices (why do you have to pay more for less??) or buying the bigger jar and throwing half of it our because we can't get through it. Not ideal.
What you need: an ice cube tray (or two) that you don't use for ice - you can buy cheap ones at the dollar store, ziplock bags, freezing containers (I use tupperware Antarctica or rock n' serves), glad wrap.
Right, so here are some things you can freeze that you might not know about.
Tomato paste, fruit purees, vegetable purees - freeze in ice cube tray and then place in ziplock bags. An awesome system we use at Kindy for bubbas who are starting solids is to freeze stacks of cubes of different types, like say pumpkin, rice, cooked meat, etc, and then when you need a meal for a bub, create a combination of cubes and reheat. It works a treat and makes feeding stacks of bubbas in one day just a tad easier. I use this for pumpkin puree at home to make pumpkin scones. E-asy.
Cut vegetables - we eat capsicum, just not stacks of capsicum. So I chop the whole thing in one go (one takes and extra minute or two) and freeze the rest in ziplock bags for use in stir-fry and pasta bake. We do the same with onions, broccoli, carrot, beans, cut corn (you can apparently do it on the cob too, but I haven't tried that), and even canned beans like four bean mix or kidney beans that have been washed of all their brine and then transferred to a ziplock bag.
The secret is that the less moisture goes into the bag before freezing, the less things clump together and stick. Now I can simply tip a bit of veg into a pasta bake or whatever and I don't have to use the entire bag.
The apples. Yes, just chop them into cubes and whack into a freezer container. If you don't have any, wrap a few layers of glad wrap to protect them from freezer burn.
None of this stuff would be ready to eat fresh after this, you understand. Its for use in cooking okay? It's not going to taste the same. Its just supposed to make life easier. As much as pre-cut vegetables can...
So tell me - what do you freeze for later?