What's in my freezer?
In my household fridge freezer, I store several items that I find make cooking some dishes faster and easier. It is more important to me to have homemade things frozen, than to have store-bought new. So here goes...
- Why does tomato paste come in such a narrow, odd size can? Frustrating! And many recipes just call for a tablespoon or so. Once I open a new can, I freeze tablespoonfuls of it on a pan. Once solid, these are transferred to a zippered bag, and labelled for easy use later on.
- Same as above for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Who would need to use a whole can at once?
- Extra chicken stock. Although I make a huge batch of stock each time, there is often more left than fits in our pressure-canner. Just a bit extra can be frozen in ice cube trays until solid, then turned out into a bag for future use.
- Flatbreads. I don't know where this obsession started, but we love flatbreads. Sea salt with crushed fresh rosemary... ahh!
- Veggie ends. Carrot peels and ends, onion skins, parsley stems-- whatever odds and ends from preparing vegetables can go in this bag for making vegetable or chicken stock down the road. No waste!
- Bread. All of our tried-and-true bread recipes make more than even we can use in a week. Loaves are cut in half and stored in bags. Depending on the bread type, some can be a bit crumbly when thawed, but all taste heavenly toasted.
- Pizza dough. I make the basic pizza dough recipe from Cook's Illustrated. It makes two doughs, which I wrap in plastic wrap and put in a sealable bag. These can be taken out in the morning, placed on the counter and will be thawed and ready to bake for dinner.
- Breakfast muffins! I've shared this recipe before, but it is just such an easy way to have a mid-morning snack on the go.
- Also, blocks of frozen pesto. The season for making fresh pesto is fleeting in Montana, but you can enjoy pesto in pasta, on pizza and sandwiches all year by freezing it in cube trays.
- Ginger root. By now, I'm sure I go through enough raw ginger to keep fresh on hand at all times, but it is so much easier to grate on a microplaner when it is frozen. I don't bother peeling it; just grate away. One household can never use too much ginger!
- Applesauce in cubes. I love applesauce and so do kids visiting for dinner. I make a couple of batches in the fall, freeze in cube trays then enjoy all year long! No added sugar and made with the skins on to save time and get more vitamins out of the fruit.
- And perhaps, a bag of frozen brownies. The resolution to eat just one dessert a day is often broken.. one a day... one a day...