Prepping the freezer

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MinnieCo

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Okay...Minta your corn prep sounds amazing. Forget blanching and freezing it whole, I never thought of taking it off the cob to freeze for later use. Fresh corn in my chowder sounds sooooo good and it's so cheap right now, why wouldn't I!?
 

Minta

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I have frozen marinades in an ice cube tray and then placed the cubes in a labeled freezer bag. When I take out the meat to thaw I pop in a couple cubes of the frozen marinade with the meat in the freezer bag.
 

Lana

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MInta, in the early ears of canning/freezing we use to blanch the ears of corn to freeze on the cob also and then our elderly neighbor said don't waste the time, just husk, clean off silk and cut out any bad spots then wrap each ear separately and then put into gallon size freezer bags. Have did this for 30 plus yrs. now. Now her daughter would freeze in the husk and all. I prefer to look at my ears first. We also do freezer cream corn. This year deer are having a heyday with our corn.
 
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Minta

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Okay...Minta your corn prep sounds amazing. Forget blanching and freezing it whole, I never thought of taking it off the cob to freeze for later use. Fresh corn in my chowder sounds sooooo good and it's so cheap right now, why wouldn't I!?

I got the 50 ears of corn for $19 at one of the local farms and that price is much cheaper then the grocery store prices.

MInta, in the early ears of canning/freezing we use to blanch the ears of corn to freeze on the cob also and then our elderly neighbor said don't waste the time, just husk, clean off silk and cut out any bad spots then wrap each ear separately and then put into gallon size freezer bags. Have did this for 30 plus yrs. now. Now her daughter would freeze in the husk and all. I prefer to look at my ears first. We also do freezer cream corn. This year deer are having a heyday with our corn.

My freezer space is at a premium and freezing the whole cob would take up too much space but it does sound like a time saver. Maybe if I get another freezer then I will try that :) The deer I our area have enjoyed out tomatoes and peppers .. NOTE to Self: next year doing enclosed raised garden beds LOL
 

AuntJamelle

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I was planning on doing an inventory of the freezers this weekend but time got away from me!

We have 4 of them! A chest freezer in the utility room downstairs. A normal, above the fridge freezer in the downstairs fridge (the "pop" fridge). An upright freezer in the pantry off the kitchen and then a below the fridge freezer in our main fridge.

Added a LOT of frozen fruit to the freezers so far this summer, blueberries, strawberries, cherries. I also buy and freeze loaves of our favorite bread when I get to the local bread outlet. That all takes up a lot of room but I know there are things in there that need to be used SOON and sadly some that need to just get tossed.

We've used up most of the meat though - there are a couple roasts and a few steaks left. Maybe 2 lbs of chicken breasts. And some packages of chicken thighs that are on the list to use ASAP.

My plan is to go through and take pics with my camera phone, moving things as needed to capture it all. Then I can use the photos to update my inventory spreadsheet and plan from there. Rearrange, toss or USE IT UP!

I'm going to need better organization in there soon since it is almost time to start making freezer meals! And cookies to freeze for Christmas!
 
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AuntJamelle

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Oh! I don't know if it's been mentioned yet on this thread but a great tip I learned on these forums years ago is to keep a pair of winter gloves handy for the times you need to dig through your freezer - whether doing an inventory or just trying to find that last package of ground beef at the bottom of the pile, having those gloves to slip on is a life saver!!!
 

Minta

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Oh! I don't know if it's been mentioned yet on this thread but a great tip I learned on these forums years ago is to keep a pair of winter gloves handy for the times you need to dig through your freezer - whether doing an inventory or just trying to find that last package of ground beef at the bottom of the pile, having those gloves to slip on is a life saver!!!

Great Tip for sure! Humm Why didn't I think of that sooner? LOL
 

sweetpumkinpye

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AJ, Why have a never thought off this. It takes a good long while for my hands to thaw after being in the freezer.
 
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MinnieCo

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That piece of advice on the gloves is something I am TOTALLY going to use. We have 2 freezers now for our beef and those would totally help out. Thanks!!! I also thought, as beef comes out I can totally utilize the space with other meals I've prepped and then utilize the space. Hadn't really thought of that yet..but our supply will be down before the holidays and leave some good space to utilize.

I also wanted to share a Pioneer Woman recipe I seen last night I'm going to try and prep for the freezer. Chicken Spaghetti http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/chicken_spaghet/
 
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ejagno

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Minnie, another great freezer dish that is a good hearty fall/winter meal is chicken pot pies. I make try to make 4 at a time. We eat one and the others feed the freezer. I can't wait to try the chicken spaghetti. Thanks for sharing.
 
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AuntJamelle

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I've made the PW Chicken Spaghetti before - it is good! :)

Ellen - What chicken pot pie recipe do you use for the freezer? I have one I make with cornbread topping and I've successfully frozen the filling but struggle with the topping part of things coming out right after freezing/thawing/cooking.

Went through the two freezers upstairs yesterday and pulled out items to be tossed (last night was trash night so perfect timing!) and inventoried the rest! Now I just need to do the same for the 2 downstairs!!!
 
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Skippy1707

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I'm determined to stock our freezer this winter. When the weather turns bad and we get snow and ice we get completely shut off and there is no public transport and if t snows then it is hit and miss wheather or not you can get the cars up the hill. The joy of living on a mountain.

We have a small local butcher in town who I am planning to visit before the majority of the bad weather kicks in. I'm hoping to run down the freezer first and give it a good clear out from the stray veg in the bottom.

we will be apple picking soon so will have some bags of those to feed the freezer with as well once they are peeled, chopped and cored and mixed with cinnamon

Hoping to find some ziplock slow cooker ready meal recipes so it's just a case of emptying them into the cooker and adding liquid and away it goes
 
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AuntJamelle

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Went through the other 2 freezers last night - found 6 lbs of frozen breaded shrimp I'd forgotten about! I had asked DMIL to buy me a small box when she went to a store we like a couple months ago. She got me two big boxes instead, lol!

I did not take the time to pull out items that need to be tossed but will do that soon. Still want to reorganize what is left but I'm using my updated inventory to help plan meals over the next couple of weeks to try and use up items that have been in there a while.

Then I'll need to plan a trip to our favorite butcher to restock on chicken breasts, ground beef and roasts.
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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I am going to tackle our freezer today (while wearing my gloves lol)
Need to finish up the winter type foods and start preparing the space for the summer foods. Chicken breasts, frozen fish, crumbed prawns, all those quick things that can be used with a salad when the weather is hot.
 

Skippy1707

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I think we skipped summer here in Wales - I have some blackberries to go in and will shortly be adding apples but I dont think my freezer saw BBQ stuff this year :-/
 
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AuntJamelle

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Froze a couple ice cube trays of lemon juice this weekend. And purchased a large brisket that we intended to smoke on Sunday only to find our smoker stopped working - this was only the 4th time we've used it!!! UGH! So into the freezer the brisket goes!
 

Holiday_Mom

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I am going to tackle our freezer today (while wearing my gloves lol)
Need to finish up the winter type foods and start preparing the space for the summer foods. Chicken breasts, frozen fish, crumbed prawns, all those quick things that can be used with a salad when the weather is hot.

In May, I stocked up on bacon that was on sale. I cooked up the 5 lbs. of bacon, laid it in strips on a paper towel and then placed in in gallon size freezer bags. That was the best thing I've done for myself in the kitchen this summer. It made making some of the pasta salads and vegetable salads so much easier to put together. I kept the bacon in strips since most of my recipes tell me how many bacon strips to use. Then I just crumbled it into the salad.

I've frozen a pound of bacon at a time for "make ahead" breakfast dishes at holidays and family gatherings. I just never made this much to have all summer long. I loved it. The hassle in May was worth it.
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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Mary, what a great idea. I use a lot of bacon in the summer in salads and for quick dinners.
I will get some next time I am at the shops and do some prep.
 
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tanya

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Great idea about the bacon. My Mum used to always have bacon in the freezer. Its something that I totally forgot about til now.
 
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AuntJamelle

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I just recently tried making bacon in the oven and we really liked it! You just need a cookie rack that is oven safe (all metal, not rubber coated). I lined a cookie sheet with foil for easy cleanup then laid the strips of bacon on the cookie rack set inside the lined cookie sheet. Baked at 400 for 15-20 minutes - I started checking at about 12 minutes. How long it takes just varies by oven and as to how thick the bacon is. No need to flip it either.

You could lay the bacon right on the foil lined cookie sheet but using the rack lets it stay crispy. I ordered another oven safe wire rack so I have two of them and can do more at once next time. I'm thinking this would be a perfect way to get some cooked bacon in the freezer without having to stand over the range.