Spring (de)Frost

As part of the spring cleaning that’s been running rampant through my home, I decided to defrost my chest freezer.

While I was standing there with a hair dryer trying to speed the process along (let’s face it, there’s nowhere to put that much stuff to allow the freezer to casually defrost on its own), I started laughing at myself.  Not every young woman has a 24 cubic foot chest freezer. (And then an additional 7 cubic foot chest freezer…)  And one that big…well, what 20-something year old woman would really want to fill it?

The freezers were actually purchased for the purpose of helping me freeze cookies and other baked goods for the holidays. However, over the last year or so, they’ve been overtaken with produce frozen at the peak of freshness, which we use both for ourselves as well as to make jelly with our own strawberries and peaches out of season.  During the process of organizing my freezer, I was actually quite surprised to discover that the amount of purchased packaged food in any of our freezers was limited to just a few bags of frozen cheese, a couple containers of cool whip, a jug of local maple syrup (yes, in the freezer! It will keep almost indefinitely here), a bag of shrimp, and one sole bag of Mrs. T’s pierogi.  As I write this, I’m still pretty stunned at the fact that so little in our freezers is prepackaged prepared food.  And I’m kind of very extremely proud of that fact too.

Why hello there, top layer of wedding cake…
I look forward to eating you in 10 1/2 months…

This summer I plan to share with you what I’ve learned from my husband’s family to prepare some of the vegetables and fruit for freezing.  While freezing does require an additional appliance and some space, it’s definitely worth it to be able to toss some of our favorite sweet corn into a batch of chili in the middle of winter, or to be able to make fruit smoothies with our own produce whenever we get a craving for some strawberry goodness.

We’re running a little low…

With such a large freezer, I’ve found it helpful to use a dry erase board to display the contents of my freezer, changing quantities as I add and use items.

March is Frozen Food Month- do you freeze any produce for use in the off-season?  How do you keep it organized?
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