Saturday, 16 August 2008

Ode to my Deep Freeze

Well, maybe not an ode, exactly. Poetry is not my strong suit, especially if it is supposed to rhyme. But I must say I do very much like the deep freeze we purchased a few weeks ago. It is a medium sized one (12.8 sq ft) with an energy star rating. I wanted to get one that would be big enough to store a decent amount of summer produce but small enough that I could keep it pretty full for energy efficiency's sake.

So far it is still kind of empty, but I plan on making some headway with that over the coming weekend. Already I was able to make a huge batch of onion, potato, leek, and garlic scape cream soup which used up a bunch of my CSA produce. Normally I can only make a small batch of anything at a time, but now I have two family size and four single size servings of this tasty soup in my freezer ready to go! I have plans to make some of my favorite biscuits to have on hand, as well as using up a bunch more of my CSA potatoes to make frozen hashbrown patties. I'll also be picking saskatoons and wild raspberries like crazy before they shrivel up on their respective bushes in the hot hot heat expected here this weekend.

I see the freezer as part of a transition towards a lower energy future. The freezer itself takes electricity to run, but I think it will translate into fewer trips to the grocery store, a bit less stove/oven use and less food waste. It will also free up some time, both daily and in the big picture, to give me a chance to practice cooking and storing things on a different scale while I learn lower energy food storage methods like canning, dehydrating and fermentation. And if/when one day electricity is just too costly or precious to use to run my little deep freeze, I can always dig a hole in the yard, plop the freezer in there and use it as a makeshift root cellar.

I am a lot less intimidated by the coming harvest now that I have my freezer!


Maggie said...

Freezing is a great way to preserve food and excellant ways to conserve flavour and nutritional value of foods.
I agree freezing saves shopping trips and time in food preparation time.
One thing that is essential is a log of what you cook and add to the freezer, otherwise things can get lost or be kept too long.
Cooked dishes also increase in flavour over time so cut down on onions, garlic and salt.
Add lots of fresh herbs to reheated dishes to add fresh flavours and enzymes.
I am sure you will enjoy your freezer.

Heather @ SGF said...

Congratulations on the new freezer. What a great way to eliminate waste. Have leftovers from the farmers market or that CSA box? Freeze them for later, when food is a little low. Sounds like you made a great buy!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Horray for the new freezer. I am jealous! We have very limited freezer space in our apartment, it is so frustrating how much stuff I try to keep in there, but we're like you, trying to live more sustainably and put up as much local food for the winter as possible.

Keep us up to date on what you fill you lovely deep freeze with!

Theresa said...

Thanks for those tips Maggie. Do you have any suggestions for a freezer log? It seems like a good idea to start one now, before I get too many things in the freezer. I have been labelling the containers with date and contents, but since I don't have X-ray vision to see to the bottom of the freezer, a log seems like a very good idea!

Thanks Heather - I'm really looking forward to the day when I can come home from work and just extract my chosen dinner from the freezer contents! What a time saver that will be, and I won't have to resort to frozen pizza to have a quick and easy dinner.

Jennifer - I will do my best to keep freezer updates coming - that will be a bit of a log in and of itself I suppose!

Ok, I'm off to try pickling the beans I just picked!

Maggie said...

A quick log would be just a list of what you put in the freezer, the date and quantity of containers.
Then as you use things you just cross off what you have used.
eg veggie stock- Aug 17 08 - 1 2 3
blanched peas Aug 18 08 - 1 2
veggie burger Aug 19 o8 -1 2 3
If you leave the page in a plastic sheet, with a pen, attached to the side of the freezer, it is easy to update the list as you use things.

Theresa said...

Thanks Maggie - that sounds very simple and effective!