What do the contents of your freezer say about you?
More so than the contents of your fridge, the various packages and foilwrapped questionables in your freezer say a lot about who you are. Examples: the health freak with frozen homemade brownies -- relegated to the freezer out of guilt. The busy Chowhound with (gasp!) T.V. dinners hidden behind the frozen pomegranate concentrate. The frequent dinner host with stacks and stacks of frozen staples. The minimalist with nothing. Etc. etc.
What's in yours?
(My freezer contains 2 types of sliced frozen bread, edamame, corn kernels, vanilla smirnoff, chili lime chicken strips from Costco, chicken breasts, peeled shrimp, an emergency Lean Cuisine, unsalted butter and several packs of chewing gum (how I stop myself from chain-chewing))
petite white corn
costco's lamb chops
won ton wrappers
vanilla vodka (smirnoff)
2 different batches of homemade spaghetti sauce
cheese (probably cheddar)
3 kinds of hagen daaz ice cream (vanilla, caramel cone ?, mexican chocolate)
no mai gai (sp?)
I'm finding this thread so fascinating! Of course it's not appropriate to look unannounced into people's food storage space, so I'm happy to catch a permissible glimpse :).
A peek into my freezer reveals:
1/2 loaf of whole grain bread
1/2 loaf of Pepperidge Farms very thin sliced white bread
Generous heel of homemade oatmeal bread
tin of ground coffee (which I only use when baking chocolate sweets)
frozen vegetables (sweet peppers, green beans, whole leaf spinach, carrot/corn/peas mix)
Cooked channa dal (lentils)
Habanero peppers (given to me by a kind garden shop owner when I first came to his store)
Homemade shepard's pie
Homemade turkey meatballs (mini and full size)
Homemade tomato sauce
1/2 boneless leg of lamb
Lamb loin chops
Leftover chicken bones
"Chicken jelly" from roasting chickens
Turkey bacon for flavoring soups
1/2 block of jalapeno havarti cheese
Individual slices of homemade chocolate cake
Breyers double-churned ice cream (Neopolitan)
Ground flaxseed meal
What it says about me...well, I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder. To me, it says that life is busy enough to need convenience foods- but I prefer to make them myself if I can.
It also says that I've run out of frozen fruit!
Various ice gel packs and cryopaks (because every muscle ache requires a new one)
Vial of Botox
4 different boxes of popsicles (we have issues)
Bottle of limoncello
Turkey breakfast sausage
Boneless chicken breast
18 lb. turkey
Ground beef, pork, veal ("meatloaf mix")
Half a bag of frozen peas
Quart container of homemade chicken stock with escarole
Bottle of fish oil (gotta get those omega 3's!)
Half a loaf of NY rye "When Pigs Fly" bread
Panko bread crumbs
Until yesterday there were also 2 quarts of homemade split pea, ham, and habanero soup which has since been devoured.
My freezer reveals that I hate to waste stuff, and always think I'm going to find a use for odds and ends. So there's usually the crusts of bread, frozen until I get around to toasting them and making breadcrumbs (it happens. Sometimes.) Lots of stock, which I do use. Lots of little Ziplocs of chipotles in adobe and tomato paste, which I sometimes remember to use. Scraps for stock, which I usually remember to use. Leftover braising liquids, which I never remember to use. Pig trotters and fresh bacon and beef hearts and other off bits from buying meat in quantity that I have to figure out what to do with. Lots of meat, though it's been a while since we've gone in on a pastured emat purchase, so I'm down to lots of ground beef/pork/lamb and a few packages of stew, one or two roasts. Ground elk. Chicken sausage the boyfriend likes. Frozen fruit for smoothies, which I remember often enough that I don't have to throw the bags away. Gin. Many trays of ice cubes. Cranberries. Homemade tomato sauce. Bacon. Butter. Beef fat. Overripe bananas for banana bread (I WISH I remembered these). Corn on the cob. Peas. Ancient coffee. Some forgotten leftovers in individual packages (I remember those for the first two weeks, and if I haven't eaten them by then, they're lost).
Oh, I live alone, just to make sure y'all understand the depth of the crazy.
I lurrrrrve this thread. I definitely think you can read things about people from the contents of their fridge/freezer. I also just purged my freezer, and I'm feeling oh-so special because things no longer fall on me when I open the door.
my kitchen freezer:
* blue ice
* butters - organic, raw and Plugra
* org peas
* pineapple chunks
* stainless wine bottle holder to chill
* marble wine bottle holder
* two boxes of arborio rice
* shrimp from WF/TJ's
* sprouted 7-grain bread
* lots of small containers of chicken broth
* plastic bag of ends, scrapings, stems for broth
* several containers of smoked turkey broth
* many containers of black-eyed pea soup
* handful of containers of other soups
* squash from last summer's garden
* steel-cut oats
* five-grain cereal
* corn meal
* almond meal
* leftover pork loin with garlic, rosemary & fennel seed - from enormous roast
* unidentifiable object wrapped in many layers of in tin foil and plastic wrap.
* what's left of one fifth of a hog (went in on co-op with crunchy mom group) - way too much scrapple, fresh & smoked ham, shoulders/butts, loins, bacon, chops
* buffalo steak
* cubed beef for stew
* beef bones for stew
* cut-up chicken
* more of that squash
Ours says bulk bargain buyers and multiple batch food makers.
2 2quart containers of homade chicken soup base-(typically thicken and topped with biscuits in 'pot pie' form.
1 1quart container of Beef Bourguignon. We typically make triple batches of this as it is a nice round number of wine bottles.
3 1 quart containers of spaghetti sauce. Half turkey and half Spicy sausage.
A large number of frozen corn
Random brisket and ribs smoked by my hubby last summer.
store bought pierogies
Store bought chinese dumplings.
Girl scout cookies
Gumbo -leftover from a friends gumbo feed.
1 smoked turkey breast from the 10 smoked on Thanksgiving.
locally made tamales
The strategic butter reserve.
2 packages of Nueskiessmoked baken....I love living in a state where it is normally in the stores!
Mine says LAZY. I don't cook often at all because I live alone and don't want to bother, and because I have about a foot of counter space.
In the freezer...
Cadbury creme eggs
Trader Joe's soy nuggets
Double Decker bar
3 bags of cranberries
2 bags of shelled edamame
1 bag of green beans
1 shopping bag of splenda freezies
1 bag of grapes for snacking
buffalo grass vodka
sheero wat powder
2 bags of french onion soup
2 bags of chil
2 bags of brown rice (getting low)
2 boxes of stripples (veggie bacon)
2 boxes of prosage patties (veggie breakfast sausage)
vanilla and cafe hagendaaz
white wine cooler components
kaffir lime leaves
lemons and lemon peels
2 freezers, both contents vary
chicken breast, boneless skinless
center cut chops
whole turkey (about 3 years old just never make it to the bottom of the freezer to toss it)
sausage, breakfast and hot italian
tj's roasted corn
tj's garlic naan
tj's steel cut oats
tj's frozen fruit
tj's margarita pizza
tj's tiramisu gelato
tj's lava cakes
tj's brown rice
tj's single serve salmon
tj's french green beans
tj's gnocci al forno
tj's french onion soup
tj's apple strudel
My freezer says I'm a squirrel. I cook as if I had a family of 4 (I live alone and cook for friends and family on occasion). Since I typically only want to eat the same thing twice in a week before I tire of it, the rest ends up in the freezer in one or two serving portions: meatballs, chicken paprikas, mac and cheese, boeuf bourginion, lasagne, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. Some stuff can stay there for years if I'm not careful. I'm trying a new braised short ribs recipe as I type. (Try making braised short ribs for one.) I do bring care packages of certain favorites to my sister or Mom, neither of whom cook much. And I'm always swearing that I'll empty the freezer before I cook anything new but that rarely lasts. I am a compulsive food shopper and I must always try new recipes, thus I will always have leftovers in the freezer. I'll never starve, that's for sure.
Inspired by this thread I cleaned it out today. Before: Likes to make ice cream but doesn't like to eat it. Look out below: you will need those ice packs if the 2 lb meatloaf falls on your bare foot. After: Defrost more, eat out less. I avoided the falling meat loaf and nearly hitting my head on the door. As a reward for my ordeal I have set out the meatloaf to defrost.
We just stocked up on meat last weekend... so our freezer is PACKED.
- about a dozen different packages of frozen bread of varying grades of edibility (everything from Pepperidge Farm sourdough and supermarket bagels to organic wholemeal rolls...)
- Breyers lactose-free icecream and Breyers fried icecream (deliciously cinnamon-flavoured)
- 3 different gourmet chocolate bars
- freezer packs and blue gelpack for injuries
- half-a-dozen mostly-used packs of frozen vegetables (why do they tend to put enough for three into the small bags?)
- large bags of frozen corn, broccoli florets, and California blend
- four different flavours of sausage, individually bagged
- chicken breasts and boneless porkchops
- ground beef, ground turkey and breakfast sausage
- country pork spareribs
- stewing beef, ready to cook
- emergency food - hotdogs, Stouffers lasagne, and microwave-in-the-bag veggies in cheese sauce
- leftover homemade bolegnaise sauce
- one serve homemade chicken curry
- a couple of small containers of chicken stock (I think)
I guess it says I like to cook, but don't have a large budget to do it... and I'm not particularly organised!
7 pounds of duck fat
1 pound of goose fat
4 pounds of butter
truffle butter (3 containers)
roasted tomatoes from my garden last summer
two-pound bag of shrimp and three pounds of bay scallops
two pounds of octopus
1 pound of vanilla beans
1 ounce of saffron
1 ounce of galagal
Some raviolli and other stuffed pasta from Nuova
One boneless leg of lamb
Hmm, let me see...
We have 2 gallons of Breyer's ice cream (hubby's - coffee and choco/vanilla); 2 bags of edamame; Gorton's fish sticks; Tater Tots; frozen spinach; my mom's bbq chicken; chicken tenderloin. You could correctly surmise that we don't cook that much. The only thing I consistently keep around in the freezer is veggies, even the fruit doesn't make it up there.
A bag of frozen ravioli or tortellini, a box of Dr. Praeger's, some unsalted butter, occasionally a pint of ice cream, and whatever meat I've most recently purchased from the grocery store and haven't had a chance to use yet (typically chicken breast, fish, pork tenderloin, pork chops, or sausage).
Right now you would think I was a millionaire with my freezer sampling
1 prime rib roast
6 sirloin steaks
chicken in various cuts and body parts with and without bones/skin
sausages- garlic/cheese homemade jobs
homemade marinara sauce
homemade veggie soup
shrimp- raw frozen with shells
pork chops/roasts/cutlets- just bought the entire loin last week and cut up to fit my needs
frozen veggies or everykind
egg whites (2 per baggie)
bananas- waiting to be made into a wonder banana cake
candles- makes them burn longer and once they are completely burned and are stuck in the candle holder (votive) - when you take them out of the freezer you can just pop ALL the burned wax out of the votive and just wash the now wax free container!
Lesson learned from an overflowing freezer: You know you have a true blue friend if you leave for a 2 month trip leaving your houseplants in care of a friend only to return home to your fridge/ freezer parts neatly stacked on the kitchen counter.
You call the dear friend asking for her to solve this mysterious stacking... did she disapprove of your dirty fridge and decide to clean and air it? She tells you she detected a slight odor as she passed the fridge on the way to the cyclamen and christmas cactus. She... opens the fridge. The contents had turned into goo. Really, goo. The worst being what pooled at the bottom of the freezer. She cleaned and disinfected that giant fridge/freeze and hauled the goo to the trash. Her only comment was that seafood was off the menu for a while.
I will never be able to repay her.
It sez I save too many things, that I am lazy and disorganized, that I drink too much, that I am a carnivor, that the garden was plentiful this year, that I plan on having to live off my stored food for a whole season if need be, that I am a bargain shopper.
I have two globs of tomato paste floating around the upstairs freezer, 4 or 5 bags of brownie and cake crumbs for bobka, vodka at the bottom of the chest freezer that I hid from a certain house guest and then forgot about until last week when I went scrounging around for hot links (and found them under a pile of chickens). Even though I have four giant sacks of green beans from the garden and gave away piles and piles of them, I will still plant a huge amount of them next year. Ditto that for beets.
Does anyone know where I put the ice cube trays? They are MIA.
Let's see, I have:
Ben & Jerry's sorbet
Morningstar corn dogs
Frozen peas for bumps/bruises
A couple lean cuisines for emergencies
Homemade pieroges from my FIL in Chicago
TJ's veggie potstickers
Candles -- I hear it makes them burn longer, I don't know if that's true or not
Wow, I have alot of stuff
Oh! For a bigger freezer! The long lists make me envious. My freezer contains:
Frozen homemade cheese pizza
Bombay Sapphire gin (love it cold too)
store bought ice
ground starbucks french roast
dr. bob's really chocolate ice cream
dove bars dark chocolate
Gino's East Frozen Sausage Pizza
Portillo's italian beef sandwiches (fixin's separate)
almonds, walnuts and pecans
I need to diversify!
Mango sorbet, gin (I like it cold like the vodka folks...), frozen patra (Indian stuffed taro leaves..), frozen peas, raw pappadums my sister-in-law made, and a few frozen filets of halibut left over from hubbies last fishing trip up north a year ago. When the kids were home there used to be a whole bunch of individual mac 'n cheeses (budget gourmet, that kind of thing)....that they would eat for lunch. No more. We're not big freezer people.
Hmmm...off the top of my head while at work, I can recall:
Various grains/flours like grits, cornmeal, wheat germ,
batteries (tho I hear this is useless)
home frozen strawberries home frozen tomatoes
mediocre home-made ravioli
two store-bought pie crusts left over from lazy peach pie emergencies this summer
frozen homemade lasagna freezer packs
home frozen green pepper chunks
vanilla and chocolate ice cream
one frozen homemade waffle
yellow dal dip
two half used bags of bad asian dumplings
one tilapia filet
pork loin roast
8 Italian sausage links
various stock containers
ice cubes of Ming Tsai's veggie stock recipe (too sweet but I can't throw it our since it was a lot of cooking)
Ice cubes of lemon juice
various mystery homemade and ill-labeled curry and chili pastes
two pigs feet for stock
I should probably go home and throw out anything else that I can't remember.
Add us to the list of overly ambitious and disorganized chowhounds!
My freezer says that I live in a small town without a decent grocery. We keep two frig/freezer units, one in the garage. I drive at least 40 minutes roundtrip to find decent edibles, so:
bread in many forms: pitas, sprouted sliced and whole manna, tortillas, bagels, crumbs, SWAD vada (with sambhar), any leftovers from local bakeries, english muffins, Van's waffles
leftover veggie scraps for soup stock, mostly leek greens
corn, edamame, berries, shredded coconut, peeled bananas, spinach, wedge fries, hashbrowns (I know the latter is sacrilege, but convenient.)
ice cream canister
blue ice and real ice cubes
black sesame glutinous rice balls
chikuwa and other fish cakes
gyoza and shumai skins
inari and abura age
brown rice, short and long grain
dog treats (well wrapped!)
variety of nuts and seeds
whole wheat pastry flour and oat flour
cheese ravioli from Cupini's
Tea Dreams chai flavor
bison, freezer burned probably
probably a lot shoved to the back, too
All of which says I cook and bake, have a soft spot for Asian food, and tend towards health foodish habits with some notable exceptions. Also, I give my dog expensive raw food treats!
Not long ago, when buying beans, I read on the side of the bag that for long-term storage a freezer is acceptable (though not recommended), but keeping the beans out of the freezer and in a room temperature air-tight container is a much better idea because the beans are extremely porous and absorb a lot of things found in freezers; smells, water, air in general. It all contributes to a degeneration of the flavour.
If buying large amounts, storing in the freezer in small batches is preferred - e.g. a batch that would last you a week - to prevent re-thawing. Subsequent thaws reduce flavour and quality.
My freezer says I don't shop or cook much anymore.
Like many of you, I have edamame, frozen peas, and vodka. I also have a bag of Starbuck's coffee (for company), wheat bread, Gardenburgers, and two packages of Pepperidge Farm apple turnovers (they were on sale). And in the back, where I dare not look, is a bunch of stuff from my cooking days (including pignoli, apple juice concentrate, homemade pesto, mango slices, a tub of Cool Whip) that's really, REALLY old and needs to be tossed, but I have extreme guilt issues when it comes to throwing away food. I'll probably die with that stuff still in there.
I don't like to keep too much in my freezer. I like to be able to throw a beer in there to get ice cold in as little time as possible.
All I have are ice trays (I hate when I can't get ice at people's places; dumb issue I have), frozen homemade stock, carcasses for future stock and bags of edamame.
I think it's a reflection of the fact that I like to cook fresh, I like making stock, and I like to drink basically ;)
Mine probably says I am not that fond of shopping, or of cooking large batches of food for future use, since it tends to be relatively empty compared to those of some of you.
Generally, you could find tamales (that's my emergency food), ice cream, sometimes vodka, blue ice, frozen peas (to answer the question about why peas and not gel for injuries: it would never occur to me to use gel. Peas work great and I suspect they are cheaper); frozen spinach, gingerroot, bacon, and a chicken or two.
Mine says there's a cooler in the trunk to go across town to replenish the no hormone / antibiotic meat and poulty but I re-thought it since I see the power company digging holes on my street. All I need is to stock up, foodsaver and all, and get an "excuse us for the inconvenience" notice. Gotta check that out first.
Frozen mixed berries
a few ear candle tubes
one free range something or other chicken
blue ice packs
oh, and there are ALWAYS frozen (non-injury) peas
It's too bad we can't post this question to the general, non-Chowhound public. Obviously, people who are proud of their contents are more likely to answer this question, but I'm amazed at how many people could survive for a month or more on the contents of their freezer, and how GOOD the food sounds.
frozen veggies (I preped fresh and then froze)corn,green beans,tomatoes,chopped onion,squash,SPINACH)
frozen organic chickens (2)
about 10 prepared frozen meals (home-made)
frozen chicken stock (all home made)
frozen chicken broth
frozen beef stock
frozen beef broth
frozen veggie broth
frozen beef (I killed and dressed out the cow and then butchered it) LOL
Hagen Daz ice cream (strawberry cheesecake and rocky road)
4 frozen lean cuisine meals
4 frozen Amy's pot pies
frozen italian sweet sausage
frozen mariana sauce
frozen teryiaki salmon
my husbands ice bag for his bad knee
frozen burritos (yes, I made em and froze em)
frozen prepared pinto and navy beans
frozen ravioli (from TJ's)
frozen potstickers and dumplings
I think it says I like to preserve good food.
- 6 one liter Volvic bottles filled w/distilled water (to keep the freezer semi-full & for emergency purposes)
- 1 bottle of Chopin
- raw dog food
- hot dog buns & hot dogs (for DH during football on TV)
- ice tray filled with milk & sugar
- a couple chicken breasts
- baking soda
You know. this is a really interesting thread...I did not think so at first, but then I read ALL of the replies. It really gives some depth to the familiar Nom de Plumes we see every day and almost feel we know..as Chowhounds.
My freezer ? Various packets of Bear, Venison and Moose. 11 Partridge, 2 Wild Turkeys, 5 Geese, 14 Ducks, 3 Rabbits and several pounds of wild Blue Berries, Raspberries and Inky Cap Mushrooms ( the only species I dare to eat because I can not mistake them for any other kind).
8 whole Striped Bass, 9 Salmon and 23 Trout.
Lots and Lots of frozen Tomatoes.
Now, what does that say about me ?
I do not own any ties or wing tipped shoes. I do not spend alot of money at the supermarket. I do not like pre-packaged frozen anything. I am a dammed good shot.
Now, If I could only find a woman that prefers roasted wild Duck with Blueberry Sauce and wild mushroom omelettes to Chicken Burgers or fettucine Alfredo I would have much less time to devote to filling my freezer, I think. :)
where are you from Jimmy? (because from where i hail, your statement would have been "duck with blueberry sauce to lettuce" not many ladies i know eat fettucini alfredo)
if i weren't in l.a. i'd not only prefer the duck, but i'd ask to go hunt it with you! (i descend from a line of french canadian sportsmen, and i've long wanted to return to my roots haha)
keep up the good chow.
Looking at my freezer... People would say... Gosh, she likes Ice Cream, Hotdogs, Grapes and home electronics...
We cook fresh, so our freezer is never really full of 'prep' stuff... just odds and ends.
3 containers of ice cream that I had used to make ice cream sandwiches
1 (used to two) big tub of Kyoho grapes for SO to snack on
2 big bags of New England Hot Dog Buns
3 Bags of Trader Joes Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns (Left over from party)
3 Ice trays (Don't have an ice machine, one tray is Hello Kitty Shaped ice
and every manner of battery known to man...
Why do so many of you freeze nuts?
After the summer and long travels, my freezer is stark empty (it may just have some Acai juice in there,not sure). But it's usually very trivial - it's full of different kinds of red meat (beef and lamb), and some frozen dumplings (chinese or russian).
I used to freeze my coffee beans, but I read in so many places that's it's bad for the coffee, so I just store them in an airtight container. Since veggies are in season, I don't buy frozen vegetables yet. And ice cream - a pint doesn't last more than a day in my house...
While the nuts may not go bad if stored in the pantry, the flavor is not as good as refrigrated nuts. Some of the best almonds I ever had was from a farmer who kept nuts in cold storage and only roasted them prior to sale.
Never considered the freezer though, but I guess like anything else it slows the spoilage down.
My freezer is quite literally the size of a shoe box (I have one of those British under-the-counter-sized fridges with the tiny freezer inside). It contains: two containers of homemade chicken stock, two servings of borscht, half a loaf of rye bread, a rind of parmesan, some phyllo pastry, some ginger, a few kaffir lime leaves, some shredded coconut, and possibly a steak or a couple of chicken breasts. Nothing sits in there for too long--there just isn't room. I hope it says I'm efficient!
Lots of the remains of restaurant dinners for use as future lunches and dinners.
Coffee, butter, ice, bread.
A huge bag of chorizo with leftovers from a chorizo crawl.
Usually chicken carcases and leftover-chicken waiting to be soup or serving-size plastic bowls of said soup ... hmmm trying to figure if there is a way to combine chicken/chorizo in a dish.
Whatever it is I'm experimenting at the moment to see if it will freeze.
Empty ziplock bags that have been used in the past for holding bread and will be reused for that. Never use meat ziploc bags more than once.
Only a few people answered what it says about you. Mine says, AFAIC, that I'm someone who respects food and doesen't want to waste anything. If you can't eat it immediately, don't let it rot in the fridge and toss. Freeze to eat in the future.
After the Queens (NYC) blackouts from this summer, it felt strangely cleansing to clear out the freezer of the clutter and long forgotten items. Now I have a clean freezer and realize what most of the essentials are. Here's what's in there now.
Edamame, garlic shoots, Japanese shokupan (bread), emergency pack of puff pastry, bag of frozen berries (for an emergency coulis), a few portion-sized containers of cooked rice, nori, mentaiko (cod roe), pint of some Haagen Daaz ice cream, packs of natto, sliced pork belly (from the Korean market), nuts, dashi stock in ziplock bags, coffee beans, udon noodles, yakisoba noodles, lots of ice, ice gel packs for the joints (after all the sports).
re: E Eto
I love that your puff pastry and berries are for "emergencies." What emergency use will you put the puff pastry to?
one slab of Pepperidge farm puff pastry
bag of bones waiting to be made into stock
measly bag of shrimp shells and tails that will never be made into stock
Korean banchan my mother made in huge batches and helpfully froze in small ziplock bags for individual defrosting
Korean mung bean pancake batter (also made by mother)--just finished all the frozen pancakes she actually made, as well as the braised short ribs
homemade dumplings (not made by my mother!)
Korean rice cakes
Korean naengmyon noodles
frozen shredded fresh mozzarella (Paula Wolfert says this works for Mediterranean food! Haven't tried it yet)
leftover pork in spicy marinade
leftover Thai green curry
leftover sweet potato-chickpea curry
one slice of rye bread, half a pumpernickel bagel
half a yogurt cake
various dried fish things crammed in there by my mother
Donvier ice cream canister
I think my fridge says that my mother loves me (and doesn't realize I know how to cook).
Here's mine - I'm single and have just the freezer above the fridge compartment:
portions of chipotle peppers
bread, pita, dinner rolls
homemade turkey sausage chili
homemade chicken stock
frozen bananas (for smoothies and baking)
many sausages (upcoming Oktoberfest party)
crumbled feta cheese (for omelets)
hmm... seems I could make a themed meal out of just my freezer contents!
My freezer's in a better state than it's been in some time. I am a meat hoarder, shopping the sales and stocking up, even if I don't always keep up. After a family emergency where I didn't leave the house for a few weeks and still ate well, I made a pledge in a previous post last year to "eat down" before stocking up, and I've done pretty well.
So in my freezer now:
Meat -- a whole turkey, to be cooked this weekend (gonna start defrosting tonight), a couple steaks, about half a pork loin that I butchered into thick chops, a small lamb roast, a chicken fryer, a pound of bacon, a pack of chicken breasts, and some venison (sausage and ground) from a friend
Vegetables/Fruits -- artichoke hearts, tricolor pepper strips, spinach, butter beans, this summer's tomatoes/tomato sauce, a bag of frozen cherries
Stocks -- beef, rabbit, chicken, shrimp, plus bags'o'bones with vegetable ends (duck and chicken right now)
Etc -- a quart or so each of homemade chicken and andouille gumbo, corn chowder, shrimp bisque, banana leaves, a quart of pesto base, a roll of cracker dough for unexpected guests, a few Mary B's buttermilk biscuits, small tubs of tomato paste and chipotle peppers
Vodka, blue ice, white wine sleeve
That's a whole lot more than I thought was in there. Maybe I shouldn't call Project Freezer a success yet. :)
Mine says..."Dinner is Served"...I cook in quantity and freeze.
I have many varieties of homemade soup. There are also ready-to-bake mac & cheese entrees and marinated pork loin roasts. Oh, and of course *lots* of pesto, as well as basil-orange and lime-basil sorbets from summer. I also keep lots of Minor's soup bases on the door, along with my Nueske's bacon "au jus".
Usually I have many more ready to cook entrees, but I had a 60-hour power outage recently, and a lot was lost.
FWF, you need a back-up generator.
But speaking of soups, when making a soup to which a cream/ milk/ butter element is added to finish, do you take the soup up to that point, and THEN freeze, only finishing the soup when reheated? OR, do you make the finished soup and reheat as is? Do both keep as well, and is there any discernable difference in taste once thawed and reheated?
We looked into generators after our "ordeal"...
I think the only soup I make that has lots of cream, milk, and butter is my "Phantom Lobster Bisque", and it freezes beautifully! (Tastes no different from the day it was made.)
For me, the whole point of 'making ahead and freezing' is for the convenience it provides. For example, I don't understand those who leave the cheese out of their pesto, then need to add it later, after defrosting?? What's the point! When I want pesto, I want it now--what if I don't have cheese then--becomes a pain. Plus, my pesto tastes identical to the day it was made--even after 2 years in the freezer. The foods I select to 'make ahead and freeze' taste the same as the day they were made. An exception is pastas (which need water added before freezing, then still are not ideal).
It could be the acidity of the tomatoes in combination with cream--which can be iffy even when adding it to the soup from the 'get-go'.
In the case of tomato soup (being highly acidic), I would probably just add a dash of cream to the defrosted, but still cold soup, prior to reheating to avoid any curdling problems.
I think I read in CI that half & half had a greater likelihood of curdling when added to acidic ingredients. They found milk and heavy cream did not, so a combination of the two would be preferred over using half & half, based on their research.
mine definetly says that I don't use my freezer's contents all that much!
- 2 bags frozen fruit (one unopened the other almost full)
- 4 full bags of frozen vegetables
- 2 bags (both opened) frozen brussel sprouts
- 2 bags (both opened) Jane's ready to microwave chicken breast strips
- 2 cracked ice cube trays
- box of teriyaki chicken skewers
- veggie burgers, unopened.
"overly ambitious, disorganized food collector"
is as clear-eyed as assessment as one can find on these boards, or elsewhere on the Internets.
I sometimes wish I had a giant standalone freezer - but I just watched my friend make a bonfire with 10 years of freezer-burned mess from his, so I'm glad I live in the city and there's no chance of that.
what I do have:
+ a whole fresh wild salmon, cut into dinner size pieces
+ a bag of frozen pork/chive dumplings from Family Dumpling in Brooklyn's Chinatown
+ assorted lumps of mole from Oaxaca and Mexico City - verde, rojo, negro, poblano
+ a bag of frozen mango (I do not know how it got there)
+ homemade stock (mushroom, veg, chicken)
+ half a lamb shoulder
+ a couple paks of organic ground beef, flank steak, and maybe a Tbone that I took in during a localized Brooklyn blackout this summer
+ leftover bread, crushed into breadcrumbs and put to use often enough (ATTN MMRuth!)
+ frozen biscuits from some divine lady in FLA
+ frozen mahimahi that I keep forgetting about
+ the last package of a discontinued gorgonzola walnut ravioli
+ homemade stuffed peppers
+ homemade tomato sauce
+ homemade eggplant/tomato sauce
+ pecans, pignoli, walnuts
+ 4 short ribs, as yet unbraised
missing: bocaburgers, frozen blueberries and homemade eggplant parm
Our freezer says two things about us (1) these people are frugal, and (2) they cook and eat a lot.
We buy our meat from farmers so we get whole hogs and whole lambs butchered to our specifications. We're still chowing through the last of these from last winter. We buy free-range chickens on sale so we have some of these. We have a lot of stock, all kinds, all home made. And we have a lot of food that's been prepared and frozen in smallish containers - Indian curries, beef short ribs, ragu bolognaise, soups, lasagna, homemade pies, homemade ice cream, pesto etc. I don't have time to cook during the week so I made everything over weekends and we heat food when I get home which is always late.
We throw almost nothing away so I have containers of frozen egg whites, bags of stock ingredients (chicken bits, shrimp shells, leek tops etc.), rendered lard (leaf and backfat).
Then we have the stuff which is ready to use - Indian breads, tomato paste, pandan leaves, homemade pastry.
Fortunately we have a big (18 cu ft) upright freezer as well as a largish freezer compartment over the fridge. Both are usually pretty full all the time.
Hmmm.. Here's a rough idea of what's in my freezer:
-Assorted meats (about half a Costco pack of boneless chicken breasts, 5 1 lb. tubes of ground beef, some porkchops, a couple of ribeye steaks, a pound of bacon;)
-Frozen veggies (peas, corn, stir-fry mix that didn't turn out so great)
-Some frozen pizzas (2 Red Baron, 1 DiGiorno, although these days I don't eat these as much as I used to. If I want pizza I'll generally go for Papa Murphy's, the best option in a vast wasteland of local pizza places;)
-A few items of convenience foods, most of which have been sitting around for ages and should probably just be tossed (a Costco pack of Taquitos, a couple of frozen pot pies, some burritos that might be old enough to vote, some Kirkland Signature ravioli;)
-Assorted items in the door (orange juice concentrate, some chocolate, a couple of ice packs bought for a recent foot injury that went away quickly afterward, a few Otter Pops left over from the summer, a few Eggo waffles;)
-Ice Cream (about half a container of Tillamook Mint Chocolate Chip that I didn't much care for, and most of a pint of Snoqualmie Gourmet Coconut ice cream, which is from a local place, and is ridiculously good stuff but absolutely loaded with calories)
I don't really have a lot of freezer space, since I'm in a rented apartment. At times I've been tempted to just go pick up a chest freezer, but I'd have nowhere to put one. I probably need to throw out a bunch of stuff one of these days, since I'm probably never going to eat a good portion of what's in there.
I just went shopping, so it''s pretty full. I have ice, breyer's lactose-free vanilla ice cream (just bought today - haven't eaten ice cream in years!), thin-crust cheese pizza, ground turkey, turkey breast filets, salmon, tilapia, edamame, peas, green beans, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, baking powder, assorted frozen fruit, batteries, sprouted hamburger buns, several different sliced breads, butternut squash, Morningstar Farms lentil loaf, and a container of tomato-basil pasta sauce that's at least 4 years old.
My freezer says that I am an overly ambitious, disorganized food collector - husband is always complaining about how stuffed our freezers are so what we have, generally is as much as they will hold.
Here are some key items tho:
pesto (this year's still to be made)
whole chile peppers, and various asian ingredients (galangal,lemon grass, shredded coconut, pandan leaves, fresh tumeric etc)
laksa paste, remnants of huge gift from a friend
pot of Ena Widjojo sambal
frozen spinach, beans, shelled edamame, baby peas, etc
various breadstuffs, sliced is nice, parathas,etc
steaks, frozen shrimp, various other meats and sausages
chicken and meat stock
half of a humongous Costco apple pie, cut in three parts for gradual defrosting
pie crusts (2)
lots of nuts
chicken gizzard or bolognese ragu
big bag of grated pecorino romano
the great unknown of freezerburned items hiding in there somewhere!
I took this opportunity to do an inventory:
2 bottles potato vodka
1 bottle grain vodka
2 bottles of soju
1 bottle limoncello
2 bottles homemade blackberry-infused vodka
2 trays of ice
4 martini glasses
7 containers of store bought ice cream
5 containers of homemade ice cream and sorbet
1 tupperware container of raspberry borscht (should throw this out, too cold to eat now)
1 quart of tomato sauce (my SO must have done that)
2 servings of savory bread pudding (Mmm! I think I'll eat some right now)
1 loaf of homemade wheat bread
1/2 loaf of homemade challah
1 unopened box of portobella garden burgers (expiration date 10/20/07. I have another year!)
4 tod man pla
4 bags of baby lima beans
4 bags of edamame
2 bags of shelled edamame
1 bag of petite peas
4 pounds of raw shrimp
2 pounds of raw scallops
2 pounds of raw seafood mix
2 blocks of pressed tofu
1 disk of sweet tart dough
8 quart bags of blackberries
10 quart bags of sliced peaches
4 quart bags of blueberries
1 partial bag of store-bought raspberries
1 gallon bag of watermelon chunks
1 roll of thin mint Girl Scout cookies (My SO must have lost track of these!)
2 yogurt sticks (where did these come from? I have never seen these before.)
7 pounds of butter
ice cream maker canister
2 cloth covered gel packs (for injuries)
Mine says, "No wonder I don't have anything to take to work for lunch." Sort of random collection of items. I guess I wouldn't want to be judged by my freezer alone!
The weird thing is, I've been thinking my freezer isn't big ENOUGH! Lately, I've actually been eyeing a chest freezer. But I guess it's bigger than I thought, but I'm also a really compulsive packer; when I travel, people are always amazed I can fit enough for several weeks into just 1 piece of carry-on luggage.
Good Lord! You better hope the power doesn't go out (unless you have a generator).
Our power was out for 7 days last winter...I'm asking Santa for a generator this year. The freezer losses were painful.
Things I made (or shelled or grew or picked, etc.)
apple sauce and apple butter
crumbled biscuits (to make dressing)
Mario's basic tomato sauce
Thai green curry/coconut sauce
Chocolate "cake scrapin's" (the domes cut off cake layers)
Things I bought:
Breyers light vanilla
hot dogs (which my husband eats on "fend for yourself night"
hot dog buns (see above)
injury peas and 5 ice packs and a Camelbak full of Endurox
HD chocolate sorbet
shredded unsweetened coconut
Downstairs freezer is full of venison
One could deduce from my freezers that my husband hunts, we ride mountain bikes and crash alot, the basil and apple crops were great, the tomato crop was poor, and I like to make chocolate and coconut cakes.
To answer the original post, mine contains:
Frozen garbage for the compost.
Poland Spring water bottles (for the Coleman igloo picnic)
Juice boxes (same as above).
Butchered chicken in brown wax paper, re-packed into small ziplocs.
Chicken carcasses, the start of a collection.
What a great question.
This is a link to a photo diary project made by friends (identified only by first name & city)
The photographs were submitted by a group of eighty or so people living around the world--Washington DC, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, etc. Each person's photo diary was made according to list of key moments into people's usual daily lives. Many involve food. The photos were all taken on the same day, June 20, 2004.
What is in your Fridge?
Look under "Results" of the project, under "Frigo" (the French word for 'fridge') to see a global cross-section of people's eating habits.
My freezer... the following are always there.
The reusable disposable fridge/freezer containers are fantastic. I have then in my freezer full of homade chicken soups, German style sweet n sour sauerkraut with pork, Italian meatballs in sauce, Italian meat spaghetti sauce, smoky split pea and ham hock soup, chicken fat, and duck fat.
I have roast chicken and smoked ham demi-glace frozen in cubes.
Bags of frozen peas and corn.
German style link liverwurst (it tastes and is prepared sort of like scrapple)
Several types of rustic sausages liek wild boar
Assorted baggies of marinade pastes made from green garlic, roasted hot and sweet peppers, chipotle in adobo, etc.
Hamburger buns since I grill a burger around once every two weeks.
Some prime rib steaks for a steak emergency.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Fresh lemon and lime juice.
Several types of citrus zest.
Several fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, etc.
Chocolate mint ice cubes.
I also have a wine fridge and the freezer has several bottles of homemade limoncello, limecello, and orangecello; as well as several varieties of hops and specialty yeasts for beer, mead, and hard cider.
My freezer is a graveyard. A carcuss from my last turkey. 15# of beef neck bones from the coworker who bought a quarter carcass and failed to account for ALL of what she paid for. And of course, a few ham hocks and smoked neck bones. Ready for the winter soup season.
Also, two quarts of milk, two or three loaves of free bread, a few lbs of sausage for seasoning and a few pounds of frozen vegetables.
I have two refrigerators. In the main one there are I don't know how many cans of frozen grapefruit juice, since my husband loves the stuff and buys it when it's on sale. There are perhaps four partial packages of frozen vegetables - lima beans, peas, corn. Some dry scallops, frozen oysters, gulf shrimp, chinese sausage. There are a few bags of home made roasted tomato sauce, lots of shrimp stock that I really need to use, duck stock and pork stock. (My husband will make stock from anything.) There is some coffee, some freezer blocks, some slab bacon. Sesame seeds, pine nuts, almond flour. Freezer blocks, phyllo sheets, ice.
The other freezer is Jackp's World of Homemade Sausage. Venison sausage, pork sausage, beef sausage. More bags of roasted tomato sauce. Some frozen roasted chunks of white pumpkin, several bags of frozen peaches and more shrimp. Jowl bacon and marrow bones. Pecans and still more freezer blocks.
If I had room for my Donvier insert I'd put it into the lower freezer, but we have to get rid of a lot of home made sausage before that'll fit in.
Various home-made stocks
Smoked, oven-roasted tomatoes
Wild slamon fillets
Portion-size bags of various cooked legumes and brown rice
Meyer lemon juice and rind
Unbaked pie shells
Slices of white chocolate-iced lemon/blueberry cake
Various types of nuts
Sliced sourdough bread
I guess this says, "Be prepared."
BTW I have a kitchen freezer for the family and my stash in the basement. The basement is what I'll address here.
It says a few things:
1 - Summer is coming to an end so the ice cream choices are moving from fruity to more serious. Sherbets are on the decline and fudges, coffees, rocky roads are arriving.
2 - I need to spend some time making my winter sauces. BTW, Hazan's Bolognese is simmering away :-))).
3 - The market has not run a special on Mystic Pizza, only one left. Need more peps to get me through that 9PM desire.
4 - Gotta make more meatballs
5 - Lasagne is completely out. Gotta make more Lasagne
Oh Man this is depressing. I am almost out of food.
Mine is full of spent carcasses and stuff from shrimp, crab, chicken and the like.
It says, here's a guy who really cares about the food he makes and makes his own stock to prove it.
It also says he's really lazy and needs to get on with it because you couldn't fit an ice cube in my freezer right now.
re: Das Ubergeek
re: Robert Lauriston
I've never had that issue, but my morning coffee comes to me at work, so I don't make coffee at home so often... usually only as the international symbol of "the meal is over, get the hell out".
(Just kidding. I'm not that rude. But making coffee does send that signal politely.)
re: Das Ubergeek
I also have a bag of peas for injuries - recent sprained ankle. Also, several chicken carcasses, chicken thighs, chicken feet, beef short ribs (raw and braised), sliced brown bread, lb of butter, pine nuts, pecans, pork chops, some unidentifiable ziploc bags, asparagus ends (for soup), pancetta, bacon, breadcrumbs, cranberries (from last year), veal glace, slow roasted tomato halves, smoked salmon, three packages of chicken sausage (emergency dinner), more cranberries, another lb of butter (I always stock up at WF) and I'm now not digging any further b/c things are falling out at me. Note that all of this is stuffed into one those little freezer compartments above the fridge. I don't freeze coffee beans ... Oh, and various bits of ends of french bread loaves of various lengths which my husband sticks in the freezer (unwrapped - yum - freezer burn) so as "not to waste" and which I surreptiously through out from time to time.
re: Das Ubergeek
mine says that i'm a very busy person who tries her best to eat healthy.
i have an annoyingly small freezer (i'm a renter and it came with the apartment). unfortunately, i have a great need for frozen items because i am a graduate student with very little time to cook with a fiance who doesn't cook beyond heating up frozen foods. so our freezer is packed with frozen rice bowls, edemame, corn, pizzas of different types, meat (pork loin, sausage and chicken breasts at this moment), mixed berries, and ravioli. there is no room for an ice tray. loading it after a trip to the grocery store is like playing a game of tetris.
I have a small/medium-sized chest freezer in the basement in addition to the upstairs fridge's freezer.
The chest freezer contains various meats I've purchased on sale (ground beef patties I've formed and frozen, boneless chicken breasts, tri-tips, flank steak, pork tenderloin, etc.), as well as pounds of butter, frozen homemade spaghetti sauce, homemade chicken stock/broth, mashed bananas in 1-cup increments, homemade applesauce, frozen apple cider, pizza dough, various bags of TJ's roasted corn or other veggies, sometimes some Trader Joe's veggie ravioli and/or noodle bowls to take to work if I don't have any leftovers, and always coffee beans. Oh, and often a couple of 6-packs of Thomas' English muffins, as I usually have one every morning for breakfast, and it's easier just to have several 6-packs available to bring to work.
Upstairs fridge has everything from frozen containers of mashed squash, leftover gravy, cranberry-orange relish, homemade plum ketchup, a couple of Tbsp. of tomato paste, small packages of bacon (usually 3 slices cut in half and wrapped), frozen peas, fresh lemon juice, orange juice concentrate, frozen fresh cranberries, frozen fresh pomegranate seeds, and who knows what else, as I haven't cleaned it out in awhile. :-)
Dr. Praegers are really good... Right now I have boxes of their veggies burgers, spinach patties, broccoli patties, along with Garden Burger veggie burgers as well... the real chunky veggie ones, not the soy burgers.
We also have vodka, ice cream pops, lotsa ice, frozen edamame and stri fry veggies, and some frozen bagels, just in case. We tend to by fresh but we always have a few quick things on hand just in case... Freezer is never really full... fridge is another story...
Almost forgot... a big bag of dog bones from the butcher for my puppy, Sammy.
As the winter comes, I will add home made soups and sauces in portions...
We have two freezers one for parties and one for family eats.
Party freezer contains vodka, ice, various premade nibbles (both homemade and bought), frozen pizza dough and about 5 gallons of homemade tomato sauce. Usually only 1/2 full until 3 days before a party.
Family freezer has chicken, fish, various cuts of beef, plenty of ice, pastas, premade sides (both homemade & bought), ice cream, and veggies. Rarely empty.
We don't freeze bread; prefer room temp.
I don't like to freeze bread either, but in the summer sandwich bread goes moldy so fast -- sometimes as little as 24 hours. For artisanal loaves or home-baked we'll eat it before it stales, or use it that way, but sandwich loaves have to freeze. The toaster brings them back to life OK. In the winter we can leave it out.
Frozen spinach, frozen okra, frozen peas, for emergencies; lots and lots of different cuts of meat, pastured beef and some pork; a tub of lemon sorbet; half a loaf of sliced wheat bread; a couple of condensed-juice containers, one of which is open and half full of bacon grease (keeps the smell down);several bags of triple-wrapped I-dunno-what-it-is; and ice.
Usually there's nothing in there but coffee beans, vodka, limoncello, bacon, ice, blue ice, chiller sleeves, and Donvier buckets. Once every couple of months there's ice cream.
That list could give the wrong impression. The refrigerator's usually packed with fruit, vegetables, a variety of oils and fats, a wide variety of more or less perishable ingredients, and leftovers.