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Purging the freezer

Once a year I do my best to use up everything that is in the freezer and start fresh. It's amazing what I have forgotten that is in there. Frozen blueberries and mango chunks that make great smoothies and pancakes. Chunks of frozen mozzarella cheese. Italian sausage, boneless chicken thighs and filet mignon that I had cut into pieces.
I do my best to prepare meals with only the forgotten frozen treasures and fresh produce.
When it's empty the freezer gets a good cleaning and I stock up again.
Anyone else? Am I the only one?

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  1. I am a freezer hoarder, in reform. The problem is that when I "make room" in there for the beef order (we buy a bulk order from a local farm) my husband likes to fill the space with things like frozen pizza and ice cream!

    5 Replies
    1. re: cgarner

      Doesn't that mean he can eat it and you can cook what YOU want?

      1. re: lemons

        Our freezer is usually choc a bloc.
        I managed to clear it out by leaving the door open just before we went away for the w/end.
        Rack of lamb, kilo of prawns, 2 litres of homemade chicken stock and totrelini specially brought back from Parma by my brother in law all totally defrosted and a big pool of water on the floor.

        1. re: Paprikaboy

          Ouch!!!!

          1. re: Paprikaboy

            At first I took it that it was an intentional move...

          2. re: lemons

            It does, but then that leaves me with limited space for the meat. I'd rather have grass fed beef than frozen pizza anyday.

        2. Never the whole freezer at a time, too daunting.

          However, whenever I get there to look for something anyway, I would try to do some quick organising, to facilitate the turnover of especially old items. For example, when I see stray bags of meat, bones or cheese scraps for a stew or soup, I would move them all to the same spot at the door compartment. If I see a stray bag of frozen fruit, I would move it to the tall box where I keep all the other bags of fruit and bread (because I tend to use frozen fruit at breakfast where I also use bread). If I see enough items that strike upon a dinner idea, I take them all out and proceed, as well as delay the impending grocery trip.

          A few days ago, I found a stray orange that must have been there from my last long trip away, three months ago. It was at the very back of the freezer that I almost never get to see.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vil

            vil, I do a lot of the same when I know I need to clear out and use up stuff. I do marathon cooking on weekends. It's nice because it makes dinner during the week a breeze and my grocery bill that week is next to nothing. (bonus!)

          2. I only do it when forced to and I have to work on it today since I have a huge Anson Mills order coming this afternoon. I hate it, but it'll be good to purge stuff. Shrimp shells that I was too lazy to take to the dumpster, freezer burned chicken livers that I have trouble parting with, aged schmaltz and god knows what else all need to go.I'd rather open the freezer and see my lovely oats and grits instead of the dreaded mess that's in there now.

            1. A few weeks ago spouse went through the freezer and tossed just a few of those "forgotten frozen treasures", reorganized it all and called out to me just what we had. I posted the written inventory on the freezer door, and we've done a good job eating up the deliciousness we had already bought and paid for. Just need to remember to mark items off the list as you eat them.

               
              1. I have been intentionally hoarding, but I have a marathon stock making simmer day coming up soon (but then all those containers will just fill it back up - eh better than unknown cuts)

                1. With the increase in grocery prices, perhaps a little "hoarding" turned out to be not so bad after all ..

                  1. Well, I'm guilty of not cleaning out the freezer as often as I probably should, but Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene made it mandatory. We were power-free for six days and the freezer did a pretty good job of holding its temps the first few days (because it was very full, not just of food, but of gallon ziplock bags full of frozen water -- I was as prepared as I could possibly get, short of having a generator), but by the fifth or sixth day, I just decided resistance was futile. Everything defrosted and everything got tossed. It was sad. :-( But I have been trying to fill it back up without going too far overboard... who knows when the next power outage will come?

                    Back in June, there was one day my SO couldn't figure out what to make for dinner, so he came home with steaks, shrimp AND chicken... the power went out for a couple of days after some tornado/microburst storms and *poof*... bye bye expensive protein! LOL!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: saturngrrl

                      Irene put us out of power for 4 days but I did have a generator just big enough to keep the fridge going along with some lights. I saved the frozen blueberries and mozzarella!! Hmmm?