Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You Don't Wanna Know What I Freeze...

A friend of mine recently asked Stay At Home Mum - Secret To Living On One Wage about 'freezing lamingtons'. Being the fantastic site that it is, loads of women offered advice ranging from 'sure, we do it' to 'no, if the label says 'has already been frozen and defrosted for your convenience', I wouldn't do it.'  So I piped up with 'you don't even want to know what I freeze!' And now I need to blog about it to justify myself.

Basically, if it fits in my freezer, consider it able to be frozen.

I know I'm probably going to cop a lot of flack about this, so I would like to preface this blog with the fact that we live in a fairly remote part of Australia. Not TOO remote, but then again, I don't know too many people who would be happy doing an 80km round trip for a lonely bottle of milk or loaf of bread. Obviously this method of existing isn't going to suit everyone, and I'm not advocating it as the best way of living either. I learned pretty early on that if you don't freeze anything, you spend a lot of money on fuel. So here's how it works FOR ME. If it makes you angry, please bite your tongue. I do what I do. It hasn't killed any of us yet, and I'm actually pretty careful about all this. It doesn't suit everyone, but then again, neither does life in the bush. Before you walk in my shoes, please don't judge me too harshly.

In our freezer you will find:

1. Milk and bread.

The  dates on the labels frighten some people, but I have learned that the success of this process is all in the defrosting. Take your time, be organised, and whatever you do, DON'T leave it on the kitchen sink in the summer overnight. Never had an issue with it. Ever.

2. Meat.

We live on a farm. I see the whole 'circle of life', and I'm responsible for clearing out space in the freezers to make room for it all. We have 3 freezers primarily for this reason. The key is to label and date all packages, and be aware of safe storage lengths. Never had an issue with this either. Again, the key is to defrost slowly in a refrigerator. I never refreeze ANYTHING that has been defrosted at home. I am VERY cautious of chicken, and I have a whole set of rules alone for this product.

3. Baked goods.

I have an entire shelf in one of our freezers dedicated to baked goods, and another one for the products involved in the making of baked goods. Flour, sugar, cocoa, chocolate, bread crumbs etc. They all get infested with weevils and god knows what other creepy crawlies in our summer heat out here. But they are perfectly safe inside the freezer. Sometimes brown sugar has a tendency to go hard, but it's nothing a bit of defrosting can't fix (or a slice of lemon in the container can't fix). I've also learned that defrosting items in small amounts is handy too.

4. Pre-cooked meals.

Because my husband is 'kitchen-ly challenged', whenever I am going away, or just wanting to be organised, I cook meals in bulk and label and freeze them. This comes down to the type of food you cook of course. Stew - yes, no problems. Quiche - no. Completely awful if frozen. There are cookbooks dedicated to this point.

5. Dairy.

Milk aside, here's where it gets tricky. I have frozen almost every dairy you can imagine. Here's a few no-no's. Sour cream, cream, soft cheeses, dips etc. can't be defrosted quickly. If you have the patience, cream and sour cream will defrost in a refrigerator, but I refuse to freeze cheeses I want to serve when friends come over for nibblies. They are never quite the same. Also, some sandwich cheeses don't freeze well either, and become crumbly after defrosting. It depends on the brand, but as a general rule, I only freeze block cheese at a pinch. Grated cheese LOVES the freezer. No issues at all.

7. Vodka.

I need it there. It's a safe place. It will never freeze. But will make you feel warm and happy when you take it out to consume. Do not confuse vodka with beer or Coke. Bad, bad, bad...

What else have you frozen?


  1. Love this, have not tried to freeze all of the special baked goods that you have.
    like you a 50km round trip to the supermarket --need to be savvy!
    Wine chills in 20 mins wrapped in a wet t-towel!!

  2. yep I have frozen all that stuff too. I have also done butter, its fine and lemon juice and yogurt- to use later in cakes, and cream to cook with later(it must be well wizzed!)

  3. Great tips ladies!!! Will remember these ones!

  4. personally, we invested in a coldroom ... a life saver living 85kms one way from town ... my mother freezes pumpkin and it defrosts and cooks well .. P

  5. I also freeze butter and lemon juice, Jodie. To add to the list: peeled bananas (not with skin on) - either use them frozen instead of ice-cream in milk drinks or let them thaw and use in cakes; nuts and seeds of any description - their high fat content means they go rancid quickly otherwise and they're far too expensive to risk that happening! Ginger keeps best in the freezer too and is easier to grate when frozen. I also find flour keeps best frozen. Any tips for keeping weevils out of rice and pasta? I keep ours in a plastic lock-box with a handful of bay leaves thrown in to repel the beasties, but that hasn't stopped them :(

  6. Frozen most of that stuff (and I don't have the excuse of remote living!) Did you know you can freeze jam and cream scones? We had leftovers after a school function but they were already made up. Chucked them in the freezer and brought them out for a staff morning tea a week later! I have a brilliant book called the Seasonal Freezer Cookbook which tells you how to freeze all sorts of fruit, veges and meat and has recipes to use them in too.
    Love that I'm not the only one to freeze some strange stuff!

  7. We have a cold room (love it!) - but after all the flooding in the last 12 months, even milk won't last in a cold room over an extended period. I love fruit in our cold room. Haven't tried pumpkin... only pumpkin soup - but do the bananas too - brilliant! x

  8. You will find all that in my freezer as well. No surprises there!!

  9. yep, freeze that and more, sometimes one gets a free surprises at the bottom of the freezer if it has managed to get down there...dips freeze well but have to sit on the bench for an hour or so to defrost. block and grated cheese, and those kraft sandwhich cheeses that the kids love freeze too.

  10. Yeah I freeze all of those things too. Not so much at the moment because I don't have the freezer space and am less than 5 minutes walk to the supermarket, but growing up we always had heaps of frozen stuff.
    You can also freeze passionfruit pulp :)
    In ice cube trays works well, then you can add it to icing or punch. I always try to bring a big bag of passionfruit back with me after visiting Mum and Dad. Same method works for lemon juice, lime juice etc.

  11. You can practically freeze and unfreeze everything which is edible but fruits and all don't last!


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