Kitchen tools can really take over one’s life. After many diligent years of shopping, I can safely say that I now possess everything I need to have a happy life in the kitchen.
That’s not to say that I have everything I want. But we have a rule:
When a new must-have object comes in, another one goes out.
Recently I inherited my grandfather’s prized chocolate malted machine. To accommodate the new addition in the small-appliance corner of our kitchen counter, the automatic bread maker had to go. Sadly the bread machine is now relegated to the garage, where it can be called upon as needed. But a few chocolate malts, a mango lassi or two, and some monkey milk from the new machine help to wash away the sadness.
When my daughter was born, I was struck by the need for another kitchen tool. And while Mrs. Fussy met it with some initial skepticism, this appliance has become a favorite of ours. It is our chest freezer.
Shortly before Little Miss Fussy was brought into the world, I realized that people were going to be bringing us food. And we needed someplace to put it. The freezer compartment of our refrigerator is pretty small, but it seemed silly to replace a perfectly good working appliance just to get a larger freezer.
And the chest freezer could go in the garage.
When my mother came out to visit, she brought several trays of meatballs from her favorite Italian market in Providence, RI along with some of her other favorite dishes from the store. These got divided up into vacuum-sealed pouches and thrown in the chest freezer. A few days later when my grandmother sent up dozens of bagels from my favorite producer on Long Island, the freezer was easily able to accommodate them as well.
My mother says, “It’s like money in the bank.” The convenience of having a wholesome food prepared, that just needs to be thawed and heated is always reassuring on days when cooking doesn’t seem so appealing.
The presence of the freezer has changed the way I cook. My new motto is, “If it’s worth making, it’s worth making a ton of it.” There always seems to be room in the freezer for a couple more containers.
It’s winter now, so the frozen bounty is weighted towards hearty bean dishes and soups. I’ve also been shying away from canned soups and beans recently as concerns have been rising about BPA in can linings. Regardless, homemade tastes better.
Curious what I’ve got on hand? Here’s the rundown.
5 containers from the Soup Swap
4 containers of The Most Delicious Split Pea Soup in the Known Universe
2 containers of southern style black eyed peas
2 containers of German white bean soup (at least that’s what I call it)
1 container of sausage with French green lentils
1 container of New Orleans style red beans (without the rice)
1 container of chana masala
1 container of Cuban black beans
5 chicken carcasses
1 bag of whole cranberries
——– the line of shame ——–
1 six-pack of Klondike Bars with Heath toffee
1 box of Goya ham croquettes
1 box of Dominex eggplant
1 box of Morningstar Farm Grillers
1 box of Central Market Classics Four Cheese Pizza
5 bags of Central Market Classics extra-fine green beans
4 bags of Price Chopper tender petite peas
3 bags of PictSweet Deluxe baby broccoli florets
1 bag of Price Chopper corn kernels
I feel compelled to justify everything below the line of shame, but that will need to be reserved for another post.