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It’s Freezing

February 4, 2010

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 10:16 am

    My partner and I keep talking about getting a chest freezer. I think it would be a good investment. We really want to find a way to get more of our meat from local farmers and with prices on meat at the farmer’s market what they are, I think the only way we will be able to swing it is if we find someone to sell us in bulk at a fair price. Our regular freezer is pretty much always filled to capacity because we eat so much bread (everyone brings lunch to school and work) so I am always buying a lot when it goes on sale. Especially if it’s organic and free of HFCS.

    Why the shame on the frozen veggies? It’s not ideal but this time of year and this locale do not leave much in the way of variety. And frozen is just one step down from fresh. If I had to solely eat locally I would stab myself in the eye with a gnarled carrot. The winter produce at the farmer’s market has been looking pretty pathetic.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:37 am

    I don’t understand the veggie shame. Frozen vegetables actually contain MORE of their original nutrients than fresh, unless you pick them from your own garden and use them the same day. And corn and peas freeze particularly well. Like I’m going to shell peas. . .

  3. mirdreams permalink
    February 4, 2010 12:02 pm

    I’m with Jennifer, I thought the shame items were going to be, well, more shameful. My shame freezer items are things like a single chicken tender in a plastic baggie so encrusted with frost it’s hard to know what it once was. Perfectly good peas don’t make the shame cut in my house.

  4. February 4, 2010 12:21 pm

    >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.

    You do know how happy this makes me, right?

    And I would gladly buy a machine that makes only lassis.

  5. kerosena permalink
    February 4, 2010 4:13 pm

    If you call the Price Chopper peas ‘petit pois,’ you may move them above the line of shame.

  6. phairhead permalink
    February 4, 2010 10:16 pm

    Klondike bars are nothing to be ashamed of!!!

  7. February 5, 2010 12:54 am

    Oh what I wouldn’t do for anything heath.

    Like everyone else, what’s up with the cup of shamerade for frozen veggies? I’ve been kind of low on veggies lately, and am really looking forward to stocking up the freezer with some veggies.

  8. llcwine permalink
    February 5, 2010 9:07 am

    I too agree, nothing shameful with frozen veggies or Klondike bars…I personally have a few boxes of the no sugar variety in my extra freezer as they were on sale this week at P-Chops, and then had an additional coupon for further discounts. Looking at your list, I don’t see one thing that is shameful…something like a 7/8th’s eaten pint of ice cream might come close….but still.

  9. February 6, 2010 7:01 pm

    frozen pizza!?!?!? are you enjoying the vacuum sealer? i’m wondering if it would be a good investment over here. every time i freeze something, it burns. we are about to get a new fridge, so maybe i should see what happens. i want some monkey milk!

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