It seems like it's been forever since I posted. That might be because it kind of has been. I have been up and down highways so many times. Down the interstate to see Little Sister sing a solo in the church play. Up the highway—and up a mountain—for a knitting retreat in the neighboring state. And I leave tomorrow to head back down the highway to celebrate two birthdays.
With all the coming and going, we have mostly eaten out of the freezer And it's been good to use things up. If you are a regular here, you know that I love keeping a well-stocked freezer. But sometimes we have to remember to use up the food stash before it has lingered in the freezer too long.
Are there rules for how long to keep frozen foods? Yes. I'm linking a couple of reliable resources if you want to learn more.
A huge part of how long foods can be frozen is related to how well you store those foods in the freezer. Proper packaging is so important. "Freezer burn" can ruin food and it's caused by the freezing process sucking the moisture out of the food. Freezer burn won't make you sick. But the food isn't going to taste as good.
Food should be wrapped air-tight with a freezer appropriate wrap or bag. Use the FREEZER bags, not the storage bags. Use HEAVY-DUTY foil and not regular. Two layers of regular foil do not work as well as one layer of heavy-duty. The freezer products are thicker and made to prevent that moisture loss that causes freezer burn.
Your freezer should stay at 0º. Use a thermometer to check. If you get really picky, a non-self-defrosting freezer is the better choice because self-defrosting freezer are constantly thawing and freezing. It's that cycle that keeps the frost away. I've had the old-style freezer. I'm going to stick with my current frost-free version and live with the consequences. Defrosting a freezer is not fun. Seriously, I have not had a problem. It might be that using the foods up fast enough is the solution.
So, what have we eaten up in the last few weeks?
Chicken Taco Soup
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
3-Packet Pot Roast
Hot Dog Chili
Bourbon Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Foods, like soups and stews and saucy recipes, are good freezer choices because that extra liquid helps prevent freezer burn. Some casseroles freeze well. We have learned which ones we like. Baked goods freeze well, but they won't keep as long as meats and casseroles. Again--freezing longer won't make you sick, but the quality won't be as good.
When we get home from this trip, it will be time for me to replenish the freezer. I don't do the big freezer cooking sessions that are so popular. (Google if you want to know more.) Since there are only two of us here, I make my regular recipes...sometimes I might double one...and divide it into meal size portions. Or, even single serve portions. Then Daddy-O can grab and thaw something when I'm away.
Now I'm headed to the kitchen to bake a birthday cake. And next week I'll start cooking again. Daddy-O will be happy.
|This week's super moon shining on our barn.|