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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Stocking the Freezer and Working with the Pantry Store

 This is the freezer I have gone for from ao.com

http://ao.com/product/EC4201AOW-Electrolux-Chest-Freezer-White-27173.aspx

I now have a challenge for now and into  the New Year of re-stocking the freezer so that we have a variety of meals available to us.  I have never ever been without a full size chest freezer since I was 19 years of age and this last year has been difficult to say the least as I was used to squirreling all sorts of goodies away to help with quick meals, variety in meals available to us.  Being budget conscious i.e.getting maximum usage out of ingredients i.e. making my own stocks and gravies out of next to nothing being prime among those reasons.  A good basis of home made stock makes lovely soup and if you freeze some of the stock in individual ice cube trays one or two cubes can be added to home made gravy; and if you use home roasted veggies which are slightly past their best, cook them and then pop them through a sieve this can then be frozen in pots or individual cubes and helps give a lot more flavour to home-made gravy.  

My mother has always maintained that it is the gravy that makes the meal.  Think of stews where we end up mopping up the gravy with hunks or slices of bread because there is so much flavour in the gravy.  It is our staples and the choice of our ingredients that are specific in introducing the maximum amount of flavour to whatever dish we are cooking and this varies from household to household.

During the past year I have found other ways around things but it has only gone to prove to me that for me the freezer is an essential as it enables me to squirrel away fruit and goodies for later in the season and the ability to say make fresh Seville Orange Marmalade after depleting the earlier stocks put down in the year so that technically you do not run out of marmalade throughout the year and you maintain and preserve a working stock of those items that you as a household use.  For instance I use a lot of apples, and I usually process it in bottles for use as an ingredient in puddings but also as an apple sauce in its own right.  I also use the pureed apple as a pudding in its own right heating up the puree and then serving it hot with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream, but you can also add sultanas and a little spice to the mixture.  However if you then freeze apple slices in the freezer for use in pies etc later on you can use the combination of the pureed apple and the frozen apple within the one pie  (and add some sultanas and spice to vary every so often) which gives softness from the puree and texture from the whole apple pieces.  Using the Pantry store together and in conjunction with the freezer opens your choices up a thousandfold.

Yes there is work involved but you do not get something out of anything unless you put effort in, in the first place. However that investment of time and effort saves me money and time during the week when it comes to home cooking.  It all comes down to choices  - not necessarily just for yourself but in the longer term for your family.  

Having the freezer  also gives me the ability to make Christmas pressie preserves from "fresh" ingredients i.e. spiced plum jam/jelly or to turn into a chutney.  A great way to take advantage of reduced veggies and fruit and use them at a later date. 

So far however despite having only had the freezer for about ten days I have managed to squirrel away:
  • 7 x 6 bags of chipolata sausages. [ideal for fry ups, sausage sandwiches, toad in the hole] etc..
  • 4 sticks of sausagemeat; [ideal for stuffings, home made sausage rolls, patties] etc.
  • A Gammon joint: [ideal for a cooked meal and then cold cuts, remnants can be used in soups, hashes, bubble n squeak, quiches, pancakes, sauces].
  • Butter; 
  • 6 double packs of puff pastries; [ideal for making home made sausage roll, palmiers, cheese straws; Milles feuilles pastry and cream slices, Cinnamon swirls, pastry gallettes]; pies
  • 2 whole legs of lamb reduced to £7 from £16 each.
  • Lemon and Lime Ice Cubes.
  • Plain Ice Cubes {for drinks and making pastry}
  •  Apple slices
That's just for starters as and when I see any bargains I will now be able to take full advantage.  So pleased.  Have some bubble and squeak cakes to prepare yet from the remnants of a sack of potatoes some onions, Brussel sprouts and some bacon and some ham.  Nice on their own with a poached or fried egg.

Loads to do still

Catch you soon

Pattypan

xx

 

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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)