Sunday, 1 November 2015

Freezer shopping

I have a very large chest freezer in my dining room. (We do not have a shed or a garage so needs must - its not easy but you have to eat).  It is deep and holds lots of stuff and I regularly top it up.  I also have an upright drawer freezer for storing things in for easy access during the week.  The food we are going to eat during the week we go "shopping" for usually on a Saturday pick out what we would like to eat and then I plan my meals and veggies around that.  At this time of year more so than others you need to come home to a good hot meal to keep your stamina up and to stop picking up infections which can be so debilitating and more difficult to shift in the colder months of the year. You are really only as good as the food as you eat at the end of the day - but we can only do what we can do with the amount of money available to us and we can all eat well if we are careful and hunt for the bargains. OH and I have dietary requirements - because of my arthritis, scleroderma and other issues the Doctors have told me to steer clear of processed foods already prepared in the shops.  Too many extras are being added to these foods which slow down the natural rhythm of your system if you like clog it up.  Equally OH is diabetic and has high blood pressure as well as glaucoma.  I use some salt but not a lot and it is usually sea salt as it is pure no additives added to it like the cheap running salt that has an extra ingredient in it to make it free flowing.  So the scene is set you always have to work with what you can.

Yesterday in between everything else OH and I went  Freezer shopping and have pulled out the rolled belly pork for today, gammon steaks, chicken portions, mince, pate, lamb steaks, Chinese pork steaks, some stewing meat.

We have plenty of fish in as well - I always try and have a couple of meals with fish during the week as it really is good for you and you can always tart it up with some home made parsley sauce, or turn the humble fish finger into gourmet sandwiches with the addition of bread, tartare sauce, mayonnaise or tomato ketchup especially if served with fat chips and a side salad or coleslaw. Or turning a tin of salmon into fish cakes. 

So we have a range of good meals to look forward to this week. I quite fancy a stew this week as well as home made soup after all I have all the veggies in and I have a slow cooker or two to assist.  I tell you what I am really craving now though is treacle sponge with lashings of custard.  I might make one although OH will not be able to have so will have to make him something else.  Might even make an apple sponge/Eves pudding or an apple pie or two or even apple dumplings (whole apples with pastry outer skin and then a little dried fruit, mincemeat or ginger in or just left plain or with a bit of lemon or marzipan stuffed into where the core was). 

I am not a fancy cook although I can turn my hand to all manner of things we prefer simple good food that speaks for itself and which is tasty.  I am not so hot on the presentation techniques but the food is usually tasty.

Equally as well as making regular withdrawals from the freezer I make regular deposits too.  I always add a lot of things.  I have processed a load of Brussel sprouts, some cabbage and carrots and intend to make some bubble and squeak cakes too - they are very nice with a fried breakfast or equally on their own a couple with fried eggs or with roast pheasant.  I have a Tupperware burger making press set that I use for this purpose. It is years old.  I use it for making my fish cakes too., but you can shape them by hand as well.

Equally I often find things I forgot I had put away.  Yesterday I espied a load of frozen blackcurrants which I have plans for in the next week or so.  If there is enough I will make some jam and if a bit more than enough some cassis too.  At Christmas you can have a lovely celebration drink with either some champagne or fizzy wine with a touch of cassis or other liqueur in which is commonly known as a Kir.  Equally it is lovely with peach nectar too or Elderflower cordial.  It will be lovely to have both available to my Christmas pantry - something a little different from the norm..  So there is always something to get me into mischief somewhere down the line.  I also found some plums which will go to make chutney/and or jam in the next few weeks or so they are quite safe where they are until I can get to them.

I just cannot help myself when it comes to food I love it and I like to have a choice of foods available to me to use as keeping the palate perked up is part of the process.  I am going to be over the next few weeks adding quite a few bits and bobs in readiness for Christmas.
Some of the projects are simple others take a little more time.  Things like making your own sausage rolls and then freezing them before cooking them.  Making a Christmas ice cream bomb made from different dried fruits and fresh cream.  Making your own Arctic Roll, Chestnut mousse terrine (a Ruth Mott recipe)mince pies and pastry tart cases (for jam tarts and coconut cheesecakes) which are frozen uncooked and then popped back into the trays when you need some baking done, cookie mixes that sort of thing oh and cheesecakes.  Yes little brother if you are reading this (I know he pops in from time to time to see what his big sister is or is not up to) - he has a penchant for cheesecake.

Unfortunately I do not have any holiday time left to book as I took it to look after my mum so I will not get my usual preparation time in the run up to Christmas.  I am however off for the three days prior to so I need to get done what I can get done now.  I intend for things to be very different next year.

I have however got my Christmas cake made and my brothers and the fruited tea loaves will be made at the end of November and then left in a tin to mature.

What do you do for the freezer and what sort of things do you put away  especially in the run up to Christmas.

Catch you soon.



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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)