Chill Out, Winter is the Perfect Time to Defrost the Freezer.
- Gradually deplete long-standing frozen food stocks (especially commercially prepared products), a few weeks prior.Place delicate food items in your fridge-freezer, during the thaw.
- Stack remaining food in coolers or plastic bins, and place inconspicuously outdoors. Secure lids well, so inquisitive critters can’t gain access.
- Hair dryers, rubber mallets and blunt chisels are great tools to expedite your thawing efforts. Proceed carefully and gently, to avoid accidents or damage.
- Defrost within twelve hours to minimize spoilage.
- When finished, restock your freezer in an organized and logical manner…and don’t forget to plug it back in.
- Devote an entire day or weekend to cooking -- and little else.Plan the dishes you’d like to prepare, ahead of time. Include healthy options, personal favourites and a good variety, to stave off boredom.
- For greater efficiency and cost effectiveness, prepare food in reasonably large batches.
- Thaw out any meats and stock plenty of fresh vegetables, pulses and starches, the day before your cook off.
- Have lots of spices, herbs and sauces at the ready, to maximize taste.
- Sample mains: spaghetti bolognaise, sweet and sour chicken, vegetable curry, lemon trout, peanut pork, mushroom risotto, sweet pepper beef, etc.
- Sample starches: wild rice, whole wheat pasta, naan bread, rice noodles, spaetzle, polenta, jasmine rice, etc.
- If need be, refer to library cookbooks, your own stash of recipes, or the internet for further inspiration.
- Purchase inexpensive, transparent (plastic or glass), stackable, single-portion containers for freezing.
- Preserve food texture and taste, by placing starches in small separate containers (away from meats/vegetables/sauces). This also allows for different food combinations i.e. curry and rice, curry and naan, etc.
- Store similar items together to help identify and locate meals, with ease.
- Colour code or label containers to eliminate potential confusion.
- Reheat within the same vessel for delicious no fuss meals, in minutes.
- Access whatever you want to eat, whenever you want it, for weeks to come -- without spending a dime.
- Improve your diet by preparing plenty of healthy, vegetable laden options to choose from.
- Never get caught off-guard by unexpected company again. Rest easy knowing that you have a wide array of meals available, at a moment’s notice.
- Avoid wastage by utilizing aging fridge ingredients to create more delicious frozen dishes.
- Create a never-ending supply of choice meals, by cooking a few additional dishes, every couple of weeks.
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