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10/28/13

Tips for freezing meals.

I just made this Buttermilk Pie from a disk of pastry made earlier, double wrapped, then frozen.
We, Brian and I, have been suffering for almost two weeks with terrible colds or something!  During this time I have been curled up under a blanket, mostly sleeping.  Occasionally one eye would open, my head would raise, and I would have a thought.

One of the few thoughts I had was, "Wouldn't it have been nice to have had some prepared chicken pot pies, casseroles, or something else totally comforting in our freezer to just pop into the oven?"

Stock freezes very well.
Here are a few things I have learned in the freezing of entrees for later.

 (A.)  Potatoes do not as a rule freeze well.  They become mealy, ugh.  Not good!  So if I plan to freeze a soup or stew I plan to add the potatoes late in the cooking and I remove a quart or however much to freeze BEFORE to adding them.  Then I finish my recipe adding the potatoes.  Upon defrosting what I have frozen I add fresh potatoes and finish cooking.  This makes for a much better end product!

(B.)  It is handier to use foil or heavy paper type pans to freeze in as not to tie up my bake ware!  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have hunted a casserole dish only to realize that the "just right dish" is in the freezer with a ready made meal frozen inside.

(C.)  It is very handy to separate meats, patties, disks of unbaked dough, balls of cookie dough with parchment or waxed paper.  This makes life so much easier!  You can drop several like things in a large plastic bag or container after wrapping individually.

(D.)  They say pasta freezes well but I really can't say that I wholeheartedly agree.  I think you are OK if the entree is on the dry side like macaroni and cheese. If the pasta is say macaroni in chili......I would not add it before freezing.  Common sense dictates that pasta gets big and floppy as it continues to absorb liquid and that is my reasoning.

(E.)  If you plan to freeze something reactive, like lasagna with tomatoes, lay a layer of parchment paper atop the lasagna before wrapping securely with foil.  You can leave it when you reheat with no problems.

(F.)  As a rule I double wrap everything I freeze if possible. Always label and date everything!

(G.)  Micky Thienes just told me she juices big batches in her extractor and freezes them immediately until needed.  She says they are great.  I love this idea as much as I hate to clean up the juice machine so I am sharing.  Micky has NEVER led me astray!

Chili

Sunday I made a huge kettle of chili and froze 2 quarts for later.  Today I am planing a tuna noodle casserole with enough to freeze an extra entree.  And I may get to a few more things later in the week while I have this on my mind!  It will surely be nice to have them ready to pull out on hectic days!  Or, on sick days!

Just for conversation sake I can tell you there are currently cinnamon rolls, green tomato pies,  several loaves of homemade bread, soups, and stocks frozen and ready to go in my freezers.  Not nearly enough I'd say!



 
Pie crust disks,
So please excuse me for now, I've pulled out a disk of frozen pie dough that should have be thawed and I am off to make a Buttermilk Pie for supper tonight!  While I am at it I think I will make 2 tuna casseroles. One for now and one for the freezer.

Tuna Casserole.

Perhaps next time a cold or flu strikes I will not be caught quite so off guard. 

3 comments:

cambric cotton, pins and needles said...

Having meals in the freezer have been a life saviour for me, on the days I'm unwell or just plain tired I just have to thaw, heat and eat. You are so very spot on about frozen potatoes, they are yucky, I always cook and add to a thawed meal. My family have just left for the airport and I have so much cleaning to do after my two little whirlwind grandsons have been here, tomorrow is washing, cleaning and vaccuming. Speak soon, Wendy

Sue said...

I absolutely agree with you, especially about cooked pasta. I do freeze fresh pasta, and cook it right from frozen.
Hmmmm...I think I may have some pie dough in the freezer right now.

P.j. said...

I experienced a blonde moment after Christmas last year (maybe I was worn out or on a sugar high). In a rush to use the turkey stock I made turkey noodle soup & then decided to put it in the freezer. When I defrosted it a month later it tasted fine EXCEPT the wide egg noodles were mushy. I often freeze chili or other soups, but should have realized what would happen to the pasta. At least I won't make THAT mistake again! :-P