So, what else can we do with a deep freeze? Plenty.
My favorite trick with it is freezing hamburger meat.
That’s right, I cook ground beef and then freeze it.
Whenever it is on sale, I buy however much I can afford, stir and fry until crumbly, huge pans of it with onion, salt, and pepper. Drain it well, box it, and freeze. One pint fried is about one pound raw.
This serves a couple of wonderful purposes.
First it is a money saver, in that it allows me to cash in on sales.
Second, it is a time saver if I want to make spaghetti or chili in a hurry. While the liquids are heating, I put in a box of frozen, cooked ground beef and once all is hot, the meat is thawed. Or pour a dab of water into a small pan and add a pint of this meat to warm on low until thawed, while you do other things. Then stir in your favorite sloppy-jo ingredients and serve. Fast and easy.
Actually the deep freeze is great for saving money, stocking up on many sale items such as meat, bread, flour, and garden seed. It saves money on ice if you make your own ahead and store it there. It saves money on bulk foods, because you do have room for it all.
We have a diabetic friend who must eat wild meat, so he hunts. When he bags a deer, he hires the meat all ground. His wife then makes it all into patties which he spends a whole day grilling to “near done”. They freeze these and have instant grilled burgers all year. They say to warm them takes only a few minutes and the taste is like it was just off the grill.
Probably everyone has heard of cooking casseroles on a monthly basis to save cooking time, but if you even make one extra or double entre whenever you cook, you can reduce your kitchen time nearly 50%.
The freezer certainly saves much frustration by allowing you to prepare ahead the food for guests and have it ready to pop into the oven so you can enjoy visiting in a relaxed manner.
I have cooked ahead when I knew I’d have no help after childbirth. It was so easy for my family to dip into the freezer while I was resting.
I’ve cooked ahead when my best friend’s mother was coming for dinner – an exquisite dish that takes hours to prepare. It was no hassle, because I prepared it a couple of days earlier, when I had the time to spare.
I have cooked ahead when my husband invited his best friend for supper the same night I had to be gone. My teenagers baked that big dish with a teenage flair that brought delight to the guest and joy and pride to Dad.
Did you know your freezer needs a little tender loving care? More tomorrow.