Sunday, October 25, 2009

Loading the Freezer

I spent some time in the kitchen today doing a bit of rearranging. I put all the jars and bags of frozen food into the chest freezer, leaving mostly meat and some other odds and ends in the fridge freezer. It took 3 pictures of the freezer to get in all that I have preserved this summer. Keep in mind that I've already supplied several friends with food from the freezer and have used some of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes now to cook with.

On the left, you'll see the bottom area of jars are stacked about two deep; the tray to the right of it slides over the top.

In the second picture, you see the more recent foods preserved (I want to make sure I eat the oldest first, moving to the most recent last). Some of the jars are stacked 4 high. I couldn't stack all of them that high, because in some of the smaller jars, I didn't leave enough head space, which caused the metal lids to puff up. When I use those jars, I'll toss the old lid and use some of the Ball plastic lids I picked up at Rural King.

Next to the jars, you'll see I have some of the shredded zucchini. I still have a LOT of bags of zuke shred, slices, and chopped pieces for winter soups and breads. Oh, yeah--and you'll see some chapati (whole wheat) flour I bought at the Indian grocery store. Reasonably priced and much healthier than white flour.

The last picture shows the freezer section that contains more chopped zucchini, the 5 lbs. of onion I chopped earlier in the summer (I've used a bit of that already, too), several bags full of 1/2-cup packs of chopped green, yellow, red, orange, and gypsy peppers, a pack of sauteed button mushrooms and a pack of sauteed portobello mushrooms. I picked up a couple of packages of oyster mushrooms on manager's special yesterday that I need to sautee and add to these.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this summer's preservation efforts. We won't have enough food to keep us through the winter, but we'll certainly have enough to supplement what we have to buy at the store. Cooking is much easier, too, when you don't have to take the time to saute mushrooms or chop onions--just open a bag and dump them in!

Next year, I need to get more organized about preserving. That will give me something to blog about this winter: changes I'm going to make to simplify or make more efficient the food preservation process.

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