Try Something New: The Freezer Project

Sauces and stocks, clearly labeled.

I first wrote about The Freezer Project at the end of March. Since then, I’ve made a conscientious effort to really think about what goes into the freezer, and how it can help me make meals down the line.

The first effort was with chicken stock. After roasting two chickens for dinner, I made chicken stock with the leftover carcass. I parceled the stock into containers of different sizes: a 2-quart container to use for soup and smaller 2-cup containers to use in recipes. It only takes a couple of hours to let the stock simmer, and you get more than enough to enhance meals for weeks to come.

My stock is fairly cloudy, which is fine with me, but I’ve read that you can create clearer stock if you use raw chickens and never let the water reach a full boil. You can also filter your stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Any other tips out there, readers?

I also made a small cauldron worth of pasta sauce. Half of it was used that night, and the other half was frozen for a week and then applied to the world’s laziest slow cooker cacciatore.

Does anyone else have a freezer strategy? I’m looking for any and all tips to make this big old appliance work for me.

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2 Responses

  1. i think cloudy is a good thing. i think if you’re going to make the most of things, definitely use chicken carcass that has already been meals of meat on the table, eaten down to the bones. sandor ellix katz [a food hero of mine & great author] endorses boiling for at least 4 hours, so you can extract all the flavor, and i agree. if animals gave their lives, use everything you can.

    i’m eating seasonally now, which means the freezer is a big component in food preservation. for now, other than stocks, i’ve created some hot sauces and chutnies, half of which are in use in the fridge, with the overs in the freezer. i also took the opportunity to over-buy summer fruits last year, cutting up plums, nectarines, peaches, pluots, etc., packing in jars with some lemon juice & topping off with water. since i’m not big on sugar preservations, this has been the best way to get a bit of summer in winter. other than that, i like to flavor yogurts, or cut fruit into them, and throw them in popsicle molds or in the ice cream maker.

  2. Alisa says:

    I love the idea of eating seasonally, and I think that this new approach to the freezer will help with that. Up until now, I’ve used my freezer like my mother did, as a haphazard repository for forgotten foods.

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