Day 87–Making Room For a Freezer

“I feel the need…to freeze!” Apologies to Tom Cruise.

In preparation for the spring and summer garden bonanza of fresh fruits and vegetables, I’m reading a lot about food preservation strategies. Thanks to Tom, Ellie and I have a nice setup of canning supplies just waiting for this year’s strawberries and blueberries, and I’m studying how to put them up without killing anyone. Really, that is a fear I have, but I’m working through it. In reading about food preservation, I am understanding that I need to reframe my way of thinking. When I think of “preserving,” I typically think of canning foods. But drying, freezing, and refrigerating are other options for food preservation that are even more accessible than canning.

Using a freezer to preserve foods isn’t a huge revelation, I know, but I haven’t really thought about using my freezer as a way to put up fruits and vegetables for winter. I typically think of my freezer as a holding area for ice cubes and our week’s worth of frozen fruit for our smoothies, not as a place to store our jackpot of string beans from our CSA.

The only issue with this is space. We have a nice sized freezer drawer on our refrigerator and I love it, but it doesn’t have a huge amount of room for long-term storage. Which brings us to the issue of the deep freezer. I’ve never had one, but I’ve thought about it in the past. The issue comes back to space again, because where in the world can you put a deep freezer without causing an issue?

It may be that our laundry room will provide us with the space needed, but that will involve some cleaning out of all the “treasures” currently stored there. If we can make it work, our family will have some delicious projects ahead of us!

All of this makes me realize that the world of possibilities and options is almost always larger than what I am currently thinking. Hell bent on canning, I neglected to think of the larger opportunities of freezing and drying. Tree, meet the forest. This, to me, is the wonderful part of our journey–re-framing things in my own mind, learning, growing and becoming more aware and mindful.

Now, excuse me, because I have some serious re-organizing to do 🙂

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10 Comments

  1. I had to get rid of my freezer when we moved and I miss it so much. Freezing freshly blanched peas and beans is an excellent way to preserve them for the year. Plus homemade creamed corn, well anything you don’t want to have a sweet, acidic juice hanging about it to inhibit the growth of microorganisms.

    Reply
  2. I’m learning so much on my local journey, too! I plan to do some canning and freezing of my own and I must admit that I’m a little intimidated!

    Reply
    • I know–it seems like a lot of responsibility to process our food for the future!!! The book I have really enjoyed is “Put ‘Em Up” by Sherri Brooks Vinton. It’s more about food preservation as a whole–not just canning and the recipes are tested & based on usda safety guidelines.

      Reply
  3. Freezer bags. Filled and flattened for sauces and veggies and strawberries and… you get the point. You can fit a pretty good bit in a small amount of space. I don’t have space for a deep freezer and all the people I’ve ever known to have one also have a layer of freezer burnt weird old random things on the bottom. So if you can’t bring yourself to clean out your laundry room, just reorganize a little. No worries, there’s no botulism in the freezer either 🙂

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    • Excellent! Thanks! I know–I do worry about things getting lost at the bottom of a large freezer. Could be the makings of a locavore horror movie!

      Sent from my iPhone

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  4. I’m in exactly the same position. I want to be able to blanch and freeze some of the things I grow in the garden, but have only a small icebox in the refrigerator. We have a big outside cupboard joined to our house (I think it used to be for storing coal or something) that is currently home to our tumble dryer and most of my tools, but I’m trying to build a rack type thing, so that we can put a freezer under the tumble dryer. As long as I remember to get a freezer with a door on the front, rather than on the top, we should be fine!

    Anyway, good luck with your freezing and drying exploits. Have you tried Nigella Lawson’s ‘moonblush tomatoes’? My wife and I can’t get enough of them, especially when we can pick tomatoes straight from the greenhouse. There’s a recipe at http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/moonblush-tomatoes-58

    Simon.

    Reply
  5. I know exactly what you mean! Sharing a freezer filled with vegetables and old containers of who knows what is so hard! I am constantly removing peas from my ice cream maker 😉
    Glad you are reorganising – it is a total necessity for freezers 😛

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply

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