Expedition to the unknown: the freezer

My freezer is always full; somehow I always manage to have almost no space left. This has been going on for a long time, so now (New Year’s resolutions and all) I’m determined to find a solution! I also need to because a few nights ago I thought I was defrosting cooked bean soup (fasolada in greek) and I ended up eating pork stew – not that I complaint, I liked the element of surprise!

The first thing I need to do is decide what I want from my freezer. Answering that philosophical question will help move to the next step which is: See if all the things currently in the freezer serve its purpose. Then we move to (the easier) step three: Get rid of all useless things and just keep those that have a reason for being there.

And now let’s move to the execution of this brilliant plan!
The purpose of the freezer is dual: To keep ready made food for lazy mid-week dinners. The food must be in single portions (for easy serving) and must definitely be something that I like otherwise I’m never going to eat it. The latter is crucial given that I have a tendency of stuffing the freezer with whatever I don’t like and never eating it. A failed cooked bobotie (south African dish) and a failed pork that was initially oven roasted, then was mixed with cheese and veggies in an effort to create a pie (also a failure) now rest in my freezer. (Note to self: Find something to do with failed food. Any ideas anyone?)

Also, in the freezer I need to keep raw material (aka ingredients) to be used in cooking when fresh are unavailable or when I’m not planning to go to the butcher/fishmonger. For example frozen veggies, frozen fish and shellfish (mussels/prawns), frozen chicken/beef/pork. These also need to be placed in the freezer in small portions otherwise I’m left with a huge 1.5 kilos frozen piece of beef, waiting for 5 more people so that I can use it. Also cubes of stock. I managed to create small cubes of fish stock which are now neatly placed in a re-seeable plastic bag, making my life a lot easier (and making the stock easy to use as well).

With the above as my guidelines I dig into my freezer, trying to see if all my three full drawers really have essential things. Yes, there are a few very tasty dinners (in single servings) but I also discover a huge tupper container with cooked green beans in tomato sauce -seriously, who is going to eat so many beans? Last weekend I got rid of (ate) a piece of failed spinach pie (by the way, cooked puff pastry does not freeze well) and I’m afraid I will have to throw away a lot of cooked chicken (I took it out of the freezer with the intention of eating it but didn’t manage to, so unfortunately it’s still sitting in my fridge, probably growing mold as we speak). Frozen veggies and fish stock: check! Frozen herbs: check! (although a small label would be nice, otherwise I end up tasting coriander when looking for parsley and vice versa!). Frozen fish/mussels/prawns check! Frozen beef (the 1.5 kilos) check – but that will be boeuf bourguignon someday! I also discover a ridiculously expensive Wild Boar fillet which is waiting for a special occasion, and a decent piece of cooked lobster meet which reminds me that I need to find that Jamie Oliver recipe for a posh lobster club sandwich which I’ve been meaning to make for years!

On the “weird things I have no idea what to do with” category is a piece of French cheese (which I moved to my fridge), a lot of feta cheese which must have come from the outer space as I don’t really eat feta cheese, half a portion of thai red curry paste (seriously I think I need to throw this away).

I spend the rest of the evening cooking a type of dauphinois using instead of potatoes some frozen artichokes that take up a lot of space. My freezer looks better now. Feeling proud of myself I’m thinking of maybe sorting out my cooking books. But that can wait for now, I say to myself as I pour a glass of chilled white wine. Cheers to New Years Resolutions!

Happy New Year everyone!!!