21 January 2013

Kitchen Organization: Freezer Storage & Labels

This past summer I started freezing vegetables we purchased at the Farmer's Market. Now that I'm in the depth of winter, the high was -3 today (that's right...negative 3, that's 3 below 0), & I'm out of summer vegetables...I wish I would have frozen more. A lot more!! Despite my lack of produce, I, as you, are striving to be more organized (can we say "everywhere"). This includes in my kitchen (once again can we say "everywhere in my kitchen"). With the latter pursuit in mind, I came across these freezer labels on the Martha Stewart website. So what little I have frozen, like the beginnings of vegetable stock ingredients (below) can be marked appropriately. All you need are the following:

Freezer Label Equipment: 1) Sticker Project Paper ( I use Avery Sticker Project Paper 3383); 2) Color Printer, 3) Template (here); & 4) Scissors (to cut out your calendar); 5) Things to freeze.
How-to: Download the template to your computer. Print the template on your Sticker Paper. Cut out a calendar. Mark the date you are freezing the item. Adhere the label to the freezer bag.

You don't have to use these labels just for homemade items you're freezing. You can put them on the meat you purchased at the market in bulk or anything else. I just happen to use the labels for things I'm "creating." Speaking of which, here are some things I learned from my research & experience on  freezing food items for later consumption.
  • The best source of freezing instruction and information I have found is from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook
  • Vegetables involve a lot of blanching so make sure you have the right equipment before you begin (I learned this the hard way).
  • It's best to have your freezer at the lowest temperature. 
  • Vegetable frozen & eaten months later taste surprisingly fresh & good. 
  • Freezing fruit is a more involved process.
  • In summer it's hard to think about winter, but remember how cold it is now & what a struggle it is to find your favorite summer food! What I would not give for "in-season" frozen (& then cooked) beets, & Chinese broccoli right now. 
  • Our grandparents had it right!! 

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