Friday, 20 April 2012

Frugal Friday: Freezer Tetris

One day, in the near future, I am probably going to lose at Freezer Tetris.

You don't know about Freezer Tetris?  You remember the early computer game, Tetris, don't you?  Where you had to fit shapes into a finite space, without leaving any gaps?  Well, Freezer Tetris is a real-life version of the game, where you have to fit more and more food into a freezer that is already full.  This was my freezer two weeks ago, at the tail end of Easter:

Hard to believe that I'd taken an 18lb turkey out of it to roast for Good Friday. I took that photo after I successfully managed to shoe-horn in 6 x 600ml containers of turkey stock, as well as over 2kg of cubed leftover turkey.   In the interim week after removing and defrosting said turkey, I also added 800g home-wilted spinach and 1.5kg cooked chickpeas.  

With the exception of a couple of lunch-boxes of leftovers (and four haggis plus a whole black pudding), the contents of the freezer  remained static until I decided we needed more kidney beans, so I soaked a 1kg of dried beans overnight, bagged them, then shoved them into the freezer.  Somehow. (Freezing causes ice to form in the re-hydrated cells, which damages the cell walls and shortens cooking time.)  How I got them into the freezer, I don't know.

Last night, I couldn't resist the big bag of frozen hash-browns at Costco, so the beans came out of the freezer and I cooked them this morning.  1kg of dried beans cooked became 2.35kg.

 Half an hour ago, I stood staring at the freezer wondering how I was going to fit that lot in.  Last night's hash browns had been difficult enough.

Hmmm.... If I take these out and rearrange that......


Pam 3 :  Freezer 0

 - Pam

PS:  There is a serious point I want to make here.  One of the things that keeps our food bill low is the way we utilise the freezer.  Leftovers get frozen.  Before we went on holiday, all our remaining fresh veg was chopped up and frozen.  I batch cooked dried pulses, portion them up and freeze anything that won't be eaten that day.  At Easter, we nabbed a bargain on fresh spinach - an 800g bag marked down to 75p from £3, so I wilted it, portioned it into 4 and froze it.  We don't go supermarket shopping for dinner, we go to re-stock our stores.  When I think about cooking a meal, I start by considering what is in my fridge, my freezer and my larder.

PPS:  I heard a great quote yesterday from either episode 5 or episode 6 of A History of the World in 100 Objects:  "If the larder is full, the mind has time to focus on other things".  The presenter was explaining why art appeared after early man became farmers.  Previously, all their time was taken up with hunting and gathering food, but once they started farming, they developed surpluses of food which they could store.  Suddenly, there was time to do other things: become craftsmen, worry about gods, etc.

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