What do You Freeze?

digitS'

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We have vowed to make better use of our freezer(s) this year.

I just learned that there are a couple of packages of chopped rhubarb in there - from 4 or 5 years ago! DW was not happy with using it for pie or cobbler after freezing. I guess that I could pull it out and make jam but I just did that yesterday with fresh rhubarb, while two pies baked in the oven. We have plenty of fresh, beginning right now.

Each year, we freeze beans, shell some peas and freeze them. We scrape corn off the cob ... I'm happy with my applebutter and pearbutter, if'n I don't think I'm too busy to go buy some apples and pears and make it.

DW often makes soups, I wonder how those would freeze ... Pasta Sauce. Pesto. Freeze herbs for winter tea.

I freeze some of my casseroles but they are mostly pasta, rice, cheese - not a lot from the garden. In fact, much of what we freeze is from the store. What Do You Freeze & Like?

Steve
 

Ridgerunner

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When I freeze I use the vacuum bags if I'm keeping them for long. When I freeze tomatoes, berries, or veggies I'm going to use to make soup, sauce, jelly, or jam those just go into regular zipper freezer bags. I'll also freeze excess celery or deformed carrots or carrot skins from peeling them that I use in chicken broth, just pull out enough for a batch.

I blanch and freeze greens like chard, kale, or collards. The delicate ones like beet greens don't freeze that well. Th flavor is OK but they pretty much turn to mush.

I freeze green peas, black-eyed peas, and carrots for the table. I'm not terribly impressed with the quality of the carrots, they might be rubbery or they might be mushy. The peas and black eyed peas are pretty good.

Pretty much everything else is either canned or dehydrated.
 

ducks4you

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Okra and corn. My portable dishwasher failed. DH promised to buy me a new one. I priced them. For the same price I can buy a 14.8 cu ft chest freezer, to compliment my 7 cu ft chest freezer, so I want that, instead. Almost had one, which was offered to me 2 months ago, but no renig'd the offer. I want a new one, anyway. I want to buy 1/2 cow and a lamb this fall. Then, I can freeze more things.
 

Prairie Rose

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We mostly use the deep freezer for meat, most of our produce gets eaten fresh, dehydrated, or canned. We do freeze sweet corn in quantity. Not a big fan of frozen green beans, carrots, or asparagus, or freezer jams. I do freeze hot banana peppers whole and sliver them for fried eggs and hashbrowns all winter long, I will also occasionally premake stuffed peppers and freeze them as well. Mom freezes our homegrown pumpkin puree, and I have some candied cherries I am saving for homemade fruit cake this winter in there. My deep freeze is small, and the refrigerator freezer is tiny. I tend to save the space in them for meats and leftovers and double batches of dinners for emergencies.

I much prefer the taste of dehydrated or canned produce.
 

digitS'

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@Ridgerunner , DW says that she wants to freeze kale this year. She has become such a kale fan that it's competing with our winter broccoli purchases. Oh yes, we easily have enough broccoli plants hardening off in the backyard that we can try not showing up in the winter produce aisle if that all turns out okay.

I retired our smaller freezer after 3 years and we had stopped buying 1/2 beef sides to fill it, @ducks4you . Now, I want it back in use!

@Prairie Rose , I have frozen pumpkin & squash puree for later pies. In fact, we had pumpkin bread just a week or so ago made with frozen puree. This isn't the way I hope to store pumpkin & squash, however. There is plenty of room on basement shelves for them but I'll use this technique again if'n I haven't the luck of a good storage season. One thing fer shure, I'm not gonna grow so many Jack o'Lantern pumpkins in 2020; they can be varieties more useful than those!

Steve
 

Prairie Rose

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When I was younger and our cellar still water tight, we would occasionally short-term store potatoes in there in the winter. We only grow pumpkins for the blossoms here and never really have squash to store for winter; I can remember stuffing onions into pantyhose and hanging them in the barn for storage though!
 

Zeedman

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Things we freeze every year: snap beans, zucchini, chard, water spinach, eggplant, okra, limas, shell beans, and corn when it does well. Edamame soybeans about every other year. When the wild plums do well, we make plum jelly & freeze a couple gallons of plum juice for later batches. DW makes two special soups with garden fresh ingredients (like Moringa), we freeze those in quarts for winter use. Sometimes we freeze slices of fresh peppers & tomatoes, to add to pizza. Bread when I bake extra loaves. Fish when the neighbor catches a bucket full & trades for veggies... when I lived in San Diego, fish was the reason we bought a second freezer.

We also freeze dehydrated tomatoes, having found that they deteriorate at room temperature.

We freeze quite a few things from the store. Meat when it is on sale (very glad we are well stocked now ). Oriental noodles (to keep them from getting rancid). Seeds & grains such as flax, amaranth, sesame, and wheat germ, also to prevent rancidity. Breads, when we take our semi-annual drives to an Oriental bakery in either Milwaukee or Chicago.

Our children & grand children have always gathered at our house for Sunday dinner, so we freeze large amounts of vegetables to last until next year's garden starts. Usually the freezer is mostly empty by then... it may be a little harder to use them all up this year. :(
 

flowerbug

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mostly freezer jam and the roasted red peppers in pint jars. once in a while some of the shelly lima beans (but normally we eat them all). then the rest of the freezer is full of jars of cooked beans, soups and containers of previous large batches of whatever that are portioned out so we can use them for a change of pace between other things. then there is bread, cookies and other things that Mom has made that we'll have on hand and eat up as we get around to them. right now she has chocolate cakes on the counter and some of those will go in the freezer. double bagged. can't stand the slight hint of freezer smell in anything. we only have the one small freezer so we have to manage the space well.

not many veggies go in the freezer, we much prefer them fresh cooked, but once they are in a soup or something they can go in the freezer after that.

soups freeze well except for tomato chunks are a strange texture when they come out and thaw, but if you then heat them up in the microwave enough they turn back into acceptable again. pasta sauces and everything else are fine IMO. we do a lot of portions of various large meals to reheat later.
 

ducks4you

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@ninnymary , freezing flour is a smart thing. If you don't bake, you should know that flour has a limited shelf life. Freezing it extends that.
I, too want to store more meat. Before this cheapo appliance store went out of business about 4 years ago, I bought myself and then DD's each a 7 cu ft. freezer. Their's is in their 1 car garage, mine is on my porch. I used to have a massive chest freezer. It had belonged to DH's grandfather, and when he moved out of his house nobody but me wanted it. I kept it in OUR 1 car garage, and, since it was a 1970's vintage, it survived about 30 years. I noticed that the plugs for chest freezers are suggesting keeping them in the garage. I have a 4 car garage with many outlets and plan to store my new one there. I am Hoping to buy the 21 cu ft freezer, which also has a lock on it. Then, I will move my 7 cu ft freezer to the basement. Not related, but it would be a good move.
DD's Do stock up on freezer items. When we massive food bought in March, we ran out of freezer space between us. Granted, I need to clean mine out.
I am sure that we could clean the couches and sell some stuff and buy 1/2 a cow--My Vet has a client who might sell to me, and I have friends who are fighting the wind farm who probably know some cattle owners, too--and I want to buy a Lamb this Fall. I have done this before. The investment is Such a time saver, DD's can "go meat shopping at my house" and keep track of what is left, then they can fill their freezer up with the next few weeks full of meat.
As you may remember, I had a power surge at my house some 7 years ago, and it fried my really nice THREE YEAR OLD upright freezer. Repairman told me it was toast. Words cannot express my irritation with our monopoly, cheap as China facemask power company, with their oldest lines to rural customers. :somad:somad:somad:somad:somad
I could not afford a new one. I couldn't even afford a new chest freezer, which is less expensive than the upright, so I had to settle for $125.00, seven cubic ft. alternative. It's been a good little machine, just never enough freezer space.
If I can get back to chickens this year, I want to get back to raising up 2-3 month old roosters and butchering, and I will need the space.
 

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