Freezer Hoarding

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #1

Is it just me or are large freezers just a waste of space?
Since my move to France I have been astounded by the wonderful offer of fresh food on offer.
As I no longer work full time, I have found that my large chest freezer has become a graveyard for special offers from the meat counter that never seem to get eaten.
I have made a concentrated effort over the summer to empty it, and am going to use the small freezer section on my fridge in the next week or so.
I am ashamed to say that I have just used up the plum harvest from last year and made membrillo.
Heaven knows how I am going to use up this years’ fruit - I am sure that it won’t go in the freezer though!
What do you use the freezer for?

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #2

The French are experts on “les conserves” which is food preserved in “bocaux” - KIlner type preserving jars.
They preserve meats, vegetables and fruits, in all manner of guises - confits, cassoulets, rillettes, paté, jams jellies and lots more.
The advantage of this system is that it requires no other storage other than a cool dark place, thereby freeing up freezer space for other things.
They also dry a and salt things too - haricots verts and jambon come to mind here.
Does anyone do any of this type of food preserving?

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #3

I did my membrillo with plums last week.
I stoned them and then blitzed them with a blender - I find the sieving is far too hard.
The result is a dark purple slab of pure taste!
The quince version is harder as you are supposed to put everything into the pan and then sieve it later. Much harder work, but as they’re not ripe yet, I have got a bit of time to think about it.

(Aaron Tighe) #4

It’s funny, we are planning to put a freezer into commission next year, though probably nothing more than 200l.
I find the 65l that I have above the fridge is fine ordinarily, but when we are running courses I need half of that just for ice.
I make a lot of stock and freezing it is the only practical storage solution. Then there’s the freezer bowls for the ice cream makers and the resultant ice cream/sorbets, and the gluts of fruit and tomatoes (though not this year.) Sounds like I just talked myself into it.
Am glad to heed the advice on special offers at the meat counter. To date have been able to resist, but they are tempting.
Off to turn a couple of kilos of ripe plums into membrillo and mirabelles into jam.

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #5

I agree they are a godsend for a large family - I am giving mine to my sister who has five in the family.
As we are now three, it has outgrown its use I think.
Also, I have fallen into the trap of bulk buying meat in the supermarket when its on offer, but in truth there is always some kind of meat offer on, so provided that you don’t want to eat a specific meat on a specific day, you can buy it fresh according to the “deal of the week”.
Also, as I have hemochromatosis, I have limited the amount of meat I eat, so as a family we eat less of it anyway.

(Catharine Higginson) #6

Freezing gluts of veg and special offers from the meat counter. I also have a bread drawer, a chicken stock drawer and a (hangs head) ready meals for kids or rather oven chips and fish fingers drawer. I think chest freezers are a bit of a nightmare and unless you butcher the odd cow, likely to be wasteful. Ours is always full but then there are six of us.