As I write, we’re heading into the fall. My canning shelf is full, and so are the two freezers that I use for much of the year. It’s only in the late spring that one of them becomes empty, and then they fill again with the summer and fall bounty.
I get my freezer addiction from my grandma. In addition to being an outstanding canner, she always had three large freezers full of food on the go. I like freezing because in general, I don’t need to add extra sugar or worry quite as much about food safety as I do when canning. I freeze quite a number of weird things, because I don’t like food waste and because I like to preserve food safely and easily.
Whether they’re on sale or you just forget to eat them, freeze bananas in the skin and thaw them for smoothies later.
Sometimes we have a little too much butter. If it’s inching toward the due date, just pop it in the freezer.
This is one of my classic weird freezer moments: “you freeze your cheese?” Well yes I do, if I get it in bulk. If you want to have cheese as a topping, grate it before freezing. Frozen cheese is not ideal for slicing since it crumbles when it thaws, but it’s a good addition to baking or a great topping for pizza.
While freezing dough for cookies or biscuits sometimes impacts its ability to rise, I find that the convenience outweighs the change in texture. Mmm, homemade cookie dough whenever you want it!
Are your eggs going off? Remove the shells and freeze the insides. You can freeze whites and yolks separately too!
Flour and Other Grain-Based Products
I also use my freezer as a storage area for bulk purchases of flour and other grain-based products. Right now I have half of a huge bag of oats in my freezer. The trick here is to use these items quite soon after they emerge from the freezer. If you bring them out of the freezer and store them on a shelf, they may have residual moisture from other items in the freezer and could get moldy.
While I love the look of garlic coils, our damp Pacific Northwest environment is not the best place for dry preservation of food, and garlic that I hang has a tendency to develop mold. Not so if I freeze it. To freeze my garlic, I divide it into cloves and keep the skin on. It looks translucent when it comes out, but it tastes just great.
If you like to cook wine-infused dinners but don’t want to buy a bottle of wine to go into them, save the wine at the end of a bottle and freeze in wine cubes in the freezer.
If you’re edging close to the due date, freeze your yogurt for future sauces or add it to popsicles in the freezer.
What else can you freeze? Of course, I freeze berries, jams, sauces, and pesto, but those aren’t all that weird. What can you add to the weird food list?