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What should I put in my freezer?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Next month I am having surgery on my wrist, and I will be in a cast/splint and unable to use that hand for about 4 weeks.  I am trying to plan ahead and have a good assortment of meals in the freezer that I can just reheat since I won't be able to do much cooking.  So far, I have baked beans, chili, lasagna, veg beef soup, mac & cheese, and potato-leek soup.  Also some rolls and nut breads.  Planning to add crab cakes and cookies of some sort.  I need other suggestions.  Can I freeze scalloped potatoes?  What about a pot pie if I make the filling and put it in an unbaked pastry crust?   What else?   confused.gif 

 

Unfortunately, I won't be able to use a can opener at all, so PD's pea recipe is not achievable for me.  redface.gif

 

And do you think there is any hope of my being able to open a wine bottle with one hand?  drinkbeer.gif

post #2 of 29

you could squeeze in some pre-made hamburger patties, spaghetti sauce, and brownies freeze well too. I don't see why scalloped potatoes wouldn't freeze...I'd go heavy on the sauce though for a good coating for the potato. As far as the wine goes, if you hold the bottle with your knees and  use a wine steward the leverage action is easy. I've had a broken wrist beforerolleyes.gif

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 29

We freeze individual pre-baked pot pies in single serve ramekins. Bake, cool, wrap in plastic wrap, wrap in foil. I'd be tempted to freeze a bunch of mirepoix so I have some flexibility in making something else during convalescence. Perahps grated cheese, pizza dough.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 29

There are only a few foods that do not do good when frozen besides lettuce. Just make sure you wrap everything tight amd not in alumium foil

Date everything, Good luck with your surgery. You can even buy scalloped and au gratin potatoes already made so sure you can freeze it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 29

Ed is correct. There aren't too many foods that won't freeze; particularly cooked foods.

The only things I've found problematical are creamed soups. Sometimes they break when defrosting. Sometimes not. I haven't been able to isolate what the differences may be.

 

We regularly put up full meals that way. Sort of diy TV dinners, that we jokingly call MREs. Let 'em defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave. Our approach is to lay out the components on a foam plate, then double-wrap, first with cling film, then foil. Works like a charm.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 29

Tell your friends.  Have them bring over food.  :)

post #7 of 29

Def go with some soup, I like the Matzo Ball kind myself you can freeze a meatloaf or a good stew or chili.

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

I just remembered that I already have spaghetti sauce & meatballs in the freezer. I don't know if I can cook/drain pasta with one hand though, but I can always eat meatballs with salad and garlic bread.  :>)  Will definitely make, pre-bake, and freeze some pot pies, and scalloped potatoes.  Hadn't thought of meatloaf...that's a good idea.  Maybe some chicken burritos/enchiladas...anything with tomato sauce should freeze well, right?  Had to look up "MRE"...that's definitely what I need.  Thanks for the ideas.

 

Gunnar, I always thought a wine steward was a sommelier...I was picturing him sitting in my lap with a bottle of wine.  Now I just have to figure out how to rent one for a month.  bounce.gif

post #9 of 29

KCZ, with many tasks that seem improbably, you can handle it if you engage in a little sideways think.

 

Take that pasta. I'd pay ten bucks to watch you trying to pour a pot of water and pasta through a strainer with just one wing to work with. But surely you can handle tongs one-handed. So use them to transfer the pasta from the cooking water to the serving platter.

 

Later on, when the pot and cooking water have cooled down, transfer them to the sink using your good hand and the forearm of your injured one.

 

Something else to think about. You will probably have to reverse your normal work flow. That is, if you're right-handed, you mostly work from right to left. If you now have to work as a southpaw, you'll be more efficient working left to right.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 29

 

Quote:
 We freeze individual pre-baked pot pies in single serve ramekins. Bake, cool, wrap in plastic wrap, wrap in foil.

 I don't even bake them first. I've made dozens of chicken pot pies for my in-laws. I make the filling (which is mostly pre-cooked), put the cooled filling into the baking dish, and top with unbaked crust. I like the Cook's Illustrated crust with vodka in it. (You don't taste it- it's to help make the crust flaky.) I wrap and freeze the pies. My mother-in-law prefers to defrost them first, but you can put them, frozen, into a toaster oven or regular oven and bake them at about 375. That way the dough won't overcook before the filling is hot.

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post #11 of 29

Place large  bowl near sove, useing small strainer with handle  or slotted spoon, transfer pasta from boiling water to bowl. Let water cool while eating pasta. then throw out.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Trust me, I know all about inventive work-arounds.  I'm disabled from a back injury, and had surgery on my other hand last year which left me with diminished grip strength.  I'm sure I could cook pasta but frankly it's not worth the extra effort, including the one-handed clean-up of pots/strainers/bowls, when I have so many other household issues to deal with after my surgery, from pet care to laundry.  The best work-around is to make the pasta dish in advance and freeze it.

post #13 of 29

save some room for the goose(the grey one!)...thank goodness for screw caps on some wine bottles...don't always agree with them, but they certainly come in handy sometimes... of course .manicotti & eggplant parm are always comforting...as for cooking pasta, tortellini is easy enough to cook(for one or two) one handed in a sauce pan...reservations are another good thing to make!

i would imagine its not the cooking eating part, its the clean up that's sucky....dogs come in very handy for the pre wash!...best of luck to you...

joey

ky, now that it's been 2 weeks, seems you are pretty much back to normal...when do the dentures go in? what are you eating these days? glad you recovered so well and speedily. i think a large part of that is due to the fact that you are a fit, healthy outdoorsman, who for the most part lives simply & makes healthy food choices...plus, the drugs and the advances in dental surgery with minimal invasion has grown leaps and bounds.....

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #14 of 29

Gee KCZ, sounds like you might be in the market for a personal chef for a short period of time? wink.gif

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

Tell your friends.  Have them bring over food.  :)


Exactly what I was thinking!
 

post #16 of 29

Make a large oventray lasagne or moussaka or shepherds pie, bake, let cool, divide in portions and freeze.

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

save some room for the goose(the grey one!)...thank goodness for screw caps on some wine bottles...

i would imagine its not the cooking eating part, its the clean up that's sucky....dogs come in very handy for the pre wash!...best of luck to you...

joey

Note to self:  Buy wine with screw caps.

Note to self #2:  Get a dog.

(Thanks, Joey)

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Gee KCZ, sounds like you might be in the market for a personal chef for a short period of time? wink.gif


That's the best idea yet.  Probably can't find anyone crazy enough to come up here this time of year.

post #18 of 29

Probably can't find anyone crazy enough to come up here this time of year.

 

How much are you offering? New Hampshire is gorgous anytime of year. tongue.gif

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #19 of 29

You're going to have a fun time.

 

Hey, whatever happened to the vegetable side of your diet?  Prep, blanch then flat freeze in single layers, put into zip lock bags and into freezer.  You could make, for example, combinations of your favourite veg like carrots and peas, onions and beans with some diced sauteed bacon, that sort of thing.  You'll be able to open the bags with your free hand and your teeth.  Then just plunge into boiling water for few minutes until heated thru.  Use a slotted spoon to get them out. 

 

As for proteins, that's pretty much covered above.  I'd be tempted to bread single portions of fish and zip lock them as well.  Get them out and chuck them straight into the oven on a baking tray.

 

Oh, and get some spray oil, make sure to take the lid off before you get your hand done and pop it in the cupboard.  One anded opening of a bottle of oil could be pretty messy!

 

Herbs - freeze in water in ice cube trays and pop them out into freezer bags BEFORE you go, otherwise it'll be pointless.  One handed ice cube removal?  Hmm frustrating at best but pretty impossible.  Stock too. 

 

As you won't be able to use a can opener, I'd suggest getting the ring pull type.  Hold the tin either sitting down between yours knees and pull, or jam it between your cast and your body then pull.  Think I'd go the first option.

 

Good luck!  And swift healing.

 

All I can think of for now -

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post
New Hampshire is gorgous anytime of year. tongue.gif

 

Looks gorgeous but too cold for sensible human habitation.  Expecting 20-30 below this weekend.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

You're going to have a fun time.

 

Hey, whatever happened to the vegetable side of your diet?  Prep, blanch then flat freeze in single layers, put into zip lock bags and into freezer.  You could make, for example, combinations of your favourite veg like carrots and peas, onions and beans with some diced sauteed bacon, that sort of thing.  You'll be able to open the bags with your free hand and your teeth.  Then just plunge into boiling water for few minutes until heated thru.  Use a slotted spoon to get them out. 

 

As for proteins, that's pretty much covered above.  I'd be tempted to bread single portions of fish and zip lock them as well.  Get them out and chuck them straight into the oven on a baking tray.

 

Oh, and get some spray oil, make sure to take the lid off before you get your hand done and pop it in the cupboard.  One anded opening of a bottle of oil could be pretty messy!

 

Herbs - freeze in water in ice cube trays and pop them out into freezer bags BEFORE you go, otherwise it'll be pointless.  One handed ice cube removal?  Hmm frustrating at best but pretty impossible.  Stock too. 

 

As you won't be able to use a can opener, I'd suggest getting the ring pull type.  Hold the tin either sitting down between yours knees and pull, or jam it between your cast and your body then pull.  Think I'd go the first option.

 

Good luck!  And swift healing.

 

All I can think of for now -

 

Thanks for the well wishes, DC.  I'm growing lettuce and salad greens in 2 Aerogardens.  I should be able to manage a simple salad.  smile.gif    Anything to avoid eating microwaved out-of-a-frozen-box stuff for 4 weeks.  Today I made crab cakes and sugar cookies for the freezer.
 

post #21 of 29

Looks gorgeous but too cold for sensible human habitation.  Expecting 20-30 below this weekend.

 

Are you saying you're not a sensible human? rolleyes.gif

 

I lived for a year in the Adirondaks and three years in New England, and am very aware of those conditions. Never had a problem coping with them. For climate-caused misery, try northern Illinois, where I spent the ten longest years of my life.

 

IMO, it isn't the weather that makes the Northeast inhospitable. It's the ludicrous tax burden, and the sanctimony of its politicians.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 29

I would love to be in new england again - and guess what, after my friends, do i miss the most?  the climate.  Yes, one of those rare souls.  I even love shoveling snow - i love the change, the seasons, the sense of weather coming in from afar - living on a pond instead of the ocean, though at the same latitude as boston, i am so sick of soupy warm weather.  Here it's warm or hot, and for two weeks it's fairly cold, in the house (because the heating is so expensive, four times what it is in the states) but warmer outside.  I think it's snowed in every part of europe, down to greece, but it seems to always skip rome.  I miss it so much.  Already we have mimosa blooming, and i think, its already spring and where was winter?

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #23 of 29

KCZ - thought of a couple more things....

 

Make sure your salt and pepper shakers are full.  Not easy to refill one handedly.

 

Sauce and mustard bottles too (if you use them)

 

Frozen meal sized portions of any sauces/gravies you enjoy.

 

...and lots of kitchen paper towels, as there is bound to be some spillage, more than usual :)  Perhaps some cheap individual serviettes might be easier as you won't have to tear them off.  Just leave a stack where you can get to them easily.

 

Re your stovetop &  oven.  If it's an old gas one and cranky like mine, you'll need one of those sparky bbq lighters you can use to light it.  But you may not have that as an issue.  But do (if you are using gas burners) get some stove protectors you can use and trash rather than trying to struggle and clean it.  Plus for your oven & broiler - disposable foil trays are not a bad idea.

 

I like your idea of the aerogardens - they will certainly come in handy.

 

Cheers - DC

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCZ View Post

Gunnar, I always thought a wine steward was a sommelier...I was picturing him sitting in my lap with a bottle of wine.  Now I just have to figure out how to rent one for a month.  bounce.gif


I suppose it means both, but this is what I am talking about here : winesteward.jpg

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

KYH, I am definitely not a sensible human.

 

Siduri, I will be happy to ship you a box of snow.  A very large box of snow.

 

DC, thanks for the reminder about S&P.  I have mills for both right now.  Will have to dig out the shakers from wherever they're hiding.  I have a new induction range, so that will be easy to deal with.

 

Gunnar, I do have one of those dohingy's somewhere.  Will have to find that too.

 

Thanks all.  Tomorrow I'm making Fr onion soup, zucchini bread, and eggplant parm for the freezer.  smile.gif

post #26 of 29

I think you have most things covered KCZ. Good luck with the op.

 

So much good advice, you'll be filling the freezer as a new hobby.

 

Only advice i'd offer is to buy some cheap wire handled  baskets to fit  your pans... Leave them in there when you're cooking pasta, potatoes or veg etc. then you only have to lift out the wire basket to drain. No dodgy one handed manouvers.

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm making chicken burritos and 15-bean soup next.  I should have enough food so I don't really have to cook anything for 4 weeks.  Thank you all for your help.

post #28 of 29

in bucco al lupo....buon appetito!

ciao,

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

hello again

i had my surgery and arm is in the cast

more trouble than ithought it was going to be

sorry no caps and punct

very glad i did all that cooking and freezing

had potato leek soup and salad and choc bread pudding for dinner

thanks for all moral support

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