Thursday, June 4, 2015

The 'Freezer' Lifestyle: Pros and Cons, and tips for success

When we moved in to the tiny-house we had a cooler. The first summer was spend eating garbage and getting nearly nothing done because of it. [eating out steals your savings dreams!]

Winter hit, and food became possible to keep in the cooler. [possibly the only break we got last winter]So we were able to keep about a week or so worth of food at a time. which was suitable, but tiresome [after months and months of going outside in the cold to get dinner supplies]. Then we bought our freezer  We were ecstatic. finally we could keep months worth of food, when organized properly.

Why a freezer and not a fridge? 

  • Firstly for spacial reasons, to have a large sofa to snuggle on [although we are stilling looking for the perfect match for this spot, might have to build it], we needed to butt it up against the freezer, the door is on top, there isn't any interference with functionality
  • Second, we affixed matching counter-top on the lid of the freezer for extra work-space [which has proved invaluable].
  • Lastly, freezers are awesome. They don't take away nutritional value, cool air falls to the bottom, so its harder to waste energy, and you can keep food super long. There`s a huge closeout on bread and chickens? No problem, i'm prepared for that. Ill take 10.

But there are some negative parts to only having a freezer: [Finally yesterday we got a small dorm fridge that we are going to build into our stairs in the next few weeks to solve these dilemmas.]

Con #1: Salad is a thing of the past. You cant freeze those leafy greens.

Con #2:  freezer works for just about everything, but not HalfandHalf. It either freezes solid, or freezes partly, and thaws globular [totally fine for cooking, but not ideal for coffee and tea]. We did good for the winter, one of the trailers wheel wells wasn't insulated yet, so we set our creamer on the floor next to it and it stayed perfectly chilled. but summer came, and our Half & Half's shelf life began to diminish.

Con #3: No mayo. I know, apparently everyone hates mayo these days. but i love it. Egg salad, potato salad, tuna sandwiches, chicken salad, turkey salad, mayo on a burger, homemade dressings. I could go on. without mayo. these things aren't possible. [I've tried, Justin wont eat potato salad without mayo.]

Con #4: Lunchmeat. This one is an optional con, because technically if you place wax paper between every 4 slices, you can freeze this and still make sandwiches [but you have to wait for the meat to thaw] and that's a bummer. [but totally doable.]

Everything else can pretty much be frozen, our cheese [pre-shredded before freezing for ease of use]
veggies do pretty good, takes practice figuring out which ones do better, and which need to be precooked. IE never freeze raw potatoes...I`ll never get that $5 back.

Tips for succeeding if you must live the freezer lifestyle:

#1: Two words, Ice-cube trays. They have saved my life.

  • I freeze sour-cream [for cooking] 
  • Milk [to cook with].
  • Buy the big economical bottle of lemon juice and freeze in cubes, now you have lemon juice for all your cooking and drink needs. [super for in Cocktails or ice water]
  • homemade cat food,
  • When Justin`s Juice is about to turn for the worse, i freeze it in cubes for flavorful boosts to his mixed drinks. [do the same for Half and half, perfect for oatmeal and soups]
  • The list is plentiful!

#2 Super simple, even obvious, remember to take things out to thaw in time for dinner. If you work, take them out before you leave. Its super important to having a copacetic freezer life.

#3 Organize! we have a 5 cubicfoot freezer. I make meals ahead of time super often to add into my freezer inventory, this way there aren't stray ingredients wandering about.

#4. I keep 5 of those $1 small 'sterilite' storage boxes to help make freezer navigating simple. this way i can just pick up a tote instead of 10 individual bags of food [easily reaching the items below].