My freezer plays a vital role in keeping the show running in this very busy household. The list seems to be growing all the time as to what I can stash away for another day and I get very excited about how it can make my life a bit easier and get quite evangelical about its many uses.
For example I discovered last year that I can make a batch of scones, or better still a double batch, spread them out on a baking tray or two and pop them in the freezer. Once frozen just snap them off the tray and throw in a zip lock bag and store in the freezer where they can happily live for months. A few mornings a week I will just pull out 6 scones and bake them fresh for the kids school lunch boxes. Really handy to have scones stored away if friends pop over for a cup of tea as you can quickly just pull out a few and bake fresh. Really exciting stuff!
If you have the tedious task of having to prepare school lunch boxes then I highly recommend making the most out of your freezer and making sandwiches in bulk. I have been buying an extra loaf one day a week and making all the sandwiches for the week, wrapping them and freezing them. They can go straight from the freezer into the lunch boxes in the morning and be defrosted in time. Salad sandwiches won’t work so I stick with basic ham and cheese or even just plain old vegemite.
Having a big batch of muffins in a zip lock bag are handy for lunch boxes. Or I slice up a cake or slice and wrap the individual pieces ready to grab in the mornings. Last week I made a double batch of Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins which are for morning teas. Worthwhile making a double batch as they will last for months in the freezer. Then in the mornings I grab a sandwich and a muffin from the freezer for each kid plus cut up some fresh fruit and cut some carrot sticks and cucumber. Very easy lunches.
If I want to just freeze a whole cake for another day I will wrap it in wax paper and aluminium foil. I have half of Essie’s birthday cake in the freezer from a couple of weeks ago as it was so huge. Always good just to store some for another day rather then leave it getting stale.
The kids like to take cupcakes to school/preschool to share with their class on birthdays so instead of staying up till midnight the night before I will try and make these a couple of weeks in advance and freeze them un-iced. Then I just need to make the icing and decorate. Icing cold cakes is so much easier too.
I make brownies often and they are another good thing to freeze. Either freeze the brownies in one big slab or sliced up and fill a container. That way there is a quick dessert on hand or something to have with a coffee.
Making a double batch of soup, curry, tagine, casserole etc for dinner takes only a little extra effort and then you can freeze half for another day. It is so worthwhile to have a few ready meals hidden in the freezer for when life gets busy or even to give to someone else who could really do with a home cooked meal.
All this advance planning seems so simple and straight forward to me now but I didn’t always think to be so organised. I look back at some of the more difficult times like when Levi was born 8 weeks premmie and how much I struggled to look after him let alone look after and feed myself. A few meals in the freezer, some sandwiches for my lunch and a container of sliced brownies for when visitors dropped around would have been dreamy. So I’m passing the organisational knowledge on.
freezer friendly food
individually sliced cakes
slab of brownies
loaf of bread
sandwiches – ham/cheese/chicken/vegemite