The end of my pregnancy with Charlie was anything but "usual". Hubs left for Navy training when I was 35 weeks pregnant and returned a few days after Charlie was born. We anticipated his absence for the end and did everything we could to prepare.
In my nesting craze, I was convinced that I was going to stock our freezer full of meals so I wouldn't have to worry about food during this time. While on a walk with a friend, we noticed her neighbor had a freezer sitting in the lawn with a "free" sign on it (See? God provides and it worked perfectly!). She convinced me that it was too good to pass up and our husbands loaded up the beast.
That freezer sat empty for over a year.
When my friend came to visit for the half marathon a few months ago, she opened our freezer and said, "Whoa! That is the emptiest freezer I've ever seen!".
She was right. It did look pretty pitiful.
I asked her what a normal freezer looked like...
"Fuller" she replied.
Hubs and I aren't really freezer food fans, but her innocent comment got my wheels turning.
Freezer food...I love the idea of having something ready to eat to pull out on those evenings that I just don't feel like cooking. But in my snotty opinion, I think frozen casseroles are gross.
Her comment inspired me to figure out how to make freezer meals, Jen style.
I began my quest by making a big pot of our favorite soup and froze the second half of the pot that we didn't eat. I slowly started doing this with foods that we eat on a regular basis. Then, when I was grocery shopping, I would buy just a little bit more meat than we needed and froze the extras. Any fruit that was past it's "raw" prime, I froze for smoothies or muffins.
I found that by being a little more intentional about freezing food, we've saved/reused more food than before, meal planning is easier and it's even eased some of the stress of hospitality.
For instance, I made a full batch of cookie dough, rolled it into balls and threw them in the freezer. I baked a few for our dessert, but I had a giant bag ready for surprise guests. They definitely came in handy a few times.
Here's a Pinterest fail, mixed with a win. I bought fun contact paper for my "line your refrigerator with contact paper and it will be pretty and clean forever" pin.
BIG FAT FAIL! Yes, it was pretty, but the stuff wouldn't stick to the shelves and every time I moved a food item in the refrigerator the whole sheet would come off. I was so frustrated!
I still have the loads of contact paper if anyone wants them...
But I took one of those pretty scrapes of contact paper, framed it and mounted it on my freezer. I use it to keep a running list of what I have on what shelf.
So from empty to full, here's my freezer list. Guess I should also note that everything is made from scratch, except for the meat :) There's no boxes or processed foods. Just healthy, ready to go food.
Vodka cream sauce
White chicken chili
French Onion soup
Whole wheat bread
Apple cider muffins
Fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches)
Yeast, nuts, ginger
BBQ pizza (half cooked)
What's in your freezer? Anything I should add to my staple list?