Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Freezer Method
So I have this nasty habit of starting new projects and never completing them. (Ahem, the multiple, long lapses between posts?) My brother will even vouch for me claiming that when we were kids I would refuse to finish playing board games with him. Perhaps because I was bored? I've had many excuses over the past 6 months as to why I haven't posted, nausea from pregnancy keeping me out of the kitchen, tiredness of pregnancy and then...the actual birth! Yes, Bambino's baby brother has arrived. (I shall now be grammatically correct and refer to Bambino as Bambina and her younger brother as Bambino. Hey, I took Spanish all through middle school and high school and minored in the language in college, don't expect me to know Italian as well!)
A month after Bambino's arrival we're all doing well (despite a trip to the emergency for stitches, and no it wasn't the baby). Still having sleepless nights, but hey, that comes with the territory of newborns, right? I've been itching to express my cerebral side (Ok, so I'm not sure if my quirky blogging counts as cerebral, but as a mom consumed with Elmo and soiled diapers, it's the closest I can get for now!)
For anyone who has had a baby, you know the difficulty of managing caring for the child and feeding your belly. If you've read any of my blog before, you know that I am fixated on healthy eating, thus what we were going to eat when I knew I wouldn't have time to cook was on the forefront of my mind in the last trimester of pregnancy. We don't often eat takeout or consume frozen, packaged meals, so convenience was not on my side.
I decided to attempt what I failed at with my last pregnancy, the freezer method. (Yes, I coined that term, or so I assume so don't go scour the Internet to see if it exists and prove me wrong. I enjoy living in my own narcissism.) About a month before my due date, every time I would cook a meal I would freeze about two servings and place it in an airtight container and label and date the food. Additionally, two weeks after Bambino was born, my mother spent a week helping me cook (or I should say I sporadically helped her) to replenish the freezer.
I must say, the freezer method is genius! I made sure to heat everything up in the oven or on the stove. When Hubby was warming up his own food he would do it in the microwave, but it still came out pretty well, so he says. There were only a few days that Hubby picked up some takeout, only because his palette was yearning for something not cooked at home (or by me). Bambina and I were able to stick to everything we had in the freezer and I occasionally I could whip up something easy for her or more often my mother would cook something.
For those of you who are going to have a baby, have a medical procedure planned, or maybe you just have a small household and when you cook it makes too much food, well the freezer method is just for you! It's an easy way to portion off some of what you have already cooked so that at a later time you just pop it into the oven or microwave. Think of it as your own tv dinner! (Sounds like a late night infomercial. Can you tell I'm often awake passed 3am when all the cable channels flip over to paid programming?)
Tricks to the Freezer Method:
1. Don't freeze an entire meal into one container (unless you have enough people to eat that much.) Section it off into portion sizes.
2. Label and date everything you freeze. Trust me on this one, when you have multiple items in the freezer it's hard to distinguish between meatballs and banana muffins. (I think the photo above speaks for itself.)
3. Take the container out a day in advance to defrost. You don't want to eat anything straight from the freezer, defrost and then heat up the next day. It will taste better.
4. Heat your food fully! Eating something that is partially frozen on the inside will scar you from the freezer method. Thus, defrosting the food a day in advance will help with this.
5. Get a good, airtight container to freeze your food. Seriously, heating up food that has freezer burn does not taste good and it will also scar you from the freezer method. Heeding my mother's advice (the queen of the freezer method), I used Rubbermaid containers.
I plan to continue with the freezer method for times when the amount I make exceeds mouths to feed. It's great to take out food on a busy week out of the freezer rather than serving packaged food. Often times, when I have a multiple step dish that is time consuming to make but Hubby loves I make extra and freeze it so that he can enjoy the food and I don't have to stress about making it again! Also, when I start making baby food for Bambino, as I did with Bambina, the freezer method will be in full effect.
Share with me your thoughts on the freezer method!