Freezer, Blessed Freezer

28 Sep

That right there? That is the bane of my existence.

That monstrous refrigerator was in this house when we bought it, and unlike the horrible oven (we’ll chat about that one soon) and totally dysfunctional dishwasher that have been summarily tossed since then, the damn fridge will not die. It chugs along, spitting out ice and keeping stuff cold, in its maddening side-by-side design that won’t fit a pizza box, ice cream cake (even regular boxes of ice cream are just this side of impossible and must contort to squeeze in there), or even a lasagna pan if there’s anything else at all on the shelf.

It’s a huge, massive appliance. And nothing fits. And it has this stupid water dispenser on the door which is very ooh la la, but which my one-year-old black Labrigator figured out quite some time ago and has threatened to flood my house every day since. I can’t touch it–she mimics me when I dare and I fear disaster will ensue.

Come into my house in the middle of my trying to cram one stupid thing in there, or opening the door to have something heavy tumble out onto my foot, and you’ll hear me whispering to it in a sinister display of a side of me most people don’t see. “Die. I hate you. Just DIE already.”

But that’s not what we’re talking about today (unless you’re talking to Santa by chance, in which case chat me up, wouldja? Ask the jolly old elf to bring me a bottom-freezer stainless model, preferably Kenmore Elite, pretty please I’ve been soooooooo good!). We are talking about freezers in general and their amazing way of making dinner easier. Because lots of you have told me how difficult getting dinner on the table is once school and sports and music and scouts and everything else starts up each fall, and the freezer can really be your friend in that department.

Let’s start with the basics. I told you about my bags o’ salmon from the warehouse club. Twenty minutes, freezer to table, I promise. Flavorful on their own, they need very little to make a really healthy, filling dinner. Throw a filet in the oven, pop a potato in the microwave, and then throw a bag of SteamFresh veggies in there while the taters sit on a plate, and whammo. You are the Queen of Dinner.

My freezer also has a bag of frozen chicken breasts (not the huge one because of the aforementioned godforsaken side by side issue, but I digress.) that can also give me a super fast dinner in no time. Defrost a chicken boob in a bowl of water (faster than the microwave and no risk of cooking the poor thing into a tasteless, rubbery slab), give it a pat, dip it in egg and breadcrumbs, saute it in a big pan, and pour some spaghetti sauce over it. Top with some shredded cheese, pop it under the broiler for a minute, and boom. Chicken parm. How awesome are you?

Also in my freezer: a bag of homemade meatballs (throw them into a bowl of pasta or or onto a hamburger roll with a little sauce), several bags of pumpkin, chocolate zucchini, and chocolate chip muffins, wrapped and bagged individual servings of baked ziti and slow cooker lasagna, and some pre-marinated tuna steaks from Trader Joe’s that go onto the grill almost straight from the icebox. A package of English Muffins, a bunch of SteamFresh bags of veggies and even rice (DUDE! Rice in three minutes! Rock ON!), and some veggie burgers, which are surprisingly healthy and delicious round things out. Oh, and a few containers of chicken noodle soup, chili, balls of pizza dough, and a load of spices are stuffed into the corners. Along with an Amy’s cheese pizza (totally squashed, not that I’m bitter or anything) for total emergency nights.

The freezer is your friend. If you’re hauling out pots and pans to make a nice dinner, it’s almost always just as easy to haul out one or two more, make a double batch of your entree, dole it into individual servings, and wrap, bag, and freeze it for another night.

So tell me…what’s in your freezer, and how do you make it work for your family?

One Response to “Freezer, Blessed Freezer”

  1. mary m September 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    I need to make better use of our freezer….It’s full of crap right now…Well and 5 gallon sized bags of blueberries, and 5 of strawberries….

    We’ve been trying to use it up!

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