whole food ~ well made

The Meals Hidden Inside Your Freezer

Do you treat your freezer like a circular file? It’s time to excavate and make some bonus meals.

Last week, when we returned from 2+ weeks in the east, I couldn’t help notice the sad state of my freezers. The top freezer on the upright fridge is stuffed to bursting with Grand Central Bakery bread. While we were away, it sprung open a crack and everything is now coated, cartoon-like, in frost.

We food preservers and locavores may be the most guilty of hoarding food. We spend our precious time putting by all of summer’s good produce and then we let it sit in there for months and years. Most people I know haven’t seen the bottom of their freezers since they bought them.

Freezer Storage

Even though I’ve made a concerted effort to eat from my frozen stores, I still have more food than I need in there.

Do you know what’s in the depths of your freezer? If so, what are you saving it for?

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. It’s one of those kitchen universals, like the resistance to unloading the dishwasher, the dull knives you planned to sharpen, the gross pot holders needing to be replaced.

I’m here to remind you that your freezer is not a safety deposit box. And, while it’s true that nothing’s going to spoil in the freezer (barring an extended power outage, and man, think of all the food that had to be tossed during the east coast’s Halloween storm power outages), nothing’s getting better, either.

Here is an extensive list of food storage guidelines for the refrigerator and freezer with useful notes about freezer storage and its affects on food quality.

A Freezer Challenge

You only have 92 days until spring, when the new growing season begins. By planning meals from the freezer, we can all eat the food while it’s best and reduce our food waste, which peaks at this time of year.

So here’s the holiday challenge: for the next 5 days, paw through your freezer(s) before you hit the grocery store and build meals around what you find.

There’s not much time, but I’m betting that there are a few “lost” items you might be pleased to discover. I “found” a pound of dry-packed scallops I was saving for a special occasion. They’re now the feature of my holiday menu.

What’s in your freezer? Find it and eat it soon. You’ll be glad you did.


  1. Becky

    haha! I totally know what you mean about the bread! We stock up on it every time we're in PDX too! With 2 teen/tween boys, my freezer contents get a rapid turnover! We've already eaten a ton of summer veggies from our garden, and DH wasn't lucky hunting this year, so it's looking pretty bare!

  2. Rural Eating

    Frances said:
    Thanks for the reminder of using things up in the freezer. I almost panicked in early December
    when I started my holiday baking as there just wasn't that much room in the upright freezer. I did
    manage to pack the fruitcake and apple/dried cranberry/pecan bread in but then had a heck of a time finding room for the four kinds of cookies! The corn, pesto, tomatoes, three kinds of zucchini bread, blueberries, and raspberries from this year's garden were just taking up too much space. Good thing I have a chest type freezer for the meat, huh?

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