Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Frugal Cooking- Squirreling Away Food For Winter
This is my great-aunt Beulah. I want to be just like her when I grow up. Beulah's one of those old-fashioned Grandma types who makes everything from scratch and always had a freezer full of stuff like butter sponge cake and homemade twice baked potatoes and strawberry sauce, you know in case there's a winter storm and twenty hobbits are stuck at your house and in need of provisions. I love it.
In my efforts to be like Beulah, I've been working for years on coming up with a similar system to hers for freezing, canning and otherwise preserving and preparing food for the winter months. In my case it's not a necessity. I live in the city within walking distance of a grocery store, but it does help to make weekday meal planning a whole lot easier. There's been a lot of trial and error. I've learned that there are plenty of things I really don't use, things that don't can or freeze well and things that are just not worth the freezer space. I feel like I'm starting to hit my groove now.
This past week I've been working hard on this project. The school year is less than a month away now and life is about to get a little more hectic.
Tonight I made and froze some pie crusts. Eight pie crust, to be exact.
In the winter I like to make quiche and pot pies, as well as sweet pies, of course. The Pillsbury stuff just isn't the same. While pie crust is easy, it's messy, so I have to be in the right mood to make it. Once it's made I roll it out on wax paper, roll it up and put the crusts in a ziploc bag for freezing. It makes it easy to store and easy to retrieve.
One of my experiments this year is with freezing dough for fruit tarts. It's crumbly, so I stored it in a ziploc bag. When I'm ready to use it, I'll unthaw it and pat it into a tart pan. It's really not very different from pie crust, so I am hopeful that it will freeze well.
My neighbor has been bringing me tart cherries, so I've been using them to make cherry freezer jam and cherry pancake sauce. I love cherry jam. It's one of my all-time favourites, especially on jam cakes and in jam tarts.
Beans are another thing I like to cook ahead and freeze. These are baked beans. I made enough to fill four bags with enough in each bag to feed 5 people in a meal. I have some black beans with a little onion and a dried pepper in the crockpot now. I like those for black bean chili and black bean burritos.
Finally, they had overripe bananas on sale at the grocery store, 4lbs for $1. I froze them individually and then put them in a bag to use later in smoothies or banana bread.
I've been thinking about what else I'd like to make ahead and I've come up with the following list.
-Twice baked potatoes
-Raspberry freezer jam
-Raspberry pancake sauce
-A few batches of Potato Leek Soup
Posted by Stephanie Griffith at 7:54 PM