Part of trying to live well and frugally means being aware of what needs to be rotated and used in the freezer and pantry. After all, food that lurks in the corners until it moans, sighs, limps, or otherwise passes into the eternities is wasted. No one likes to eat freezer-burned buns (a bag of which The Boy discovered during tonight’s freezer inventory… sorrow.)
The nice thing about keeping on top of rotating the dregs is that nothing gets truly dreggy. We might have some interesting meals for a week, but that’s just a challenge to ingenuity, isn’t it? I’m reasonably clever. I can make it work, if only to clear out room for fresh stored items after the shopping trip late this week.
Looking at my freezers alone, there are some dregs I need to rotate before they take up recreational lurking:
- Beef: 3 meal bags. That puts roast beef, shredded beef BBQ, or shredded beef tacos on the menu very soon.
- Chicken Thighs: 2 meal bags. Hmmm… maybe chicken parmesan or cacciatore? Or baked, with a deglazed sauce and rice/veg?
- Pork: 2 meal bags. I could roast one along with one bag of beef, and do “Roast Beast” with beast muffin-tin mini-pies after (and for the freezer… recycling dregs start their storage life over, dontcha know?)
- Seasoned Beef Steaks: easy as pie: thaw and grill. The Tall, Dark, and Slightly Neanderthal one will handle that, whilst I handle sides of roasted carrots and parsnips, and rosemary-garlic potato wedges.
- Swedish Meatballs: 1 very large bag–at least 2-3 meals there, but they’ll need to be spaced, and are not even near the middle of their existence, so I’ll plan one meal around them (perhaps hot meatball sandwiches) and wait on the additional meals for later in the next two months.
- Mini-meatballs: 1 large bag, likely 1 meal with good leftovers. These could go in soup, or with pasta, or as mini-meatball subs, or meatball lasagna… so many options!
- Peach Jam from 2009: 2 pints. time to make a lemon cheesecake and top it with peach jam, I think.
Knowing what’s there, I have a pretty good idea of what kinds of meals to focus on in the last week of the month. I’m not going to have to shop… I have two pie crusts frozen, and can even focus on getting all the way to the bottom of the flour barrel (just so I can sterilize it for winter), making bread, cinnamon-raisin bread, and that sort of thing.
I also know that this next shopping trip needs to include freezer tape and a fresh Sharpie–mine are definitely dreggy, and need refreshing. Is there much better than a freezer with things actually labelled? Sure, it takes all the fun out of Mystery Meat, but it’s nice for sanity, anyhow, and saves The Boy hollering upstairs, “Mom, do you think this one is pork or beef? And should any of this stuff be moaning at me?”