Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are You Rotating Your Freezer Storage?

I have been digging deeper in my freezer and finding a few items that would reach out and grab me if they could . .  you know kind of like those funny little items in the back of your fridge growing fuzz, feathers, and unmentionable stuff that polite people don't mention.

Fortunately, I have been pretty determined to keep everything labeled, including a date.  I am finding that the date isn't always a good indicator of the condition of the food.  In the previous post, I made Guacamole out of an avocado that I tossed in there last summer, just in its own skin. It was fine.  Tonight I took out some turkey that frozen in November.  There was no frost in the bag or any dry looking spots.  It had a little bit of an "off" flavor to it.  So out came the pot and in went the seasonings to simmer and make it tasty again.

Though freezing may not be the way to store most of our food, it is a wonderful invention which enables us to enjoy the fresh flavors of summer and autumn, so be sure to keep a good way of rotating it as well.

I had a huge chest type freezer for years and the bottom was impossible to rotate the foods in.  I ended up using five gallon buckets to sort everything, preferably with handles for lifting out.  After covering the bottom of the freezer, I created a second layer of buckets on top.  The top ones were so much easier to lift out of the way than the long baskets that came with the freezer were.

Because of change of circumstances and my family shrinking (growing up and leaving home), watching other's freezers quitting on them (mine was even older than any of their's, YIKES!)  I decided to down size and get an upright.  I found it no easier to keep organized for rotation and boy howdy did it hurt when something fell out on your toes!

So I spent several weeks looking for just the right size baskets to organize and act as "drawers".  It's working a lot better.  Now I can pull out a manageable weight to go through and find what needs to be used.


GUACAMOLE- - Pantry Substitutes in Red

1 - avocado, frozen (this one was about 6 " long)  of course a fresh one is even better
2 -  medium tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes)
1/2 t. crushed red chili pepper (or red chili powder)
1 t. minced garlic (1/2 t. garlic powder)
2 T.  minced onion  or  1/4 c. chopped gr. onion
(1. t. onion powder)
3 T. lime juice (lemon juice is OK, just not as tasty)
1/2 t. salt
**2 oz. cream cheese, softened (If using an avocado that was in the freezer, it will have the translucent appearance like you see in the next picture.  The cream cheese give is a creamier consistency and more normal appearance)

1.   I took this picture and then almost immediately changed it into a better shaped spaghetti bowl. I mash the avocado and cream cheese with a fork, stirring and mashing until it is very small chunks.  You can use a food processor if you would prefer a smoother consistency.

2.  Dice the tomatoes.  These are about 1/2"  - 3/4" in size.  Closer to 1/4" will disperse through the mixture better than this did.  :-)

Now is the time to add your garlic, onion, lime juice, salt and crushed red
chili peppers.

  Mix it really well.  Before you add more salt, try it on a chip.  Most have a lot of salt on them which will make a difference in the taste as you are munching!

  1. Now put the kids to bed or send them home with their parents.
  2. Find a good movie.
  3. Put your feet up.
  4. Enjoy!!
Little side note:  When I was growing up Guacamole was smash an avocado and mix it with some Mt. Pass Taco Sauce, the whole 4 oz.  can.  Salsa hadn't been thought of, especially in the big old jars like it comes now.  Mom loved it when I grew up and started to get serious with kitchen experimentation!