Friday, May 14, 2010
To Freeze or Not To Freeze, That is The Question!
I've fallen into the bad habit of not eating things before I presume they are going to expire. Or, buying things in excess with the idea that "oh, I'll just freeze it." I'm here to tell you about things that freeze well, and things that don't. More likely, things that don't.
Things that don't freeze well
1. Cream cheese. This may seem genius when cream cheese is on sale for $.25/package, but my suggestion would be to resist. It gets a weird texture when unfrozen. It's not the worst if you are using it to cook, but I don't recommend freezing and then thawing to spread on bagels.
2. Lettuce. Once, in a past life, I got the hare-brained idea that freezing an already dressed salad would prevent the lettuce from getting soggy. My apparently wiser, smarter, boyfriend of the moment suggested that it wouldn't work that well, and I INSISTED that the salad was worth saving and this was just the way to do it, and wouldn't it be a perfect lunch for him tomorrow. I was correct in that while frozen, the lettuce was not one bit soggy, but upon thawing, the lettuce was a lump of icky, green, stuff, less than ideal for lunch. Katie - 0, Boyfriend - 1.
3. Sour Cream. When I made tortilla soup, I had sour cream that was about to expire, so I dropped a dollop into each of the tupperwares of soup I was planning to freeze. Look at me, so smart, so savvy, so proud. Not the worst decision, but similar to the cream cheese... the sour cream just gets a little funny, in a weird texturous kind of way. Not recommended for freezing.
4. Cheese slices. Because once frozen, they don't separate like they are supposed to and you end up with little chunks everywhere. Maybe only annoying if you are extremely Type A, which I'm clearly not.
Things that freeze remarkably well
1. Shredded cheese. It thaws fantastically, it freezes great, and when you find those puppies on sale for $.42/bag, buy the whole lot of 'em. You'll have cheese for a year!
2. Fresh fruit. I make lots of smoothies, and sometimes I forget about my fruit. I've only attempted this with blackberries and mango, but just before they were going to go bad, I stuck the extras in the freezer and use them in my smoothies in the AM. PERFECT way to not waste fruit!
3. Buffalo Chicken Dip (and other dips, but not 7-Layer dip). Make some extra? Just throw it in the freezer and reheat later. Easy peasy. And still delicious!
4. Fresh lemon/lime juice. I learned this one courtesy of my mother. If you have lemons or limes that are on the brink of rotten, squeeze them into a plastic baggy or small tupperware and freeze it. It creates a neverending supply of fresh juice to use in cooking or cleaning or whatever else you need that kind of stuff for.
So that's it. I don't claim to be a whiz in the kitchen, but I've learned a thing or two about what to freeze and what not to freeze. Today I will attempt to freeze cooked and prepared pasta and a half-eaten egg roll, because it's what I brought for lunch but I'm going to take my parents up on going out for lunch instead. They only come into town once every few months, I take advantage while I can.
Stay tuned next week for who knows what. Adios and Happy Friday!