I meet many people who are simply “afraid” to freeze any food merely because they have had bad “freezer-tasting” food in the past. That is a false assumption. The food they ate was just frozen and stored the wrong way. It’s like trying to make cholent in a frying pan!
With summer rapidly approaching, we look forward to spending more time outside with our families. Whenever my family and I would spend a great day outdoors, all I do is go to “Mom’s Diner”—my freezer—and pull out our dinner! We never have to experience the “instant heartburn” some people get from takeout food!
You have to learn the proper technique and correct storage containers to use for that exact purpose. In my experience, I have saved hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year by freezing and storing food correctly! And don't forget the hours you will save in time because you do not have to “waste” time cooking fresh food every day of your life!
Freezing is simple and the most time-efficient way to preserve foods at home. It is important to note that freezing does not improve the quality of foods, but when properly done, it can preserve most of the quality of the fresh product. Food stored constantly at zero degrees will always be safe.
FYI: As an aside, if you have an electrical blackout, a full freezer will keep food frozen for 72 hours, while a half full freezer will only stay for 12 hours!
One of my customers did an experiment with her family. To be precise, she did it to prove a point to her husband who said he would never eat anything that was frozen. He had been turned off by bad experiences from his childhood years when his mother would serve frozen, dried out food to him and his siblings. She was a working mother and had no other choice. She used cheap plastic takeout containers and lots of foil and baggies to store the food in the freezer. These cheaper quality containers are not meant for the vapors and low temperatures that exist in a zero degree environment. The food lost its quality and got a “freezer burn,” thereby robbing it of its good taste and appearance.
However, this woman was desperate to find a way out of being forced to cook a fresh meal every day, so she decided to try her freezer luck. Her husband’s favorite food was meatballs and spaghetti. She prepared the recipe as usual, but instead of freezing the meatballs with the sauce in cheap containers immediately after cooking them, she used my tricks and saved herself literally hours of time.
She made sure these meatballs remained her private secret. She served her family about 85 defrosted suppers of meatballs and sauce over a period of four weeks, and no one knew the difference! Of course, she cooked her spaghetti and other side dishes fresh each time.
So, she never told her husband what she did and still now freezes many of her food for her family. She recently told me she feels like a “liberated” woman! She has more time to devote to her other interests with her newfound time.
Here's how you can be liberated of the daily grind!
How To: Yummy Frozen Meatballs or Stuffed Cabbage
Separate the cooked meatballs/stuffed cabbage from the sauce. Line a cookie sheet or flat board with foil. Foil acts as a conductor and will “quick-freeze” any food sitting on it in the freezer. Place the meatballs side by side, like rows of cookies, on the foil, (without the sauce.) Depending on your particular freezer, it may take an hour, more or less to “quick freeze” the meatballs. Then, place the hardened meatballs into any Tupperware freezer container. You can use either a tall or flat container, because shape will not matter. The meatballs will pop out individually, since there is no sauce binding them together! Freeze the sauce separately.
Sauce can be frozen in bulk or in individual smaller 2 cup Tupperware containers. If you did freeze sauce in a larger container and only need a small amount of sauce for those six meatballs you removed for a child, just run some warm water from the sink over the container. On a cutting board, slide out the “brick” of sauce. Hold down the “brick” with a carving fork. Run very hot water on a sharp serrated knife, and “slice” the amount of sauce you need! The rest was not defrosted, so you may return it to the freezer safely for later use. Remember, you cannot refreeze fully defrosted cooked food.
Here are a few more general tips for freezing:
- Reheating food properly is as important as freezing it properly. Tupperware has the most efficient microwave line of VentnServe products that heat your food evenly and completely. No one can tell it was previously frozen!
- Make sure to label the containers on the outside, since frozen food can look alike. A customer told me that she once prepared a meal using some of her frozen unlabelled stock. She was sure she would remember what it was. Lo and behold, she said her “soup turned to fish” when it defrosted!
- You can use the meatball “quick-freeze” method to freeze kneidelach, fish balls or raw knishes. Line balls on cookie sheet spread out, and put into a container once frozen.
- You can use the sauce defrosting tips to take off a small amount of frozen soup.
Please try my family’s favorite Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe. I have customer’s who tell me, they have family members who literally “lick the plate” when eating this!