freezer fun

I have had a goal in the back of my mind for many months now.  The goal is to eat up the majority of the food I have in my freezer.  Well, actually the food in my 3 freezers.  I have the standard refrigerator and freezer in my kitchen, however there’s also a fridge in the cottage where my husband’s office is located.  The communion wine is kept in that fridge, but that’s all it’s used for, so I use the freezer space for our food.  Furthermore, there are two fridges in the church kitchen, one for church use and one for school use, and since the church freezer only gets used once in a great while, I use that freezer, too.

However, the problem is that I’ve built up quite a freezer stash of food, and it’s easy to lose track of what I have.  So, today I took inventory of what was in all three freezers.  And, wow, our family has been blessed with plenty of food!  It’s going to make my goal of making weekly meal plans quite a bit easier, as I now know what I have and need to use up.  For example:

  • raspberries – I brought home a whole bunch of huge, delicious Oregon raspberries from our trip to Portland this summer, berries that we had picked ourselves for a ridiculously cheap price.  Now, I need to find some good (and wheat free!) ways to use them up.
  • sweet corn – I bought a number of cobs when it was in season at the Farmer’s Market, sliced the corn off the cobs and froze the kernels in freezer bags.  Now I need to make sure I put them to use.  I have been using them in soups and casseroles, so I need to continue making a point to do that.
  • kielbasa – I tend to buy them when they’re on sale at my local grocery store because I like to use them in soups.  Well, I’ve got plenty to use up!
  • strawberry jam – I made a number of batches of jam when strawberries were in season, and I still have plenty of jam in my freezer.  My girls love toast as a snack; I may have to start insisting that they put some jam on their toast when they eat it.
  • bananas – For a while, we were going through a phase where I would buy bananas, but only about half of them would get eaten.  The rest turned brown and ended up in my freezer.  I have since become more judicious in my banana-buying (although Jujubee is on a huge banana kick lately!), but I still have a boatload of brown bananas in my freezer, so they are going to need to get used up.  Good thing I have a tasty wheat-free banana bread recipe!
  • bread crumbs – I discovered that I have six cups of bread crumbs!  With my handy-dandy food processor, I make bread crumbs out of bread that’s stale or about to go bad, and I use the crumbs on top of casseroles or, once in a while, in meatballs.  However, with my hubby eating wheat-free, these are going to be a bit more tricky to get rid of.

I also have a number of containers of turkey and chicken stock, so we’re set for the next time we get sick and need to eat homemade soup.  That’s a good thing, although it means that a bunch of my big plastic containers are currently in use!  I’ve been noticing for a while that my supply of plastic containers seems to be getting low.  When I did my freezer inventory today, I realized where all of my containers were!

I looked through my pantry a bit today too, and I found some bags of beans that need to get used up.  I used about 1/3 of my 13 Bean Soup mix tonight to make supper, and it turned out pretty good (as long as you like those kinds of beans.  My girls aren’t real big on beans like that yet.  But my hubby loved it!)  I discovered a one pound bag of split red lentils that I bought about a year ago.  I have no idea why I bought them, and I have no idea what to do with them.  But, I’m going to find a way to use them!  🙂

Hopefully all of this taking stock of the food I have on hand will allow me to reduce our grocery bills a bit in 2011.  That would be a help, and after all, food IS meant to be eaten.  I think we have some good meals ahead of us.