The Early Years
I have been cooking meals for my freezer since my husband and I were married back in 2000. I ran across the idea on a Yahoo! Groups recipe loop. The Freezer-Friendly Yahoo! Group was recommended and I joined. (Postings there have dropped dramatically since my first days (when it wasn’t uncommon to average 2000 posts a month!) but you’ll still find a wonderful wealth of knowledge there.) Trying to take advantage of sales, I began buying sale meat in bulk and making several meals. We only had a freezer as part of the fridge, a small kitchen and just my husband and I…but I still managed to do it and save us quite a bit of money.
The Middle Years
In 2003, we made a major life change. At the time, we were living in the suburbs of Chicago, DH an engineer with Motorola and I was teaching. In January, just days before the US began its invasion into Iraq, my husband joined the military. He was on a delayed-entry program and left for basic that summer. I put freezer cooking mostly on hold while our life was in semi-limbo. While he was gone, I’d make some individual-sized portions for me but not much. We moved to Washington at the end of the year and immideately became pregnant with our daughter. From then until 2007, my freezer cooking was pretty limited. Between adjusting to motherhood, moving, SoldierBoy’s first deployment, cooking for my freezer just wasn’t on my priority list. I still did it at various levels but rarely consistently. In that time, though, you could almost always find some frozen taco meat or raw chicken in marinades.
In December 2007 we moved to Hawai’i. Knowing that we’d be welcome our first son in a matter of weeks, one of our first purchases was a standing freezer. We found a standing one for $80 on Craigslist! Over that Christmas season, I worked furiously to fill my freezer. By the time Benjamin arrived, I had about two-and-a-half months of food in there. Since then, I’ve kept a steady amount in the freezer. When Matthew arrived this spring, I had several months of food stocked between the pantry and freezer. We are finally coming to the end of that stash.
Where am I going from here?
Well, it will soon be that time of year again. We will be packed up in October, so I’ll lose my stand-alone freezer. And then we’ll move in December. So August will probably be the last month I cook for the freezer until 2011. From there, I won’t be doing much, I don’t expect. SoldierBoy will be away at school, so it will just be me and the kiddos. And we’ll be on the move again come early fall. Over the next year, my freezer cooking will be way down but I’ll still continue to experiment, collect recipes and keep some basics around.
What freezer foods can you find here?
Below are a list of all the recipes I’ve posted that are tried-and-true freezer recipes for our family. I’ve included the link and any notes on how I freeze and/or prepare the food. I’ve also included a link to freezer tips as well as the link to all my freezer food posts.
Asian Beef Skewers
Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
Enchilada Soup (added 02/11)
Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Honey Chicken Kabobs
Indian-Spiced Pork Skewers
Italian Beef Sandwiches
Lime Chicken Tacos (added 04/11)
Mexican Style Shredded Pork
Zesty Slow-Cooker Barbecue Chicken