So, I think I need to start thinking about my freezer differently. Right now, I seem to be using it like a purgatory for food. Let’s take the freezer burned homemade black bean and corn salsa I had to toss as one example. Last May I had a Cinco de Mayo party and wanted to make sure I had enough food to feed everyone. So, I made a vat of the stuff, and of course ended up with left-overs. After a week of trying to eat it all up (think chips and salsa, Mexican eggs with salsa, Mexican bruschetta…) I was all salsa-ed out. So, I divided it up into single serving sizes and threw it into the freezer, where it hung out until now. Ugh! Without a plan to work it into a meal I let it sit for months and now I have to throw it away. The biggest lesson I took away from my freezer cleanse is that I need to have a plan for the food I put in there.
Here’s the damage: puff pastry and edamame (from my friend who lived here before I moved in), the homemade salsa, left-over tofu (same story as the salsa), a couple of slices of bread, half of a Ben and Jerry’s pint, and most of a bag of shrimp (Oy! I’m feeling especially bad about this one about reading about fish waste and all that goes into getting shrimp).
In the process I did identify a few items (hamburgers, frozen veggies, left-over pizza, more ice cream), that I need to eat fairly quickly. I also realized that I have some appetizers that I can bring along to a Super Bowl party next weekend, which will save food and money. And, I learned more about frozen food expiration looking up information as I was tossing things out. So, that’s a bonus, and makes me feel a little better. (Lauren Hirshon)