What should I put in my freezer?

kcz

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Next month I am having surgery on my wrist, and I will be in a cast/splint and unable to use that hand for about 4 weeks.  I am trying to plan ahead and have a good assortment of meals in the freezer that I can just reheat since I won't be able to do much cooking.  So far, I have baked beans, chili, lasagna, veg beef soup, mac & cheese, and potato-leek soup.  Also some rolls and nut breads.  Planning to add crab cakes and cookies of some sort.  I need other suggestions.  Can I freeze scalloped potatoes?  What about a pot pie if I make the filling and put it in an unbaked pastry crust?   What else?   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif  

Unfortunately, I won't be able to use a can opener at all, so PD's pea recipe is not achievable for me.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif

And do you think there is any hope of my being able to open a wine bottle with one hand?  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
 
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you could squeeze in some pre-made hamburger patties, spaghetti sauce, and brownies freeze well too. I don't see why scalloped potatoes wouldn't freeze...I'd go heavy on the sauce though for a good coating for the potato. As far as the wine goes, if you hold the bottle with your knees and  use a wine steward the leverage action is easy. I've had a broken wrist before/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
 

phatch

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We freeze individual pre-baked pot pies in single serve ramekins. Bake, cool, wrap in plastic wrap, wrap in foil. I'd be tempted to freeze a bunch of mirepoix so I have some flexibility in making something else during convalescence. Perahps grated cheese, pizza dough.
 
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There are only a few foods that do not do good when frozen besides lettuce. Just make sure you wrap everything tight amd not in alumium foil

Date everything, Good luck with your surgery. You can even buy scalloped and au gratin potatoes already made so sure you can freeze it.
 
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Ed is correct. There aren't too many foods that won't freeze; particularly cooked foods.

The only things I've found problematical are creamed soups. Sometimes they break when defrosting. Sometimes not. I haven't been able to isolate what the differences may be.

We regularly put up full meals that way. Sort of diy TV dinners, that we jokingly call MREs. Let 'em defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave. Our approach is to lay out the components on a foam plate, then double-wrap, first with cling film, then foil. Works like a charm.
 

kuan

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Tell your friends.  Have them bring over food.  :)
 
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Def go with some soup, I like the Matzo Ball kind myself you can freeze a meatloaf or a good stew or chili.
 

kcz

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I just remembered that I already have spaghetti sauce & meatballs in the freezer. I don't know if I can cook/drain pasta with one hand though, but I can always eat meatballs with salad and garlic bread.  :>)  Will definitely make, pre-bake, and freeze some pot pies, and scalloped potatoes.  Hadn't thought of meatloaf...that's a good idea.  Maybe some chicken burritos/enchiladas...anything with tomato sauce should freeze well, right?  Had to look up "MRE"...that's definitely what I need.  Thanks for the ideas.

Gunnar, I always thought a wine steward was a sommelier...I was picturing him sitting in my lap with a bottle of wine.  Now I just have to figure out how to rent one for a month.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/bounce.gif
 
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KCZ, with many tasks that seem improbably, you can handle it if you engage in a little sideways think.

Take that pasta. I'd pay ten bucks to watch you trying to pour a pot of water and pasta through a strainer with just one wing to work with. But surely you can handle tongs one-handed. So use them to transfer the pasta from the cooking water to the serving platter.

Later on, when the pot and cooking water have cooled down, transfer them to the sink using your good hand and the forearm of your injured one.

Something else to think about. You will probably have to reverse your normal work flow. That is, if you're right-handed, you mostly work from right to left. If you now have to work as a southpaw, you'll be more efficient working left to right.
 
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 We freeze individual pre-baked pot pies in single serve ramekins. Bake, cool, wrap in plastic wrap, wrap in foil.
 I don't even bake them first. I've made dozens of chicken pot pies for my in-laws. I make the filling (which is mostly pre-cooked), put the cooled filling into the baking dish, and top with unbaked crust. I like the Cook's Illustrated crust with vodka in it. (You don't taste it- it's to help make the crust flaky.) I wrap and freeze the pies. My mother-in-law prefers to defrost them first, but you can put them, frozen, into a toaster oven or regular oven and bake them at about 375. That way the dough won't overcook before the filling is hot.
 
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Place large  bowl near sove, useing small strainer with handle  or slotted spoon, transfer pasta from boiling water to bowl. Let water cool while eating pasta. then throw out.
 

kcz

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Joined Dec 14, 2006
Trust me, I know all about inventive work-arounds.  I'm disabled from a back injury, and had surgery on my other hand last year which left me with diminished grip strength.  I'm sure I could cook pasta but frankly it's not worth the extra effort, including the one-handed clean-up of pots/strainers/bowls, when I have so many other household issues to deal with after my surgery, from pet care to laundry.  The best work-around is to make the pasta dish in advance and freeze it.
 
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save some room for the goose(the grey one!)...thank goodness for screw caps on some wine bottles...don't always agree with them, but they certainly come in handy sometimes... of course .manicotti & eggplant parm are always comforting...as for cooking pasta, tortellini is easy enough to cook(for one or two) one handed in a sauce pan...reservations are another good thing to make!

i would imagine its not the cooking eating part, its the clean up that's sucky....dogs come in very handy for the pre wash!...best of luck to you...

joey

ky, now that it's been 2 weeks, seems you are pretty much back to normal...when do the dentures go in? what are you eating these days? glad you recovered so well and speedily. i think a large part of that is due to the fact that you are a fit, healthy outdoorsman, who for the most part lives simply & makes healthy food choices...plus, the drugs and the advances in dental surgery with minimal invasion has grown leaps and bounds.....
 
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Gee KCZ, sounds like you might be in the market for a personal chef for a short period of time? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 

kcz

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Joined Dec 14, 2006
save some room for the goose(the grey one!)...thank goodness for screw caps on some wine bottles...

i would imagine its not the cooking eating part, its the clean up that's sucky....dogs come in very handy for the pre wash!...best of luck to you...

joey
Note to self:  Buy wine with screw caps.

Note to self #2:  Get a dog.

(Thanks, Joey)


Gee KCZ, sounds like you might be in the market for a personal chef for a short period of time? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
That's the best idea yet.  Probably can't find anyone crazy enough to come up here this time of year.
 
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Probably can't find anyone crazy enough to come up here this time of year.

How much are you offering? New Hampshire is gorgous anytime of year. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
 
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You're going to have a fun time.

Hey, whatever happened to the vegetable side of your diet?  Prep, blanch then flat freeze in single layers, put into zip lock bags and into freezer.  You could make, for example, combinations of your favourite veg like carrots and peas, onions and beans with some diced sauteed bacon, that sort of thing.  You'll be able to open the bags with your free hand and your teeth.  Then just plunge into boiling water for few minutes until heated thru.  Use a slotted spoon to get them out. 

As for proteins, that's pretty much covered above.  I'd be tempted to bread single portions of fish and zip lock them as well.  Get them out and chuck them straight into the oven on a baking tray.

Oh, and get some spray oil, make sure to take the lid off before you get your hand done and pop it in the cupboard.  One anded opening of a bottle of oil could be pretty messy!

Herbs - freeze in water in ice cube trays and pop them out into freezer bags BEFORE you go, otherwise it'll be pointless.  One handed ice cube removal?  Hmm frustrating at best but pretty impossible.  Stock too. 

As you won't be able to use a can opener, I'd suggest getting the ring pull type.  Hold the tin either sitting down between yours knees and pull, or jam it between your cast and your body then pull.  Think I'd go the first option.

Good luck!  And swift healing.

All I can think of for now -
 

kcz

331
12
Joined Dec 14, 2006
Looks gorgeous but too cold for sensible human habitation.  Expecting 20-30 below this weekend.
 


You're going to have a fun time.

Hey, whatever happened to the vegetable side of your diet?  Prep, blanch then flat freeze in single layers, put into zip lock bags and into freezer.  You could make, for example, combinations of your favourite veg like carrots and peas, onions and beans with some diced sauteed bacon, that sort of thing.  You'll be able to open the bags with your free hand and your teeth.  Then just plunge into boiling water for few minutes until heated thru.  Use a slotted spoon to get them out. 

As for proteins, that's pretty much covered above.  I'd be tempted to bread single portions of fish and zip lock them as well.  Get them out and chuck them straight into the oven on a baking tray.

Oh, and get some spray oil, make sure to take the lid off before you get your hand done and pop it in the cupboard.  One anded opening of a bottle of oil could be pretty messy!

Herbs - freeze in water in ice cube trays and pop them out into freezer bags BEFORE you go, otherwise it'll be pointless.  One handed ice cube removal?  Hmm frustrating at best but pretty impossible.  Stock too. 

As you won't be able to use a can opener, I'd suggest getting the ring pull type.  Hold the tin either sitting down between yours knees and pull, or jam it between your cast and your body then pull.  Think I'd go the first option.

Good luck!  And swift healing.

All I can think of for now -
Thanks for the well wishes, DC.  I'm growing lettuce and salad greens in 2 Aerogardens.  I should be able to manage a simple salad.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif     Anything to avoid eating microwaved out-of-a-frozen-box stuff for 4 weeks.  Today I made crab cakes and sugar cookies for the freezer.
 
 
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