Monday, January 11, 2010

The Black Hole That is My Freezer

For a few months now I've had "cleaning out the freezer" on my mental lists of projects that needed to be done around the house. It's a project I've been dreading and procrastinating on. Our freezer has become a black hole of bags and bags of vegetables, freezer burned containers of meat, and unlabeled containers of liquids (chicken broth? lemon juice? who knows) that frankly, I haven't had the desire to venture into for quite some time.

Even though I really enjoy cooking, meal planning has been the bane of my existence. People are often surprised by this, but I really do get stumped by the question "What's for dinner?" so very often. So much so, that I started subscribing to a meal planning service. However, even that has fallen by the wayside since I am too much of a "food snob" to enjoy the meals. I am just not a fan of eating a lot of dishes that rely on "cream of" soups, dry seasoning packets, and convenience foods, and that's what this service's meals were comprised of most of the time. So I fell back into my previous rut, forgetting to take anything out of the freezer, and then coming home after a long day at work only to stare blankly at my pantry. It was a sad place to be, opening the pantry, staring ahead at cans and boxes and then opening the fridge or freezer, staring blankly at the black hole, repeat, repeat.

Finally, I had had enough. Yesterday, I decided to tackle it. I took everything out and reorganized it. You wouldn't believe what all was packed in there, especially for a household of two! I am challenging myself to plan my meals around what I already have, instead of wasting money eating out or buying new groceries. I threw a lot out, but here is a list of what was left:

1 package Aldi Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 pint Ben and Jerry's Everything But The.... Ice Cream (which is gone now...)
1/2 10oz bag chopped spinach
1 pan of herb yeast rolls
1 homemade peanut butter pie (if you would like to take this off my hands, please comment, and it's yours)
1 bag medium shrimp
1 package turkey keilbasa
1/2 package maple pork sausage links
corn, corn, and more corn! enough frozen corn for the rest of the year!
cut okra
portobello mushroom rigatoni
1 Healthy Choice Asian Potstickers meal
corn on the cob
1 bag pearl onions
1 bag mixed veggies
1 bag yellow squash
1/2 bag cauliflower with cheese sauce
whole wheat Sister Schubert's dinner rolls
1 package Sweet and Sour stir fry veggies
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 1lb packages ground turkey
1 package ground pork sausage
1 bag tiliapia fillets
1 bag salmon fillets
1 package Oscar Meyer hot dogs
1 bag Steamfresh Southwestern Rice
4 packages butter
2 packages shortening
various kind of nuts
orange juice concentrate
pina colada mix
2 deep dish pie crusts
homemade peach puree
6c. leftover homemade tomato soup
5 bananas

Any suggestions?