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?


  1. How big is your freezer?!? I'd be lucky to stuff half of that in mine without it all falling out when I opened the door :)

  2. We have a standard side-by-side style fridge. A really old one that came with our house. I really don't understand how it all fit in there to be honest. It was only a matter of time before it DID all come falling out...

  3. Ok, if you really want suggestions, you can knock out a few of these things all together, and your meals are planned for next week entirely.
    1. add the shrimp to the sweet & sour stir-fry veggies. Add rice. Insta-dinner.
    2. portabello mushroom rigatoni: add some of the chicken breasts (sauteed/grilled)in chunks, and you could even add some of the frozen chopped spinach (thawed/drained/squeezed) for added nutritional benefit.
    3. ground turkey + ground pork sausage=chili (you'll have to buy beans and tomato, but those are cheap; and I bet you have the spices already). Just add Jiffy corn muffin.
    4. Southwestern Tilapia: chili powder, lime juice, cayenne, cumin, S&P on the tilapia. Bake at 350 til flakey, serve with S.W. rice, spiced squash or squash casserole (yum), and corn if you really need to get rid of it, but it's another starch.
    5. you have the stuff to make some delicious pies! Take them to church?

  4. Seems you STILL had a fridge FULL!

  5. So... how'd it all work out for you? :) Inquiring minds want to know!

    I hope you're having a wonderful week!