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February 1, 2018

Its Eat out of your Freezer Season

mairlyn smith is sitting on a stoool in front of her freezer

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Every February I eat out of my freezer. Basically, I shop my freezer  before I head to the grocery store, planning menus based on what I already have. This way I’m saving money and cleaning out my freezer all at the same time.

I love coming up with creative ways to use up the food. For me it’s like playing, not working. The other night we had a Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp using the rhubarb and strawberries I found at the very back of the freezer, a taste of summer in the middle of winter, yum.

Note: I never write down the recipe when I’m free styling, because that would be more like working than playing.

a pan of rhubarb crisp

I have three freezers…..what can I say I cook for a living. So, when I say we eat out of the freezer, I should clarify, we eat out of three freezers. That’s a lot of food, a lot of playing and a whole lotta eating.

I’ll be posting the end results on Instagram and Facebook. Tomorrow I’m making a Corn and Back Bacon Chowder because I found back bacon and frozen corn in my freezer.

We shot an episode over on my YouTube Channel, My Left Frying Pan of me cleaning out my upstairs freezer. Here’s a link to the LIVE episode

The episode was shot by my husband, he’d never done anything like that before, we didn’t really know what we were doing, so it was a bit of a Gong Show….but worth the watch. Loads of great tips.

For a list of the foods you can and cannot freeze plus how long they last in your fridge and/or freezer see the chart below.

Fridge and freezer storage via Health Canada

The following recommended refrigeration times are for safety, and the freezing times are for quality. If you store properly wrapped food in your freezer the quality may be maintained for longer periods of time.

Fridge and freezer storage
Food Refrigerator at 4 °C (40 °F) or lower Freezer at – 18 °C (0 °F) or lower
Fresh meat
Beef 2-4 days 10 – 12 months
Pork 2-4 days 8 – 12 months
Lamb 2-4 days 8 – 12 months
Veal 3-4 days 8 – 12 months
Ground meat 1-2 days 2 – 3 months
Fresh poultry
Chicken/Turkey – whole 2-3 days 1 year
Chicken/Turkey – pieces 2-3 days 6 months
Fresh fish
Lean fish – cod, flounder etc. 3-4 days 6 months
Fatty fish – salmon etc. 3-4 days 2 months
Shellfish – clams, crab, lobster etc. 12-24 hours 2-4 months
Scallops, shrimp, cooked shellfish 1-2 days 2-4 months
Ham
Canned ham 6-9 months Don’t freeze
Cooked ham 3-4 days 2-3 months
Bacon and sausages
Bacon 1 week 1 month
Raw sausage 1-2 days 1-2 months
Pre-cooked sausage links or patties 1 week 1-2 months
Hot dogs
Un-opened hotdogs 2 weeks 1-2 months
Opened hotdogs 1 week 1-2 months
Lunch meat and deli food
Un-opened lunch meat 2 weeks 1-2 months
Opened lunch meat 3-5 days 1-2 months
Deli packaged lunch meat 3-4 days 2-3 months
Deli or homemade salads 3-5 days Don’t freeze
Leftovers
Cooked meat, stews, egg or vegetable dishes 3-4 days 2-3 months
Cooked poultry and fish 3-4 days 4-6 months
Meat broth and gravy 3-4 days 4-6 months
Soups 2-3 days 4 months
Frozen dinners
Keep frozen until ready to cook 3-4 months
Eggs
Fresh in shell 3-4 weeks Don’t freeze
Fresh out of shell 2-4 days 4 months
Hard-cooked 1 week Doesn’t freeze well
Egg substitutes un-opened 10 days 1 year
Egg substitutes opened 3 days Don’t freeze
Dairy products
Un-opened milk Best before date 6 weeks
Opened milk 3 days Don’t freeze
Un-opened cottage cheese Best before date Doesn’t freeze well
Opened cottage cheese 3 days Don’t freeze
Un-opened yogurt Best before date 1-2 months
Opened yogurt 3 days Don’t freeze
Soft cheese 1 week Doesn’t freeze well
Semi-soft cheese 2-3 weeks 8 weeks
Firm cheese 5 weeks 3 months
Hard cheese 10 months 1 year
Processed cheese 5 months 3 months
Un-opened salted butter 8 weeks 1 year
Un-opened unsalted butter 8 weeks 3 months
Opened butter 3 weeks Don’t freeze
Vegetables
Beans green or waxed 5 days 8 months
Carrots 2 weeks 10-12 months
Celery 2 weeks 10-12 months
Leaf lettuce 3-7 days Don’t freeze
Iceberg lettuce 1-2 weeks Don’t freeze
Spinach 2-4 weeks 10-12 months
Summer squash 1 week 10-12 months
Winter squash 2 weeks 10-12 months
Tomatoes Don’t refrigerate 2 months

 

 

 

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