Tag: freezer

pork and beans

I have a constant and ongoing battle with my freezer. I used at one point to have three freezers – the one in our USAnian fridge, a 3/4 height one out in the shed, and an under-counter sized one that lived under the stairs, and was entirely filled with minced oxcheek, which we bought in bulk and fed to the cats.

The oxcheek supply fell through, and we gave that (elderly) freezer to some friends. Then in the spring of 2009, we sold the 3/4 one and replaced it with a new under counter under the stairs, partly because our supplier of wonderful Dexter beef was no longer farming cattle, and so we weren’t buying half a cow at a time. Then we moved here, and had no room for anything but the USAnian beast, which in truth is plenty, but I still cannot get out of the mindset of being a three freezer owner, and thus am constantly struggling to fit things into its thankfully Tardis-like interior.

Anyway, I ramble. But we need to actually, you know, *eat* some stuff from the freezer, rather than trying to stuff still more in, so I am on a mission to clear some space. With this in mind, I rummage in its bottom drawers (ooh er), hurling aside the beef mince, the lamb mince, the pork mince (who put that there?), the chicken breasts, seeking the pork steaks, and after all that effort, I got one just one.

Just one because we don’t eat a lot of meat these days, and one is plenty for two of us. When it had thawed, I cut it into cubes, browned them in some olive oil, fought Lilith for possession of the cling film, transferred them to a bowl on a temporary basis, and put the bowl in the grill (then watched Iggy doing his damnedest to open the door of said grill). Then I chopped the white part of two leeks (the green went into the soup pot) and a couple of cloves of garlic, added some butter to the pan, and softened them down, adding some chopped fresh sage leaves.

Then in went a heaped teaspoon of grain mustard (I’m very much in love with this as an ingredient right now),  a dessertspoon of flour, and stirrred it round, then added a good slosh of cider, the pork, and the contents of a carton of haricot beans. Seasoned to taste.

Cooked it for about 25 minutes with a lid on, then removed the lid for the last five minutes or so and turned it up to reduce the sauce. Ate with sautéd potatoes and some brussels sprouts.

lunch 2 Sept 2010

lunch 2/9/10
We usually have crackers or bread for lunch, with cheese/cold meat/whatever, with the addition of soup in the colder weather. But occasionally, it’s nice to have something different.

As I said, last night’s red cabbage turned out to be lentils when we got the lid off – why do gremlins get into my freezer and relabel things? So I rummaged about and found a tub of aubergine and potato curry.

We tend to freeze Indian style food in small boxes, so we can have two different dishes with a meal – it just works better – so there’s generally a few different things in the freezer, and the aubergine and potato was what came out first.

Zapped the two tubs in the microwave, toasted a couple of wholemeal pitta breads. Delicious, and now the house smells like a takeaway 🙂 And I’m off to find a bit of fruit for pudding – apple or pear?

a tale of freezers

At one point, we had *three* freezers – the one in the big Amana USAnian behemoth in the kitchen, a tall one out in the shed, and a small one under the stairs which was used exclusively for frozen ox cheek, which we used to buy in huge bulk to feed the cats.

Then the ox cheek stopped being available, so we gave that freezer away. We were in the habit of buying half a cow at a time from a friend of ours who farmed Dexter cattle, so the one in the shed was jolly handy for that, and other stuff, and of course for me freezers are a bit like handbags, in that if there is freezer space I will buy stuff to fill it.  But then we decided that the space in the shed was more important than a big freezer, so earlier this year we ran down the contents a bit, bought a smaller freezer and decanted the stuff into that, and Freecycled the big freezer.  And racked out the shed, which came in dead useful for gardening stuff, and winemaking stuff, and all sorts of other stuff.

And now we’re moving to a differently dimensioned house and we can’t see anywhere to put the small freezer, so we have eaten our way through masses of food (which we’d need to do anyway, because we can’t successfully move a full freezer 250 miles) and yesterday I managed to decant the contents of the small freezer into the Amana.  So now it’s defrosted and ready for sale.

Casualties for immediate cooking were:

  • 1 bag blackberries from the garden – these went into a crumble, accompanied by six dessert apples which were a bit wrinkly; I put some hazelnuts into the topping, which worked rather well
  • 2 packs sausagemeat and 1 lb mince, which I shall make into a brace of meat loaves today
  • 1 x kidney and 1 x heart from the half a lamb we bought ages ago – these will be boiled up for the cats
  • 1 pack lamb and rosemary sausages, which were transformed into a toad in the hole for last night’s supper; we ate it with lashings of onion gravy
  • 3 packs assorted bones, which are in the slow cooker making stock for soup

In other news, the dishwasher packed up a couple of weeks ago. Pete thought he could fix it, but it’s a bugger to get apart, and we have no proper manual for it.  Now we’ve been managing without, I think we’ll continue to manage without – it’ll save a lot of hassle with plumbing in and so forth in the new house, so I shall attempt to sell it as is.

Anyone want an under counter freezer, only a few months old?  Or a broken slimline Siemens dishwasher?

freezer consolidation

The new freezer has arrived, been unpacked, stowed under the stairs, left to stand, and then switched on till it’s properly cold.

We have transferred everything from the old (bigger) freezer – of course there was far more stuff in there than we realised, and so some stuff has been left out to cook in the next couple of days, and  the kittins will be very pleased that we have found some lamb offal for their Easter treat.

So look out for posts on:

  • one small piece of gammon – very salty, if I recall correctly, so it’s soaking now, and I’ll change the water several times
  • one pound of mince, which will be tonight’s supper in some shape or form, providing it thaws sufficiently
  • one piece of belly pork, which I think I might try in the slow cooker with lentils, but haven’t decided yet.

And we have enough beef to open a market stall (but it did all go in)  …

Now then – if anyone in the Bristol area would like a nice 3/4 height freezer, it’s theirs for the taking away.

planning ahead

Me and himself have been a bit unwell this week, and not up to cooking.  We are thus building up a bit of a glut of vegetables, and we are away this Saturday night, and Friday/Saturday/Sunday next weekend.

I’ll cancel next week’s veg box, but we have about 6 courgettes, 4 red peppers (I foolishly bought some on Saturday, then more arrived in the box), an aubergine, half a cabbage and a stack of runner beans to deal with.

The thought of having to chuck any of this away fills me with horror, so I’ve been giving some though on how to deal with it all, especially as I’m not likely to have much time before we leave for the Bank Holiday weekend.

There’s a bag of naked meatballs in the freezer, so I’m going to make a sauce with tomatoes, red peppers and courgettes (and onions and herbs from the garden) and freeze some portions of that.  I’m going to have a bash at a lentil moussaka filling, which will see off the aubergine, and the runner beans will be cooked up in an Indian style, and a portion or two frozen.

The cabbage we will see off tonight, with some mozzarella and bacon (which also needs dealing with).

Oh, and there’s a pak choi left – I have a vague plan to stir fry it with some other bitsa, and put it into wraps for lunch tomorrow.  I feel really quite remarkably organised!

[edit] Aaargh – there’s a stack of fresh peas too!  Help …

I love my freezer …

It is the Summer; and thus it is cold, and raining, and generally bloody miserable, weather wise.

In the fridge I have some peapods – mostly empty, because Pete got to the bowl of peas, but still. I have a plan for these pods tonight, which I shall reveal to you later. I need some chicken stock for this plan, and I was just going to use an organic stock cube.

But … I also have a bunch of carrots that need using.  And the chickie! remains from June were in the freezer, enrobed in tin foil.  So the carcass is now sitting on a very low heat on the hob, and I shall take some stock from it for tonight’s supper, and the rest will be turned into shoop, with the carrots and some elderly spud.

Hurrah for the British summer, I say, and bring on the warming soup.

not so much Reactive, as desperate

Having been diligent in using up absolutely everything before we went away, we found ourselves with hardly anything to eat when we returned on Friday night.

We got home just after 7 p.m., and I’m ashamed to say we had a Chinese takeaway that night.  Pete manfully cycled off to North Street and got a stack of fruit from the greengrocer on Saturday (the car is off the road while it waits for a no doubt expensive piece of pipe to arrive from Mitsubishi).  I did a big Sainsburys order for delivery yesterday (Sunday), and the Riverford box will be here tomorrow.

So Saturday was a tub of Indian lentils from the freezer, with basmati rice, and Sunday was a tub of chicken and chickpeas from the freezer, with brown rice.  And tonight will be black-eyed beans with tomatoes, and still more rice.  I’ll give you the recipe later – it’s very nice.

[edit] Here’s the recipe as promised.

But I *yearn* for some fresh veg … and to get back to actually cooking.

frozen freezer

I had a quick scud through my Nibblous favourites this morning for some ideas, and decided on Balsamic Duck with Cep Lentils. We have all the ingredients in – the duck breasts were in the outside freezer.

And when I went out to this frost free upright freezer, I was met with a sheet of ice – somehow, the handle of the cool bag had got caught in the door, and air was getting in. The temperature was ok, but frost free it wasn’t …

So we spent a happy hour with Pete chiselling the ice out of the freezer, and me brushing down all the contents, and cleaning and drying the drawers. Thankfully, everything seems fine.

I found a pack of Charles’ Pearmaine’s bacon in there, dated 2001. Wonder if it’ll be alright … 🙂

clearing the freezer

We collected half a salt marsh lamb on Sunday, from www.thoroughlywildmeat.co.uk. We are collecting a quarter of a cow on Saturday, from www.dexterbeef.co.uk.

This has caused some anxieties re freezer space, and thus we are eating a sort of lucky dip to try and make way for all this meat.

This morning, I found half of a small rye loaf (which Pete is going to eat for lunch), and a tub of prawn stock. So tonight will be prawn, chilli and ginger risotto, followed by a blackberry and apple crumble (blackberries from the brambles at the bottom of the garden). I’m rather looking forward to it!

Apologies for the lack of updates – v busy at the moment.