Monday, March 4, 2013

Destashing the freezer

Knitters talk about their "stashes" of yarn, skeins of beauty or sale yarn or whatever that somehow fill up bins and closets (and sometimes entire rooms) over the years. Some knitters decide at some point to "destash", actually using up some of that yarn, frequently to simply make room for more yarn.

I found my freezer was suffering from a similar phenomenon. It is easy to get into the mindset of filling it up, but then it is important to shift gears and start eating some of that accumulated foodstuff. Unlike yarn, food won't stay good forever.

Over a year ago, I bought a quarter of a cow, an eighth of a hog, plus many chickens and salmon filets (cheaper in bulk). And then I kind of forgot about it, sort of like what I do with the money in my savings account. It is there for a rainy day, not for everyday consumption. Ditto for the accompanying soup stock, bulk fruit, bread stuffs, milk, etc. that found their way into the freezer.

But recently I have been making a concerted effort to use up that food before it gets so freezer burned that it has to be thrown out. This weekend's efforts are an example of that: frozen kabocha squash and vegetable stock became black bean and squash soup (accompanied by corn bread I froze a while back), and Italian sausage (last package) and garden tomatoes (last bag) and garlic and sweet peppers joined noodles from the cupboard for lasagna. Today more vegetable stock will help me use up the last of the Yukon gold potatoes (from the garage, not the freezer) when I make potato leek soup.

Next weekend I am picking up some more meat from my local grass-fed source: a pork loin for Easter (the leftovers will help me use up the frozen beets when I make red flannel hash), bacon, and a ham. After ordering meat in bulk, I discovered that I'd rather pay a little more and get just the cuts I want, as I am no longer much of a steak eater. And even though I host holiday gatherings and feed my SO at least once a week, most of the time it is just me, trying to plow through all that food on my own.

I am making some headway in destashing the freezer, as I can see light between the Ball jars and plastic containers. Just in time to start filling it back up with produce from the garden.

1 comment:

  1. Since my parents have a cattle ranch, they've given us 2 sides of beef in the last 3 years, so I know exactly what you're talking about! I now make a list of what cuts & how many of each we get, then check them off as we use them so I have some ballpark idea of what I'm doing. Bulk really is the way to go, but it is easy to forget what one has.