The ability for an electrical appliance to save lives is one of the big advantages of being right here in the 21st century. Defibrillators, artificial lungs and pace-makers have probably kept someone you know alive. On a domestic level, the invention of the microwave, pressure cooker, food processor and more recently, the Thermomix have all been credited with life-saving qualities beyond the actual preparation of food.
The slow cooker in particular has breathed life into many an exhausted depleted domestic goddess (best illustrated in A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life) and early reports have the Thermomix doing the same thing only faster, tastier and in over 10 different ways (and at around $AU1900, you would hope it left the kitchen spotless). In fact, beyond resurrecting the kitchen as the beating heart of the family home, the Thermomix is rumoured to have turned self-confessed absolutely-not-ever-going-to-cook-non-cookers into fabulous foodies (ok, so it was an unconfirmed Twitter rumour, but still).
But what good is all this amazing food pouring bountifully out of these time saving, ergonomically designed ubër-devices? You can only eat so much in one sitting, and if your children are going through a non-eating phase, you’ll be yelling ‘stop little pot‘ and frantically searching for storage containers (hint: most of them are in school bags). If you can only purchase one electrical life saving appliance this lifetime, then let it be the one that will store all this food in handy meal sized containers for months on end – ready to be eaten at a moments notices.
That’s right. Do not go to the kitchen shop, go straight to the white goods warehouse and get additional freezer space. Not sexy, not small and not in a range of on-trend colours – the humble freezer will save you more time and money than you can imagine. There are two main types of freezer, the chest freezer and the upright freezer. Whichever one you decide is right for you, make sure you get one bigger than you think you will need. Once you get into the swing of bulk cooking, you will find the space disappears.
5 ways a freezer will save you time and money
- bulk buy freezable items on sale
- cook extra every meal and build up a stock-pile of frozen meals
- schedule a cooking day and bulk cook meals for the next month or two
- buy bulk and freeze into meal sized portions
- buy in-season items such as tomatoes and apples, make sauces and purées and freeze in portions.
And a bonus reason to get a freezer – freeze leftovers rather than leaving them in the fridge to go mouldy and use on those rare occasions when there is only one person to cook for (eg, when you forget to go to an extended family get together and accidentally stay home instead).
3 frozen in stone rules for freezing food
- Always cool food before placing in the freezer
- Never re-freeze food that has already been frozen – cook/freeze/thaw and eat or throw out
- Always label containers. Everything looks the same once it’s frozen.
The overall aim is to freeze enough family meals to last at least half a school term. The list of meals that can be frozen is pretty much inexhaustible, to get you started here are over 900 ideas.
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