Last spring we purchased our first big, basement-dwelling freezer ever. It was a decision we’d been mulling over for a long time, partly because we have a really small basement and we weren’t sure where to put it, and partly because we were afraid that, once food made it into the basement freezer, we’d forget about it and it would end up being a waste of money instead of a money-saver, if you know what I mean.
But as our awareness grew that we wanted to try to eat more “local” food, it became an easier decision. So we made the plunge and bought the largest one that would fit in the space we allotted for it.
We bought 10 chickens from our CSA and an organic turkey from another farmer. . . we bought a quarter beef from my sister’s father-in-law (yay for Bob’s grass-fed beef!). . . we froze some vegetables instead of canning them. . . we froze chicken and turkey stock. The freezer’s fairly full. (Wow, nice alliteration, huh?)
But here’s what I absolutely LOVE about having a freezer. . . I was paging through cookbooks this past weekend, looking for something interesting to make (and because I’m just weird that way—I love reading cookbooks). I happened across a recipe called “Tri-color scalloped potatoes.” Can you imagine how long it took me to become excited about this recipe? I mean, I’ve already GOT tri colors of potatoes, just sitting in the basement, waiting patiently to be used. And I love a good potato recipe, especially if it includes butter and cream.
A while later, I came across (in a different cookbook) a recipe called “Minnesota Meatloaf.” This recipe looked pretty good to me because it contains chopped bacon. . . also a pound of ground elk, a pound of ground bison, and a pound of ground beef. Sounds like a lot, yes—the recipe actually makes two meatloaves and it says you can put one in the freezer for a few months before baking it, which sounded like a great idea to me. (I’m all over the idea of pre-prepared food.) However, I’m not a big fan of venison, so I figure I would probably not like elk (even if I could find it), and if I used bison I’d have to go out and buy that, and I already had a bunch of ground beef in the downstairs freezer. AND EVEN THE BACON I WOULD NEED.
Are you getting this part? Because this is what really jazzed me about the whole situation (and yes, I realize I’m easily excited). As I combed through these two recipes (because I decided I wanted to make both of them on Sunday) I realized there was only ONE THING between the two recipes that I’d actually have to go out and purchase. A cup of Gruyere cheese. I think I can handle that.
I love my freezer.