We have a chest freezer - a modest one. We thought it was important to get one when we moved out here to Mucky Boots for two reasons: to preserve our fruit and vegetable harvest for the non-harvest months, and to allow us to buy in bulk when things we like to eat are on sale.
But I have learned there is more to using a freezer than just plugging it in and filling it up. You have to actually eat what's in the freezer, at least occasionally.
I first started thinking about this when my darling, wonderful sister came for a visit last month. She made a passing reference to not having a chest freezer because she is trying not to encourage her "food hoarding tendencies." Hmmm......
And about the same time I was working on our finances, and wondering why the heck our grocery bills are still so high, given that we're growing at least some of what we eat. Hmmm...
So this week I decided to go excavating in our freezers (the chest freezer in the workshop and the freezer that's part of our fridge) to see exactly what was in them. And what I found was chicken breasts.
Forty-seven of them.
Kim and I could eat chicken twice a week for 3 months without buying any more. And that doesn't even count the whole chickens (three) or chicken thighs (one big package).
I feel a word of explanation is in order. Maybe I have food hoarding tendencies, too. (Er - yes.) But when there's a 2 for 1 sale on chicken breasts, of course I'm going to stock up. It's all about ensuring that Kim and I are safe and won't go hungry. (Okay, I know that's not entirely rational, but even former Math teachers have an irrational side.)
It's not just chicken. I also found six pounds of butter and eight packages of spicy turkey sausages, plus lots and lots of frozen green beans, blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, beets and strawberries. Some of them were from last year, and still haven't been eaten.
Forty-seven. That must be a record. No wonder our grocery bills are higher than they should be.
So I made an inventory of everything in the chest freezer, and another one of everything in the house freezer, and stuck them on the fridge where I can see them when I make meal plans. Then I made a pledge not to buy any more chicken breasts - even if they're on sale - until we're down to six, and to eat all the wonderful frozen produce from our garden by the time next year's harvest starts rolling in.
We got started last night: I cooked four chicken breasts (two for supper, two for leftovers) and faithfully crossed those four off the inventory list.
Forty-three to go.