After years of refinement and cooking 3 times a day, I've got my freezer life down to just three food items. If it was just me, no housemates, it would be Antarctica in there, vast empty space. Maybe I'd make little snowscapes, with penguins, to surprise people who opened it.
In Traditional Chinese 'Feng Sui', homes are set up with the aim to keep the 'ki', or life energy flowing. No stagnating, no lack, no rushing. We can design our food lives to be the same: fresh food ready-to-eat when you want it, cooked in a leuisurely way, and always someone wanting to eat it. You don't want food languishing in mysterious hidden packages, while you stand at a full fridge or pantry looking bewildered, wonding what on earth to cook for dinner.
New Freezer culture:
Your freezer is free of:
Everthing looks the same when frozen, you forget what things are. Take it to work in a bento box and eat it, or make better friends with locals, and invite them over to eat it.
Freezers can be kind of orwellian 'Memory holes', where we put things we don't want to eat, but don't want to admit we have messed up. You are allowed to mess up! If you are creative and experimental, you are expected to have a proper failure rate. Learn from mistakes, and move on. Thats what backyard chickens are for.
There is a great place you can outsource your frozen food storage. Its called 'supermarket'. Let them pay the electricty bill. Eat more coconut cream, less sugary, advertisment-ridden ice cream.
Are you are food producer?
Place berries or blanched produce flat in clear Ziplock bags. That makes them stackable, findable, and easy to defrost. Keep a marker pen in your handbag, practice your calligraphy, and write contents directy on, or on removeable stickers. I use Avary. You might need to write whats there on the side of the fridge. Make a culinary plan, and look forward to eating it within a few weeks. Its a freezer, not a time machine.
Our Freezer, Ourselves.
Some poeple feel more secure with lots of food in the house, which is understandable: starvation, food shorages and war rationing is someting still in living memory. All our personal and cultural wierdnesses can be seen in our food lives. Our kitchens reflect passed on traumas from generations back. Be gentle and observe yourself with curiosity. Notice patterns of buying, maybe do things radically diffently for a few months, and see how it goes. Practice telling the truth quicky in your freezer life, and it will spread to other areas of life. Reality is our friend.
'I'll never find this again', 'I don't really want to ever eat this', and 'This icecream isn't getting me closer to my life goals' are great sentences, for keeping our freezer empty, and our dining table full of good food and good people.
Cecilia's freezer favourites
1. Squares of pressure-cooker brown rice in meal-size portions, wrapped in glad wrap. Microwaved and tossed with other goodies, I get a 60 second lunch
2. Chicken stock, made with all the bones. I reduce it down, and empty little tuppawares of it with butter sautéd vegetables. They become sticky and sweet and amazing.
3. Frozen green beans from the supermarket. With olive oil, lemon and onion, they are an always-delious, always-there emergency food.
Leave Room for Bliss
As this Norwegian Arctic explorer does. I never tire of watching his joy. Adoreable.