Thursday, 22 July 2010

Drawing Down the Freezer

Next week there's going to be electricity pole maintenance, and we're scheduled for an all day power outage. Yikes! In this weather, the ordinary fridge stuff will be fine in an esky, or just with a bag of ice in the fridge. But I have a stuffed freezer.

And in an added stroke of bad timing, I had just decided to cook up a huge batch of chilli con skippy. What I do with this is make a generic mix of the meat with onion, garlic, veggies and tomatoes, then freeze a batch to convert to Spag Bog later. Mix the rest with your chosen spices and kidney beans, and some more veggies, make an inauthentic but yummy chilli, eat it for 2-3 meals and freeze half for later. This is very efficient. But not so great, actually, if you are going to be without power to your freezer.

So I've started drawing it down. It's time to do a chuck out anyway, and there were definitely quite a few things to be tossed. Gone is that pack of frozen prawns that didn't taste so great, but I thought would be OK for a curry. The kittens can eat the frozen chicken mince that I bought to tempt Shadow, and then could not bear to eat later. The pack of kidneys can go out, too. I turned a bit against them when suddenly we had cats with kidney disease, and my doc was making me have a kidney function test of my own. (No problem, a false alarm.) I'm over it now and would cheerfully make devilled kidneys, but now they are old and freezer burned. And that chocolate cake is at least 2 years old. Out with it!

But most of it is for eating, or for finding a safe stash for the day. I started by making pea soup on Monday, which used up a couple of things. And then I discovered to my shock that MasterChef has stolen my recipe!

I bought the magazine to check it out, and there it was, my pea soup! Oh, they'd disguised it by making it vegetarian, and leaving out the butter and cream and leek, so mine is actually better. But still, it's close. The colour is the same very bright green as in their picture in the magazine, not yellowy-green like an old fashioned pea and ham soup with dried peas.

Recipe: Green Pea Soup
1 leek
1 tablespoon butter
600g frozen peas
2 cups chicken stock
100ml cream
2 tsp mint in a tube
150g chunk ham

* Wash and chop the leek and fry gently in the butter.
* Add the stock and frozen peas, and bring to a simmer.
* Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add cream and mint.
* Whiz up in the saucepan with a stick blender.
* Thin with water to desired texture.
* Add diced ham.
* Serve with buttered rye toast.

Adjust the taste at the end - a pinch of salt, perhaps if you're not adding ham. A pinch of sugar if they're cheap overgrown peas with too much starch, but not if they're baby peas or sugar snaps. I did use a mixed bag which had some sugar snaps in it. Obviously fresh mint would be better, but that Garden Gourmet tube mint is OK in a pinch. Vegetarians can use veggie stock and use the MasterChef idea of Persian Fetta sprinkled on top instead of the ham.

So there we go. A frozen tub of chicken stock and a pack of peas gone from the freezer. And I had Maggie Beer lemon icecream for dessert - leftover from Easter, but still good. I took a frozen pasta leftover thing in for lunch at work today, and tonight we're eating sausages, oven chips and more frozen peas.

There's still far too much to eat before next Friday, though I will do my best. I still have roast tomatoes, several packs of rhubarb, some more icecream, some soy-cooked chicken, more chicken stock and turkey stock, and quite a variety of meat and berries. Oh, and some chilli and the makings of a spag bog.


Sili said...

Why not borrow/rent a generator?

InTolerant Chef said...

Or you could have us all over for pot-luck?!

cara-blog said...

good information, thanks and visit back to Download Ebook Gratis :)

Cath said...

Renting a generator seems like overkill. I'm not talking about a chest freezer, just the regular section at the bottom of the fridge. And I really needed to clean it out, anyway.

anna Johnston said...

We had a similar 'freezer story' as we moved house in May & found all sorts of edible (but possibly shouldn't make the trip to the new place ....., same as you....., a good reason for the clean out!!).