One of the ways I prepare for back to school is to stock my freezer with an assortment of freezable foods to help me out in the month of September—when I’m re-learning the art of packing lunches, navigating homework and extra-curricular activities, and spending more time at the ice rink than I care to admit.
In the last few weeks of August, the freezer becomes my best friend, as I double and triple most everything I make and toss the leftovers in there for the month to come.
Here are a few of my favourite things to tuck away for the upcoming school year:
1. Baked Goods
When I decide to bake something, I dedicate the bulk of one afternoon/evening to it and make several batches of our favourite treats. Think banana bread, cupcakes, cake, cookies, buns, bread, muffins and brownies. In fact, cakes and cupcakes are much easier to ice when frozen, so not only are you saving time by baking ahead, but you’re also making life easier for yourself when it comes time to ice your goods.
Last Friday I hauled out my 20 litre stockpot and made four batches of this corn and cheddar chowder. It’s a family favourite, and although it took me about two hours to make a pot of soup, I now have eight dinners/lunches tucked away. Because corn is in season, this meal also cost me only dollars to make, and I’ll do the same thing later in the fall when butternut squash and sweet potatoes are readily available.
I’ve seen it on sale quite a lot lately, and when it is I fill my basket. I use it in almost all of my baked goods, and I like knowing that I have a hearty supply on hand for when I need it.
When I’m grating cheese for pizza, I do double the amount I need and toss the extras into a zip-top bag, which I tuck into the freezer. The next time I want to make pizza the cheese is already prepped.
5. Pizza Dough
See above. I never, ever only make one batch of pizza dough at a time. If I’m going to go to the work and mess of making it, I make several batches and store it for another the day. The same can be done with store-bought dough; pick up several balls on your next trip to the supermarket, and keep them in the freezer for future use.
This summer I’ve been making large batches of pulled-pork in my slow cooker and dividing it into 4–6 dinners. We eat one the day it’s cooked and save the rest for future meals. In the morning, I pull out a bag of meat, and that night it becomes a sandwich, taco, pizza topping, sauce for pasta, omelette filling, etc. I do the same thing with pizza sauce and taco meat.
Did I miss anything? What are some of the things you like to freeze to help you out on another day?