Rituals around food are a natural way to bring people together because everyone has to eat. Mealtime continues to be an important time for family gatherings and in the past, many Canadian families gathered for breakfast, lunch and supper. Sadly the distractions and activities of modern living have robbed families of their shared meal time but every family can work to re-establish suppertime together.
Your freezer could be considered the hero of the kitchen and is good for more than just ice cubes and ice cream. Freezing leftovers or prepared food that can be reheated later saves time and money. A reasonably priced deep freeze for larger families who buy food in bulk and cook in big batches soon pays for itself.
Most food items can be frozen with a few exceptions. High water content vegetables such as lettuce, celery or cucumbers do not freeze well and sauces made with cream, milk or custard may curdle upon thawing.
Almost everything else can be popped into the freezer. All kinds of raw or cooked red meat, poultry or seafood freezes well. Breads and baked goods freeze well but to thaw, use the oven or toaster oven rather than a microwave. Soups, sauces, stews and casseroles can be frozen and reheated in the slow cooker or oven. Even bags of milk can be frozen.
Freezing preserves food for extended periods by preventing the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness. There is some deterioration of quality the longer food stays in the freezer so freeze food as soon as possible to preserve its freshness and date the packages. Remember, the three safest ways to thaw food out are in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
Put your freezer to work and reap the delicious and time saving benefits.
Stacey Sherwood runs SupperWorks in Ancaster, Ontario. SupperWorks is the perfect solution for those who appreciate good food and family time but are tired of making last minute poor quality meal choices. In the SupperWorks’ kitchen you can prepare quick and delicious freezable dinners in a fraction of the time it would take at home. Who knew that mealtime could be so easy and enjoyable!