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beginners guide to filling the freezer with homemade stuff....

(39 Posts)
vict17 Thu 02-Sep-04 12:48:17

Hi everyone. I've decided I really should make better use of my freezer. I'm a bit of a dimwit (!) in the kitchen. What do people make and then freeze, how long do you keep it for and what do you freeze it in? eg pasta sauces etc

Hulababy Thu 02-Sep-04 12:51:14

I often make portions of pasta bake, cottage pies, etc. I buy little foil cartons with lis (like you get from a chinese) from the supermarket. Then they can be defrosted in them, and left in the carton for oven baking. I normally try and use home made food within a month of freezing.

For sauces I use cheap little plastic poots with lids from Asda - abut 29p each I think. Or for smaller pots, washed out yoghurt pots with foil over the top.

wellsie Thu 02-Sep-04 12:52:47

Nothing to add but will watch this with interest as I want to do the same vict17.

soapbox Thu 02-Sep-04 12:53:33

I buy the little foil containers that you get from takeaways (with the cardboard lids).

I tend to jut make double quantities of whatever I make and then freeze a few portions for the freezer.

E.g. if I'm doing roast dinner, I do 2 joints at the same time (most often chicken so roast 2 at once), then put the chicken with mash, stuffing and loads of gravy into serving size portions and freeze - always do fresh veg as they don't turn out too well after being frozen and then reheated). I also do this with shepherds pie, chicken casserole, chilli, sausage casserole, rice salad, fish curry, thai chicken curry, spag bol sauce etc etc.

If things at work are going to be busy then I do some casseroles in my massive slow cooker to stock up for a few weeks - then everything is done in jumbo sized quantities!!

melsy Thu 02-Sep-04 12:56:35

Hi Vict17 Is it for you or kids ?? if it is I used to make a casserole with chicken qaurters and veg . I make a bolognese sauce that sits in oven for 4 hrs. Also a great tomatoe sauce which can be added to all sorts of things. a thick vegetbale soup, cod steamed in milk and then mixed with herb and cheese sauce.
and may be a mushroom rissotto made with veg stock , you can then add cream to it when its heating.

roisin Thu 02-Sep-04 13:06:51

Hi Vict! I bought a load of cheap 2pt tupperware-type containers from Tescos. I freeze in these. But when I'm next batch cooking I run them very briefly under hot water to pop them out, and then put them in freezer bags.

I mainly cook and freeze homemade soup, pasta sauces, pureed apple and other fruits.

Anything meat free can be frozen for up to 12 months I think. But we tend to eat it much quicker than that!

I do also freeze single portions of pasta sauce in yoghurt pots.

melsy Thu 02-Sep-04 13:15:53

forgot to say that I use these pour and store bags which have a wider base and can hold about 2pt of liquid. I wash them and re use them.

vict17 Thu 02-Sep-04 13:26:47

Wow thanks everyone - Melsy it is for me and dh at the moment. I'm currently weaning ds and all the freezing of his purees made me think i could do the same too. Can I ask another thick question and ask how people make pasta sauce? I usually use ragu

melsy Thu 02-Sep-04 13:28:22

what would u like bologenses or neapolitan ??

I eat all the same stuff I make for dd and funnliy enough dont miss the salt seasoning as much as I thought!!

vict17 Thu 02-Sep-04 13:31:33

ooh both please melsy - you are a star

melsy Thu 02-Sep-04 13:40:10

Neopolitan one:

Fry garlic and onions until soft
add in some brown sugar at this stage to help caramalise it all
chop up some de seeded and skinned tomatoes {boilng them will do & then put in plastic bag to sweat off skin}ad in and stir
also add tin of chopped tomatoes
add in HUge amounts of tomatoe puree
season well
then add half glass of cooking wine to make a liquer, bring to boil and then simmer for half hour
near the end chop up fresh basil and oregano and add in
u may need to add water or wine if you dont like it to dry.


The bolgnese one I found on another thread actaully , but I would suggest adding in more tomatoes & a little sugar as I found it came out a little bitter , but that could have been the wine , so make sure you get a good mellow berry red wine, (cabernet sauvignon Turning leaf by Ernst & julio galo), as this can ruin it otherwise.

Trad bolognese ragu

scotlou Thu 02-Sep-04 13:54:00

I freeze homemade soups, stews and pasta sauces.
I also got great small plastic containers from Lakeland. When I'm cooking the main meal I can put some into the small dishes to go in the freezer. They're great for lunches at nursery (our nursery heats up meals for kids) as they can go straight in the microwave and they have clip on lids which are easy to get on and off but seal perfectly. They can also go in the dishwasher!

Kayleigh Thu 02-Sep-04 13:58:54

I make up loads of lamb burgers then freeze. Can cook from frozen too so great if you need something in a hurry.

hatter Thu 02-Sep-04 14:00:25

I freeze mince=based things mostly - spag bol or chilli, then soups and caseroles (if I cook them). I tend to use a bun tray to freeze it in v.small portions, then transfer to a freezer bag - it's a hangover from freezing home-made baby food - but it's incredibly useful coz you can get as much or as little out, depending on who you want to feed

anorak Thu 02-Sep-04 14:01:09

I make and freeze curry, casseroles, pasta sauce, soup, anything in a sauce normally freezes well. You can also take advantage of seasonal fruits, stew them and freeze so you can defrost them and make pies or crumbles. It's a great help if you are having lots of people round for meals, Christmas for example.

I use Tupperware, if I run out of pots I turn out the frozen block of sauce or whatever and plastic bag it so I can use the container again.

prettycandles Thu 02-Sep-04 14:24:19

Make sure you write on the lid what is in the container and the date you made it!

gingernut Thu 02-Sep-04 14:37:33

I freeze stuff in tupperware-type containers or freezer bags if I run out (never bother with labels...I am a bit casual like that but I use things up regularly so not worried about them being in the freezer for years...the only thing is sometimes when I open it I discover it's not what I thought it was!). Usually casseroles, bolognese sauce type things.

For ds, I freeze things in small portions. At first, I saved the Heinz `Simply fruit/veg' pots and used those. Now he has a bigger appetite I tend to use larger pots e.g. old creme fraiche or fromage frais pots with lids, or bought fresh pasta sauce pots etc.

vict17 Thu 02-Sep-04 17:29:39

thanks everyone. My freezer will be so shocked to have something homemade in it!!

batey Sat 04-Sep-04 06:39:49

I often have portions of rosted veg in my freezer (roast peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, onions, garlic etc). It freezes v. well and you can then add to salads, pasta sauce,as a side dish, lasagnes etc. V. tasty!

Juliehafrancis Sat 04-Sep-04 07:30:34

Hi Vict17,

I am sure there is a book you can get that gives you recipes and tips for freezable food. I have found these brilliant for freezing stuff!

Have fun!

Jules x

JiminyCricket Sat 04-Sep-04 12:22:14

Ooh, excellent thread. I'm a newly enthusiastic home-cooker and have just persuaded dh we should buy a full size upright freezer.

At the mo I do Shepherds pies etc in bulk (after I've fried the mince and onions I puree some cooked aubergine and carrots and it makes a really tasty 'gravy' type sauce for the meat) then top with mash potato.

Also stew any nectarines/plums/blackcurrents etc that we don't get around to eating (lovely with natural yoghurt which we always have in.

MumOnaMission Fri 08-Apr-05 13:57:30

Can I ressurrect this thread please.

Going to have a go at home cooking and freezing for the first time this weekend - a few questions please if you don't mind...

Is there anything I can't freeze.

I've seen recipes for curry sauces which you then add to other stuff to make the complete curry. Any reason I can't freeze the complete curry?

Do vegetables loose their goodness when you freeze them or is this just an old wives tale?

Do you just heat up in microwave or is it better to do it in oven?

I used to do a lovely frankfurter bake but got bored of making it. Will try and find the recipe again but I remember it has sour cream in it. Will that freeze?

How long can you keep stuff in the freezer? I assume it depends what's in it.

I'm going to get a food processor tomorrow. Will any processor do for mincing meat?

Lots of questions I know, and probably more to come over the weekend but I need your help girls.

jangly Fri 08-Apr-05 17:42:22

Yes you can freeze curries.
Vegetables should be blanched before freezing if you're going to keep for longer than 2-3 weeks. Plunge into boiling water for minute or two, then into ice cold water to cool quickly.
The soured cream will have been cooked into bake so that's ok.
I use mincer that came with kenwood chef - don't know about processors but think they are all much of a muchness tbh.
Handbook with freezer should tell you keeping times but most homecooked stuff about 3 months.
Microwave fine but make sure its piping hot all the way through. HTH

SaintGeorge Fri 08-Apr-05 18:05:10

Keep in mind that curries can get hotter, flavour wise, when frozen (I've been caught out by that before).

As long as veg are very fresh, freezing will preserve the goodness not damage it but try to use 'fast freeze' option if you have one.

I use foil takeaway style trays for freezing meals. Either stick in a hot oven for about 30 mins, or decant into another container and microwave instead.

vict17 Fri 08-Apr-05 18:44:07

Oh my God - I started this thread and my freezer never got full

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