additional freezer - what type (undercounter/chest)
and what do you put in it?
We've been thinking for a while about putting a freezer in the garage, and DC2 is due in December, so I'm trying to think ahead. I know when I was expecting DC1 there was a lot of advice about stocking up the freezer ready for the first couple of weeks, but never really managed it (the kitchen freezer is generally full anyway of regular stuff, but there never really seems to be much choice - more to do with our housekeeping I guess!).
Anyway, if we do get another freezer to keep in the garage, is there much difference between chest freezers and the normal upright freezers? A chest freezer sounds great, but how difficult is it to get the food out from the bottom - do you have to remove everything to find what you are after? Is it also harder to defrost it? I have heard that you need to check the ambient temperatures that the freezers will work at, as obviously garages get colder than houses, so in the winter some freezers kept out there may stop working/not be guaranteed.
The next question is a two-parter - what do you put in it? As well as ideas for food (I guess bolognaise, bread, milk, stews, emergency chips, any other ideas gratefully received), how do you store it? e.g. if you make a shepherd's pie - what do you put it in? I do have some oven bowls I normally use when I'm making things to eat that day, but if I'm trying to stock up a freezer they'll run out very quickly. Do you just get disposable foil trays, etc. (and if so, where from?), or do you buy cheap, 'proper' crockery (and again, where from?)
If you freeze home-made meals, can they be cooked from frozen, or do you have to remember to get them out in time to defrost first?
Thanks in advance for all your help
We bought a medium size Norfrost chest freezer and I am really pleased with it. Only has one basket at the top, so a couple more could help with organising it, but understand you can get them off ebay or from people who are scrapping their old freezers! If you can, pop to Currys or similar to have a look, as we had picked one online and then really disliked it 'in the real'.
I do a bit of both for containers. I use disposable foil trays from Tescos or £ shops, but I have quite a lot of crockery and use casserole dishes to freeze casserole in, so it can all just sit in the oven on a low heat and I look like a domestic goddess.
I always keep some convenience food in for those needing something quick for the kids nights..pizza, chicken fingers, potato waffles and peas, loads of ice cream as 'make your own ice cream sundaes' (just add chocolate buttons, squirty cream, fruit coulis etc etc ) is a huge favourite and even a good adult dinner party standby.
Currently apple season so have made and frozen lots of pies and crumbles.
When I see a decent offer in the reduced section at supermarket (half price mince, stewing steak etc) I'll grab it and freeze it.
If I am making casserole, curry, shepherds pie etc I try to make extra and freeze it ...spag bol sauce can be frozen in freezer bags.
Never had a problem reaching the bottom (I'm 5'2"), although never tried it pregnant!
I got a small chest - also when DC2 was due - it was loads cheaper than upright - it was one that was ok in the cold and didn't have problems getting food out - did put some things in carrier bags - it was this one I think
food -used some foil trays -some from takeaway - places like aldi, wilkos probably sell them and also maybe lakeland
things like sheps pie I normaly go out night before but it was ok to cook in the oven from frozen if I forgot
otherthings like stews - put in freezer bags and defrosted in microwave
also bought a load of ready meals in M&S which made a nice change
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