Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Freeze It!

We've had a chest freeze that goes back in years to parent's parents.  It still works, and over the years that it's been at our home (here on the bay - think moisture!) it has developed rust on the exterior yet works fine on the interior.  It is not pretty to look at, and it does it's job - still ticking as the Everready Bunny commercial intones.

But things get buried in the chest freezer....and it's located in the basement level of our home, a level I'm not fond of roaming.  The basement was built by guys and seems to be more for guys than for women.  Rough, functional and more to my husband's appreciation than mine.   To his credit he has been responsive to taking charge of freezer activity, keeping a mental inventory of what's in it and going down to get it for me when I ask for certain items.  Recently church friends had an upright freezer for sale, reasonable, we bought it and with the help of a few more church friends were able to get it transported to our home.

I love it!  I have wanted to do more freezing, as in freeze ahead meals, produce from the summer's bounty, and since I still have not taught myself the art of canning, my project for the time being is to put up food via freezing.  I love being able to see what is on the shelves.  I love that the bulky stuff can go into the chest freezer downstairs.  I love the labeled freezer bags that are flat on the shelves, showing colorful content, the labeled freezer containers, knowing that I can open the door, see at a glance what is there, take out what I need and know more can go in as I prepare and put it up.

There are casseroles to take to women at the church for dozens of reasons, new baby, home from surgery, sick family member, new to the community, and while I do quite well with cooking, casseroles are not my strong suit.  There are potlucks, there are visits to the sisters, visits to family.  I would love to be able to go into my freezer, pull out a meal and be ready to take it to whatever function is most immediate that week.   So I'm on the hunt for those 'freeze ahead' meals that I've seen on for example on Pinterest and blogs.

It's been the two of us for awhile now, and changes in what and how we eat when there aren't children to prepare meals for has considerably changed our eating habits.  I haven't had to have prepped ahead meals, and the meal planning, purchasing, storage is mostly in my head.  We've had to tighten the belt once more and I like the challenge of being more conscientious in menu-planning, meal preparations, food storage, and expanding that to include taking meals to others.

Lots of great blogs out there, linking to blog post at A Turtle's Life titled freezer meals on the cheap blog post on freeze ahead summer meals is one of many blogs I intend to appreciate more fully.

A time to return

It's all the thing right now in the shadow of economic crash, blogs and websites with content on living within your means, stretching resources, making what you have go further.   It's also a whole new generation of younger people who are making their way for the first time, and living with a changing paradigm from their parents economic understandings when there was a much more prosperous middle class bubble.  It's young people rediscovering what became almost lost skills from times past when people did live more on less.

For myself, born into a prosperous middle class era of the 1950's, (albeit lower economic level of the then middle class), I was a teen coming of age in the 1960's in what was then another social paradigm shift.   The back to the land movement,  young people looking for a more altruistic way to live conscientiously in accord with Mother Earth.  While I did not homestead in  a back to the land manner, I was greatly influenced by my peers efforts.  I saw myself as a young 1970's wife and mother leaning towards what was then thought to be a more wholesome way to live life.

A few decades passed, and here we are into the 21st century, and learning or re-learning lost skills, revisiting retired skills, reviving a way of life more familiar to grandparent's generation.  For purposes of this blog, I want more to collect and share ideas others are enthusiastically sharing.  It's not my intent to offer content that is new or news, rather to gather what are or have been useful ideas for me that I have either used or can get excited about using again or can use for the first time in delight given the stigma of being frugal, pinching pennies, living in accord with Mother Earth,  (sustainable, eco-green, organic), back to basics are in vogue.