Freezers can be the most underutilized kitchen appliance in our homes, but they don’t have to be. They tend to be quite small relative to the size of any refrigerator, which is amazing considering how useful a large standing freezer can be to families striving to save money by preserving food, especially for things like halal meat shares or meat subscriptions that are really much more economical than buying smaller quantities.
Large families can stock up on bulk purchases of meat, produce and halal, convenient yet healthy foods with deep freezers or just larger freezers than the average found in a side-by-side refrigerator appliance.
My last posts on 4 Tips to Organize Your Ramadan Cooking and Kitchen Efficiency in Ramadan took you through the steps to getting ready to shop and how to keep the kitchen running smoothly throughout the month.
Once your kitchen is clean and well organized and you’ve done your shopping for items you’ll need in bulk, for convenience and surprise guests throughout the month then process these at home, you can put your freezer to work to preserve what you have.
First, check your cabinets to see if you have any of these on hand already, otherwise you can order from the links below:
Freezer paper and freezer paper tape - great for rolling up meat nice and tight and stashing in the freezer, then thawing it out in the fridge easily. Freezer bags (Quart size)- sometimes bags are just way easier than paper. Permanent marker and freezer labels so that you remember what's inside and when you packaged it. Aluminum foil -(as a back-up to not having freezer paper, this non-stick version is great for freezer products so that nothing sticks to your food when frozen) Plastic freezer jars - these pint size ones are great for freezing small amounts of sauces, condiments and nuts.
Using your Grocery List for Ramadan Shopping take notes on what you’ve purchased and any suggestions the butcher gave you.
Once you get home, take note of all the amounts of meat purchased in pounds for each recipe. Keep all the recipes close by so they’re easy to refer to as you’re cooking in Ramadan. I like to keep mine in a binder or journal.
Wrap fresh meats using freezer paper plus a freezer bag or any kind of double binding to keep meat fresh and avoid freezer burn. I like to label the contents, date and what recipe I’ll be using it for. For example, “Ground Chuck for Lasagna, 7/27/2011”. Be sure to label plastic bags before adding cold food or the marker won’t work so great.
So before you let overwhelm get you, just get prepared now and create a process for yourself by utilizing the tools mentioned in this post, whether you have them on hand already or need to stock up. Now is a great time to get started!
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