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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Lise
Date: 10-03-2005, 06:01 PM (1 of 10)
I am about to move to a new house - new to me that is - where I'll have a freezer chest or deep freeze or whatever it should be called. I have never used one and wonder what I should and should not do. Are there things you shouldn't put in them, how long can they stay there, how long to thaw out etc . Any info will be much appreciated. Thanks
Lise :Canada:
User: Lise
Member since: 07-24-2000
Total posts: 231
From: Sancin
Date: 10-03-2005, 06:50 PM (2 of 10)
Hi Lise
There are a number of books out on using freezer, but not for a few years. I would try the library. I copied a list of what to and not to and taped it beside my freezer many years ago. A good book is Freeze with Ease or another is From Freezer to Microwave. You can freeze pretty well anything except potato chips and eggs. Some dairy products like milk and cheeses lose texture when frozen but can be used in cooking. Times to leave frozen vary, but I keep things much longer than recommended and adjust what I will use them for. eg. steaks may lose some flavor with freezer burn but are good in stews. Fresh vegetables need to be par boiled in order to stop some enzyme or other from working. Mushrooms - just throw them in. The secret to most successful freezing is ensuring what you are freezing is airtight. Newer saran type wraps and zip lock bags make it easier than it used to be wrapping everything in freezer paper! I could not live without my freezer or microwave.

Depending how old the freezer is (they tend to last forever) you may wish to buy a freezer thermometer (available almost anywhere with oven testers) to ensure that your freezer is cold enough

*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: misstwoshoes
Date: 10-03-2005, 11:10 PM (3 of 10)
Hello Lise,
Best wishes in your new home. I have had a freezer for about 30 yrs. They are great. A chest freezer holds more but you have to be pretty organized to keep things from getting "lost". I have had both an upright and a chest. I prefer the chest for what it can hold but the upright is more convenient if you will not be freezing a whole steer or if there are no deer hunters in your family. I have the maximum number of baskets that will fit across the top of my freezer and then I use cardboard boxes in the bottom to compartimentalize items. I ALWAYS use freezer wrap as I have found that it keeps meat freshest longest. Even if you buy packaged meat at the supermarket, if you will bring it home and overwrap it with freezer wrap you will be amazed at how much better it keeps. I usually have a large garden and freeze and can vegetabes and fruit each year. I like the seal-a-meal bags or those that you twist and fold over and put a twist tie on, they seem to have the least amount of ice crystals in them. Somehow ziplock bags don't work as well for me even using a vacuum to get the air out.
Another thing I try to do is keep a running list of what I put in my freezer with the date and tape this to the outside of the lid and when I get an item out I cross it off the list. There are lots of good books on canning and freezing and it would be good to buy one and follow its recommendations. A freezer will only save you time and money if you use the food in a timely manner as freezer burned meat and vegetables are not only not very tasty they don't have a lot of nutritional value either.
Godd luck with your freezer.
Artie Ann
User: misstwoshoes
Member since: 10-02-2005
Total posts: 17
From: Sancin
Date: 10-04-2005, 12:41 AM (4 of 10)
I certainly agree with Artie Ann regarding baskets. If you can't find the type that hook on the edge on the top, check out second hand stores. I am very short and find reaching things in the bottom of the freezer hard, so I put everything in boxes with handles (file boxes work well)- nothing too heavy as food itself is heavy. I also keep some long barbque tongs nearby to reach things more easily. I live alone and have a terrible fear of falling in and never being found!! :nervous: I don't can/freeze anymore from my garden, but sometimes buy vegs in season. The cheap glad and zip lock boxes are handy as you can 'burp' out the air. Have to make sure they are on securely. Remember plastics and other things shrink when they get cold.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: Chrysantha
Date: 10-04-2005, 01:02 AM (5 of 10)
And remember ICE expands...don't freeze soda/pop, unless it's OUT of it's can or bottle. Don't freeze bottles of water (they like the soda/pop, will explode, or just pop and ooze all over the place) Careful freezing plastic bowls. they too can expand and crack.
You CAN freeze snowballs and they will last quite awhile. (I had a little brother).

Up until the 80's sometime, you could call and have meat and other stuff delivered to your home to freeze (not Schwans). My mother kept a freezer for at least 25 yrs. We always had meat, chicken, juice, pot pies, etc...
(and the odd snowball or 10) I don't know if it's still possible to do that.
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: patti2
Date: 10-04-2005, 07:41 AM (6 of 10)
I had an extra freezer and, as with my fridge, things got freezer burnt and forgotten. We got rid of it and got a second refridgerator. What a godsend, especially in the hot weather. We still have all the extra freezer room we need. I use it for watermelon, extra juices or soda and salads,ect for cookouts. I found it much more useful, at least to my family, than a full size freezer.
User: patti2
Member since: 05-28-2005
Total posts: 78
From: SummersEchos
Date: 10-04-2005, 08:02 AM (7 of 10)
I had a chest freezer almost all my childhood life and most of my adult life. I loved it. The uprights were nicer in finding things, but didn't hold as much. I use to go to the butcher and have half a cow cut up the way I liked it, package to my liking. It was so nice to have this ready for me, and I thought it tasted better than store bought meats. I would then get chicken and turkey's when the price was right.
Freezing wrapping is a must, I feel. Protects your meats. Label everything with what is in it and the date. In time you will find your own way of storing it.
I froze bread, veggies, meats, fruit, and rarely did I have problems. Now they have the freezer bags, which is nice for fruit and veggies.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: debsews
Date: 10-04-2005, 09:32 AM (8 of 10)
When we had a freezer that we couldn't fill up I put bags of styrofoam peanuts in there to take up the extra space. It works to help with energy savings and stuff doesn't seem to freezer burn as much when a freezer is full. You could do the same thing with milk jugs filled half way with water but I could use the peanuts for packing so that's why I went that way. Another thing with freezers is they last seemingly forever if you don't move them around or unplug them. My parents have had one in their basement for 53 yrs. Never has been moved or unpluged and runs so quiet you can't hear it! I went the extra refrig route since we're retired and don't tend to eat at home as much. But when the kids were home I usually filled that baby up and it was great.
User: debsews
Member since: 09-16-2005
Total posts: 254
From: texas_angel
Date: 10-04-2005, 02:36 PM (9 of 10)
We have a chest freezer and love it. I rinse out pop and water bottles and then fill 1/2 (or a little less) with water and freeze them. Then they won't "burst" just leave the lid a little bit loose so the bottle doesn't crack. (You can tighten it after it's frozen solid when you get in the freezer for something else.) They help keep your freezer full and when you're going somewhere or working outside just grab a frozen water, add some fresh water on top of the frozen and your good to go. Sharpee Markers are great for labeling your food. When we freeze our meat etc. we put what it is and the date it's going in written directly on the package. Good luck with the new house and have fun with the freezer.
User: texas_angel
Member since: 08-17-2005
Total posts: 54
From: misstwoshoes
Date: 10-04-2005, 02:42 PM (10 of 10)
I agree with having an extra refrigerator along with having a freezer! I have a Sears Trio with freezer on the bottom in the house and I love it, everything is right there in front of you when you open the door. But I also have a 23 cubic ft. Frigidaire in the garage and it is always full. We live about 25 miles from the grocery store and I only shop about once every 2-3 weeks so I buy lots of produce. And we buy from a wholefood co-op once a month. I have found that when you are not opening the frig every little bit foods stay fresher a LOT longer. So I "shop" from my garage frig about every 5 days. Plus I have the chest freezer in the garage. I keep nuts and flours and cheeses and oils in the frig and freezer. Usually I have to buy cornmeal in a 25# bag and it must be kept cold to stay fresh. We also have dairy goats so I need the extra room. I am thinking about buying a smaller frig just for my goat milk.
I don't know how people lived without refrigeration, that, clean running water and air conditioning are three things I thank God for on a daily basis. I am so blessed!
I know that a lot of people don't cook like I do anymore what with all the convenience foods but I have spoiled my husband...and he in turn has spoiled me.
User: misstwoshoes
Member since: 10-02-2005
Total posts: 17
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