Saturday, November 16, 2013

Organizing and Taking Stock

I freeze a lot of vegetables over the year. Last year some of them got lost under everything. In particular the corn was buried and it never got eaten over the winter. I think I found it in May when I cleaned out the freezer. I vowed to keep that from happening this year. Something like corn should not be forgotten even if there are just a few bags worth of it. Especially if there are just a few bags. So I changed my strategy for eating this year. I have to eat from my freezer from about mid December to mid April. The shoulders are a little wider than that, but it is a rough estimate. So I have about four months of freezer eating. I don't want to eat all my beans and corn up right away and just be left with kale and spinach. I want my diet to be varied.

Inventory (each about a cup)

  • Kale 34
  • Spinach 16
  • Chard 18
  • Broccoli 26
  • Snap Peas 18
  • Green Beans 14
  • Fava Beans 7
  • Zucchini 14
  • Celery 6
  • Corn 8

So I decided to break the winter up into eight sections of about two weeks each. Each two week segment would have two bags filled with mixed vegetables. The two bags would have: 4 kale, 2 spinach, 2 chard, 3 broccoli, 2 peas, 2 beans, 1 corn, 1 fava, 2 zukes, 1 celery. Also I have squash (about 3 lbs/week), sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs/week), carrots, onions, garlic, and a small bit of cabbage.

This will ensure I eat a varied diet and that small things won't slip through the cracks. It will also let me know if I'm eating it on schedule. If not I'll have to endeavor to eat more veggies. Or if I really can't eat them all then give them to my townhouse mates to use. Oh and I also have a lot of pot stickers. I layered those bags into the veggie bags so I won't eat them up all at once. Well so my daughter won't eat them all up at once. Most of the above I'll be eating on my own. Some like the broccoli, corn, and Peking ravs I'll get help eating from my daughter. But the rest is all mine.

Now the freezer is all organized. The four lower cubes are filled with different things. One with homemade broth and soups. One with chicken and a small bit of beef from the farmers market. One with just veggies and pot stickers. One with a mix of home made things and veggies. There are also a few store bought things for my husband. He won't eat what I eat. So he gets premade things for lunch.

Personally I like to make my lunch. Above is a sort of dahl. I don't grow lentils so it is made with beans instead. From the garden it has beans, onions, garlic, squash, Chinese cabbage, mustard, and coriander.


  1. Tiny Gardener just threw out an "empty the freezers" challenge, so it looks as though many of us are in the same boat here. I might have to eat green beans every day for a month or two, as I still have packages from 2012 as well as a ton of them from this year's garden. At least I got those cherries from 2012 made into jelly yesterday, now I need to make a few rhubarb pies and some zucchini bread! My husband won't eat what I eat for lunch either. He'd rather have canned soup or that awful packaged mac and cheese!

  2. I just commented on Annie's Granny site: I've been eating strictly out of the freezer since September trying to get that thing cleared out. I have 2 freezers and the freezer drawers in the 2 fridges...I had very little room to squeeze in my summer corn and persimmon puree! Time to clear out the late 2012 and early 2013 fruits and veggies! Plan on doing more dehydrating and more family way the two of us can eat all of this wonderful produce.

  3. You and Annnie's Granny are so organized! What are those blue dividers that you use? I have an upright and sometimes the food falls out when I open the door. One package of meat made a dent! You are blessed. Nancy

    1. The blue dividers came with the freezer. Since it is a chest freezer they help keep the bottom organized.

  4. My freezer is comparitively empty, but I do have loads of tomato sauce this year. Using it up will not be a penance for me!

  5. holy crap, I didn't even see your post when I made my Pantry Clean Out Challenge! I love how organized your freezer is. My freezers are hand me downs, so they don't have those nice separators you have. I wonder if I could get some on Ebay??

  6. What is it with these men who dont eat our beautiful nutritious garden fare ? Mine eats no fresh fruit and almost no vegetables, so frustrating, with all the lovely variety coming out of the garden and freezer !

  7. I'm envious of those dividers :)

  8. i like the divvying up by month idea. Now I just need to figure out what sort of containers to store each month in. Worst case maybe I could use great big zip lock bags with the month written on them.