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Freezer guessing

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    Freezer guessing

    I have this habit, this way of cooking, that I’ve had all my life it seems, since I was single. Sunday is cooking day. And whatever it is, I make a lot of it, and eat it every day until it’s gone. When I was single, I ate whatever it was for every meal. But for the last 30 years or so, it’s just for dinner. I’ll make something Sunday, then eat it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.... Mrs Mosca will usually be okay Monday, and maybe Tuesday, but that’s it.

    This weekly meal could be anything, but it’s usually spaghetti sauce, or chili, or some kind of chicken casserole, or lasagna, or hearty soup, or during the summer pulled pork, or brisket, might be four racks of ribs, could be pot roast, short ribs, whatever. I think the reason is that I grew up in a reasonably big family (five brothers and sisters), and I learned to cook by watching my mom.

    So, getting to the point.

    Often, I’ll make it to the end of the week, maybe Thursday, and Mrs wants to go out Friday. And maybe I want burgers Saturday (my favorite). So I vacuum seal and freeze the leftovers. And that kinda builds up, over weeks and months. Stuff drifts to the bottom, things get moved around. Half the freezer sometimes is leftovers. And of course I should eat them instead of cook on Sunday, but I like cooking on Sunday.

    Now, thing is, once you pack and freeze stuff, almost everything looks the same. I mean, of course ribs don’t look like chicken casserole, and slices of lasagna are pretty obvious. But chili looks like spaghetti sauce looks like pot roast looks like beef soup looks like pulled pork, when it’s sealed and frozen. And what that means is, sometimes I don’t know what’s in there.

    So yesterday, I decided to get out a pack of chili for tonight’s dinner. Maybe make some loaded nachos for the game: chili, jalapeños, some queso, you know. I let it sit in the fridge. Freeze it quickly, thaw it slowly.

    But guess what! Sausage, peppers, and onions!

    You never know, y’know? Good thing I had some nice rolls, and some mozzarella.

    My stupid, pointless post for the day, I guess.

    #2
    Invest is a Sharpie pen. Write on the bag what you are putting into it before you seal it. An accompanying date is in order as well. If you can go advanced, get a whiteboard and write on it what is in the freezer. Erase it when you remove it. No, I'm not that organised. I fall short of the perfect world....

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    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      And if you're really getting orginized, you can get different colored sharpies that are matched to different dates! Yeah, not a chance I'm going that far. I'm lucky when I remember to mark which part of cured brisket is in the bag.

    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      I like the whiteboard idea. I keep a diagram of each shelf and what's on it so I don't have to deep dive into mystery food. But I just use a sheet of paper.

      K.

    • Dan Deter
      Dan Deter commented
      Editing a comment
      We use the sharpie on the packages. Whiteboards don't get updated when things are taken out so don't get used...

    #3
    Besides freezing and labeling everything individually like Comfortable says, I bag similar things in a larger freezer bag and label that also.
    So the brisket I just cooked and bagged in portions is all in one bag also.

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    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      Odd you mention it, Mrs CN is famous for doing that.

    #4
    Originally posted by ComfortablyNumb View Post
    Invest is a Sharpie pen. Write on the bag what you are putting into it before you seal it. An accompanying date is in order as well. If you can go advanced, get a whiteboard and write on it what is in the freezer. Erase it when you remove it. No, I'm not that organised. I fall short of the perfect world....
    I figured someone would say that, and I have bought a Sharpie. It is there the first time, and never to be seen again, until found weeks later uncapped and dried out next to a long forgotten slip of paper with an unknown phone number written in sharpie ink.

    Comment


      #5
      I keep a couple sharpies right next to my sealer. But I get it, many times we have mystery meat because we forgot to write on the package.

      Comment


        #6
        Painters tape and a pen. Yep! I guess I’m used to doing that but I’m terrible at home!

        we always have sharpies though.

        Try stretching the tape on the counter and writing the contents first before you ever get the sealer or bags out. You’ll be more apt to finish a label that way.

        my chest freezer has some stuff at the bottom too. Eeekkk... unlabeled naturally.

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          #7
          New tradition. Add Surprise Saturday.

          Comment


            #8
            I am with the others - use a Sharpie, not just for what is in the bag, but for weights and dates. That said, I can't help you with the forgetting to put the cap on the sharpie part. We keep ours in a kitchen drawer, and I cap it and put it back when I and done with the vacuum sealer.

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              #9
              Life is like Mosca ‘s freezer, never know what yer gonna get.....

              Comment


                #10
                For example: sausage, pepper, and onion frittata!

                Click image for larger version

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                  #11
                  Noob is right. How about some velcro tape on the sharpie and the sealer so that they stay together?

                  Comment


                    #12
                    We started the whiteboard on the fridge trick earlier this year. We found a thin magnetic white board. The fridge is white so it doesn't look out of place.

                    We have an area for our planned meals to help us keep track of what we bought for groceries and an area for what we have frozen. I also underline the meals that have leftovers in the fridge.

                    It has been a huge help. Especially since we are cooking at home so much.

                    I also have been working really hard to label anything I vacuum pack. I like to put what it is, when I packed it, and if it is just meat or bacon I put the weight as well.
                    Last edited by Derickls; October 20, 2020, 11:16 AM.

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                      #13
                      I'm with you Mosca I've promised the family chili before and had to scramble to get some water boiling cuz it was actually pasta sauce.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Have you heard of this miracle device called a magic marker?

                        Comment


                          #15
                          This is one of the things I love about this place. Have a problem? Easy, just post it and in no time you'll get all kinds of help. Maybe not what you hoped for, but hey, it's thinking outside the box!

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