Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Have We Here?

One of the first things I do when Pesah appears on the horizon is clean out the cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. The first two are easy, but the freezer...sigh. I am a bit of a freezer pack rat. Pretty much everything I can freeze I will freeze. So I put it off. And off. And off. Then at 20-ish days to do I will pull everything out and go through it with the resolve to keep it organized and not let it get this way next year. Never happens, but I feel better telling it to myself.

Our plans changed today thanks to a tummy bug for Batya so I'm preparing to delve into the depths of the freezers. Let's see how it goes.

First I find a bunch of goodies that head into rotation. Ready-made meals. Sauces packed up in serving sizes. Enough chicken bits and vegetable ends for another pot of bone broth. All clearly labeled and ready for me.

Then I find some things I had forgotten about. Like the full pan of stuffing I made as an extra dish at Thanksgiving. (Now a Shabbat sidedish.) Or the package of veal fat I had had visions of rendering. (Trash) Along with many poorly wrapped bags of herbs from the summer farmer's markets. (Why?)

Then there are the unidentified dishes of food. Things I was certain that I would know when I saw them again. Things i was certain I would need in a short time. Things I would label when I had a moment.

These items are actually the only complaint I have about my freezers. The rest I can deal with, but things that remain unidentified after being defrosted? Those have to go.

There is usually a moment of horror when I discover one item...bread. I had planned on making stuffing out of the rest of my bread bits, but discovering a tray of stuffing snuffed that plan. So what to do with massive amounts of challah? I'm thinking breadcrumbs for schnitzel form the smaller pieces and a last batch of french toast (with some found berry sauce) from those two half loaves.

20 days to go.