Now that the time has come to begin to refill our freezers with summer's bounty, I have a tip for all of you who, like me, like short cuts and saving money. As you know many foods have to be blanched before freezing and then cooled down to stop the cooking process before putting it in the freezer. It's the cooling down part that always slowed me down and cost me money.
I would always fill my sink with a couple inches of water and then add ice cubes to that and then I would set a large flat pan of food in the sink on top of this to help it cool down. I never had enough ice and would have to run to the mart and buy bagged ice. That was money spent which cut down on my savings of putting the food up in the first place. Then I tried freezing ice in larger containers which did help but not a lot.
I have learned through trial and error to keep a lot of 12 oz or smaller drink bottles that have had their labels removed and been washed thoroughly in my freezer at all times. When I am blanching and freezing now, I blanch, put in a flat pan and then I lay several frozen bottles on the food. You can stir your food over it, under it, and around it. It cools quickly and you can just pop the bottle back in the freezer for later usage. I just rotate the bottles and always have some frozen.
I came up with this idea because I always keep water frozen to take with me outside when I am working. I saw all of the frozen bottles and gave it a try. It works. No more bought ice. No more worry about water getting into the food and it works fairly fast. I sincerely hope that this tip will save you both time and money. Remember also that a full freezer (all the bottles) runs less often than an empty one.
By Trish from Chatom, AL
I think this is a great tip. When I blanche food I always run out of ice water. This will help and not be as messy! Thanks!
I think that is a great tip too except I don't have that much freezer room but for someone who does, that would be great!
What a great ideal. No more running out of ice when blanching food for the freezer. Thanks for the tip.
This is a smart idea and saves is so many ways--freezer is more full all of the time, saves on time, gas, and money running for more ice, and would certainly cool the food quicker because you are cooling the food directly instead of cooling a large, very hot pot. Thanks!
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