Saturday, 23 January 2016

Friend your freezer

Beer/meat fridge
We have three freezers. Yes, three. The normal one above the fridge, a bar sized one in the laundry which we bought to stock meals before the arrival of the twins and one in the shed which wasn't planned but is the top bit of Ed's massive beer fridge. It's lucky we have it as my parents generously bought us a third of a steer for Christmas so the shed fridge is now the beer and meat fridge. Man cave much?

Last week I had signed up for a freezer to lunch box challenge with Peta Lee from the road to loving my thermo mixer. If you don't know this website, even if you don't have a thermomix you should certainly check it out. I honestly think Peta has been one of the most influential people in my journey to becoming a housewife. There are literally hundreds of great recipes and I'm pretty sure they all have non-thermomix instructions too. 

I wasn't particularly committed to participating in the challenge but then I was unexpectedly approached about picking up some paid work. It may not eventuate but the threat of it has certainly made me get my act into gear. If I end up working 16 hours a week, something is going to have to give and it can't be food. We're all going to have to keep eating. So I stepped up to the challenge and now have enough snacks in the freezer to keep us going for quite a while. This is what I did in the course of about 4 hours over two sessions. One session involved the help of Miss 3 so you can probably take off at least half an hour if you don't have 'help'.

Freezer inventory
Before I started I actually did a freezer stocktake. This may sound mad but I am forever buying or even making things I already have in the freezer. I'm also guilty of leaving things in the freezer way too long. I now have an inventory. I don't know how good we'll be at keeping it up to date but so far I'm nerdishly into it so it's looking good.
Muffins and pikelets
Recipe 1 from the challenge was mini carrot cakes. Total success. Very small amount of sugar suggested and I reduced it even further. Perfect for little ones. I froze them in batches of six and kept one bag out to eat fresh and it's already gone. I also did some zucchini and chia muffins just because we had some zucchini that really needed using up. 

Pikelets for oven baking
While these were cooking I got onto Recipe 2 which was banana maple pikelets. I skipped the maple syrup so just banana really. Pikelets have been a staple for us for a long time but I've never made such a massive batch (or followed a proper recipe). My favourite thing about pikelets is they're not crumbly so you can confidently whip them out at doctors appointments, child-free houses and any other places where you'd prefer not to make a mess. This recipe produced so much batter that I tried to bake some in the oven rather than standing over the frying pan for too long. I'm going to say this only worked ok. The oven baked ones are a lot less fluffy and didn't brown up as much as the pan ones but hopefully nobody besides me will care. 

Bagged balls
Session 2 started with Recipe 3 of the challenge, chocolate balls. I was a little hesitant about this one because I'm pretty sure I have a chocolate addiction and the last thing I want to do is pass it on to my children. I looked at the recipe though and there was only a tablespoon of cacao powder so I figured they can't be too chocolatey. They're actually mostly sultanas. While I was at it, I also did some date and oat balls. The secret to making raw balls really quickly is to make sure your hands are quite damp when you're rolling them. If you have dry hands you'll just end up in a sticky mess. With damp hands, even Miss 3 made some pretty round balls. I bagged the two types up together so we have a mix when we unfreeze them.

Muesli pods
Recipe 4 was muesli pods which are like bite sized muesli bars. This was probably the least successful of the recipes because some of them were a bit too crumbly and didn't make it to the freezer. It didn't go to waste though because I make a batch of muesli about once a week and I just added the crumbly bits to that. I stored these ones in boxes separated with baking paper. I'm hoping this enables us to get them out one at a time. They might end up being for Ed and I rather than the children because they're going to be pretty filling and definitely crumbly. These are not the ones to take to a mess free environment!

Cheesy brocolli muffins
Recipe 5 was cheesy broccoli muffins. I don't cook a lot of savoury snacks. It's not that I don't like savoury things it's just I don't think you can go past cheese and biscuits for a savoury snack and that requires no effort what so ever. Anyway, they turned out well and cut in half, with a bit of butter or cream cheese and some ham could actually work out to be a nice lunch. It will be good to have something different. Sandwiches are our staple lunch. Sometimes toasted sandwiches. Occasionally wraps.

So I'm ready. If I ended up picking up some work, we will still have food. It will be challenging but I'm pleased to say we will still eat. 


  1. Is there a link to challenge or any recipes?

    1. Hi Clare. Check out the road to loving my thermo mixer site I believe Peta was planning to share them all once the challenge is should be soon.