Welcome to the final part of my fascinating freezer series! Do go back and read part one: Weird Crap You Have in Your Freezer, and part two: How To Defrost a Freezer Without Doing Anything Stupid.
I have to say I’ve been feeling pretty good about life since I defrosted my freezer last week. I’ve arranged the shelves into three categories – meat, non-meat, random crap in bags – I’ve frozen leftover pancakes and soup and even some leftover cheese sauce. It’s been pretty empowering. On the back of defrosting the freezer I felt inspired to replace the broken headlight bulb in my car all by myself, and I’m almost feeling brave enough to call Sky and cancel my TV subscription.
In this post I want to go back to the tweet that started me thinking about my freezer, where I asked people what cool or weird stuff they always kept in their freezers because it was actually super useful. I asked the question as an antidote to the fact that I always seem to have half a loaf of bread in my freezer, but never actually use it. (NOT useful.)
The tweet had over 100 replies, which just goes to show how people honestly need to get more hobbies, but it was really interesting for me to read everyone suggestions. I was heartened to find that around 83 of them were advising me to freeze lemon and lime wedges for gin and tonic – proof that I have my target audience on point.
Based on the answers to my tweet, plus my own research, I’ve pulled together a list of 11 things I think would be genuinely useful for you to have in your freezer for NOW AND ALWAYS.
Please leave me a comment and let me know what your freezer absolutely couldn’t do without.
Frozen fruit for drinks
I’ve never frozen a lemon wedge before, but what a genius idea! It makes me feel slightly ashamed to be honest that I’ve spent at least 20 years buying lemons, cutting out a wedge for a drink, leaving the rest in the fridge until it dries up and smells of onions, and then throwing it away.
As well as lemons you can freeze lime or orange wedges, or fruit like raspberries. You could even go with thick cucumber slices for gin? The added beauty of this is that the fruit doubles as an ice cube! Huzzah!
I’m going to put it out there – peas are, in my opinion, a severely underrated vegetable. They’re tasty, low calories, and as you will know from my freezer reveal, everyone always has peas in their freezer. Pea soup is one of my favourites and this pea soup recipe is so easy, you can have it in the bowl in ten minutes.
I’ve found over the years that working from home can lead to bad lunch choices. I’m never going to be the sort of person who forgets meals, but it’s too easy when you’re sat next to the fridge, (that’s where my desk is, I don’t just put a chair there), to graze on slices of cheese dipped in the mayonnaise jar in lieu of a Wholesome Meal.
Making a quick pea soup is an easy way to break the snack habit and pack in some vitamins and minerals. As well as being yummy, peas are high in fibre and contain vitamin C, folate and vitamin B1. If you love peas as much as me you might also enjoy these mini frittatas or this pea and pancetta pasta recipe, both of which would make an easy work-from-home lunch.
Fun pea fact: the average Brit eats 9,000 peas a year!* Challenge: why not count the number of peas you eat over the course of a year and see if your pea consumption is above or below average?
This pea soup recipe is just for one person, but you can easily scale it up. It makes one large bowl, (larger than the one in the picture – that’s just to look pretty), but could stretch to a bowl for lunch and a small bowl mid-afternoon.
I’ve used ingredients that you probably have already, to keep things simple. No point changing out of those freelancer pyjamas if you can help it.
This ‘how to defrost a freezer’ post is part two of my ‘cool posts about freezers’ series, so do go back and read ‘What weird crap do you have in your freezer?’ and check out 11 things you should have in your freezer now and always.
There are many aspects of general house care where I feel I’ve really got it together. My bathroom is always reasonably clean and I do that thing where you put a whole set of bedding into one pillowcase so you never have to rifle around in the airing cupboard for a matching set. (Honestly, that changed my life.)
Other things though, not so much. Take my car windscreen for example. It turns out that scraping off ice with the base of a tin of paint that you happen to have in your hand is not a good idea. I mean it looks fine – you couldn’t tell – except when it rains. Gawd.
Defrosting the freezer regularly is a similar weak spot for me, as you can see here:
I haven’t done it since we moved in 18 months ago and it has started to do the thing where it’s difficult to open the doors because there’s ice in the way. Also, it could really just do with being cleaned. The bottom of the freezer is a mess of peas, crumbs and, weirdly, hair. View Post
I was sat on the sofa on Monday night, having had a really unproductive day. I’d had a migraine the night before and was feeling generally yukky and like I’d just not achieved anything. When I feel like this I often find myself wanting to do weird jobs around the house that are kind of not very important but also somehow wholesome feeling.
I had a flash of inspiration – my FREEZER. I would to write a three part blog series about my freezer. I mean come on, you’re excited already aren’t you? Not even just a single post – a three part series!
The freezer thoughts all started because of the fact that I’d had a rather difficult time during the day with milk, as you can see from these tweets:
The second one is the worst and will probably result in me, come summer, having to burn my car in a field somewhere. View Post
Post in association with the Queen of Quark
I had an email a couple of weeks ago asking me if I wanted to ‘Quark up my life.’
Well. Who doesn’t?
I immediately burst into song. ‘People of the world!’ etc etc
It turns out the project wasn’t music related, but was actually a call to action from the Queen of Quark – Bavarian royalty on a mission, with World Quark Day on January 19th, to inspire the people of the UK to love Quark as much as she does for its low-calorie, high-protein, all round versatility.
All hail the Queen of Quark. *makes fanfare noise*
I decided to run with the musical theme anyway, and set myself a challenge – just how many Spice Girls can you crowbar into a Quark based recipe title? (Two apparently.)
Quark is a fat-free soft cheese, that’s similar in texture to sour cream. It can be used in all sorts of recipes, sweet and savoury, as a healthy substitute for yogurt or soft cheese. Think protein-rich fruit smoothies, avocado dips, quiche… or in my case, think ‘posh ginger spice Quark cheesecake.’
The ginger element comes from the use of ginger biscuits in the base and ground ginger in the topping, and the posh bit is the chocolate swirl on top. Have a look. Admire my swirl:
If my Quark cheesecake gets you thinking about what other things you could make with Quark, then do check out the FREE E-BOOK of Quark recipes from the Queen of Quark, which you can download here. View Post
I had a round-up email this morning from The Pool. One of the headlines, from Viv Groskop, immediately caught my eye:
‘THROW AWAY YOUR PLAN B – AND GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANT’
I didn’t get as far as actually clicking and reading the article as I was very busy lying in bed and looking at the cats but I immediately got what it was talking about.
A few days ago I was in town with a list of jobs in my head. ‘I’m going here next,’ I said to the person with me, ‘to organise this.’ The ‘this’ was an event I wanted to put on at a particular venue.
‘What if they say no,’ said the other person, ‘what’s your Plan B?’
I stopped for a bit and looked confused.
‘Plan B?’ I said. ‘I didn’t think to make a Plan B?’
It literally had not occurred to me that the venue wouldn’t be falling over themselves to let me do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it, and I think that this is a GOOD THING.