Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Freezing Soupy Stuff

A couple of weeks ago I made some homemade cream of mushroom soup and put it in the freezer. My container of choice was zipper bags. With bags, the food freezes flat, so it doesn’t take up as much room, and is easily stacked in the freezer.

One of the handy tips I share with people when they attend my freezer cooking class is how to fill those zipper bags with “soupy stuff” without making a huge mess.

1.  You need freezer grade zipper bags and a deep container.

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2.  Tuck the open bag down into the container.

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3. Choose a container that allows the top of the zipper bag to be folded down over the top edge. If the opening is too wide, the bag won’t fit. Fold the top of the bag over the edge of the container by about 1/2”.

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Fill the bag using a ladle or small measuring cup. Stop filling at least 1/2” from the container top.

4. Pull the top of the bag up and seal the zipper. Then pull the bag out of the container. Remove the air from the bags (I open the bag a little bit and carefully push the air out.) Seal the zipper again.

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5. The bags should be dated and labeled before filling, but if you forgot (ahem), use a Sharpie now. You can see how the bags are lying flat on a cookie sheet. This is how I transport them to the freezer in the garage, and I leave them on the cookie sheet until they are frozen. There are wire racks in the freezer and the contents of the bag would freeze around the wires if they weren’t on a solid surface. Don’t ask how I know that…

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Sometimes with soupy or liquid contents, I double bag. Just slide the full bag into another freezer bag and seal. You can remove the double bag after freezing if you like. This is a great precaution to take in case the zipper fails on the first bag. Again, let’s not ask…

This method can also be used for less soupy dishes like casseroles or vegetable dishes. Again, make sure to squeeze out the air – frozen air takes up freezer space and compromises the quality of your yummy food!


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