Freezer Friendly

Here’s How Long Bread Will Last in the Freezer (and How to Store It) — Freezer Intelligence

It'd be nice if all of us could have fresh bread in our kitchens on a daily basis. That probably isn't possible, though, which is why we caught up with Greg Wade, head baker at Chicago's Publican Quality Bread, who says it's fine to freeze bread and pull it out when we need it — as long as we follow a few simple rules.


Here’s How Long Fruits and Vegetables Will Last in the Freezer (and the Best Way to Make Them Last) — Freezer Intelligence

The sunshine's nice and all, but if we had to pick one thing to bottle up and save each summer, it'd be the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that pop up at farmers markets all season long.

For food writer Jamie DeMent, it's a total must-do. Her grandmother had a special kitchen dedicated just to canning! Parts of each summer weekend during DeMent's childhood were spent in that kitchen, helping her grandmother can and freeze berries, butter beans, corn, peas, and apples. Always apples.

When DeMent searches through her upright freezer at home today, she sees those same foods — plus okra, zucchini, roasted tomatoes, and compound butter and pestos that preserve fresh herbs. "I get worried the apocalypse is coming," she says with a laugh. "I've never managed to use everything in my freezer."

DeMent's forthcoming cookbook, The Farmhouse Chef, starts with summer and moves through the year to spring. "That's because my cooking life starts in the summer every year. It's when I'm canning tomato sauce and freezing butter beans, preparing for the rest of the year."

Just about anything can be frozen — except potatoes and sweet potatoes, which are best left in their skins in a cool, dark place, she says. So how does she freeze all this goodness? Here's a little cheat sheet.


Your 7-Step Plan for Cleaning and Organizing Your Freezer — Freezer Intelligence

Hot weather isn't just the time to trade your boots for sandals — it often means a change in your diet, too. "Lots of people eat differently in the summer than in the winter — they're grilling more, eating more fresh produce, or entertaining groups," says Darla Demorrow of HeartWork Organizing. So it makes sense to refresh the freezer to make room for your change in food habits.

Beyond that, it's just a good idea to plan a seasonal clean-out for your freezer. Between buying food in bulk and holding on to things because you're afraid of running out of food, we tend to pack the freezer with food we're not, honestly, going to eat. And that's not only a waste of food ("The freezer is where good intentions go to die!" Demorrow says, sadly), but also a waste of money ("You could lose it all if there's a power outage, and your freezer can't perform well if you never clean it and it's packed full," she adds).

Plus, you need room for ice cream this time of year! Convinced it's time? Here's how to go about getting your freezer cleaned and organized.


Recipe: Tomato Water Pops — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Let me introduce you to your new summer BFF: tomato water pops. These blush beauties are a savory snack on a stick that will make you a hero at every backyard BBQ between now and September, or even just your own personal hero at midnight on a hot August night. These pops are packed full of tomato flavor and studded with fresh basil, making them a fast and fancy appetizer option for serving a crowd. Here's how to make these tomato Popsicles this summer.


A Brilliant Tip for Better Freezer Organization — Freezer Intelligence

I have a small freezer, and with my family of four it gets jam-packed fairly quickly. Waffles, strawberries, Popsicles, rice, sausage, pesto — you name it, it's in there. Between the fact that everything's frozen solid and all that bulky packaging, it can be hard to find what I need or even see what's in there.

That was, until I made this one simple rule: No boxes. Ever.


10 Office Supplies You Should Use in the Freezer — Freezer Intelligence

The next time you complain about how your office cubicle is the size of a closet, be grateful — it could be the size of your freezer! When you stop to think about it, both of these compact spaces need all the organizing help they can get. So it should come as no surprise to learn that office supplies — designed to make the most of your tiny desk — can come in handy in the freezer.

Here are 10 ideas to file under "ingenious."

Note: We don't endorse stealing these items from your office (unless we're talking about your own home office). Hit up an office supply store and pay for them with actual money.


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