Monday, March 26, 2007

Freezing the Goodness

I return to the real world today, after a brief foray into a mysterious land called Spring Break, which puports to be some sort of 'vacation' or 'holiday' but, at least in my case, looked identical to a normal week, just without the 8 hours of class. You know, I remember spring break in college--the senior year getaway to Paris, the trip with Model UN to Brazil, the other, less pleasant weeks--and this pseudo-vacation just doesn't cut it.

(However, I did apparently take a vacation from blogging. I'll blame that on midterm exam + presentation + week of 'vacation,' if you don't mind.)

One of the main things I did over break, however, was cook. I took a bunch of hours on Friday, and cooked and packaged and froze food to keep me and my household going over the next seven weeks of forced march to the end of my semester and my wedding, which happen to coincide perfectly. (Final exam on Thursday, wedding on Saturday, papers due and leave for honeymoon on Monday.)

Here are the results:

freezer

This is my freezer. Obviously I didn't make everything in here, but here's a tour:

Top shelf, left to right: corn and cheese empanadas, vegetable korma with rice and dal, xanthan gum for gluten-free baking, frozen bought cilantro and basil, broccoli I steamed and froze, gluten-free frozen pizza, bag of scraps for stock, ice pack.

Bottom shelf, left to right: peanut butter cup ice cream, millet pilaf with kale and chickpeas, bagels, millet pilaf with lentils, beet stems, and broccoli, mole-from-a-jar over mixed vegetables and rice, black bean soup (in yogurt container), more millet with lentils, beet stems, and broccoli, homemade polenta, big yogurt container full of Moroccan chickpeas with dried fruit, more empanadas (bean and rice), matar tofu with rice and dal, black bean chipotle burgers (gluten-free).


And, for good measure, the freezer door:

freezer door

Top shelf, left to right: catnip, strawberry chardonnay sorbet, more peanut butter cup ice cream, extra butter, caramel ice cream purchased sometime last calendar year, candy bought in Rehoboth.

Bottom shelf, left to right: chicken hotdogs none of the carnivores in the house like which are therefore languishing in the freezer, frozen mixed vegetables, almond flour, gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate peanut butter fudge rice ice cream, brown rice flour, soy flour.

(Not pictured: the broccoli, polenta, and beets that I put in the fridge to use sooner rather than later, and the black bean soup I moved to the fridge to force me to eat it--it's 2 months old already.)

(To answer the obvious questions: This is about a week's supply of ice cream for the three of us. The catnip is in the freezer because the cats can find it anywhere else.)

This is such a strange task of housewifery, preparing meals in advance and storing them in the freezer. For me, though, it's about survival. Here's the dirty little secret in all of this bounty: I'm going to eat 95% of it. That's right. While the polenta in the fridge and the double batch of pasta I make every other week or so ends up eaten by all of us, this stuff is mainly for me to eat while I'm working, when I get home late and the Wife has other leftovers to eat, or when I'm commuting between babysitting and class. The reasons are many: I don't have time to cook from scratch every time I'm hungry, I don't have the money to buy something to eat every day, and too much takeout and prepared food gets old, gets expensive, and gets unhealthy.

This is self-care you are witnessing, which makes it possible for me to care for those around me. I know it's not that radical to some...but I have some trouble with it, so it's a step.

So now, back into the abyss. I have a post for later this week on schemes of benevolence, the famine relief industry, and the names of citrus fruits in Spanish; and another coming soon on the politics of wedding consumption. So keep your eyes on this space. I promise, I'm off vacation now. Not that I even noticed.

10 Comments:

Anonymous koonj said...

Wedding! Yippee! How exciting! What's it gonna be like? More more!

My only way to keep the pounds off is to keep that ice cream away from my freezer. OK - most of it anyway.

But I'm impressed with your stash of cooked and frozen food. If you weren't taken ...

;)

10:36 PM  
Blogger bazu said...

Congrats on your up-coming wedding! I also got married in the midst of grad school goings-on (finish teaching summer school, fly to NY, get married, fly back, begin teaching for Fall quarter...)

Have you ever read White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture? It's pretty insightful. I mean, obviously, the hetero-normativity thing doesn't apply to you, but you mentioned the consumerism of weddings and it made me think of this book. It had a profound impact on me.

I for one am impressed with your bulk cooking and freezing (and the voyeuristic thrill of peeking into your freezer!). I try to do it, but can't always keep up. It is so funny- at this stage of the game (midway through my dissertation) I have this double identity- I stay at home all day (supposedly writing) so that makes me a... stay at home wife... sort of. I don't know what to do with myself!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

yay! people still read my blog!

shabana--well, the wife is a skinny type, the boy works out 3 hours a day...so they don't have to worry about the ice cream. that sorbet's for me. sigh.

bazu--i totally feel you about being a stay-at-home-wife while working...i'm the one available in the middle of the day, i'm the one with flexible hours, ergo i'm the one to do errands, make phone calls, etc. it both makes sense and is terribly frustrating. i haven't read white weddings yet, but i did read another academic analysis of weddings right when i started planning to keep my head together. i've heard fabulous things about white weddings, and will definitely pick it up. it's funny, there's a whole new market for talking about doing weddings differently--but i'm not sure how politically savvy most of those are. (i'm working my way through offbeat bride now, for instance.)

so yeah, MORE WEDDING DETAILS TO COME.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

A. How great to see another Celiac's (or GF person) frig and freezer. Makes me know we're in this together.
B. I've thought about cooking in advance - I've read about OAMC (once-a-month-cooking), but have never attempted it. Thanks for the inspiration.
C. Mazel tov on your upcoming wedding!

11:12 PM  
Blogger Mike Eberhart said...

Emily,
Thanks for sharing your fridge contents with us :)
Found your blog since you write about gluten-free stuff. Maybe I'll see you at the Suffolk County Celiac event on April 29th (out on Long Island)?

If you ever want more gluten-free recipes or anything related, check out my Gluten-Free Blog. Thanks. Mike

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