Love Frozen Over!

Save the berries!
Save the berries!

Here’s the inside scoop on really neat tricks to make you fall in love with your freezer even more:

  • When you harvest elderberries, pick the whole stem, freeze the whole stem inside a plastic bag, and remove the berries frozen. You get more juice into your recipe and less running down your elbows.
  • If you have a problem with fruit not ripening all at once, freeze the early pieces and combine them with the later harvest for your larger recipes.
  • Save juice for jellies, frozen in recipe size batches, in freezer safe cartons, until sugar is on sale. Allow 24 hours for a gallon to thaw at room temp.
  • Start a sourdough bread business, offering a discount on frozen surplus.
  • Make your own brown and serve rolls out of any favorite bread recipe by baking the rolls at 275 degrees for 40 minutes, instead of the usual directions. Cool, bag, and freeze. Or if they are individual rolls, freeze on a tray, first, then bag. Then use as needed, right from the frozen state, baking on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  • Rescue cheese by grating and freezing it. Use frozen grated cheese straight from the freezer in recipes.
  • Freeze milk while on vacation. Leave 2 inches for expansion.

Okay. You know you’re here for the RECIPES!

That Exquisite Dish

1 chicken, cleaned and skinned
2 qt. Pure water
½ c. fresh sage leaves
¼ c. fresh lemon basil leaves
2 stalks celery, chunked
1 onion, chopped, divided
1 T. salt
1 cayenne pepper
2 c. brown rice
½ stick butter
½ c. whole wheat flour
salt  to taste
8 oz. mild cheddar cheese, grated
1 pt. “rotel”, mashed in juice

Simmer chicken in 2 qt. water, sage, basil, celery, ½ onion, 1 T. salt, and cayenne, until meat separates from bone. Drain, reserving broth. Refrigerate broth until fat congeals. Remove fat. De-bone chicken. Chop meat slightly, to make bite-sized pieces. Chop cooked seasoning vegetables finely.  Mix with meat. Do not mix meat until it disintegrates – just stir some.

Bring one qt. broth and rice to boil. Cover and simmer until tender.

Cook remaining onion over medium heat, in butter, until clear. Remove from heat. Add flour and stir. Mix in carefully over medium heat with wire whip, enough broth to make medium thick sauce. Add water if necessary, salt to taste.

Layer in 9×13 glass casserole as follows:

Pour jar of mashed Rotel over all. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and bubbly. Or cover tightly and freeze no more than 3 months. Uncover, place in 350 degree oven, bake until brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Serves 12.

Watermelon Ice

½ leftover watermelon
1 lemon
other fruit (opt.)
milk or condensed milk (opt.)

Remove seed from melon. Puree fruit in blender. Add other pureed fruits or milk if desired. Add juice of lemon. Add honey to taste. Freeze in shallow glass pan or bowl. Stir twice while freezing. Or try freezing in sealable bag, kept upright in freezer, and mashing instead of stirring. Serve as sherbet.

Frozen Dampened Laundry

1 bu. assorted shirts
1 c. powdered soap
2 tubs water, divided
1 unpredictable day
1 unbelievable week

Mix shirts, soap, and 1 tub water. Heat and stir well. Drain. Place shirts in second tub water. Stir well. Drain. Hang shirts to dry outdoors in sun. After 5 hours, condensation will form and fall from a small cloud immediately above shirts. Remove laundry when only slightly damp. Fold and roll as for French pastry, bag, and freeze. Keeps indefinitely. Calories: minus 560.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

5 thoughts on “Love Frozen Over!

    1. The story is in my friend’s mother — it’s actually just Tex-Mex, from scratch, but if you’re used to the taste of store-bought casseroles, then boy, oh boy, your taste buds wake up with the first bite of real food, any real food.
      Her mom likes Tex-Mex, but she nearly fell out of her chair with the first bite of this one, and pronounced it “EXQUISITE!” Ever since then, when I fix my version of arroz con pollo, we call it “That Exquisite DIsh”, but it’s real chicken ‘n’ rice. Real. 🙂

    1. Oh, I am showing my age, here! In the good ol’ days, women dampened their laundry before ironing it. There was no tumble-dry, so most everything needed ironing and no steam irons, so everything had to be dampened first. There also were no spray bottles except for bug poison, which no one would re-use for laundry purposes. So they dampened the laundry by dipping fingertips into a bowl of water and shaking the drips all over the clothes, then rolling it up tightly to hold a while, inside a plastic bag, to distribute the dampness throughout the cloth. Then if anything happened to delay ironing, the clothing could mildew. So, many women stored it inside the refrigerator to gain time, and in desperate times, inside the deep freeze. Worked for them. 🙂

      1. LOL! Wow… I only iron under threat of violence, or if I’m sewing. No wonder I had no idea! That is too funny…

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