A few weeks ago I went out to the garage freezer to get something, and it was not freezing anymore. I caught it just in time: it was still cold, and the food was fine. A safety outlet had tripped.
Because some of the food thawed partially (a lot of vegetables, mostly), I want to use it up soon. I need to anyway: I've been meaning to defrost and clean out the freezer this spring, to make room for what might come out of the garden this season. I'll see how much I can use up from the freezer above the refrigerator too, while I'm at it.
So I've been planning my menus around the many bags of frozen vegetables and the few other things that are in the freezers. It feels so good to be using it up! I hardly knew what I had in there anyway.
The only thing I'm having a hard time with is the pumpkin. I froze several bags of pumpkin purée last fall and I don't think I can use all eight up in a few weeks. We love pumpkin soup, but we can only take so much!
Here's our freezer menu for the next two weeks. I've mentioned the ingredients from the freezer.
Pumpkin soup, tomato and green bean salad, sandwiches (pumpkin, green beans)
Stuffed pepper soup (zucchini, ground beef)
Tomato-avocado pasta salad, strawberry smoothie (strawberries)
Easter ham, funeral potatoes, rolls, frozen veggies (ham, veggies)
Ham and bean soup (using leftover ham)
Broccoli soup (onions, chicken broth, broccoli)
Beef and broccoli (broccoli, ground beef, brown rice)
Cabbage and sausage over rice (cabbage, sausage)
Chicken adobo soup (cabbage, zucchini, chicken broth)
Stroganoff (ground beef)
Cabbage roll casserole (cabbage, ground beef)
Seven-layer dip (black beans)
Pizza made with pumpkin pizza dough (pumpkin)
And any time I need a side dish, I'm pulling out a bag of frozen vegetables.
I'm pretty sure I'll have to plan my menu around the freezer at least two more times before I use most of it up. But perhaps by then we'll be getting our first garden peas, lettuce, and radishes!