I like to spread out my cooking for the holiday season over a few weeks before the big event, this ensures that I don’t feel like I’m chained to the kitchen and can have some time enjoying the season too. To do this I use the freezer to my best advantage and this makes the concept so much easier to manage.
There are a few things that I don’t freeze, there are others that I freeze at different stages, some get cooked and cooled before freezing, others get prepared and frozen before cooking and this has come about through experience and trial and error.
The Best Way To Plan Freezer Cooking
For me I like to do short batches of cooking, I used to spend all day in the kitchen and just make enough to last, but now that seems an impossible task and not one that I would enjoy, so I break down my freezer cooking to ensure that I don’t spend too long in the kitchen.
I like to look at a list of food that I would like to have in my freezer and from that I try and plan this into my working week, so I can at least have one or two cooking sessions if the week allows. Sometimes this doesn’t work out as planned but I do try and ensure that we’ve a choice of food that we can choose from that can be reheated or cooked, even just defrosted, saving time and money.
It is a great idea to know what you intend to cook and add any different ingredients you will need to your grocery list. By spreading out the cooking I spread out the costs too.
What I Freeze And When
It is a good idea to know what you like and how you like to eat an item, this can speed up the cooking preparation. I know that you can freeze sponges when they get cooked but my family dislike them this way, the top seems sticky and so to ease this problem I freeze them before cooking.
I prepare the mix as normal and place them in the freezer on a flat baking sheet until they are frozen and then I put them in labelled bags in the freezer and the cooking instructions. This means that when I need cakes I just need to cook them and they are ready and fresh to eat.
I do this method with cinnamon rolls too. I prepare the dough, add the cinnamon and the sugar and margarine mix, roll them up and cut them as if I am going to place them in the oven, instead I place them in the freezer until they are frozen before placing in a bag ready for when we have family visiting.
I have found that you can freeze crumble mix but you have to use it straight from the freezer, you can’t let it defrost because it goes a bit messy. Having this staple pudding topping made and ready on demand in the freezer is great because we like a crumble topping to our mince pies and this means one less job when I am making the mince pies, I just have to top each one with my frozen crumble topping and place in the oven to cook.
Therefore, it is important that you give yourself time for the preparation for the holiday season, don’t be tied to your kitchen for hours on end. Prepare to plan some freezer cooking to let you enjoy the festive fun as well as reducing your holiday season stress.