making real food from scratch - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you make in bulk from scratch?  How well do they keep?  Is it worth it, money wise?

 

I'm thinking of cleaning out some of the garage and getting a chest freezer...  I'm wondering if its feasible to do something like this...

(I'm thinking pasta sauce from real tomatoes, pickles, jelly...  lots of soups... )

 

I'm pregnant with #4, due in dec... so its half for future convenience, half for avoiding all the ickies in this stuff if you buy it...  (and i'd love to start a tradition of sauce day, etc... where we all pitch in and make LOTS of something)

 

Also, how do you package it so it stays fresh, doesnt have icky stuff, but doesnt break the bank when starting out either...

 

Thanks!!  (I've never done stuff like this before... but I'd love to start!)

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#2 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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I swear by my vacu-sealer.  It pays for itself quickly and is not only good for homemade food but for breaking apart bulk purchases into more manageable sizes. 

 

I dedicate 2 Sundays a month as stock the freezer days but make a point of never cooking just one of anything.

 

Things I always make in bulk to freeze:

  • pizza dough
  • bread/roll dough
  • assorted stocks-chicken, beef, fish
  • tomato sauce
  • lots of soup
  • meatballs
  • assorted casseroles ie: lasagna and other pasta based dishes, meatloaf, potpies
  • pancakes/waffles- just pop in toaster for a quick easy breakfast

 

I also use my vacu-sealer for freezing in season fruits and veggies. I have a small garden but mostly get from a farm share.

 

I do some canning but honestly I hate it so I don't do as much as I should/could.  I mostly do tomatos and pickles.


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#3 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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Muffins

Waffles

Pancakes

Stock

Sauces-spaghetti, tomato, pizza

Soups

Veggies-I prefer frozen to canned and second the vacuum sealer

Freezer jam

Fruits

 

If you can find a source for meat (if you eat it) in bulk, a chest freezer can save you tons.  We have 3 freezers and they're all full of stuff I've gotten on sale, meat and lots of fresh fruit and veggies I freeze to eat all winter.  I was given a vacuum sealer, so I just buy new bags as needed, but you can freeze in ziplocs as well and stuff stays pretty well.

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#4 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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What do you ladies freeze your stock in? I have always had trouble figuring that one out.

 

I like to can, but am not a huge canner yet. This year I have canned lemon-ginger marmalade, strawberry jam, infused cherries, sweet pickles and will be doing tomatoes soon. Canning to me is a lot of fun, and I like the old-fashioned feel of it :) 

 

Otherwise I don't make much in bulk but I do make a lot from scratch, like bread, stock, fresh pasta. We are llooking to get a big freezer too and then I will make in bulk and freeze :)

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#5 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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It varies. I haven't been baking much, thanks to the heat, so I've been buying bread lately, but generally:

 

Muffins

Bread

Cookies, Cakes, other baked goods

Granola

Yoghurt

Ice Cream

Soup (I will buy stock as a starter - depends on whether I've had bones etc. to make stock)

Salad Dressings

Marinades

Baked beans

 

It's been years since I've done jams and preserves - that's one thing I'd like to get back to doing more often. 

 

Our meals are basically "from scratch", i.e. we don't buy frozen, pre-cooked prepared food and re-heat. OTOH, I don't have a chest freezer, so I don't make casseroles or other meals in advance and freeze them for later consumption. I would like to get a freezer but I think we'll be moving again within the year, so I'm waiting. 

 

 

 

 

 

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#6 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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I don't really make a lot of bulk freezer items. We do not have a chest freezer.

I  do make extra meatballs when I make meatballs and put them in the freezer.

I will cook a whole chicken and cut up the meat and freeze it to be used in recipes.

I freeze some cut up vegetables or fruit like onions or peppers or blueberries. I don't do anything to them.

I freeze soup, tzatziki sauce, and homemade sliced gyro meat.

I use ordinary zip lock bags or plastic food containers. I make sure to label with the contents and date.


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#7 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hollybearsmom - are these yeasted doughs you are freezing?  (whole wheat, by any chance?) ...  how do you use it after its frozen?  Can you post a recipe?  I'm intrigued...never even THOUGHT of freezing dough...

 

Side note:  Can you freeze home made pasta? 

 

thanks for the suggestions!! ;)

 

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#8 of 15 Old 07-28-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I reduce stock on the stove till its really concentrated and then put it in ice cube trays. Once frozen I put it in ziploc bags, and add a couple cubes to whatever recipe with a bit of water to reconstitute it.


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#9 of 15 Old 07-30-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy1nluv View Post

hollybearsmom - are these yeasted doughs you are freezing?  (whole wheat, by any chance?) ...  how do you use it after its frozen?  Can you post a recipe?  I'm intrigued...never even THOUGHT of freezing dough...

 

Side note:  Can you freeze home made pasta? 

 

thanks for the suggestions!! wink1.gif

 


Hi! Yes they are yeast doughs and are all pretty much whole wheat or some kind of whole grain blend.

The pizza dough is a basic recipe you can find anywhere ( on my iPad so don't have access to my recipes). I usually make a double batch, divide it into 4 balls and freeze on a cooking sheet until firm and then vacuseal each ball separately.. If you don't have one just freeze in zip locks, getting out as much air as possible. I defrost on the counter and then roll out and use as normal. Frozen dough does seem stickier so flour your hands,rolling pin etc really well.

For rolls I pretty much do the same thing. I shape the rolls, pre freeze and then vacuseal. You can bake right from the frozen state and they come out great! I do lots of wholewheat/flax and basic dinner ones like Parker house.

Bread is a little trickier because like pizza dough it tends to get sticky when defrosted so I usually use it for sweet or savory bread sticks. I make so much bread that i usually don't need to stock up.

I fail at the homemade pasta but there is place in RI that make amazing homemade pastas that I freeze successfully.I boil right from frozen. Come to think of it they sell theirs frozen too so I am sure it just a matter of sealing it really well.

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#10 of 15 Old 07-31-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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I prefer freshly made over bulk cooking in general. Having said that, I love our chest freezer but most of the stuff you mentioned I can instead of freeze like stock and homemade sauces.

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#11 of 15 Old 07-31-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

I reduce stock on the stove till its really concentrated and then put it in ice cube trays. Once frozen I put it in ziploc bags, and add a couple cubes to whatever recipe with a bit of water to reconstitute it.



Me too, though I don't reconstitute. Target sells sterilite brand trays that are BPA and phthalate free. Ziplock brand bags are also free of those.

 

I freeze:
grapes

banana slices

leftover pasta (heat in microwave with a bit of water)

leftover rice

pesto, frozen in ice cube trays

almond flour bread

homemade mung bean tortillas

homemade muffins

pureed fruit as popsicles

leftover soup

brazilian bread balls (my own recipe, with or without cheese)

leftover tomato paste

 

Plus stuff I'm not thinking of.

 

Here's a thread I started on just this topic: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1313694/what-foods-do-you-freeze


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#12 of 15 Old 08-16-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sunday crepes -- i froze a bunch of grapes the other day because they were on the verge of going bad.  Now I have no idea what to do with them... suggestions? please?  thanks!!!

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#13 of 15 Old 08-16-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy1nluv View Post

sunday crepes -- i froze a bunch of grapes the other day because they were on the verge of going bad.  Now I have no idea what to do with them... suggestions? please?  thanks!!!



Eat them as is. They are a yummy snack. (Kind of gross texture if they thaw.) My son likes them on cereal. The milk freezes with them so he ends up with frozen milk.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#14 of 15 Old 09-17-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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Have any of you who freeze a lot figured out the costs of freezing? Electricity, costs of freezers, packaging, etc. I'm interested because I've just moved to Australia. Food here is astronomical compared to the States, although the food is much better quality - no hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, etc. But utilities are very high and summers are very hot and there's no air conditioning in most houses (too expensive) and too humid for swamp coolers. So I'd love to hear the comparative costs what is spent compared to what is saved.

 

Thanks for your help!

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#15 of 15 Old 09-18-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Have any of you who freeze a lot figured out the costs of freezing? Electricity, costs of freezers, packaging, etc. I'm interested because I've just moved to Australia. Food here is astronomical compared to the States, although the food is much better quality - no hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, etc. But utilities are very high and summers are very hot and there's no air conditioning in most houses (too expensive) and too humid for swamp coolers. So I'd love to hear the comparative costs what is spent compared to what is saved.

 

we have 2 chest freezers - the energy cost per year is $40.00 packing runs about $25--we think of it as very cheap

 

our freezers come with energy star rating to tell the projected cost per year- we mostly use (and re-use) square ziplock containers and zipper bags (all bought on sale with coupons)

 

we have over $1000.00+ of food in them at this time 

it WELL worth it to us-most is organic fruit, soups and meats

 

we are in the state so we don't compare to you


 

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