You may own a freezer, but do you really use it? If your freezer is just a temporary home for food that's getting trashed, Mark Bittman wants to help you with a money-saving, food-preserving audit.
Along with offering a list of freezer techniques for specific foods, Bittman offers a few tips on defeating your worst freezer habits. Proper labelling, for example, is just as useful for leftovers as for hanging files, especially with foods that tend to look alike after a few days in the freeze (those filets: Chicken? Turkey?). The best walk-away tip, however, concerns the defeat of a cook's arch-nemesis, freezer burn:
... Avoid freezer burn by double- or even triple-wrapping food, filling containers to the top and squeezing the air out of containers (zippered bags are good for this). Some foods and sauces, like pesto, can be stored with a layer of oil on top. Others, like cooked beans, can be topped off with water or cooking liquid, leaving room for expansion.
How have you used your own freezer to cut back on unnecessary groceries and supply make-shift meals? Feel free to brag a bit in the comments. Freezer Helps Make Cooking Cheaper and Easier [The Minimalist | NY Times]