Self preservation with the Whirlpool upright freezer
This year was the year I really had expectations of our garden. I spent a lot of time whispering my hopes and dreams to little seedlings that were started on my window. Mr. Suburble and I built a greenhouse in our backyard out of old windows. We added new raised beds and I dutifully planted, watered and weeded my crops.
“Grow, ” I pleaded the squash blossoms.
“Grow,” I sang over the bunches of lettuce and kale.
“Grow,” I commanded the tomato plants.
And they did.
Imagine my surprise when I was bringing in basketfuls of my crops and my family couldn’t eat fast enough to keep up with the haul. I gave away leafy green bunches. I abandoned zucchinis on my neighbours’ doorsteps (sorry, guys!). And then my wise husband said, “Why don’t you just freeze it?”
Oh. Of course. How could I have missed that?
Maybe it was because our last freezer was a small, apartment-sized deep freeze. It would be overwhelmed by a turkey maybe once or twice a year, and then it would house a few jars of applesauce and some pierogies for the rest of its days. And there were a few scary things lurking at the very bottom of that freezer. In the dead zone.
But now we have this fella in our garage. A beautiful Whirlpool 20 ft. Upright Freezer, with ample room for all sorts of freezer-storage.
Organized, and easily-accessible storage.
I have to say, now that I’ve gone upright, I’ll never go back. Gone is the dead zone, and here to stay are the beautiful organized shelves of produce that I laboured over! And with our up-right freezer, we can eat it all year long!
Some crops were easy enough to pop into the freezer. The kale was washed, dried and then placed into freezer bags. No fuss, no muss.
But then I looked at my tomatoes.
Tomatoes are finicky. They’ll sometimes just catch a blight and up-and-die right in the middle of the season. I had chosen a variety of plum and tumbler tomatoes this year – and they produced!
I couldn’t just freeze them as they were. And perhaps because I’m a bit lazy, I didn’t want to go to the trouble of canning them.
So I asked my mother – the gardening expert I often turn to – and asked, “How do you freeze your tomatoes?”
And she replied, “I oven-roast them and then I freeze them.”
A healthy drizzle of olive oil was splashed over a baking sheet of washed and halved baby tomatoes. I sprinkled some chopped garlic and Italian seasoning all over the pan, and then popped the baking tray into the oven at 400 degrees for an hour.
They come out looking delicious and smelling like Italian loveliness. I bagged them in freezer bags and laid them flat on cookie sheets while they froze.
Why do I do this?
For ultimate stacking potential. This is soup!
I find that freezing “flat” also helps with a quick thaw-out. More surface area means that things warm up faster!
This Whirlpool freezer has a “fast freeze” option – whether it’s veggies, fruit, or my ice cream maker insert (see that lurking in the top corner, waiting for me to have a moment of weakness in the dairy aisle?) – things get frozen FAST.
And this means that my beautiful upright freezer is a smorgasbord of garden goodness that is ready to be popped into smoothies, pastas, and baking. It’s easier than canning, and because I can easily see every single shelf – without a dead zone – none of my hard-earned produce will be lost.
This freezer also has a temperature alarm. Should the door get left open – no doubt by a child clutching a popsicle or a handful of frozen blueberries – an alarm will sound to let us know that my garden goods are in peril!
If you’ve ever woken up to discover that a freezer door has been left open all night, you’ll know the feeling of dread that I’m talking about. And with this beauty, I no longer have to worry about that!
This freezer has been a total game changer in how I approach the harvest from my garden. And with ample room for a few freezer lasagnes….
… it takes “self-preservation” to a whole new level!