This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short. If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on. I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.
Before I [finally] start writing specifically about what kind of food we eat, I thought I should give you some tips (or really just one important one) on food preservation. You’ll notice that we freeze or can a vast amount of food in the summer and fall to eat in the winter and spring. If you’re at all interested in eating seasonally, then here’s my #1 tip:
Buy an extra freezer.
We started out with a Kenmore 9-cubic foot chest freezer and that was plenty for us for a few years. But once I decided that I wanted to start baking bread, bagels, etc in quantity, along with making chicken stock and other bulky items, it became clear that we needed more freezer space. So just before Ellie was born, we bought a 16-cubic foot upright freezer.
Yes, my friends, we have not one, but two, extra freezers in our basement. A bit ridiculous but during the winter, they’re both usually packed full. Right now, everything fits easily into the chest freezer because we’ve eaten up [almost] all our stores from last year. But check in with me in November and you’ll see that they’re both packed full.
Even if you live in a tiny apartment, you’ll be able to find space for a small chest freezer. Cover it with some fabric and put some pretty things on top of it and it will be a nice addition to your living room!
We didn’t notice an increase in our electric bill when we got the chest freezer and weren’t paying attention to see if it went up with the upright. But, most freezers usually only add two or three dollars a month to your electric bill. The money we save by filling up those freezers in the summer more than covers the electric bill!
Finally, chest freezers are great but the bottom of them can turn into no-man’s land with five-year old food if you’re not careful. To fix that problem, we rarely put anything directly into the freezer. Instead, we have a few boxes that we use to organize the freezer. In the beginning, we also kept a meticulous inventory, such as, “green beans, quart bags, 4, paper box.” That way, I knew I just had to pull out the paper box to find the four quart bags of green beans. Now, we’re not that committed (post-baby!), but I still try to keep vegetables in some boxes, meat in others to make it easy to located what I want. We also pull everything out every summer to defrost the freezer and organize it.
I realize having an extra freezer isn’t exactly “old-fashioned” but it does help us eat seasonally, which is old-fashioned. I highly recommend that you get one too!