25 July 2012

Blueberries II: to freeze or not to freeze

Next step for the blueberries was to put a small portion in the freezer:
And by "small" I mean something like a bare pint
It's cheap supermarket plasticware, possibly Ziploc brand. I'm not too careful with my freezing technique, since I tend to do it in small quantities and use the items really soon anyway, sometimes within weeks. Here, I picked over and rinsed the berries, tossed them in the container, and chunked 'em into the back of the freezer.

I don't do a lot of freezing as part of my pantry strategy, for a few reasons. One, to begin with, I don't have a "deep freeze" (Grandma's term for "chest freezer"), mostly because I don't have room for one. Two, I'd hate to have carefully bought, prepared, and packaged 15 cubic feet of food only to lose it in a single, multi-day power outage a few months later. I mean, I'm in Center City Philadelphia, so my power never goes out, and when it does it's just a flicker or a few minutes, but still. Power outages are why god created home canning

Probably the biggest reason, though, that I don't keep a deep freeze is that my household doesn't eat much meat. And by "doesn't eat much" I mean "hardly ever eats." I appreciate that most households aren't like mine, and they do have meat with just about every dinner and lunch and often breakfast, too. Not our style, though. While I keep some cans of tunafish on hand, and I'll help prepare and consume the turkey at Thanksgiving, as a general rule I don't bring meat into the house. I've been vegetarian since the mid-1990s and my reasons for it are another post altogether -- the most relevant thing to say here is that, even if I did find a fantastic deal on whole chickens, or another household offered to go halfsies with me on a side of beef, it would do nothing for my pantry strategy. So . . . maybe a deep freeze full of vegetables or fruit? Since my household is so small, I can't get too excited about finding deals on bags of frozen broccoli. Seasonal vegetables are cheap in season, and we eat a lot of potatoes, beans, and acorn squash in the winter.

On the other hand, a deep freeze full of u-pick blueberries picked at $1.50/lb.? If a 15 cu. ft. chest freezer runs about $500.00 and costs (googling . . . googling) some $30.00/year to run, how many pounds of u-pick blueberries do I have to put into it before it pays for itself?

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