My sister at Grits and Pinecones posted 16 Hurricane Preparation Meal Ideas yesterday in anticipation of a visit by Hurricane Irma. At the present time, we’re not in the warning cone, but things can change quickly. Therefore, I thought that I should take an inventory of What’s In My Freezer just in case.
I’m still freaked out at the thought of a hurricane hitting us after Ivan’s direct hit 13 years ago. We were without electricity for over two weeks, and without cable and phone service for almost six weeks. We did and still do have portable generators that could power the refrigerator, freezer, and small microwave. Therefore, having “hurricane” ready meals is a must!
Actually, since it’s just the two of us, many of the meals that I make through the year freeze and reheat beautifully. For some of them, I freeze individual portions and then vacuum seal them. For others, I freeze meal ready portions in small Pyrex dishes. Both are quite handy when I get home from work and just don’t feel like cooking. They become even more important, however, with a threatening hurricane. So, what’s in my freezer?
I’ve been making this mixture for years, although I’ve never actually made it into a pot pie. I generally serve it over rice, and vacuum seal individual portions that heat up in a snap.
2. Baked Ziti
Baked ziti is like lasagna, but without all of the fuss. The recipe makes a fair amount, so I always freeze part of it in a 6 x 8-inch Pyrex dish. It reheats beautifully in the microwave, albeit without the golden cheese color.
Generally, I make four or five loaves of this incredible French bread at a time. I wrap what we don’t eat in aluminum foil, and pop it in the freezer. It takes about 30 minutes to defrost, and is just as good as the freshly baked French bread!
4. Turkey Chili
Turkey chili is a perfect dish for the freezer. The recipe makes quite a bit of this delicious chili. I freeze individual portions of the turkey chili, and then vacuum seal them for the perfect ready to eat meals.
Technically, this isn’t a shepherd’s pie because I use ground turkey rather than lamb. However, it’s a favorite of the Master Taste Tester. I always make three shepherd’s pies, and freeze two of them in 6 x 8-inch Pyrex dishes. They reheat beautifully in the microwave!
This is another dish that makes way more than the Master Taste Tester and I can eat. Therefore, I always divide the mixture between/among two or three Pyrex dishes – one for dinner, and the others for the freezer. They’re perfect heated in the microwave.
Can you believe that I almost threw these 6 x 8-inch Pyrex dishes away? They are invaluable for these easy make ahead and freeze meals like this delicious chicken rice and broccoli casserole. When I make it for the freezer, I leave out the cornflake topping in case I need to reheat it in the microwave.
Susan’s red bean and rice makes a lot of the mixture. Therefore, I put the left-over rice and red beans in individual containers, and freeze them. Once they are frozen, I transfer the individual portions to vacuum seal bags, and vacuum seal them. They go back in the freezer for easy to reheat meals.
9. Coq au Vin
I’ve been making Coq au Vin for years. I freeze individual portions of what we don’t eat for dinner, and vacuum seal them once frozen.They are just as good reheated, and make delicious ready to eat meals.
10. Tony’s Pasta
The recipe for Tony’s pasta came from a former colleague. It’s a snap to make, and freezes beautifully. I freeze the leftovers in individual portions, and vacuum seal them once frozen. Tony’s Pasta is delicious served over noodles or other types of pasta.
Low fuss chicken and smoked sausage gumbo is yet another ready to eat meal from the freezer. I freeze individual portions and then vacuum seal them. Served over rice, the gumbo is delicious!
If you’re concerned about eating meat, then this spinach and mushroom lasagna is for you. Like other lasagnas, I make multiple casseroles in my 6 x 8-inch Pyrex dishes for ready-made meals.
These are my favorite cookie that I’ve been making for years. As such, they’re the cookie of choice that I make when we’re threatened by a hurricane. Although they are not freezer meals, these cookies are ready-made snacks to brighten our gloomy hurricane days. Perhaps I should rename them “Hurricane Cookies”!
No hurricane preparation at our house would be complete without some munchies to pass the time of day. Here are the Hurricane Irma munchies that hopefully will not be eaten!
So there you have it – the contents of my freezer that are standing by for ready to eat meals! As an added bonus, I’ve included my favorite cookie and hurricane snacks should we be unfortunate enough to have a visit from Hurricane Irma. If we are significantly impacted by Hurricane Irma, I’ll post some pictures.
I sincerely hope that everyone who is in the path of this monster hurricane remains safe.