On April 29, 2009 by Kelly
If you don’t own a stand-alone freezer, you have probably asked yourself if you can OAMC with only a refrigerator freezer. I have been doubtful, but MJ proved me wrong this last month. Here is a great recap from a woman who made it happen! Learn all of MJ’s freezer cooking tips for fitting all of those meals above the refrigerator.
When I first decided to participate in an OAMC day, I started collecting ingredients I already had on my counter top including spices and other random staples and made a note of what was available in my fridge. Then I thought about all the posts that said, “You can do this with only a refrigerator freezer, but…” I broached the topic with darling dearest hubby (DH), and he was adamant. Absolutely not. There is no space for an extra freezer. There is no outlet where there is space. I do not like chest freezers, blah blah blah, and on it went. Sigh. I was going to participate in this OAMC. There was no alternative. I had made up my mind. Now it was just a matter of where to put the food.
At this point, further dreaming and venturing of expenses aside, I have a normal, old school, on top of the refrigerator freezer. Currently (well before the OAMC day) stocked with frozen pizza, frozen veggies, ice packs and buffalo chicken fingers. There might also have been some ice cream too. (I am pregnant after all, and I must get that calcium, right?) I looked at the freezer and then at the list of food and then back at the freezer. I moved all the bags of veggies into the door and shoved all the ice packs to the back. I ate some ice cream and then proceeded to convince myself I would figure it out later. After all, I did marry an engineer, and it is his fault that I do not have a different or other freezer, right?
So I jump right into the cooking. A day later, with some things still on the counter and others in the fridge, I am determined to get it all in the freezer. I mis-read and ended up with three dishes in the baking pans, so I have six of these foil pans to get in the freezer as well as the million other bags of food. Well the containers are the biggest so they go first. (We moved into this house in November, so we still have some boxes in hiding upstairs). I had my DH break up a box so that I could have card board pieces to put in between the foil pans. So three foil pans on the bottom of the freezer with a piece of card board in between each, and two on the top shelf. I went ahead and put the last one in the fridge determined to eat it that week.The one frozen pizza went into the oven and the other two fit barely, and just perfectly on top of the foil containers on the top shelf in the freezer.
I had about six inches of space left in the door once DH arranged the bags of veggies on top of each other and was able to put one fully frozen salmon and the baked chicken fingers stacked there. Then the rest of the freezer was made into a huge conglomeration of freezer bags with who knows what in them. There is not much organization. It will take some time to find what I want, but it is in the freezer. One of the things that I did, was to let things that I knew were going to be in the door go in the main section of the freezer early on before everything else and let them really freeze first. Now they will stay frozen. Also, we turned the freezer up a notch colder, because with it so full it would not freeze as much as we wanted. Discovered this fact by my soft ice cream. ICK!
Other notes I would put forward are that even with the freezer filled to the max, we made sure that no items were pressed against the back wall (ice packs the exception) nor against the fan or light. Engineer DH said this was necessary to keep the air filtering through to keep the items frozen. Also, I have to mention that my freezer does not have an ice maker as it was never installed. So that gives me a little more space. Yet, even if I did have one, I would just turn it off, take out the drawer and use that space as well.
Just after two meals have been removed there is movable space, and after three foil pans were removed there was room for a gallon of ice cream. Not that I’m keeping track of it.
MJ is young, married, and fully in love. She loves to read all sorts of things, but mostly religious fiction novels as well as L.M. Montgomery books, etc. She and her dad are genealogists and she and her mother are sewing ladies. She lives with her engineer husband just east of Atlanta, Georgia where he does his engineer things while she reads books, lots of books, and quilts, and sometimes cross stitches. They are expecting their first little girl in August. MJ wriets and shares pictures of her creative projects with her family and friends at Creative Madness.