HOW IT ALL BEGAN...
Hi There, I'm Kate and I love to freeze :-)
In 2019, I was on my second round of maternity leave. As my return to work crept closer, I started to freak out about how I was going to keep on top of everything at home.
I really wanted to be able to provide my family with good home cooked meals so that I wouldn't have to always rely on ready meals and convenience food.
I once calculated that over the next 16 years I would be preparing my family nearly 6,000 dinners (not to mentions breakfasts and lunches) and to be honest, just the thought of that sent me into a tailspin!
I remember feeling sick at the thought of the cost, and horrified that that could mean serving the same 10 'family favourites' over 600 times. I was exhausted before I'd even begun.
I wanted to be able to cook a variety of meals that we would enjoy and lay the foundations to cook interesting meals with my kids as they grew older.
As someone that was an incredibly fussy eater growing up, I worry about my kids following in my footsteps. I'm still not the most adventurous eater, so I know that I am going to have to work hard at getting them to not be scared of trying different foods.
The thing is, I was finding it difficult to plan what meals we should eat, buy the food, and cook it. I tried to do batch cooking, but it was difficult to find the time with a little baby and a pre-schooler.
Every night was a stressful panic, trying to figure out what to feed everyone, especially when I was preparing different meals for everyone.
To make things worse, I felt terrible because my kids weren’t getting the balanced and varied diet that they should be.
I felt even worse about the situation because I was spending a fortune on food; money which we could have spent doing more together as a family. I felt like crying.
The problem was that I kept buying food and intending to cook up some delicious meal, but I always had so much to do I would run out of time. This meant I would waste the decent fresh food that I had bought and would then have to rely on processed convenience foods.
Then, as if by chance, something amazing happened... it hit me like a bolt of lightning, my approach was flawed. I was trying to batch cook like I used to; whipping up thirty portions of four or five meals in a day. What I actually needed was to freeze little and often, and to freeze food raw.
If I could freeze prepped raw ingredients, both for specific meals and that would otherwise go off, then I could reduce our food waste, save money and help us to have more variety, without needing to think or plan too much.
So, I completely geeked out on all things 'freezer'; learning about different storage solutions, freezing techniques and how to not poison everyone!
I spent hours online, researching different recipes and time-saving products, finding inspiration at every turn. I learnt about how to freeze food safely, and what I could and couldn’t freeze, along with time-saving ways to fill my freezer with old classics.
After I did that, I found that I had an endless supply of meal ideas, was wasting less food and didn’t feel stressed about dinner times anymore.
Suddenly, I was cooking things that I would never have even considered making in the past, especially not on a busy weeknight. I was also freezing left over ingredients and storing them correctly - substantially reducing our food wastage.
The secret to being able to provide my family with good home cooked meals every night was to properly utilise my freezer.
After months of research, testing and development, I combined what I had learnt, to develop an all-encompassing approach to cooking (from the planning, to the shopping, the cooking, to the clearing up) and implemented it fully in my own home.
I chose to call it “The Full Freezer Method” as its focus is on using what freezer-space I have to its best benefit.
This will change over the years, so adaptability is key, but by following the basic principle that a Freezer Full of raw ingredients and home cooked food will always be less stressful and costly than buying meals on the fly, I know that The Full Freezer Method is something that I will easily maintain.
I can now stock my freezer with minimal effort, provide my family with a wide variety of different meals, and save time and money as a result.
I am now starting to share The Full Freezer Method with others.
It is early days, but I’m already seeing some wonderful feedback from participants…
Jan says “You’ve got me on a mission! My husband hasn’t eaten this well in years, and I’m actually enjoying cooking again!”
Claire says “I can see how this might become a tad addictive. I made [my husband] choose something for dinner we could make extra of so I could freeze some!”
Sarah says “I haven’t used my freezer in 10 years, so your advice is really appreciated. I can’t wait to get cooking it’s going to save me so much time in the evenings!”
After creating The Full Freezer, I am now not only able to serve up a different meal every night, I’ve also been able to stop wasting so much food, because anything that can be frozen, gets frozen.
I save money not having to buy more food, and also time as I don’t have to pop to the shops so often (which takes forever with two kids in tow!).
Through the process of developing The Full Freezer I have also learnt that food waste is more damaging to our world than single-use plastics. I was horrified to discover this, so am now trying to ensure that reducing food waste is a key part of my methods.
I love the feeling that I get when participants tell me about their successes too. In a world where the art of cooking is starting to disappear, it is nice to think that I might be able to help some families to pass this skill down to their kids, and instil some good waste-reducing habits that will hopefully benefit us all!
Lots of Love,