Some people leave notes for themselves on the fridge, like “Don’t forget to bring lunch,” or “throw away whatever that thing growing teeth in the vegetable crisper is.” I leave notes for myself in the freezer — love notes, really — in the form of something I made too much of one night and decided to freeze instead of refrigerate.
This tactic prevents the most common of refrigerator-related tragedies: spoiled leftovers. While they’re no longer liquid assets you can eat out out of the casserole dish with your hands when you inexplicably wake up famished at 3 in the morning, they’re equally useful as frozen assets. The kind you’re so glad to have when you think you have nothing to bring for lunch and the thought of going to that deli again makes you sad at 8 in the morning. Plus, the phenomenon of leftovers being better after a day in the fridge translates seamlessly to the freezer.
Make a ton of any of the following dishes, eat your fill, then freeze the rest in reusable containers or well-wrapped in sturdy foil:
- Chicken Mulligatawny Soup
- Eggplant Rollatini
- Golden Chicken with Potatoes and Chickpeas
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Cinnamon Lamb Tagine with Apricots
- Stuffed Shells
- Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs
- Mama’s Seafood Gumbo
- Beer Beef Stew
- Tomato Chickpea Curry with Chicken
Too complicated? Wow. Fine, here’s the easiest and most well-known freezer trick you’re not using. Make a big batch of pesto, freeze it in an ice cube tray, add a frozen cube to the pasta you packed and by lunchtime it’ll be thawed. A brief spell in the microwave and it’s practically fresh out of the blender.
I freeze pesto in those novelty silicone ice cube molds because seeing green basiley Space Invaders on my penne makes me happy at 8 in the morning. Set your future self up for great lunchtimes by taking just a little extra time to preserve the love.