Freezing For Christmas
The Christmas period is a happy but busy time for all of us. Make full use of your deep freeze in preparing all sorts of time saving items.
1. Prepare large quantities of ice ready for serving drinks to visitors.
2. Several types of savory toppings for biscuits, plus a variety of cream cheese dips can be prepared, packaged and kept in your freezer for up to 4 weeks. Prepare and freeze quantities of grated cheese, chopped ham and cheese straws will keep crisp and fresh in your freezer. Canapes such as salmon or seafood need to freeze well. Do not freeze olives, capers or salad vegetables.
3. All types of soup may be prepared, packaged and frozen. Remember to use rice flour when thickening is required.
4. Remember the turkey can be purchased weeks or even months before Christmas. Properly packaged and deep frozen, it will keep in perfect condition for up to 12 months. Caution: turkey and chicken are best thawed out before cooking. A turkey will take 2-3 days to thaw at room temperature, depending on size. Do not remove the protective wrapping during the defrosting period. Cook as usual. Leftover cold turnkey can be packaged and returned to your freezer ready to make all sorts of delicious dishes at a later date. Storage time for cooked turkey is 4 months.
5. A vast selection of vegetables may be prepared and stored in your deep freeze (please refer to article of Freezing Vegetables).
6. Traditional Christmas pudding, fruit mince pies and even the Christmas cake can be prepared months in advance, package and deep frozen. Even the brandy sauce can be prepared in advance to save time on that busy day. Remember to use rice flour to thicken, as a corn flour sauce tends to separate after freezing.
7. Your Christmas ham can be purchased when there is a reasonable price then packaged and frozen. However, remember the fat on ham has a tendency to go rancid if kept longer than 6 months. Thaw for at least 3 days without removing the protective wrapping. Cook as usual. Leftover cooked ham can also be packaged and re-frozen for use later. Storage time for cooked ham is 4 hours.
8. All types of nuts can be frozen, if you use good packaging material. Storage time is approximately 6 months.