My parents bought me a 5.5 cubic foot chest freezer. My first appliance. My small, apartment size refrigerator/freezer combo just wasn't cutting it for long-term food storage, and I was spending too much time making things from scratch constantly. So, now I can cook BIG batches, freeze up servings, and have my very own, homecooked fast food! Perhaps I will have a life outside my kitchen once again!
I went to the farmer's market and stocked up on veggies, and my mom and I had a cooking extravaganza. My freezer now has beets, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, green beans, yellow beans, homemade beet pasta sauce, some tasty homebaked, gluten free, homemade chicken stock, cooked frozen grains, sugar free breads and muffins (recipes to come!), and four different soups! All this on top of some good store-bought frozen standards - good meats, frozen veggies, . The coolest part is that I also received a FoodSaver, which vacuum seals your food into little, reusable plastic bags. Things last WAY longer in the refrigerator and freeze better once vacuum sealed. Kind of like canning, but easier. Either take the item out of the bag and heat, or put whole bag in a pan of simmering water and heat until contents are warm! Then open the bag, and pour out your tasty, warm, wholesome food. Awesome. I can't wait to FoodSave more stuff.
For example, did you know you can keep vacuum sealed hard cheeses for up to three years in the fridge? Not that I"m eating cheese right now, but kind of an interesting fact regardless. Pretty cool.