Will you be celebrating Frozen Food Day?

By Diane Ruyack

Did you know March 6th is FROZEN FOOD DAY?  Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 193, designated March 6, 1984, as “Frozen Food Day” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation upon this occasion.

How did freezing food begin?

Beginning in 1929, Clarence Birdseye offered his quick-frozen foods to the public. Birdseye got the idea during fur-trapping expeditions to Labrador in 1912 and 1916, where he saw the natives use freezing to preserve foods.  Modern attempts at refrigeration began in the early 20th century in the meat-packing industry. More advanced attempts include food frozen for Eleanor Roosevelt on her trip to Russia. Other experiments, involving orange juice, ice cream and vegetables were conducted by the military near the end of World War II.

National Frozen Food Day celebrates all those yummy foods and snacks in your freezer. Sure, the invention of the freezer made this day possible. But, the methods and techniques of preparing and freezing foods is what makes frozen foods taste great, look great and store in a frozen state until you need them.

Imagine how your busy life would be if you didn’t have a frozen dinner to pop into the microwave in between a late day at work and your evening event. You’d have to stop and make a dinner from scratch!

I like to make my own frozen meals.  It is really easy, healthier and much less expensive than buying them. As a general rule, the following dishes tend to freeze well: baked goods, burgers (sometimes uncooked will freeze better), burritos, calzones, casseroles, cooked beans, cooked grains, egg rolls, enchiladas, French toast, Quiche, lasagna, manicotti, mashed potatoes, meatballs and meatloaf, pancakes, pot pies, poultry, roasted meats, sauces, sloppy Joes, soup, stuffed shells, taco fillings, and waffles. Foods that do NOT freeze well include: egg- and cream-based sauces, instant rice, salad, stuffed poultry, hard-cooked eggs and fried foods.  Just make a larger batch and place cooled portions in freezer and microwave-safe containers.  Wrap tightly and mark the contents and date.

Freezing your meals is a great way to keep foods longer, but frozen doesn’t mean forever. As a general rule, fruit and vegetables will stay freezer-fresh for around eight months, fish and shellfish for up to six months, and meat and poultry for three. Trust your instincts and throw out anything from the freezer that smells or tastes “off.”

To complete your meal, many people’s favorite desserts are frozen yogurt, ice cream, ice cream cake, frozen fruit and yogurt pops.  I have included the recipe. 

Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Ice Pops

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and sliced bananas, mixed
  • 2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 8 small paper cups
  • 8 popsicle sticks

Directions

  1. Place the mixed blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, yogurt, and sugar into a blender. Cover, and blend until fruit is chunky or smooth, as desired.
  2. Fill paper cups 3/4 full with fruit mixture. Cover the top of each cup with a strip of aluminum foil. Poke a popsicle stick through the center of the foil on each cup.
  3. Place the cups in the freezer for at least 5 hours. To serve, remove foil and peel off the paper cup.

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