I recently took a trip to Winnipeg to spend some time with my grandma Fritzi for her 87th birthday. There is no one quite like my grandmother. She is a pint-sized feisty little thing; we do what she says and that is just the way it goes.
We have this running joke in our family, that if any of us are heading out West for a visit, we don't give my grandmother too much time to prepare. The day we call to say we are coming, whether it be a month in advance or six months, she will get busy cooking up our arrival dinner and promptly stick it in the freezer to await our visit. My dad has said that he used to come home from school to the delicious aroma of fresh baked chocolate cake, only to find that it had already been wrapped up and stuck in the freezer for a future special occasion.
Everything goes in the freezer. My grandma even used to keep bubble gum in the freezer- and there is still something nostalgic about biting in to an icy-cold, hard piece of grape Bubblicious.
Despite all our teasing, my grandma has taught us well. My freezer is now full of my own homecooking. Living on my own, I'll make big batches of soup, sauces, and cookies and keep some to eat fresh and freeze the rest for later. If we are going to pull anything out of the freezer for a quick and easy dinner, we are far better off having it be our own home cooking than grocery store bought frozen dinners. The next best thing to fresh, is eating our own frozen cooking, where minimal nutrient loss occurs. For reheating however, it is always best to allow food to defrost on its own and then place it in a pot on the stove or in the oven; never the microwave.
My grandma lives in a condo building with all my friends grandparents. These women lived through the depression, through wars, through several children and they have learned to be prepared at all times. When they moved into this building from their homes, they all brought with them their secondary freezers, which now reside in a single room affectionately referred to as "The Freezer Room".
Should you ever find yourslef with an emergency need for a batch of commish (also known as mandel bread), gefilte fish, or a sliced brisket with gravy, my grandma Fritzi has your back.