Welcome to the Favorite Freezer Foods Ezine Issue #21: The Tortoise and the Hare. . .

April 4, 2010

The Tortoise and the Hare
Easter Traditions

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The Tortoise and the Hare

Photo by David Goehring

You remember that old Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare right?

I recently came across a podcast about two types of work styles. It's the old tortoise and hare analogy, but they renamed them the marathoner and the sprinter. The podcast said, in essence, that neither is better, however, we've been trained to think that 'slow and steady wins the race.'

Sure there is something to be said for showing up and doing the same thing everyday but it's not the only way to reach our goals.

I started thinking about think this and how this relates to cooking. In the past cooking was a marathon, a tortoise activity. Period. If you wanted a day off you'd beg someone else to cook. Now we have more options like going out to a restaurant, eating the processed crap from the store or, my favorite, using our freezers.

With freezer cooking you can be a tortoise or a hare.

Hares can 'sprint' for a weekend doing once a month cooking, preparing 30 meals in a single day. Some experienced hares even do 'power' or 'mega' cooking preparing 60 or 90 meals in a single day. The book Dinners In The Freezer! More Mary Less Martha by Jill Bond details one style of mega cooking.

Tortoises on the other hand are better off with batch cooking, doubling or tripling a batch of something you're already making and freezing the extra portions. If you're a tortoise thinking of trying batch cooking take this one piece of advice: Freeze the 'extras' before serving dinner. After you start eating you're more likely to dig in for seconds and less likely to want to wrap your extra meal up and freeze it.

So, what style of freezer cook are you? Let me know on the Favorite Freezer Foods Facebook Page.

Easter Traditions

Easter time always makes me homesick. Sure, I call and my family plays pass-the-phone around, but it's not the same as being there. Easter has almost as many traditions as Christmas in my family and most of those traditions involved food.

Brunch was usually colac, a rich sweet bread made with egg, or kifli, essentially colac with a ground walnut filling rolled like a jellyroll, whichever we still had in the freezer. My dad would sliced them thin, spread with butter then pan fry the slices. Just the thought of that sweet, crispy bread makes my mouth water and I haven't tasted it in over five years.

Our Easter dinner celebration was usually at my parents house. We might have 10 people over but there was enough food for 50.

Dinner prep actually started in November when me, my mom and my grandma would spend a whole day making tray after tray of my Italian grandfather's lasagna. One was served that night, the next tray on the 19th, my dad's birthday, another at Christmas dinner and the last trays were served on Easter. Lasagna freezes beautifully, we used disposable aluminum pans with lids.

Along with the lasagna we'd have a glazed ham and garlic roasted leg of lamb, mashed red potatoes and Candied Sweet Potatoes.

My mom usually made her sweet potatoes a day or two ahead but they could be frozen as well. Bake or boil sweet potatoes until tender. Mash and season to taste with brown sugar, butter and a hint of cinnamon. They can be frozen in a freezer bag or the pan you want to bake them in. Thaw in fridge or bake/microwave from frozen until heated through then top with marshmallows and bake until the marshmallows are puffed up 5-10 minutes (around 375F).

We've started making carrot cake with cream cheese frosting every Easter too. It was my mom's favorite cake and it's become my husbands favorite too.

What Easter traditions do you remember from your childhood? What traditions are you carrying on for your family? Let me know on the Favorite Freezer Foods Facebook Page.

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If you have any comments, opinions, content ideas, or requests I'd love to hear from you. You can find me on Favorite Freezer Foods' Facebook page or reply to this email.

Eat Well!
Michelle Zack


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