The time involved in thawing can be another point against freezing food. Texture changes can sometimes be kept to a minimum when food is allowed to warm slowly within a refrigerator or when submersed in cool water. That sort of thing takes at least a few hours planning though. Not all of us are up to that every day of the week during the winter months. There are other options, but pulling chicken from the freezer and thawing it via a microwave not only guarantees that the texture will be off but also usually means portions of the chicken will be almost cooked while others remain cool when the microwave has done its thing. So time and forethought are all but required when thawing frozen food. Those can be precious commodities when everyone in a household works for a living or spends most of their day looking after young ones.


Most freezers are subject to available power. Ever have to sort through a half-thawed freezer a day or two after a power outage to find out what is still frozen and what isn’t? It is disgusting work, especially when meats are involved. Yuuuuuuuuuuuk! Throwing uncooked food out is also something that makes me rather sad. Maybe that response is a product of guilt trips like, “Look. There are people homeless and starving just a few blocks away. I scraped to put that on your plate. Eat it.” The sentiment remains, regardless.


Canning is the other option Kate and I usually discuss. I tend to like the idea of canned foods better. Cans or jars are easily stacked and can be stored almost anywhere in a home. The packaging is easily recyclable; especially since the recycling of aluminum and steel cans was one of the first widespread, modern home-waste recycling programs.


While cooking with frozen food (thawing, really) takes forethought and time a bit before the end product can be used, canning requires planning and research at the very beginning. Adjustments due to elevation must be made. Acidity must be judged. Different equipment and methods must be used. It can be complicated. But using canned goods to make a dinner when rushed? It couldn’t be much easier. Pop a lid or crank a can-opener and I’m on my way in just a few seconds.