It really wasn’t such a great thing for us to have an upright freezer back at the old house, where we had the room for it (plus an old fridge we kept as an extra fridge). When we cleaned it out in preparation for our “big move” to the city, we found food that had been in there for way too long – so long, it was rather pointless Googling “how long should _______ be kept frozen in the freezer?”
We had conversations like this:
Me: Say, that looks like the Moroccan beef stew we made that one time, the interesting one with the raisins.
Ward: How long ago was that? A couple of years?
Me: Actually, I’m pretty sure I was pregnant …
Both turn to look at our youngest, Dylan, who was 8 at the time. Long pause. Sound of something hitting the bottom of the garbage pail (although by the time we were through, that garbage was pretty full).
Yes, it appears we used the freezer for extremely long-term storage.
But old habits die hard, so you can probably imagine the state of our current freezer, the one that’s part of our fridge. It’s one of those bottom drawer pull-out ones, which is a little roomier than freezers in a regular fridge, but that just means we can stuff more things in. And every now and then we have to weed through things in there so we can add more things, if you know what I mean.
I was looking for something in the freezer recently, and saw that somehow, we had two big tubs of vanilla ice cream in there.
Now, having extra ice cream doesn’t sound like too much of a hardship, I know, but as a family we tend to like our ice cream in the shape of bars, wrapped in a lovely coating of chocolate. So ice cream generally doesn’t get eaten unless there’s pie or cake to go with it, which isn’t all that often, as we’re not that big on desserts here.
We knew we’d have to get rid of one, but it felt rather awful, the idea of pulling out one of the tubs and just letting it melt so we could pour it down the drain.
Luckily, this past weekend I decided to read the March 2013 issue of O! magazine. O! usually runs three or four recipes in each issue. When I came across this particular recipe, I rushed to the freezer and pulled out one of the tubs of ice cream, so it would be melted by the time my husband came home. Then I texted him. “I found a use for the extra ice cream!”
This is what he baked that night:
Doesn’t it look delicious? And it uses two cups of melted vanilla ice cream!
So, if you ever end up with extra ice cream and need to make room in your freezer, here’s a super recipe you can try. The O! magazine recipe uses raspberries; we adapted it to our particular fruit preference, and used blueberries, but you can pretty well use any fruit that’s suitable for baking, I’d think.
Five Ingredient Blueberry Buckle
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing pan
2 cups vanilla ice cream, melted
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt*
1/2 pound (about 2 cups) blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 375° and lightly grease a 9” round pan with oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ice cream, flour, oil and salt, and pour into pan.
3. Scatter blueberries over the top and bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
*next time we make this, we’ll use less salt, and add a bit of sugar or use a sweeter fruit. The cake portion wasn’t very sweet, which we actually liked, but some of the blueberries were on the tart side.
It was so quick and easy to make, I think we might end up stocking vanilla ice cream regularly in the freezer just so we can make this when we feel a need for dessert coming on.
I’ll be linking up this post at Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking feature; come check back for the link, so you can read more wonderful food-related posts, many of them bookish!