Sue at The Quince Tree posted recently about how she used her freezer. You know when you've reached a certain age when you are fascinated about what other people put in their freezers. When Delia Smith suggested putting fresh ginger in there, I swear, my life completely changed.
My freezer, mostly, looks like this.
You know those chore charts you see drawn up for children? "How your
children can help you round the house?" I'd challenge you to find one
which suggested chores for children who can't walk unaided or make
themselves a sandwich. One of the challenges in bringing up a physically
disabled child is trying to encourage an age-appropriate amount of
responsibility in a child who needs help with most daily tasks. Other
11-year-olds might make up their own lunchboxes - my solution is to pre-freeze sandwiches, yogurts and bite-sized bits of cake so at least she can easily pack her own box. Also, at 8am, it's just quicker.
(When I was at University I shared a house with a girl who liked to spend her evenings avoiding coursework with 'time-saving' activities such as freezing a whole terms-worth of sandwiches. She is a very glamorous woman now, who would probably not like to be reminded about this - but there is perhaps one reader of this blog who remembers her, and who remembers me complaining about how I found myself stuck, late at night, with a solidly frozen ham sandwich on a broken-down train to visit my boyfriend in Cambridge. (My children assure me that the sandwiches do manage to defrost by lunchtime.))
My only twinge of guilt about this sandwich and cake freezing is the excess of packaging: but let me tell you yet another traumatic story from my childhood and you might forgive me. My grandmother packed my lunches when I was a child, and taste was not top of her agenda. I have a horribly vivid memory of one particular lunch - potted meat and pickle sandwiches with a handful of Maltesers tossed into the box. Potted meat is bad enough, but anyone who has opened their lunch to find it full of Maltesers coated liberally with Branston pickle will take extra care to ensure that nothing similar ever happens again.
Also, I cut the crusts off my children's frozen sandwiches. I shall just sit here now and wait for you to gasp and mutter about how wasteful and mollycoddling I am. My children don't eat crusts, and to be honest at their age neither did I. Give them a sandwich with crusts on, and they will nibble away at an area iin the centre of the sandwiches, measuring roughly 1cm square, and then throw away the rest. Cutting off a sliver of crust means they actually ingest some food.
See all those little foil packages? They're cake, they are. Come back another day, and I'll tell you all about them. The twin excitements of cake and freezers will surely have you on the edge of your seats.