The freezer is a good place to store pantry ingredients

Will Kreznick

Photo: Chaloner Woods (Getty Images) Hot LinksHot LinksWe spend way too much time on the internet My freezer has become a repository of frozen food from Trader Joe’s, half-eaten pints of ice cream, bags of Costco seafood, Ziplocs full of chicken parts that will someday be turned into stock, and […]

Illustration for article titled Your freezer isn’t just for frozen food and leftovers—you can keep ingredients in there, too

Photo: Chaloner Woods (Getty Images)

Hot LinksHot LinksWe spend way too much time on the internet

My freezer has become a repository of frozen food from Trader Joe’s, half-eaten pints of ice cream, bags of Costco seafood, Ziplocs full of chicken parts that will someday be turned into stock, and containers of stock that I have actually made because I am a domestic goddess like that. (Please let me indulge in this fantasy.) But now I have learned from The Washington Post that there are lots of other things that I could be keeping in there that will make my life easier and my cooking better, all regularly used by food writer Becky Krystal. Huzzah!

The one that piques my curiosity the most is ginger, mostly because, as Krystal rightly points out, there are no recipes that require a full ginger root. Inevitably there are leftovers, and inevitably, if you are me, they will sit in the storage drawer with garlic and onions until they rot, and you/I will only discover this in the middle of preparing another recipe that requires fresh ginger and will have to settle for powdered, which is absolutely not right. Anyway, Krystal chops her ginger into one-inch chunks, which thaw out enough for cooking after just a few minutes on the counter. She reports that frozen ginger is much easier to mince and grate. This is very exciting news to me because I have always found that fresh ginger is a true pain in the ass to grate. My life is about to change forever!

You can also freeze yeast, nuts, hot peppers, whole-grain flours, vegetable scraps (for stock), and tomato and adobo pastes (as long as you portion them out onto baking sheets or into ice cube trays). Freezing insures that all these things will last at least twice as long as they would on the shelf. The more you know.

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