I took out two gallon bags of free cherries from the big freezer in my sewing room. Yessiree, I hate cherry pie but was not going to let these go to waste. Besides, I needed the freezer room right then. Trying to be economical on all fronts--freezing sale chicken and making free pie filling--I had it all figured out.
The next day when I dumped the two gallons of cherries into a big pot, I discovered they were blueberries. Okay, I can tell the difference....mumble...mumble...what difference does it make?...lol....both were frozen, tiny fruit. The difference is that I love blueberries!
Since the cornstarch was not immediately evident when I opened the cabinet door, I used flour to thicken. A little sugar and real butter finished it off. That big, messy pot will only be cleaned once (now), and I will only have to thaw the contents of a bag to enjoy a warm, blueberry pie or dumplings. Besides, instead of two gallon bags stored in the freezer, I now have two quart bags stored.
I prepared enough blueberry pie/cobbler filling/ice cream topping to fill two quart freezer bags. I live alone, do not want to cook three times each day, and still want my own home-cooked food. To avoid continual cooking and continual messes like I did when my children were little, I find it easier to cook one big thing (like two pie fillings) each day, building on it through the week by cooking one more large amount on about three days a week--pot of beans, oven full of sweet potatoes, 3-6 chicken breasts--and be done with the chore of fixing three or more dishes for one meal.
Tonight I did cook one cheeseburger topped with romaine and on a bun. The rest of the pound of ground round went into meat loaf that has been eaten over three days. Two portions of meat loaf were given to someone else, so that meat loaf actually made six servings. (I ate some for lunch and dinner.) I will whip up a tuna salad for a meal with salad greens. It's not all gallons of cooking around here.
If you have children, I know this may seem formidable and would turn into marathon cooking sessions. However, some people do cook once for the whole month (forgot whose blog but speak up if it was yours). I am not sure I would want to do this if I had children, but we will never know.
There will be blueberry pie filling if I want if for the holidays. Mincemeat is in a jar on the shelf, ready for the pie. Quart jars of prepared mincemeat filling were on sale last winter with an expiration date of sometime next year. They were something like $1.25/jar, less than a third of the original price. There were only six on the shelf, so I took them all. Nothing says Thanksgiving or Christmas like mincemeat pie. Agreed? Or, are you one of the mincemeat haters?
Frozen apple pie filling is next on the agenda! Getting free apples is the plan!
Earlier in the year, a guy at a market gave me all his peaches he could not sell because they were "pie peaches," ones that folk would not buy because of a blemish. Quarts of peaches, seasoned for a pie reside in the freezer.
Some people freeze the fruit filling in the pie pan and remove it to free up the pan, placing the frozen shape in a freezer bag. Then, at pie baking time, the frozen filling is placed back in a piecrust in the same pie pan. So sorry! I buy pie pie crusts. My domesticity only goes so far. Crusts are beyond the limit.
Do you ever freeze the pie filling in the shape of the pie you will bake later?
Do you ever prepare pie fillings ahead in any shape? What method works for you?