27 October 1995

Making freezer cooking easy

ITS all too easy to assume that you can shove anything in the freezer as long as its in an airtight bag.

How wrong you can be, as my family found out to their cost many years ago when we decided to freeze pounds of strawberries in our newly acquired chest freezer. As most people with experience of freezing will know, when it came to defrosting the once luscious summer fruit, all we were left with were bags of pulp!

Such disasters can easily be avoided by following the basic guidelines contained in an excellent book* by Helge Rubinstein and Sheila Bush. It provides useful information on safety rules, packaging and storage times, as well as being packed with appealing yet simple recipes. These are divided into four sections according to seasonality and work on the principle of "Make two, eat one, freeze one". Each recipe ends with instructions on serving immediately, freezing and serving after freezing, leaving no doubt as to whether or not a dish will be a success – freshly made or from the freezer.

This is certainly a good buy for anyone who isnt quite sure which dishes you can and cant freeze, or indeed is just looking for an easy-to-follow recipe book containing everything from "Pesto Genovese" to "Apples in their dressing gowns". MP

*The New Freezer Cookbook, by Helge Rubinstein and Sheila Bush, Aurum Press (£12.50).