The non messy way to fill a freezer bag!
Now I know putting something in a freezer bag may seem like an easy task; open the bag, put the stuff in and seal it up. It sounds so simple, but have you ever tried to put a portion of bolognese or soup into a freezer bag so you can store it in the freezer for another occasion? It's by no means the easiest of jobs and it never ceases to amaze me how messy this task can be either!
In the morning coffee house we like to batch cook certain meals and we find using sealable freezer bags is the easiest and most space efficient way to get the most out of our freezer. Unfortunately there's one thing that always causes me an issue - filling the bag! If you’ve made something like soup, bolognese, chilli con carne (the list goes on) I can never get it in the bag without it going all over the place. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, some of it always misses the opening and ends up running down the outside of the bag or it splashes onto the seal part and then I have a really hard job trying to get it to close properly. Sometimes it tricks you, you think you’ve done it and then you lay the bag flat and all its contents oozes out over the kitchen table!
A couple of weeks ago I was doing an online order from The Range, oh how I love this shop. It is a bit like an online jumble sale and you come across things you never knew existed or in my case never knew you needed until you saw it; it's a gold mine of treasures! This particular day I’m not even sure what I was looking for but I came across a Kilner jam funnel. My brain immediately sprang into action, what if I could use this to help fill my freezer bags when I batch cook? Since it was only a few pounds I thought it was worth a try and I popped it in the basket (see below for link).
Last weekend we made a huge batch of bolognese, some for dinner and the rest to freeze. Then I remembered ‘I bought a jam funnel’ and I’m not sure I’ve ever been quite so excited to portion out leftovers! It worked like a dream.
I used a large plastic beaker (you could use a large glass or anything else you have that would be suitable) and I pushed the sandwich bag down inside it. Then I made sure the opening of the bag was folded down over the top of the beaker. Now, essentially, I could have just left it at this but I’m not the most graceful of people and I know in my clumsy manner I would have either still made a mess or I’d have lost the bag down inside the beaker!
After this I put the jam funnel on the top and voila! An easy way to fill the bags cleanly and easily even in my messy nature.
I think I’d only filled 1 bag when Big Coffee Bean walked in and excitedly asked me what I was doing. To an adult this was just an everyday job. To a 6 year old it looked like something very exciting that he most definitely should be taking part in! I explained what I was doing and then came the magic words ‘Can I help?’ Now sometimes that phrase fills me with dread but on this occasion I was so impressed with my success I said yes and handed him the ladle and then he continued to fill the bags for me. Well it's good to train them young!
All finished and still no mess, I concluded this was the most brilliant idea and it needed to be shared. No longer will we leave that job of portioning up to the last possible moment and who knows maybe next time I can get the 3 year old Coffee Bean to do it for me?!
Kilner Jam funnel from The Range.