Lesson #3: Prioritize the important stuff (i.e., ice cream)

Living in an earthquake zone, we’re used to the idea of having a “go bag.” This bag contains important supplies like a dry set of clothes, some toiletries, snacks and water. These packs definitely take up valuable closet real estate, especially in a unit with only two closets to begin with, but we are ready in case The Big One strikes. (And we just so happen to be at home when it happens…OK, so the true value of this may lie more in the idea of feeling prepared than the actual practicality of it, but still, better safe than sorry.)

The point being, in order to adequately prepare for a crisis you have to prioritize and make room for the important things. When it comes to preparing for a pandemic, while everyone else is stockpiling toilet paper and cans of soup, a farm girl knows that it’s what’s in the freezer that counts.

In order adequately prepare for a crisis you have to prioritize…fear not, this doesn’t mean you can’t have your [ice cream] cake and eat it too.

The Farm Girl Survival Guide

It was a dark day indeed when I realized I wouldn’t be able to sacrifice valuable freezer space to my ice cream maker bowl. But alas, a farm girl survivalist must also be a realist. The reality here is there is no massive 30 gallon freezer chest in a basement to fall back on like there was back home on the farm (no joke). No, I am afraid we are working with just one solitary kitchen freezer, and that bowl would simply take up too much real estate.

Alas, my beloved KitchenAid® Stand Mixer Ice Cream Maker requires too much freezer space in times of crisis.

These are the heart-wrenching decisions you will have to make.

But fear not, this doesn’t mean you can’t have your [ice cream] cake and eat it too. All it takes is a solid strategy and a game of what I like to call “Freezer Tetris.”

My freezer at peak survival mode. It may look like chaos, but there’s a method to the madness.
Put your Tetris skills to use by blocking out zones, allocating the appropriate amount of space for key items required for survival. (I advise targeting a little space for the main food groups, but note sacrifices may need to be made.)
Pro tip: Containers of baked goods and ice cream boxes provide an ideal base for stacking irregular or “squishy” items on top of. Note I have several goodies secretly stashed underneath each area.

Freezer Tetris is my strategy for prioritizing the items truly needed in an emergency and creating discrete zones for those essential supplies. Note I maintain a section for meats, butter, bread and frozen veggies. The other quarter (OK, maybe closer to a half) can hold frozen stores of baked goodies (see my Lunch Break Baking Challenge for inspiration for items to go here), homemade bread, and several ice cream options (c’mon, if you can’t have the ice cream maker bowl you at least need to have an adequate substitute). Remember: prioritize.

If you’re asking why so much precious real estate should be dedicated to ice cream and baked goods, shame on you. You must consider both your physical and mental well-being in times like these. Something has to replace the therapy appointments you’re missing out on during the Shelter-in-Place. Sweets sound like a darn good substitute to me.

And let’s be real; if times get really dire and you do find yourself enjoying your last meal (or simply wishing your Shelter-in-Place buddy were enjoying theirs), what would you rather have? A block of ground beef? A bag of frozen peas?  No, you’re going to go straight for the good stuff.

As well you should.

Freezer Sweet Inspiration

If you’re looking for items to stash in the freezer, below are a few recommendations for sweets that freeze particularly well:

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