Beyond storing frozen pizza and waffles, your freezer can do a lot of other cool things. Here are a few ideas to try with your kids—plus a genius way to use leftover wine.
Freezers are known to be hardworking, hefty appliances. But unlock their hidden potential to help make your family’s life a lot easier, and you’ll never look at them the same. From the moment you wake up for coffee in the morning until the kids hit the pillow at night, these ideas will keep things cool.
- Candles: Have your kids help you gather all of the candles in the house. Then chill or freeze them for 24 hours to make them last longer (up to twice as long!). The freezer hardens the wax, which slows the burning process.
- Ice cube coffee: By storing a tray of coffee ice cubes in the freezer, you can make iced coffee quickly and easily. Just brew a pot of fresh coffee, then pour the liquid into an ice cube tray before freezing it. Pop five to six5-6 ice cubes into a glass of hot coffee and it’ll cool down instantly without diluting the flavor.
- Chopped herbs: To give leftover herbs a long life, hHave your kids help you wash and pat leftover them herbs dry with paper towels, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze them in a freezer bag for up to six6 months. Alternatively, chop herbs and place in an ice cube tray. Pour a tablespoon or two of water on top of the herbs and freeze. Transfer cubes to freezer bags; freeze for up to 6six months. To use, simply toss a cube into a skillet when the recipe calls for herbs and let the water cook off.
- Leftover wine: Before you toss the bottom of your wine bottle, pour it into an ice-cube tray and freeze it. Why? Adding wine to soups, sauces and marinades adds a fuller-bodied flavor to most dishes.
- Socks: While it may seem silly, putting your kid’s shirt in the freezer for a few minutes is a fun and effective heat-buster that doesn’t cost a dime. To keep cool while you sleep, fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the ends securely and freeze for two hours. Before bed, place the sock between the sheets, and you’ll be sleeping comfortably in no time.
- Cut veggies: Because vegetables can last in the freezer for a few months, help yourself out by cutting them ahead of time. To really make it easy, store them in recipe portions (i.e. one cup in one container).
- Old milk jugs: Freezers run more efficiently when full. Plus, if the power goes out, your food will stay frozen longer. If necessary, fill milk jugs with water to take up space.