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Remember those tin lunchboxes everyone had as a kid? They were sturdy little lunch pails that held everything from your sandwich and juice box to your pudding or fruit cup. Sometimes they even had a Fruit-by-the-foot inside, and everything fit together perfectly--a little bit like a well-played game of Tetris. 

The Tin Lunchbox (that's us!) does the same thing: We provide a variety of shared information from featured artists and literary endeavors to recipe sharing that all fits flawlessly into one place. Granted, we aren't working with physical  lunchboxes, but it is fun to imagine all the same.

Day In The Life

When the Freezer Fails...

Shawna Caro

This post originally appeared in Lunchbox Diaries on May 4, 2016. 


Last Sunday, my father-in-law had a true Mayday! moment: His fridge/freezer stopped working. In the middle of the night. Oh yeah. 

By the time they noticed, much of the meat was completely thawed out. About 9 a.m. I get a call asking if we still have our upright freezer (yes) and did we have some space in it for his freezer items (yes) and what time he should come over (anytime). 

He brought this giant tote full of stuff into the house, and my husband helped him unload everything. There was one overly-full over-sized Wal-Mart sack full of meat that needed to be cooked. So, we cooked. 

Two giant pork loins were smoked on our grill, cooled, and refrigerated. Monday we shredded and sauced the meat. We had part of it for our dinner but I still had enough to fill two quart size bags to capacity. Then I froze them. 

Two quite sizable filets of halibut were baked in the oven with a lemon-garlic-chili sauce recipe I found online (check back later for that recipe). This was my first experience cooking halibut. We're not big fish cookers/eaters at my house. So this I was able to portion into seven individual meals. I froze five, and left two in the fridge to take to work this week. 

Halibut filets with a lemon-garlic-chile sauce, topped with sliced onions and button mushrooms.

Halibut filets with a lemon-garlic-chile sauce, topped with sliced onions and button mushrooms.

One pound of ground venison was put in the skillet and cooked through with rosemary, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and a bit of thyme in preparation to be made into shepherd's pie later in the week. It too was frozen post-cooking. 

A beef top roast was marinated and placed in the fridge for easy access later. With it we included some strips of bacon and we pre-seasoned the meat as well. The plan is to cook this in the slow-cooker tomorrow while we're away at work. Carrots will go underneath. 

Four boneless pork chops were already in our fridge, thawed, for our dinner on Sunday night. So we cooked those too--in a cast iron skillet on the grill. That's them. They were barbecued with Sweet Baby Ray's original sauce, and my husband added thinly-sliced onions and apples, along with some strips of bacon. This is seriously a dish you don't want to miss out on! 

Pork chops with barbecue sauce, sliced apples and onions, and mixed with bacon strips. The cast iron skillet on the grill really does the trick.

Pork chops with barbecue sauce, sliced apples and onions, and mixed with bacon strips. The cast iron skillet on the grill really does the trick.

Needless to say, we've been eating like kings this week, and I anticipate that we won't need to go grocery shopping for another week or so. Except to get more Sweet Baby Ray's. 

What kitchen adventures have you had this week? Share your thoughts below in the comments! 

Cheerio!

Shawna