Woolworths have recently launched a lekker new product: a pack containing little frozen cubes of puréed fresh ginger, each one a little smaller than a dice (and I mean the sort of dice you play games with). When you're making a stir-fry or curry, you just pop out a few cubes, leave them to defrost (or chuck them in the microwave) and Bob's your uncle.
Purists may scoff at this (but, then again, purists scoff at everything, don't they? And, besides, most purists are restaurant reviewers who have no children to feed, and all day to stooge around the shops) but I love the convenience of not having to lacerate my knuckles trying to grate the wizened-and-sprouting piece of fresh ginger in the vegetable rack, and then plucking the hairy bits from my teeth.
It's strange how freezing things has gone out of fashion. In the early heydeys of the freezer, home cooks were encouraged to freeze everything bar the cat. In fact, the adjective 'frozen' is almost a dirty word when applied to food nowadays.
Look, I am the first to agree that most things lose a bit of flavour and texture when frozen, but - provided that you don't leave them in the freezer for too long - it's really only a little loss, and it's cancelled out by the convenience factor. (Take peas, for example. A pea frozen in its pinnacle of sweetness is so superior to a podded pea that's been sitting and getting starchy under a film of clingwrap).
Here are some things that I've found freeze extremely well (wrapped tightly in plastic)
freshly grated or puréed ginger
whole, peeled garlic cloves (but they must be very young and snappy when you freeze them)
curry leaves, lime leaves and bay leaves
fresh lemon juice (freeze it, in ice-cube trays, within fifteen minutes of squeezing it)
berries (except for strawberries)
blanched chopped spinach
herb and/or garlic butter
fresh vanilla beans
Here are a few things, that, in my experience, don't freeze well:
home-made chicken stock (it just never tastes the same as fresh stock)
fresh parsley, basil and coriander
fresh green chillies
spices (except whole nutmeg)