Time to Clean Out My Freezer

BlogHer Original Post

Yes, potential readers, this is the kind of content you can expect from me until my life becomes suddenly more exciting.  We’re going to talk about my freezer.

A few years back, we got a freezer for the basement.  Our kitchen freezer had become woefully inadequate.  Over time, its function had been relegated to serving as the refrigerator’s dusty attic, so jam-packed full of castaway crap that I could never find what I was looking for.  So I’d just go out and buy more food.  And then inevitably find myself trying to cram that into the freezer, too.  

The basement storage was intended to solve that problem.  To give me a place to store lobster shells and chicken carcasses and the ice cream maker canister that needs to be frozen and ready for action at all times, and all the other things that get in the way of finding the grated cheese and the much-needed chicken stock and that very elusive package of bacon, which I usually found, to my dismay, that I had already eaten.  

You don’t have to be very astute to predict the success of my strategy.  To guess what the downstairs freezer grew to look like.  But then came The Great Refrigerator Blowout of Thanksgiving 2008 when, in a terrifying cloud of smoke, our fridge/freezer was put out of commission for three days.  We had to evict everything into coolers on the front porch or the freezer downstairs while the repairman attempted to resurrect the overburdened appliance.  And thus began a much-needed purge.  It forced me to confront all the nasty shit that had accumulated in both freezers over the, um…years.  

Oh, yes, I found all kinds of interesting stuff in there.  Blackened bananas waiting for the banana bread that never materialized.  Frozen cubes of mashed turnip and sweet potato left over from when the kids were babies (my youngest is now 3).  Three bags of fennel fronds for fish stock I never made.  Fish stock that I did make but then never used.  

Some of the mysteries of the freezer will never be solved.  Like I wonder what my grand plans were for “Parsnip Cores 12/07.”  Same for a huge container labeled “Whey 6/08” that remained from my cheese-making experiments.  And then there was the soup.  Lots of soup.  I love freezing away soup because it’s an instant, guilt-free meal.  Soup that I can distinctly remember enjoying gets eaten in a timely fashion.  Soups like these:

Caldo Gallego from Seasonal Eats;

Puree of celery root soup from Orangette; and

Mulligatawny from The Perfect Pantry.

However, soups that I didn’t enjoy get thrown in the freezer because I can’t bring myself to throw them where they really belong.  A recent carrot soup springs to mind.  Perhaps I think it will improve with age?  A plausible theory, but one that, heretofore, remains untested.  All of those rejected soups finally met their end, but some only after years of paying rent.

Long story short, the freezer situation is back under control.  I have developed a more sensible triage system for food storage, or so I say.  The ice cream canister has a permanent home downstairs.  Bacon resides upstairs.  All the good soups are next to the bacon, and the bad soups?  Well, we won’t talk about those.

Tammy Donroe can also be found documenting the messy collision between food and life on her blog, Food on the Food.

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