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28 March 2007
Mary now has two sites. I simply can't imagine why someone would try to keep up two sites (yes, I'm being sarcastic). But she has her regular Red Nose site and one she was invited to start (la-dee-da) on Disney's Family.com, called Center Ring, of stuff which is more home-and-family centered, I guess.
But one of her recent entries at Center Ring is called "Freezer Burn" where she expounded on a question in "Friday's Feast," which was "name three things in your freezer." She talked about old things in her freezer and begged for other people with scary old things hiding in their freezers (not dead bodies, but you know what I mean) to come out of hiding and share their embarrassing stories.
I had to ask if she was making a distinction between the freezer in her refrigerator and a big stand-alone freezer, because I would definitely have to make that distinction.
We have a side-by-side refrigerator, which I always wanted because I thought they looked cool, but the next time we buy a refrigerator, I'll probably go with a freezer on the bottom which is the same width as the refrigerator--much more versatile and easier to store big things or unusually shaped things.
The freezer in our fridge actually gets used quite a bit and the food in it gets rotated fairly regularly (except for the turkey carcass from Christmas which I am going to make soup out of any day now). The bottom bin is usually filled with those bags of frozen chicken parts that you can get in the supermarket now, which are so handy for last minute meals because they don't have to be thawed first. Most of my dinners end up being "something with chicken in it," so the stuff there gets emptied and refilled frequently.
Even though there are only two of us, old habits die hard and I still by frozen vegetables by the bag, and bags of veggies are more difficult to store "neatly" than boxes are. I also always have bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer because I use them on oatmeal in the morning.
I rarely have frozen dinners or that sort of thing. In truth, I would love to stock up and use them more than I do, but I feel guilty. I'm a good cook, dammit, and frozen dinners feel like cheating (in addition to being more expensive than making things from scratch), so once in a great while you might find fish sticks or something like that, but rarely pizza or other frozen dinners.
I started shopping at Costco when I was doing more traveling back and forth to my mother's, since it is on the way, and I started buying bread, bagels and English muffins in bulk, so you can usually find that sort of thing in the freezer. There are always Peets coffee beans. Sometimes there is ice cream — more often than there should be.
But when you move out to the garage, where the "big" freezer is, it's a whole new story. We bought that freezer over 30 years ago, when we were living in Oakland. I made maximum use of it in those days. We bought beef by the side and used every single bit of it. The first time I broke a toe, it was from a frozen roast falling out of the freezer and landing on my foot (the second time I broke a toe it was when a container of frozen beans fell out of the freezer and landed on my foot!).
As a family we went out into the country in the summertime and picked peaches and apricots and sometimes cherries. I would come home and process them and fill the freezer with fruit. I loved making freezer jam, especially strawberry (which tasted more like eating fresh strawberries, rather than cooked jams).
At one point I think I even did the thing where you keep track of what is in the freezer so you know what needs to be replenished and what needs to be used in timely fashion.
But after we moved here and the kids started growing up and moving away, I used the freezer less and less. We bought beef by the side here a couple of times, but the butcher (who has since gone out of business) didn't cut it like our old butcher did and I found I didn't use it as much as I had the old sides of beef and just went back to buying meat the regular way, at the grocery store each week.
Now I almost forget I have a freezer. Walt has filled the thing with bottles filled with water, just to keep the temperature down and so that it doesn't cost as much to run. There is still food out there, but Mary was saying that she probably had things from way back in 2005. Heck, that would be new for me! I'll bet there are things from the previous century in that freezer.
For a time we had the tops of wedding cakes of a couple of friends of the kids. One wedding cake top I know we had for at least five years. It wasn't even wrapped because when we stored it, they were going to pick it up right away. But after 5 years of being in the freezer unwrapped, I figured the chance of anybody actually EATING the thing were nil, so I dumped it (and the bride and groom have never asked about it).
It would make sense to get rid of the freezer. At our age it's unlikely I will ever use it as much as I did when we bought it and it would free up a huge space in the garage, but we seem to be loathe to get ride of anything. Sitting next to the freezer in the garage is the refrigerator that Walt's mother had in Maryland before she moved to California in 1966. I don't know how long she had it before 1966, but a long time. It was an old refrigerator when se took it years and years ago. It still runs. Walt keeps beer (which he almost never drinks) in it and at Christmas we often put the turkey in it until I cook it.
There might even be something in that freezer as well, but I shudder to think how old it would be. Probably something Paul or David put in there--and David has been dead 11 years!
Hey...didja check this photo in my 365 collection??? !!!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2554