Monday, September 21, 2009

Forced Today

Last week I realized that the pickings in our upright freezer were getting slim.

We buy meat, vegetables and fruit in bulk at low prices and freeze it for future use. We also prepare some pasta sauces and homemade soups and stews in bulk and freeze them in family serving sized containers.

I realized we were low on some items that needed replacing but we didn't shop for that yet.

Last night upon getting home from being away for 48 hours we found that the freezer was not working and everything had defrosted. Some items were a little frozen but others were ice cold but defrosted. Due to the way the events unfolded (in a panic) we are not sure if the door somehow got opened or if the motor broke or what. We don't know if the melted blueberry juice and water that was on the floor leaked out of a closed door or if the door was left open. I know I was the last one in the freezer right before we left and I do know I shut the door!

Today I was forced to use up a lot of this food. I used frozen vegetable scraps to make stocks from scratch. I used frozen homemade stocks and frozen meats to make chicken soup and beef stew. I had to run to the store to get more celery, carrots, and stocks too.

The kitchen looks like a bomb went off. It is so messy to do this all from scratch! Cutting up all the veggies, cooking meats, separating chicken from bone, boiling soups and all the rest makes a real mess!

I revised the homeschool plan to include errand running to the store. After that I told the kids to explore in the basement stash of science kits and hands on activity kits to find something to do. They dug out two crystal growing kits and did those. Then they found two sets of hieroglyphic writing activities and worked on both of those. An unanswered question is why do the two different companies give different symbols for different letters or sounds?

Next up is to figure out how I can use defrosted organic mango cubes.

I need to figure out something to do with defrosted, flavored chicken sausages (smoked apple and maple, sundried tomato and basil). I need to come up with something to do with about five pounds of hamburger meat bought, made into patties and frozen three weeks ago.

I think I'll use the three remaining pounds of organic corn to make a corn chowder.

I've got a London Broil, one New York strip steak and Prime Rib for four people here to cook up.

I have a lot of work to do that is for sure!

And very importantly, we need to figure out if the freezer is functional or not!

LESSONS LEARNED

Gladware does not do well in the freezer. Specifically, liquids can seep out of the seal. Some of them fracture while in the freezer too. This means if the freezer defrosts, the liquid comes out and you have a real mess. Also even if the freezer is working correctly the food gets freezer burned or dehydrated and ruined.

The black plastic containers with clear lids such as used for Chinese take out food do not do well in the freezer. Sometimes the edges break and leave a portion of the food exposed to the air.

For some reason some of our vacuum packed food with the sealing machine is not keeping the seal. Defrosted meat juices ran out of some of these. This is a mystery.

Home sealed foods or foods bought from the store in sealed packs last much longer than in freezer zip top plastic bags. The foods stay frozen longer if the freezer defrosts in the vacuum packages (those were frozen and the zip top bags were all defrosted and showed signs of oxidation).

5 comments:

My Boys' Teacher said...

NOT FUN! This is going to take up a ton of your time for sure. Yuck.

Mangoes....we have mango lassi breakfasts a couple times a month (that'w what my organic mango cubes are FOR, LOL!) I also use them to flavor oatmeal and yogurt. You could have smoked apple and maple chicken sausages on the side.

Auughh! All that good steak!

Twisted Cinderella said...

Oh no!! I hope your freezer isn't broken!

Janet (Latte Lady) said...

Oh my goodness. You better quit the computer and get to cookin!

Janet

www.homeward4.blogspot.com
www.homeschoolercafe.blogspot.com

Nicole said...

Frozen mango cubes are great in fruit smoothies. We live in a tropical area and eat mangoes all the time.

What about mango salsa or chutney?

christinethecurious said...

My friend from kentucky told me that when hurricanes run through, and the electricity fails, people throw barbeque parties to use up the meat - you could, um, throw a party? See what families in your church need a meal right NOW and bring them some? My 6 year old said set up a store ;-)

-Christine in Massachusetts