It's not about the house.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Frozen In Time

Next time I move, please remind me to throw out all the old food in the freezer?

Johnny cleaned out both our freezers yesterday to make room for the 16 pounds of corned beef we bought for the St. Patrick’s Day party that got called on account of euphemisms. Wanna know the first thing he found we didn’t know was in there? Corned beef from Patrick’s last year. At least, I think it was from last year…

Nope, just checked: “Use or freeze by: May 10 2005.” Two years ago.

But that’s just the tip of the – forgive me – icebox. There was this blob that used to be a pair of uncooked cinnamon buns. I remember that blob. I make those buns every Christmas, and one time I somehow wound up with two more than would fit in the pan. Johnny and I decided to pop them in the freezer for a week and cook them New Year’s Morning. That would have been, um, New Year’s 2003…

Oh, I’m so ashamed.

There was a bag labeled, in my handwriting, “cooked chicken guts” – and it’s a good thing it was labeled because it looked like ice-encrusted poo. Johnny asked me why I’d saved it in the first place and I said because you make stock and stuff. But he pointed out that if they were cooked then he’d already made the stock, so I must have picked them out of the strainer in the sink and frozen them – and labeled them. I can’t imagine what I was thinking was there. Maybe I was drunk.

Apparently I was on some sort of jag a while back, because he found something else labeled in my handwriting that I don’t remember. Two quart jars marked “Fish Stock: 01/04.” It looks like good stock, too, or at least like it used to be.

There was a lone lamb chop that had grown an inch-thick icy coat which Johnny, because he can never throw anything away, decided to boil up and give to the neighbor’s dog. Now that I re-read that last sentence I realize it sounds like an act of inhuman cruelty, so please believe me when I say he just thought it would be a tasty treat. Doesn’t matter. There was nothing tasty about the stench that rose from that boiling pot, so the neighbor dog is not getting that lamb chop. Though Johnny put the pot on the porch to cool (and to get rid of the stench), and he never brought in, so by now I’m sure that something out there ate it.

There was a gallon-sized Ziploc bag of cut-up pumpkin that used to be a jack-o-lantern from – oh, certainly not last year. We’d done our carving late whatever year it was and kept this one inside, so it was still perfectly good when Halloween was over. I spent hours cutting it up and carving the skin off every little piece, figuring fresh pumpkin pie would taste soooo much better than canned. It doesn’t.

Two pounds of baby shrimp never thawed for a Memorial Day cookout. A dozen hamburg buns leftover from last Fourth of July. Extra cranberries from stringing for the Christmas tree – which I froze because I hate cranberry sauce and didn’t know what else to do with them, and experience has taught me that even birds and squirrels won’t eat cranberries if you toss them in the yard. But did I actually imagine they’d be any good for stringing next year?

Jeez, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas … we’d been storing an entire calendar’s worth of celebrations in our Way Back machine.

And – even after getting rid of all the useless and disgusting stuff – we are still left with six months worth of: chicken breasts, pork roasts, country ribs, ground beef, rib eyes, kielbasas, haddock filets and tuna steaks. Plus of course white and black puddings, rashers and bangers – the makings of a traditional Irish breakfast that I don’t eat but Johnny has to always keep on hand. Plus a haggis someone gave us. And catnip, because if I keep it anywhere else the killer beasties will get at it.

I don’t think the corned beef is going to fit in there, after all.

I know: I’ll put the fish stock and the shrimp in the refrigerator. If they thaw out okay I’ll make some chowder. I’m on a diet, so I should not be eating cream soups, but if Johnny doesn’t eat it I can always stick it in the…



Khurston said...

HA I remember that cinamon bun blob from the fridge moving day.

mp said...

All of that meat in the freezer is a poignant reminder that Johnny will never have to have a dinner of mashed potato with kale mixed in again.

LadyScot said...

Black pudding - I haven't had any of that in waaay to long! BTW, if you are wondering who I am, I'll give you a clue...I work for your dad.