Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Out of the Deep-Freeze for Spring

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM

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If a search of the freezer involves digging past more than two packages of frozen ham bones and three tubs of chicken broth, it's time for a freezer clear-out.

Egullet got the spring cleaning urge a couple of weeks ago. After the success of 2009's Don't Shop Now month in urging gulletteers to better steward food resources by cooking from pantry and freezer, The Great Freezer Clear-Out of 2011 seems logical.

What people found in their freezers was a snapshot of the owner's habits and whims. As a preface, it's worth noting the surprisingly large number of people with more than one freezer. With a big garden, a catering business, friends who raise livestock, or a deer hunter in the family, it makes sense. Ordinary suburbanites with giant freezers — I wouldn't have expected that.

One poster shared an epic freezer hoarder story: Her friend owned an appliance store, and delivered an extra-large chest freezer to someone just across the state line. The delivery team transferring the old freezer's contents to the new one began finding packages of meat that were five and 10 years old. What to do with it, they asked the buyer? Put it into the new freezer, she declared. Same with the layers of 20-year-old, 30-year-old and 40-year-old meat. At the bottom, a package of meat was dated 1947.

"That's why we clean out our freezer," wrote commenter runwestierun, "so we don't have appliance people in other states talking about us."

After the jump, the most expected and unexpected items in the freezer.

The No. 1 hoarded item shows that serious cooks have a broth problem: stock/broth was the most- overabundant freezer item. The moderator claimed to have nearly 10 gallons of it.

In the "to be expected" category: squid, octopus and offal lurking in the depths — I think I have some, too.

The oddest freezer find? Thirteen pig ears.

Unexpected: the person struggling to use the 25 pounds of garden strawberries and raspberries.

And one that seems like a solution waiting for a problem: booze. Yes! A freezer owner was losing precious freezer shelf space to containers of frozen drinks and alcohol-spiked lemonade. The blogosphere can probably work up a solution for that.

What's the condition of your freezer at this pivotal time of year?

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