Defrosting the Freezers.

The tomatoes are ripening.  Due to the extremely hot temperatures this summer, the pole beans are only now loaded with flowers, and, if we have a late frost, we will be inundated with green beans and  shell out beans. The third spinach planting is getting bigger. Husband just ordered two lambs from the butcher shop in Newell, SD.  One lamb  will eventually go to son and DIL, but we will need to store it until we can transport it to them. We currently have the largest basil crop in our history, and it all will go into the freezer as pesto.  I estimate we will have 30 jars of pesto before we are finished. We give lots of pesto away to friends and family, but it all needs to be frozen and stored until it can be distributed.

Husband and I have three and a half freezers in the basement.  We have two large uprights, one small chest freezer, and the top freezer of a refrigerator. There is really no reason for us to have so many, but that is just how it has turned out. Friends tell use that  they will camp out with us in the event of a national disaster since they know we well be able to feed them for months.

Our freezers are usually full to overflowing. I can most of our tomatoes or turn them into canned salsa or sauces, but sometimes it is more convenient to stew them and freeze them.  We haven’t figured out how to cook for just two, and so we have leftover soups and casseroles that have to get frozen as well.  I make a wonderful, all-purpose stock from turkey wings and ox tail, and we store the stock as well as wings and tails for future batches. It is not easy to find either turkey wings or ox tails in town and when we find them we buy them.  We freeze our garden veggies and seal them with a vacuum packer, and the frozen packets spill all over the shelves. We have lots of greens and beans left over from last year. Due to overcrowding and poor organization, it was hard to see exactly what we had in the freezers, so we bought twelve pounds of ground round this summer when we didn’t really need it, and  we have pounds of ground veal, lamb,  and pork as well.  I will make lots of meat balls this Christmas.

It has been too many years since we defrosted the freezers, and the frost has been taking up too much space.   As I thought about the new produce and lamb coming  in to the house in the next couple of months, I knew that the freezers had to be defrosted and reorganized, and that was what we did last weekend. I purchased bins to contain the plastic  veggie vacuum packages and ground meat, and tossed anything that had been there too long. Why, if We had many jars of grape jelly, did we need a large container of our home grown grape juice to make more jelly?

I really dislike defrosting freezers. It is messy and gross. It is a trick to keep what is frozen from thawing while the ice melts.  It is so easy to just wedge a container in, and shut the door, and go upstairs, and try to forget about it. Imagine my surprise when, after all was done and mopped up and cleaned and organized, that we had freed up the space in one entire freezer. I told Husband that we are not moving all three and a half freezers when we leave here after retirement. We have to learn to  minimize and cut back. I give us 5 years to figure it out. The freezers will need defrosting by then, so it will be a good time to downsize.

What tasks have you left undone that need your attention?

58 thoughts on “Defrosting the Freezers.”

  1. Now if you had just one more freezer you kept empty, you could just shift the contents from one to the other while the frosty one thawed. One more freezer. That’s the ticket!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Wow, careful, Renee – you may have a lot of baboons at your door too, if there is a major disaster.

    Oh boy, where to start? Lots of little mending and altering projects down on the sewing machine. Cleaning the basement. Moving the furniture to accommodate my current fantasy. Clear out the garage. Weed in all the flower beds, edge the sidewalks.Harvesting beets and pickling. Making carrot and/or cucumber soup today, or tomorrow. Yikes.

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  3. i have two refrigerators and a couple of freezers as well and we are downsizing too. it’s nice to have so much ace but it fills up and stays full doesnt it?

    my wife beats me up to eat the stuff i made in the tuppperware that fills the main fridge. every sunday she sorts and reorganizes and reminds me how many variations on beans and rice i have in there.

    i am elated to say the garage fridge and freezer are getting to manageable levels but i am sure that will be a short lived situation. as soon as i figure out what to fill it with i will.

    the daughter who remains at home has the quirk in her behavior that she doesn’t eat leftovers. never has. she looks in the fridge for iced coffee and cheese that’s about it . son who lives in the base kent. it does come up to grab 4 or 5 chicken breasts as a snack between meals keeps the fridge as an item of use.

    i discovered potatoes make me tired like other gluten items so i have had to stop making them my primary food group. rice and beans now ….. damn

    what items have i left undone?

    can you think of a more horseshit question to ask me to start my day?

    my to do list would fill your three freezers. we just ft the third car in the garage for the first time yesterday but i still need to fix the bookshelf headboard that came apart in the move in june. i. edx to bring table saws and woodworking g stuff nome from the warehouse

    i have a years work at the warehouse to catch up on and a partner at my amazon business that is odd about communication

    boss in. hi a wants me to jump through hoops his way….. bosses…. what are you going to do with them? keep them i hope.

    ill take 12 jars of pesto please and tomatoes from locals and if there is a fall raspberry crop that is too much i can help out there too.

    turkey wi ge and oxtails in short supply? sounds like an opportunity to me. start making a list of all the hard to find oddball stuff the world needs and figure out a way to make gutsy a thing. businesses try to be your destination for something. i go to walmart for won tons and dog food, fleet farm for cat food, costco for gallons of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes , sams club for popcorn why not renees for ox tails and turkey wings?

    there must be other items you could be the source for. what could they be?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The two at the top of the onerous undone lost are scraping and painting the trim outside the back porch (and gsrage) and finishing construction of my tool bench (I stalled out when it came to putting the drawer slides in and I found that the included screws were a hair too long…and not a size I could get any smaller/shorter at the hardware store). Painting is really overdue. And bench may finally get finished without drawers.

    OT – regarding the lost dog poster mystery from the other day: dog belonged to James Lileks who writes for the STrib. He leaves near my neighborhood, so lots of signs near here. Dog had run off from the dog park by the river – gone for several days. Found this week near Hwy 55 by MN DOT workers, likely was hit by a car. Sad sad ending.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. They think probably not too long after he ran away. Heartbreaking- especially after a lot of false leads and false hopes that Scout was still out on the run.

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        1. If you have a nut to fit them, thread the nut on first, then you can snip off the end and when you take the nut back off, it will cut new threads. Grinding a bit of a bevel at the end helps.
          Or, depending on the size, an electrical pliers, like this, allows you to cut if off and again, re-thread.

          https://www.londontools.co.uk/Knipex-Series-97-Electrical-Crimping-Pliers.html

          (You should be able to buy those at Menards. I have several pair in various locations).

          Liked by 1 person

        2. That would require…work. Especially since these little guys are about 1/4″ long to start. I can survive without the two drawers. I’ll find other containers for gathering the detritus that would inevitably wind up in them. 🙂

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        1. I’ve always done mine in the bathtub, BiR. I have only one small one. I hang it on the line outside to dry. But why not just replace the damn things? They don’t cost a whole lot these days.

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  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I am still sifting though family papers and pictures. I made a lot of progress earlier this year, felt maxed out by the project, and packed it away for awhile. To be continued.

    It still feels overwhelming.

    I also have mountains of tomatoes coming on. Those I can. I have yet to make raspberry jam–that is on the docket for the weekend. It is indeed a banner year for basil. I freeze the olive oil and basil, then add the rest when I unfreeze it. Second crop of beets, lettuce, and kohlrabi are coming along–this cool weather is perfect for them. The carrots this year are spectacularly tender and delicious. What tasks remain for the garden? Eating and preserving the stuff.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I have garden envy.

    Our home in N. MN had no location for a garden…too much beautiful rock amidst little forest. I tried tomatoes and peppers in pots but the wind was just too much=NW winds off the lake.

    Perhaps I will try something here in Tucson…but having just received my brother’s horse trailer and truck bed full of stuff (he returned from his lake cabin)…I will stay busy for quite a while.

    My undone tasks surround me…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Slowly but surely…..thought our place was pretty good=home….’tho missed things that Tim brought. However now I have a puzzle to work with as to placement=utilitarian.

        I do like it here and since we are in the same neighborhood as our few months here…it is easy to ‘feel at home’…’tho I’ve had my homesick moments.

        Today is a slow down one as I kinda exhausted myself yesterday with the arrival of stuff…excitement, work…fun but overdone.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I could have been a great neighbor for you guys, Renee. We would have worked out a barter system so my house would have been rich in the produce from your garden and you would have had venison and pheasants all year.

    As for niggling duties needing my attention, that went away when I became a renter again. When I owned a home I had gutters and they were usually full of decomposing leaves and sludge because I was afraid of ladders.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I just have one freezer besides the one that is part of the refrigerator. I defrosted it this past spring. It’s best to do it in the winter on a cold day – then I can just stick the frozen stuff outside to stay frozen while I defrost the freezer. But I procrastinated too long (like 2.3 years too long) and it was too warm when I got around to it. So I borrowed a couple coolers from a neighbor and used those to hold the cold food while I defrosted. That worked okay. But of course it was only one freezer.

    As for undone tasks – besides the obvious one of cleaning various parts of the house which is continuous and never-ending – the most obvious one is weeding all the various garden beds. My goal this year was to spend a little time each week weeding so it would never get out of hand. Well. I did okay for a while, but the month of August has been a total washout and with all the rain we’ve had, the weeds are getting mighty big. Huge. But I think I’ll wait until September to do them. Until then, and probably until October, I have various tasks having to do with getting ready for having my photos displayed at a coffeeshop that I need to get cracking on.

    Like Steve, I believe I will be relieved when I don’t have yard and garden work to do.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But there are 30 days in September….I didn’t say WHEN in September. 🙂

        Heck, if I procrastinate long enough, I’ll just do the regular weeding and the fall cleanup sometime in late October.

        Liked by 4 people

  9. Windows and photographs are next. We have also decided to donate most of our books to the used bookstore affiliated with our local library. I hope we can get that done this winter.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Your ambition takes my breath away, Renee. I get fatigued just thinking about all that work. One thought that occurred to me was this: What makes your friends who intend to camp out at your place in case of a major disaster think that you’ll have electricity?

    I thought we were bad, and we have only the freezer in the bottom of the refrigerator. I’m slowly nibbling away at what’s in it, but husbane (that’s intentional!) has apparently developed an anxiety disorder around running out of ciabatta rolls. Aldi has an unending supply of them, yet he insists on having an extra package or two of them in freezer. Go figure. I need the space home made broth, pesto and such.

    I appreciate the baboons detailing projects they need to tackle, makes me feel like I’m in good company, although I have pretty much given up the notion that I’ll ever get most of it done. Think I’ll just go sit in the sun and watch the tomatoes ripen.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I didn’t say I was done with everything, merely that I don’t think I’ll ever get it all done. I just checked, I can still fog a mirror with my breath, so apparently am still alive. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Fun story Renee–

    So many things I have left undone…
    Just last night my sister came out and we froze 6 dozen ears of sweetcorn. I didn’t count; could have been more, but I ordered 6 dozen. And the kicker is I have a large patch of sweetcorn but here the weather has been so cool it’s far behind schedule and I don’t know if it’s going to make it before we get a frost!
    If it does get ripe I’ll be inviting all my family out to pick sweetcorn.

    We have one large chest freezer plus an extra fridge for eggs and drinks. The freezer in that one is mostly just frost. Granted it’s small… but it needs to be defrosted some day.

    I think I have told the story here before of cleaning out my In-laws freezers when they moved off the farm. They had two chest freezers. Neither had been cleaned out in many years. And with power failures, the bottom foot was misc frozen things frozen into a solid block of ice.
    As it thawed and I fished around in there (no drain plug or it was plugged; don’t remember) and it was torn bags of cranberries turning the water a bloody red, my 16 yr old son looked over my shoulder, shuddered and said ‘You’re a better man than me’.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. My oh my — my list is too long and too daunting. I desperately want to scrape the front porch, repaint and put down new carpet. I actually HAVE carpet squares (bought them unused from my neighbors before they moved) but really need to get the scrapping and painting done first. Sigh.

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  13. I never did get around to trimming the lilacs this spring. I really should get the sidewalk side trimmed up before winter, because if they are still hanging over the sidewalk as I’m shoveling snow, it will irk me.

    Freezer space is at a premium here, too. I will soon need some for raspberries. I have no idea what’s in there, but I should eat it or get rid of it soon. Whatever did people do before they had freezers?

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  14. OT – Fair warning! I have just bought myself a new MacBook Air. My old one was six years old, and was about to bite the dust. Lots of things have changed in the interim, so I’m on a bit of a learning curve. Hope to not mess anything up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PlainJane – I had to do the same a couple of months ago. The learning curve isn’t too bad, though the photo program to create a book has changed. I was a whiz at the old way….now need to go to a projects workshop at the store so I have a resource to help me when I get stuck.

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    1. That’s what I understand, tim. I have had essentially the same computer for six years, though, so don’t know how much I really need them. I think it’s a matter of adjusting to the improvements/changes Apple has made to it over that time span. But I do intend to check into it and see what they offer.

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  15. There’s another thing that’s on my mind that feels sort of undone. I was on my way home from the fair last night, coming south on Dale street along a bridge that goes over railroad tracks, and I nearly hit a cat that darted across the street in front of me. I pulled into the parking lot of an asian market on the corner of Dale and Minnehaha and walked back to see if I could find it. The cat was on the bridge, trying to get away from traffic, searching along the chain link fence on the bridge for an opening, and finding none. I crouched down and called to it. It first turned toward me with the arched back and big tail of a terrified animal. But after there was a break in the traffic between stoplights, it calmed down a little and came to me, and allowed me to scratch its head and neck, and eventually pick it up and carry it back down the bridge to the parking lot.

    It was a young, all-black, long-haired cat, probably only a year or two old, with very silky fur, and no collar. I sat down in front of the market and petted it for awhile, then got up and tried to lead it away from the busy intersection. The parking lot where we ended up was hemmed in by busy streets on three sides, and railroad tracks to the north. I couldn’t tell where the cat might have come from. There were houses in several directions, but not particularly close.

    I watched to see if it might try to cross the street in any one direction, hoping to guide it across the street if it knew where it was going, but it wandered around the asian market toward Pierce Butler Route, and then lay down in the parking lot.

    I thought I might try to put it in the car and bring it somewhere – no real plan, just good intentions – but when I brought the car around to the last place I saw it, it was gone. I walked around for about ten minutes, but couldn’t find it.

    I hope it found a safe way to get back to its people.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. bless you
      the cat was lucky to have you help it in a tense moment.
      hopefully it found a safer way to hang out in its neighborhood.
      maybe we should talk about opening a cat cafe. have you heard of the concept. id think you could run it and live happily ever after.

      here is an idea that i am not a big fan of

      http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/what-will-it-take-to-get-a-cat-cafe-in-minneapolis/421469463

      much more what i had in mind below

      http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/02/22/a-guide-to-tokyos-best-cat-cafes/

      Liked by 1 person

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