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?