Friday, March 19, 2010

I'd much rather have a chiller cabinet

It's Friday, so let's talk about freezers!

Do you have a chest freezer? Perhaps you have a standalone freezer. Or like, me the top of your fridge has a freezer compartment that can fit an ice cube tray, a box of fish fingers and some frozen Yorkshire puddings. In other words, it's too small. But that's probably just as well.

Every six months or so Mrs F-C and I, full of good intentions, load up the trolley with loads of 'useful' freezer foods like ready-chopped herbs, fishcakes and broad beans. Then we never look at them again. Once we even went to Iceland. But frozen omelettes were step to far. Anyway, months later, chipping your way through layers of ice that would make Sir Ranulph Fiennes think twice, you realise it's pointless doing this as you simply don't ever think to open the freezer.

There are exceptions: Peas for one. Who can arsed to shuck these days? They are really useful and take a second to cook. No defrosting necessary! They go well with exception number two fish fingers. They always get eaten. But then they're at the front so easily spotted and readily available. The back of the freezer is another story. Who knows what horrors lie in this unexplored tundra? I found a bottle of vodka once. I'm sure it had been there since at least 1992. Once we had a small standalone freezer, packed to the rafters but never opened. In the end it froze itself to death. The ice creeping around the door seal should have been spotted as a cry for help. We've not learnt any lessons.

When I was a boy, and home freezing was all the rage, we of course got a chest freezer. I've blogged about these before, but it always seemed to be in use. I can remember the crack of it as it was hauled open. The smell of it too. At the bottom lay stray frozen crinkle-cut chips and rogue peas. There were huge joints of meat, tubs of really hard coffee ice cream, frozen paper cans of 'Florida' orange juice and those horrible 7" frozen cardboard cheese and oninon-topped discs masquerading as pizza.

There were also also those meals my mum cooked ahead for my incapable dad for when she went away or would be late home from work. All properly labelled and delicious: carbonade of beef, shepherds pie, moussaka. But try this yourself and you take one look at it and don't fancy it. I can't remember how many times we've frozen leftovers only to have to sledgehammer them out of the Tupperware a year later.

I say this because last night we did actually have some chicken that had spent the day defrosting after being liberated from its icy grave. Sometimes it's not what's in there but remembering to get it out. And then even if you do the next day it becomes unappealing.

So home freezing: a boon to some, a burden to others. What's your view?

God, we talk about some fascinating subjects round here don't we?


Helen said...

Yes, ours used for peas, green beans, ice cream, fish fingers,prawns ice cubes, quorn products bought every time they're on offer which is often so probably now have two drawers full. I have that 'freeze the leftovers' problem, all my tupperware's used up and I don't even know what's in them anymore or when they were cooked so just end up chucking the whole thing. The problem with freezing things and not having a microwave for defrosting is that I always forget to take things out to defrost. Such a waste of time. But yes, 70s chest freezers full of arctic rolls, mousses, rocket lollies and icepops.

Helen said...

oops,not prawn ice cubes (ugh), but prawns, ice cubes!

Mondo said...

When my parents ran a newsagents - we had one of the sliding top style freezers for lollies and choc ices. The smell of the frozen lolly boxes, buried at the bottom was magic

roym said...

im currently working through a freezer back log.
scared because ive got two lemon sole in there somewhere that i dont know what to do with.
im adamant in not buying anything protein based until the bugger is empty

Five-Centres said...

You could be there for quite some time, Roym.

I love those top-loading freezers. Always promised so much joy. How lovely to have your own.

Like you Hels, we don't own a microwave either, so it's an issue.

Clair said...

I'm a big freezer fan - and THAT annoying woman blocking the aisle by stocking up on near-the-sell-by-date reduced expensive food to whack in the freezer when I get home.

Cocktails said...

Freezers are fab. Where else do you dump all your left-overs. And more importantly, where else do you keep your vodka?

Bright Ambassador said...

I have some Bird's Eye Super Mousses in mine - they're just as shit in 2010 as they were in 1978. Although I'm a little more patient waiting for them to defrost now than I was back then.

Suzy Norman said...

'Rogue peas'. I want to start a band now.

Helen said...

Me and my brother couldn't wait for the Supermousses to defrost so just used to eat them frozen!

Ishouldbeworking said...

I was terribly jealous of my friends whose parents had chest freezers in their garages in the 70s. It was a badge of being properly middle class, which I was desperate to be.

My own fridge-freezer is full of soups, sauces and leftovers I've lovingly made, packaged and frozen, and about 50% of which I bin every six months.

One day I'll get it all right.