Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things to Do While There's Still Snow

Last week, when it was dripping everywhere, I remembered one more thing I needed to do while the weather was cold. 

Freezer thaw and clean out. 

I don't have one of those new freezers that de-ice themselves. At least I don't think so. (Remember when Mom used to get out the hair dryer to defrost the freezer? I loved that.) 
I got it from a neighbor at a garage sale. All her kids have left home and she didn't need it anymore. It's big enough to store a dead body (not that we have any of those) and the top doesn't latch well but the seal is good. 

Sorry, I'm not always green when the price is right. Sometimes you have to recycle something older and save up for the efficient one. 

So last week I decided I desperately needed to clean this big boy up and get the ice off the front so it would latch better. 

First I unloaded all the food and put it in the backyard. In the snow. Out of the reach of the dog (hopefully).
Butter. Cheese. Whole grain flours. Frozen berries. Ice cream freezers. Ice cubes.
Meat leftover from our share. Hamburger. Steaks. That tenderized chunk I never know what to do with.
Then I left it open an hour. To soften a little. When an hour was up the ice was still pretty frozen. Mostly on the front. 
So I knocked it off with an ice scraper for the car. After an hour of 'warmth' it sheered right off. 

Then I opened the garage door, threw the ice and snow out, and cleaned out the inside with water and vinegar. 

Once that was over I plugged it back in and after a few hours put everything back again (after a quick inventory). The outside temperature never rose above 28 so the meat was fine. Luckily no neighborhood predators found it because the garage was a little too warm to keep it that long. 

Back to normal. So now that the Midwest has a bit more know what you need to do. And if you have one of those new-fangled models go on out there and take an inventory. Or do some research into local meat or produce shares to fill it up.

Spring is coming. Gotta get ready to fill that thing back up again. 


Aimee said...

You are so smart! I've been thinking about a freezer clean out and inventory. I guess it would be better to do it asap before it gets warm enough to thaw everything while I'm doing the inventory. I think I have some new energy on this now... =)

Daphne said...

That reminds me that I have to do that with my chest freezer too. I bought the non defrosting kind on purpose. It keeps food better. The kind that defrosts itself does it by heating up the walls occasionally to keep the ice off. It is not nearly as efficient and also the food in it doesn't keep nearly as long. Of course the new auto defrosting kinds might be more efficient than an old one is, but still you get the benefit of having the food keep longer.

Anna said...

We did a really good freezer clean out this fall before deer season, mostly so we had room for venison. Good thing we did because we had 9 deer to process and put in there. My husband is also a taxidermist so most of our big chest freezer is full of "projects." We are really in need of a new one because this one is very old and we are surprised that it actually made it through 2 moves in the last 5 years.

trashmaster46 said...

The last time I had to defrost a freezer fortunately was over a summer, and for a fridge/freezer in my garage. A friend helped me move it out onto the driveway, then he hooked up the garden hose to my laundry water spigot where the water gets good and hot. We hosed that fridge & freezer down in no time at all!

donna said...

You've managed to make defrosting the freezer sound fun.

What's not to love about winter in the upper midwest?


Tam said...

I have fond memories of the old freezers that came in a box at the top of your fridge (no separate door). My mom would get out the hair dryer every few years and let me hold that while she whacked at it with a screwdriver.

Her memories are less fond, I think.