I got home from work a couple days ago and Bill greeted me at the door with bad news.
He’d planned to cook some of our stockpile of stuffies (stuffed quahogs) for part of dinner (we had at least a couple dozen in the chest freezer in the basement) and when he took them out, the stuffing was mushy. As in, not FROZEN.
That’s not good.
He was tempted to bake them anyway, but with no idea how long they’d been NOT FROZEN, it wasn’t worth the risk of a houseful of food-poisoned people. So he threw them out.
And then he went to check on the rest of the food in the freezer.
Food we’d prepared months ago and stockpiled so we’d have ready-made dinners through the winter.
And guess what.
The stuffed squash blossoms were mushy.
The chiles rellenos were mushy.
The sauce for the chiles rellenos was mushy.
The chicken thighs I’d put down there were mushy. And bloody. Ick.
Soups. The last Kale Pie. Chicken carcasses and a turkey carcass – all NOT frozen any more.
And homemade bacon.
And we had no idea how long everything had been sitting in there being unfrozen. No idea.
It’s kind of heartbreaking. We’d thought we were doing such a good thing, you know? Busy little squirrels storing all sorts of nuts for the winter. And now our nuts have rotted.
Or something like that.
At least that’s not our ONLY freezer. There’s the freezer part of our fridge in the kitchen – and there’s a lot of food in there, still.
And the small freezer above the bar fridge – that’s where (thank goodness) all our stocks are along with frozen clams and conch. So we haven’t lost ALL the food.
…And apparently somehow – and we don’t know how this would have happened – the freezer setting was on the LOWEST (i.e. WARMEST, NOT FROZENEST) setting. How the heck did that happen? You have to use a screwdriver to turn the dial because it’s so hard to do with just your fingers.
And until now, things HAVE been frozen. Frozen rock solid.
So who knows what’s happened.
All I know is that sometime this spring we’re buying a pressure canner and I’ll do a LOT of canning so we won’t need as much of our freezer space for stocks and sauces and vegetables, and maybe we won’t even need the chest freezer at all.