The other day I found myself bent at the waist with my entire top half inside my deep freezer. My arms were reaching for something that I could see only a corner of through a maze of jars, bags, boxes and salmon-coloured meat wrap. The feeling I had was one of anticipation, fear, a sense of traveling into the unknown, through the dark, not really knowing what I might come upon. It was the same feeling I get in the middle of a good horror movie.
When it comes time to get something out of one of our freezers, I always warn my husband what I’m about to do. It seems only fair that he knows the cause of the distant cursing or the disheveled look that can result from the searching. If I neglect to give the warning, he will often call from inside the house looking to make sure that the boogeyman has not nabbed me. There are some days that I tell him that I can’t possibly face what’s in there and beg him to go see what he can find to take out for dinner.
Spring brings cleansing of all sorts not the least of which are the cleaning of my two chest freezers. Finally I can come out of my state of massive denial and venture forth into that unknown land with some confidence. Heading to market was impetus for this as I had squirreled away some treats from the fall abundance to round out the lean spring display. There are only a few chickens left before the next batch arrives. All the beef is tidily squared away in one corner. The milk I froze for yogurt and cheese is now finally dwindling. Jars of freezer jams are getting fewer. The rest of what I find in there is anybody’s guess.
Throwing things in the freezer for me can be very intentional. It can be all about making sure I can make the food from our land stretch far into the months ahead. It can also be a grand way to deal with those things I don’t quite know what to do with. What’s that about the ostrich with its head in the sand? He really thinks nobody can see him? What does that say about the back end of me jutting straight up towards the sky in front of my freezer?
Here is my thought process before the great sand dive: the green curry was good but I made way too much of it. While I’ve got the oven on I might as well make three meat loaves and freeze whatever we don’t eat. If I’m rolling out pastry anyway, why not make another type of thing? Two extra lasagnas, three chicken soups, four lovely quiches, 16 roasted squash and a partridge in a pear tree.
What have you got in your freezer? Does yours scare you as much as mine scares me? Does it feel like something hairy with big teeth is going to jump out at you when you’re rifling through there?
Welcome to my nightmare. Or is it not an amazing dream to have this much abundance of excellent food in my life?