Use Your Freezer

When our firstborn was about two years old, we bought a brand new deep freeze, on sale, for about $100.00. That was a large sum for us, just starting out, but through 40 years of service it has never caused us one moment of grief and has quietly kept literally tons of food rock-hard, safe to eat, and almost-like-fresh.

That’s at $2.50 per year.

It has had a place of honor in most of our homes, either in the kitchen or in the baby’s room. (It did double duty as a wonderful changing table.) I also bought several sets of rigid plastic freezer cartons, to save the waste of plastic bags. They were also on sale but nine dozen or so cost me around $50.00. Most of those dear little boxes are also still chugging along just fine.

That’s around $1.10 per year.

Every year I froze 75 quarts of blanched corn-off-the-cob, 75 quarts blanched spinach and/or beet greens, and all the fresh blackberries I could get my hands on.

We also tried freezing applesauce, whole carrots, whole peppers, whole apples, whole tomatoes, halves of beef and pork, bread, cookies, cakes, flour, dried beans, corn meal, excess fruit juice, chocolate chips, dog biscuits, dampened laundry, and more.

Oh, I forgot chickens, turkeys, fish, and the last snowball of each winter.

Oh, yes, there was leftover garden seed, too.

And ice cream.

Are you getting the picture?

(We won’t discuss the pheasant skin.)

I am not the type to throw everything into the freezer just because it’s too much work to pressure can it. Yet the freezer is always packed.

Our garden has varied from a tiny, pitiful mustard patch, to a beautiful 50’ x 75’ plot of perfectly fertile sandy loam. In the big one, we planted 17 rows of corn each year. By the Fourth of July, those 17 long rows were ripe and ready. We’d hurry to get it all put up before nightfall and the huge fireworks display in the park.

Now. To get ¼ mile of corn put up in a hurry, you do not pressure can it for an hour per each ten pints! No! The only expedient way, given the necessary elements, is to blanch it briefly, slice it off the cob, and store it in boxes in the freezer.

More tomorrow.