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.

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13 thoughts on “Use Your Freezer

  1. Ruth Bailey says:

    It’s a lot of work, but three cheers for real food! And I bet you didn’t ever threaten to send some leftovers on a child’s plate to China/Africa to feed all the starving orphans ; )

    • katharinetrauger says:

      No, I never threatened them with China/Africa! 😉 However I have been known to withhold dessert. 😉
      My children were usually quite hungry at mealtime and we taught them HOW to take smaller portions of non-favorite foods, and to eat it all. Maybe I’ll post about that eventually.
      Thanks for stopping by, Ruth! 🙂

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Ha! Oh, so true!
      He refers to a family occasion when I had to visit a friend to borrow more ice for our ice cream maker one hot summer day. After instructing a child (not sure I remember which one) to please put the canister in the freezer while I was gone, I took off, knowing all was well. Visited a bit, but it was okay since the canister of ice cream mixture was in the freezer. Heh heh.
      When I came home, it was to discover I had somehow miscommunicated and the canister was ON the freezer.
      Contents quite liquid. 🙄
      Life! 😉

  2. Jackie G. says:

    Katharine! I love this post! It brings back memories of the two acres of sweet corn we used to grow in Michigan. We sold most of it, froze some and gave lots to our neighbors. I miss that little farm! I am now trying to convince my hubby to move our expanding family (I’m expecting #3 in November!) to Oregon! I want out of this awful desert I live in!

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Jackie! Oh, there is no one I miss like you! Thanks for showing up, here!
      Congratulations on #3! Wonderful! A baby! Just marvelous. Blessings on the dearest. And on you, Jackie.
      Write me.

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