Short entry today because someone (perhaps small fingers in search of ice cream?) left my garage freezer open a crack last night, so I spent my morning writing time sorting through food and deciding what could be salvaged. Fun fun. The next few days of dinners are gonna feel a bit like Russian Roulette around here. Spin the cylinder! Feel alive! Wheeeee!
I learned some important lessons last time this happened. If you ever find yourself with a freezer left open and hundreds of dollars of food ruined, here are some lessons from me to you.
Number One. Numero Uno. This is the only one that really matters!! Do not throw the thawed meats out right away. Leave them in the freezer until trash day and then toss them. I read a lot of fantasy novels, and many have tried to describe the smell of rotting meat. (Seriously, what is it about fantasy novelists and rotting-meat-smell? They also seem to like to describe the smell of funeral pyres. Yuck.) Anyway, nothing, my friends, can adequately describe the smell of truly rotting meat. Not the dead fish smell at an un-maintained beach. Not even roadkill, which is usually cleaned up before reaching the point we’re talking about here. It. Is. Horrible. And if your trash bags leak, I won’t say the word, but they’re small and they grow up to be flies and nothing is more gross in all the land.
Here’s a minor tip, but potentially useful. Clean up any liquids at the bottom of the freezer while it is still in its non-freezy state, because once it re-freezes, it is nigh impossible to get it out.
Even though it’s ice, and doesn’t go bad, pull the ice bags out before they re-freeze and become permanently adhered to the freezer shelf.
When in doubt, throw it out. Or at least don’t feed it to the children.
If you have food that is only partially thawed, and you decide it can be salvaged, do not let it re-freeze. Put it in the fridge and then cook it. If you have more than you can eat, invite brave friends over. Or cook it (well) and then re-freeze the cooked food. Make sure you label it as freezer-thaw food so you only serve it to people you don’t like that much, and don’t accidentally take it to some pregnant woman on bedrest.
OK, off to throw some still-mostly-frozen shrimp into a marinade. Spin the cylinder. Safety off. Wish me luck.