In December, Vic and I acquired a used Frigidaire chest freezer for the garage, thereby fulfilling a long-held dream of mine. We bought it from an old high school buddy of Vic’s for $75. Not sure of the capacity, maybe 12 cubic feet? It looks like it will hold at least double, maybe more, what the freezer on top of the refrigerator holds, which is 6 cubic feet.
We cleaned it out and plugged it in, and I began bargain hunting for sales. I put four half-gallon containers of water at the bottom to fill up space and “hold the cold” in case of a power outage. It is now mostly stocked, with room left over.
I have been envying the freezers of others for some time now, wishing I had more freezer room to preserve the bounty of summer. The real impetus was that my son Scott took a fishing trip to Alaska last summer. He had to buy a chest freezer to store all of the fish that he brought back. We have been bringing a few fillets to our house every time we have room for more, but we ran out of room in the house freezer over the refrigerator.
Lack of room is no longer a problem. We keep the fish in one basket, bread products in the other, Lean Cuisines in a grocery sack in the main body of the freezer, and boxes of pizza on top of the bags of frozen whole chickens (at 79 cents a pound!).
Since getting the freezer, we have been eating out less. Instead of visiting my favorite sandwich shop for lunch, I nuke a Lean Cuisine. Instead of sending out for pizza when I’m too tired to cook, I bake a frozen one on my pizza stone. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a home freezer.
Call me a loony survivalist/prepper if you will, but I feel happier knowing that I have plenty of food on hand. Yeah, I know, if a disaster includes loss of electricity for more than a day, I’m screwed. But then I would turn to my shelves of canned goods, both store-bought and home-canned, as well as pasta and grains that are on hand. We have water stored in containers, a water purifier to filter water from my rain barrels or a nearby lake, and even a chemical toilet. We could cook in my Sun Oven solar oven, or the propane gas BBQ, or our propane campstove if we need to.
I feel well prepared for the variety of natural and manmade disasters that could strike southern California and temporarily disrupt delivery of food (tsunami, earthquakes, fires, riots, heavy winds, power outages, etc.) Speaking of power outages, we have them so frequently that both Vic and I have power backups for our computers. The power usually comes back on within a few minutes or hours. Our neighbor has an electrical generator, but he has pointed out how much gasoline it takes to run a generator for a day. Not sure I want to have that much gasoline stored in my garage. Has anyone else considered fuel storage for a generator?
Well, I didn’t mean to go off on a rant about being prepared for a disaster. They strike everywhere, and it is important to be able to get by on your own until help arrives, which, as we have seen from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, can be a matter of weeks instead of days. I think we are good for six weeks at this point.
An important feature of our new freezer is an inventory list. This will help us know what is in the freezer and how old it is. I know, Uber Nerd. I’m pathetic. I made a similar list for our freezer in the kitchen, which is where I am now keeping vegetables.
The only thing from my garden in our chest freezer right now is two big bags of frozen whole tomatoes. I made a pot roast in my solar oven today and popped a half dozen frozen tomatoes into the pot, along with a couple of bay leaves from my little tree, plus some potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and red wine.
Let’s take a look at my January yard and garden.
Our tree guy, Steve Fifita, is also our concrete contractor. He cut out the root and saved it for me. I plan to turn it into a hanging sculpture of some sort.
So that is what has been going on at our Green World the past few weeks. New freezer, new sidewalk on the south, new section of front walk, repaired deck in back, vegetables growing, fruit trees blooming, and spring flowers everywhere. Life is good.