Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Empty Nesters - Part II: Frost Bite

By Allison Adams 02-19-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 02-19-12

For a long time my freezer was simply a rest stop for leftovers as they traveled from the serving platter to their ultimate destination: the garbage can.

Over the years I have continued to put things into my freezer with absolutely no intention of ever eating them.

The only reason I froze food was to fool strangers who looked in my freezer into thinking I was normal.

There. I said it.

Now that we are Empty Nesters it has become necessary for me to revisit the whole Freezer Issue because on the rare occasion that I do cook an amazing meal we need a way to properly preserve the leftovers, because two people can’t possibly put a decent dent in a pan of lasagna unless they eat it daily and nightly for a week.

For several months now, I’ve been practicing The Art of Freezing.

“I have an announcement to make”, I hollered to my husband. “I’m going to defrost something for supper!”

“Thanks for the warning”, he replied. “Do we have a choice?”

“Certainly. Do you prefer something reddish brown, or something with a pinkish hue?”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Well, I assume the pinkish hue bag contains something in the poultry family, while the reddish brown bag is likely something non-poultry.”

“Like beef?”


“Wouldn’t it help to label that stuff before you put it in the freezer?”

“If I did that we’d have absolutely nothing to talk about.”

“Good point.”

I have finally learned not to freeze in bulk. It’s impractical and unattractive.

I now freeze things in portion-sized, transparent, Zip-Lock freezer bags. They’re much cuter.

I’d hit a home run if I ever picked up a Sharpie to use to label the cute freezer bags.

“How long have those things have been in the freezer?” hollered hubby.

“How long has Elvis been dead?”

Every few years I have to root around inside my freezer with a stick, extract some of its contents, and throw it out to make room for more deposits.

It’s a vicious ice-cycle.

My husband began having second thoughts. “You know, I’m really happy with a can of …”

“Let’s go with the reddish-brown bag”, I suggested. “I have its identity narrowed down to one of three possibilities.”

“Are any of them edible?”

“I believe this could either be chili, vegetable beef soup, or my homemade Rachel Ray spaghetti sauce.”

“They’re all digestible options, but ...”

“Would you like to make this interesting?”

“As if trying to come to grips with the fact that my next meal, and possibly my last, will consist of an unidentifiable frozen food, isn’t interesting enough?”

“My dollar says its homemade spaghetti sauce. You?”

“My money’s on vegetable beef soup. When was the last time you actually made spaghetti sauce?”

“When did Washington cross the Delaware?”

“Let the games begin!”

“Step away from the microwave!”

I’m not sure what I have more trouble with, really – freezing or defrosting.

I rarely think to pull something out of the freezer so far in advance of a meal that it can spend a day or two lollygagging around in a thaw while in the controlled comfort of my refrigerator.

I really wish I could defrost bag of frozen “whatever” just by staring at it with my Super Microwave Eyeballs; then plate it up.

Am I alone?

“This may be your lucky day”, I regretfully admitted. “At this point I can tell you it’s definitely not chili. It might very well be vegetable beef soup, but I’m also not ruling out spaghetti sauce.”

“The next 10 or 15 minutes of microwaving should be revealing”, said hubby. “Lets up the ante. I’ll throw in another $1 – you?”

“You’re on!”

“This is so exciting! I’ll open a bottle of wine!”

Let me tell you people, Empty Nesters can make something out of nothing.

(Oh, and it was soooo my homemade Rachel Ray spaghetti sauce.)