There's a Cow in My Freezer: Think I Need a Shrink?

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freezer food

Admitting to a problem is the first step, right?

Hi, my name is Amy, and I'm a freezer hoarder. It all started about eight years ago, when we bought a house and a nice big fridge to go with it. At first it was innocent: Some extra bagels, homemade granola, some nuts I didn't want to go bad.

Then I started saving little bits of things: bags of vegetables with not quite a full serving in them, canned chipotle peppers that I used just one of for a certain recipe, Parmesan rinds for soup, vegetable scraps, and chicken bones for stock. How many times have I made stock? Once.

Then, this past summer, we inherited an upright freezer from my husband's parents. The thing is mammoth and you could pretty much hear the electric meter spinning when it started up, but my husband had wanted one forever. And it really kicked the hoarding instinct into high gear.

First came the fruit.

Peaches (can you freeze those?) and blueberries and sour cherries from the farmers' market in the town where we went on vacation (in our defense, they are highly perishable and seasonal).

Then there were the Costco runs: Cheese, chicken parts, stew beef, an enormous box of spring rolls, veggie burgers, and frozen pizza because "hey, we have the space!"

But wait ... and then there was The Pig. Our friends asked if we wanted to go in with them on half of a pig from a farmer at our local market. I've bought pork there and it's delicious, plus it's humanely raised.

Let me tell you something: 50 pounds of various pork products takes up a LOT of freezer space. A few months later, these same friends talked us into a grass-fed, humanely raised COW: Now we have lots of flavorful and healthy beef in there as well.

Oh yes, and then I got into freezer cooking: Four batches of chicken pot pie and several pans of enchiladas line the shelves.

So let's just say I saw myself in the discussion of freezer hoarding on Chow. The weirdest thing I have found in one of my freezers was a bag of breast milk; not weird on its own, but the baby in question had not been breastfed for a year and a half at that point (and that bag HURT to pitch).

In some ways it's good: I'm a frugal sort and want to eat more sustainably, and buying local produce and meat in season and freezing it means we get it at its cheapest and best ... that pig was $2 a pound versus buying various cuts from the same farmer at $5-$8 per pound. I've purchased almost no supermarket meat in six months, which shrinks the bill as well, and I can stock up on things we like when they are on sale. Plus, I love being able to cobble together a meal when I haven't had time to grocery shop.

On the other hand, I tend to forget what I have in the freezer and end up buying the same thing more than once. Don't ask me how many bags of corn are in there, for example. And "frozen" doesn't mean "cryogenically preserved for eternity," it means "still going bad, just more slowly."

I'm on something of a freezer moratorium right now, before someone calls Hoarders on me.

What's the oddest thing in your freezer?


eco-friendly, in my fridge, grocery shopping

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jtayl... jtaylor87

hey sweetheart... its not bad to save food... but you should go through ur freezer like every 2 months and clean it out... if it is still good and you dont want it take it to your local food bank... they can use anything....

nonmember avatar Christine

All I have is the freezer that is part of my fridge and so I don't have much room to have extra stuff in there. My mom and dad have an upright freezer in their store room. My dad is a hunter and so it is always full of venison plus whatever else my mom has been able to buy in bulk. There is ALWAYS something to eat at my parents' house if you have time for it to thaw!! I agree with the above post, clean out your freezer every few months so you know what is in there. Oh, and my mom freezes all sorts of fruits and they all come out tasting great. Some are more suited for cooking or baking once frozen just because of look/feel, but all are YUMMY ~ especially peaches :)

hotic... hoticedcoffee

I can go you one worse on hoarding.  I have a big fridge/freezer in my kitchen, a second fridge/freezer in the basement, AND an upright freezer right next to it. 


I'm a bread-baking-fiend, so the oddest (and oldest) thing in my freezer is some dried sourdough starter - it'll be 10 this summer, lol.  I haven't killed my fresh starter for over 5 years, but I was sure glad I had the frozen stuff so I could start a new one.  I probably should dry a new batch and toss that one.


You need to get yourself a vacuum sealer - everything in my upright is 'long term' storage, and it's all vacuum sealed.  I've got soup, nuts, bread, coffee, chicken, pork, fish, butter, pasta sauce, homemade pizza, whole grain flour, barley, quinoa....on and on and on....all in vacuum sealed bags in there - it'll all keep a year or more, but I make a point of keeping the rotation going.  I have an inventory slip on the front with dates, so I know what be coming up on a birthday.

starl... starlight1968

do what my mom does.  My step dad put a wipe board on the outside and she writes on it what she's put in, then wipes it off when she uses it. (put the date if you must to keep up with what you got lol).


 

momof... momof3inTN

Yup, I am a freezer hoarder as well. I am banned from buying, or making, anything else that needs to go in the freezer. The freezer above my refrigerator is full. My chest freezer (the largest the store had to sell, said to hold freezer items for 8-9 people... we have a household of 5) is full... and my freezer hoarding has now spread to my mom's chest freezer (just a small one). But it's enough to make me *try* and put the breaks on the freezer buying/cooking. Ah... at least my food isn't going bad nearly as fast since my wonderful hubby bought me the food saver vacuum sealer. LOL I think we could eat for months out of the freezer and only need to go to the store for milk and eggs.


The oddest thing is my freezer is a half a ham... we don't even eat ham! I bought it on sale with the intention of giving it to my in laws (who love ham but I found a really good deal just before Christmas). But I forgot it was in there and bought them another one. Oops!

penny... pennycandy

My mother is the freezer queen in our family. She lives alone and has two upright freezers, both packed full, and the small one above her fridge. The oddest thing ever found in her freezer was the top teir of her wedding cake. She kept it for her 25th anniversary. yes it was freezer burned beyond recognition.

frysh... fryshannon34

I have a half broken bottle of bud Lite that exploded and I havent taken it out yet

KTMOM KTMOM

hmm.. probably the frozen mice for our snake. lol

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