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Cleaning the Freezer (How old is too old?)

5 years ago

Yes, it's time. Dallas is coming on Monday (when we're supposed to get an inch of rain) to slaughter beef. I bought a pig locally and it should be ready next week. That means it's time to clean the freezer, I need space for a whole hog and half a cow.

Anyway, it was time for me to defrost the upright freezer and go diving in the chest freezers, just to see what I could find.

Hey, look, it's a roll of maraschino cherry/white chocolate shortbread left from Christmas baking. I'll stick those in the oven now:

Here's a brisket, looks like the vacuum pack lost its seal. What does that date say? December 2013? I think that might be dog food...

That goes straight into the crock pot, although it really doesn't look all that bad...

Well, that filled up the crockpot, so what else is there? A package of rib steaks, extremely freezer compromised and a stray soup bone that never made it into the roaster for stock, both dated 2013. Elery put those into the instant pot, and they became dog food too...

Two packages of our homeground chicken sausage had also lost their seal, although they were only dated 2017. (sigh) My Foodsaver is not dependable, even though Elery bought me a newer and more expensive version. I lose seals about half the time, no matter what I do. It seems sealed when I put it in the freezer, but it is unsealed within a matter of weeks. Sometimes I find it and fix it, sometimes not. Unfortunately, this time it was a "not" so I cooked them and they are also in the refrigerator for dog treats...

Ooooh, look here, moose loin. That is still sealed, thank goodness, I was planning on having one for Easter dinner and saving the other one for the next time Peppi visits. Back into the freezer with these, in the bottom basket next to the venison.

The Princess is spending the night and she brought her Golden Retriever, who just loves to eat at my house. I told Makayla that Miley picked the perfect night to stay, when I cleaned the freezer. Because Miley weighs nearly 100 pounds, and my old Sadie is a St. Bernard/lab cross and weighs over 100 pounds and our shelter dog, Molly, weighs 80 pounds, all that old beef won't last long enough to get any older.

I really have to try harder to keep things sorted out and use the oldest stuff first, though. This is what we're having for breakfast with pancakes:

I think I need to invest in some more baskets, just to keep things sorted. Yeah, like I'll actually do that. (sigh)

I also found a gallon ziplock full of frozen jalapenos, already seeded but left whole in case I decided to make poppers. I never decided to do that, of course, but we're out of jalapeno relish, so I'm going to can some of that tomorrow too.

I try to clean and defrost the freezers every year, but obviously a few things get lost in the shuffle. I do have baskets for fruits, other baskets for vegetables, I try to keep wild game in one place, pork in the upright freezer, chicken/fruit/vegetables in one chest freezer, beef in the other one. Things like ice cream, apple cider, extra butter go in the refrigertor/freezer. How do you keep things straight? How often do you clean the freezer?


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