Monday, August 17, 2009

Freezer Prep

My 'big' freezer - a freestanding, NOT frost-free, 14.7 cubic foot one that we bought in 1979 - is rapidly running out of food. Normally I'd be filling it at this time of year. It would have pretty technicolor bags of fruits and veggies multiplying rapidly.

Not this year.

Part of it is the money crunch - I simply can't afford to stock up on fruits this year. But as much of it is that I've changed my focus from freezing what I store to canning what I store. Canning is harder and more time consuming, but having the veggies canned means I don't need to worry about losing power and thus losing the food.

We used to lose power all the time. The first year we lived in this area we lost power 8 times in the first year, usually for 2 hours at a time. Sometimes the cause was clear - a car accident took down power lines, a power surge from lightning blew a transformer, etc. Sometimes it was NOT clear. And then there were the longer outages ... we here, east of Washington, DC, get hit by the remnants of hurricanes. Floyd took out power for a week. Isabel took out power for most of a week. But 3 weeks before Isabel a thunderstorm took out power for longer than Isabel did!

I became very good at tracking down dry ice.

I also decided to rely less on my freezer, at least for things my family is happy to eat canned. They have not been gracious about the idea of canned meats so far.

Since I still have meat in the freezer - less since we've been eating down our stocks rather than maintaining them lately - I still have to prep the freezer for outages. Besides, freezers work most efficiently when pretty full. So along with the 'bones that will become stock' collection that IS still growing the freezer (I'll make stock after the weather cools!), I'm filling the freezer with ice cubes. That way there's lots of ice in the house if power goes and if it doesn't, we can just use the ice in drinks - my husband is DEEPLY into ice in his drinks.

When Isabel was still way out in the Atlantic, and already a category 5 hurricane with a projected track aimed at us, I didn't have a freezer full of ice. So I started making ice as fast as my freezer would do it. I had learned THAT much from the thunder storm induced power outage a few weeks earlier! And we really were ready for that storm. Not that I turned down the dry ice from the power company, mind you.

What natural 'issues', if not disasters, hit your area regularly? What preps have you taken to be ready for them? Suz - if you lose power, how will you water the horses? Miss Nic will get VERY pissy if she gets thirsty!

Frondly, Fern

1 comment:

  1. yeah , we're farked if we lose power. oh no we're not, we got a generator! but if the apocalypse comes, we're farked.
    when we lost power for 5 days due to hurricane ? several years ago we ended up frantically transferring frozen food to a friend's freezer, but we still lost a depressing lot of $ in meat.
    canning makes more sense, but like your men i'm not fond of canned meat, and my tons of frozen fruit is for my smoothies. refrigerated canned fruit is not the same.
    so all 3 freezers (2 in refrigerators, 1 deep freeze) are packed to the gills right now, and i still have a flat of raspberries to freeze. oops. guess i'll have to nosh most of 'em today.