…on the hottest day of the year. Ugh!
Just so you understand the dilemma it is that the freezer had two inches of ice in it and was impossible to get into because the baskets wouldn’t move. Food was being wasted because we couldn’t get at it. The extra little freezer in the barn is where I keep the tomatoes but it would have to be recruited while we cleaned out the one in the house.
Cleaning the freezer in January would likely have been the better option but here we were with no recourse. We thought it would be cooler by now but Ontario seems to be having a hot spell. (Hotter than the end of July.) It is quite unusual and to add insult to injury for those of us with breathing issues the rag weed and other allergens are running rampant in the hot wind.
Just to add drama there was another job at the house which needed to be done early in the day so the men doing it wouldn’t expire in the heat. (There was also something about a baseball game in the afternoon which required watching.) All of this meant the sweet man who lives here was doing double duty helping me and cutting the cedar hedge with his brother.
We moved things out fairly quickly and sorted as we went. The fruit was moved quickly to the barn freezer and the meat carefully covered with blankets to keep the cold in. We had to be fast.
I poured some boiling water over the baskets and we began to chop away at ice, being careful not to chop into the freezer. The heat was on our side and the ice was melting fast.
I’m not short but it seems I’m just a little too short to get my arms to the bottom of the freezer so I had to enlist my helper to do the hard slugging of gathering the ice and small scraps of vegetables which escaped their containers and were at the bottom.
Climbing into the six foot chest was not an option I would consider. It looks too much like a coffin when it’s empty and at that point I think it may have been overly tempting for my partner to shut the lid and leave me there.
He has longer arms than I do but it seems being upside down in a freezer isn’t his favourite position. He got a little light headed. Metal spatula in hand he managed to dig out all the ice and goop in short order and get back to his other station. Thankfully the crew for the other job was late in arriving so he had time to help.
Once the chest was clean, I began the job of arranging things and putting them back quickly. The meat found homes and then the vegetables and fruit made their way back in with only one incident. The lid wasn’t tight on the container full of elderberries. Are you laughing? Well stop! It wasn’t funny, at least not in the moment. I will admit it is a bit comical now. They will have to wait until the next freezer cleaning to be picked up.
Oh how I wish tape would stick to the freezer baskets and sides so I could put big signs up about where things go. It wasn’t six hours until something had been put where it didn’t belong. My Home Economics teacher would be mortified but I, on the other hand, only mentioned it briefly, albeit loudly. I will likely have to give over to my tendencies toward being obsessive compulsive in short order. If I were truly OCD there would be an inventory list and labels in indelible ink.
Next the tomatoes.