Excavation: FreezerBy Winnie Yu for Completely You
The other day, I opened my freezer door. Out toppled a bag of frozen meat, dated two years ago. The package landed near my toes, which would have hurt had it hit my foot. It was a clear sign that I needed to explore the tundra regions of my home. In other words, it was time for a freezer excavation.
Once I began digging, I found all sorts of goodies. Plastic bags full of mystery meats. Small containers of ice cream from a long-ago birthday party. A stray Popsicle here and there. There was even an open box of ice-encrusted pierogies, and a small package of breakfast sausages coated in crystals. By the time I was done, I had a bag of garbage filled with frozen foods -- and a lot more space in my freezer.
The one thing I kept -- and actually used -- were the tiny bags of bread crusts. Somehow, it just seemed wasteful to toss them out without a second glance, especially since we invest in some pretty pricey bread for daily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So I dug up a recipe and made cinnamon sugar bread crusts. They were delicious, especially when fresh out of the oven.
A freezer excavation is a rare event at my house. I simply don’t clean my freezer the way I clean other parts of my house. I assume that the chilly temperatures will kill any unhealthy microorganisms, and I figure the space is finite, so I’ll eventually find what I need.
But really, freezers need some attention too. They need a good purging now and again, just like every other place in my house -- be it my office, the basement or the garage (check out this helpful guide to doing it right). While the freezer may not get the same cleaning that my bathroom or kitchen gets, it certainly deserves some of my time and attention.
And now I know I can enjoy some more cinnamon sugar bread crusts when I’m done.
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Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.