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Snow, snow go away, come again another day

Freezer doesn't make inedible food any more edible

Freezer doesn't make inedible food any more edible

December 30, 2009|By TIM ROWLAND

Editor's note: Tim Rowland is on vacation, so we do not have a new column to run in this space. Instead, we are running a column that first ran on Monday, Jan. 15, 1996.

This is getting monotonous.

I am tired of seeing the snow, I am tired of reading about the snow, I am tired of writing about the snow, I am tired of hearing about the snow.

Most important, I am tired of altering my eating patterns because of the snow. You have to understand, the concept of "stocking up" is foreign to me. My idea of meal planning is the Kellogg Variety Pak. So with 70,000 tons of snow between me and the nearest food outlet every day for the past week, things have been tough.

It has meant resorting to freezer food. Man, you want to see a real winter wasteland, you should see the icy tomb above my fridge. I hate frozen food, unless it's to be used as ammunition against the cats in the back alley. The thought of hauling an item out of the freezer, resurrecting it with warmth and (gulp) putting it your mouth and actually ingesting it is not a pleasant thought no matter how hungry you are.

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To me, a freezer is good for two things: 1: Solidifying ice cubes. 2. Liquidating guilt.

The latter is more important. I'll eat an entire meatloaf except for the last slice. I can't put it in the fridge because by that time I am so spitting-up sick of meatloaf the thought of eating another bite of ketchup-encrusted ground beef anytime over the next 16 years is revolting. And I can't throw it away because I know the starving children of Kampuchea would be glad to have it and mom says tossing good food into the gutter will sooner or later land you either with the devil or in Philadelphia.

So to assuage the guilt, while getting irritating foodstuffs out of sight, you wad it up it in some preferably non-see-through wrap and toss it into frozen oblivion. There, the sub-zero temperatures and the passage of months gradually steeps the guilt and flavor out of the food until some future time when you can throw out what has become a nonthreatening, moralistically speaking, hunk of unidentifiable ice crystals.

It never once dawned on me that I might actually be pressed to devour one of these frozen time capsules.

Not that I hadn't tried before. But usually what happens is I'll set out a frozen chicken to thaw and then forget all about it until I'm cleaning the clutter off the counter a week or two later. I don't clean all that often, but when I do, it's not uncommon to come across a long-ago thawed, bordering on decayed, filet of grouper.

But with the snow, I had to follow through and actually eat stuff I had frozen.

My first problem is nothing in the freezer can be readily ID'd without some sort of culinary criminal background check. I put out a freezer bag of what appeared to be black bean soup Thursday morning only to sit down that night to a dinner of chocolate cake batter.

It's OK when a veal cutlet turns out to be a pork cutlet, but it's not OK when a pork cutlet turns out to be a Pop Tart.

The other problem, as I alluded to before, is if something is in my freezer, it's basically because I already deemed it inedible a long time ago. And obviously, 18 months in the food tundra hasn't helped. The wonder of freezer food: It might be watery, but it sure is tough.

Not that freezer food gets rubbery, but I know people who dined on a frozen sirloin last weekend who are still chewing. On the up-side, it's good for the facial muscles. After a week of eating freezer stuff, I can crack walnuts in my dimples.

But now, the snow line is receding, the roads are reappearing and the pipelines of commerce and transportation are once again flowing.

And by cracky, the only way I'm opening anyone's freezer is if that's where they keep the phone so I can dial out for pizza.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or by e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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