beware! here be ice dragons . . .

William Eggleston: Untitled c. 1971-1973
I have a slight fear of icebergs. Odd, I know, especially since I have never been anywhere near one, there being a dearth of random ice formations in north London. But then having said that, I have a friend who is so afraid of Great White Sharks that he will never go into the sea, not even to paddle, not even in Southend.

So there is something about icebergs that I find absolutely terrifying. Their austere beauty fills me with awe but it also fills me with a sense of fear and horror that is really quite dizzying. Just how I feel when I look at the contents of my small freezer . . .

I had decided a few weeks ago that I should start running down the freezer in order to get ready for Christmas. Last year my seasonal preparations were completely slapdash and last minute. I didn't make my mincemeat until the week before Christmas (and we were eating the damned stuff right up until April) so this year I have decided to be a bit more organised. This was even one of my New Year's kitchen resolutions.

I was even feeling a bit smug as I've actually made my mincemeat already, but one look at my freezer had me feeling somewhat daunted, not to say a little faint.

I have no idea what I've actually got in the ice pit. It's funny how things go into the freezer, looking quite recognisable. I'd even labelled most of the containers with their contents. But a few months in the freezer and everything is a uniform beige colour and it turns out the indelible freezer-proof marker pen I had used to mark up the freezer's contents is anything but . . .

So I am now in the position of regularly removing plastic tubs of frozen food and then waiting for them to defrost. There is something slightly forensic about it, as I look for clues as to the contents; a sort of culinary CSI. It means that over the next few weeks I'll also have too cook what's actually there and not necessarily what I "feel" like cooking. But hey ho, it's all part of the adventure, and every time I open the freezer, my resolution may at last bring me some peace of mind!


  1. I so relate to this. Unlabelled pots of this that and the other in the freezer. Is it a pasta sauce is it fish stock is it a ragout. Where has that label gone. De-frost and hope there is a meal in it!!!!You are so right everything in my freezer seems to end up the same colour and until you de-frost it who knows.
    Just the tip of the iceberg!!!!!
    I must do an autumn inventory and throw some stuff out.Thank you

  2. My problem is that I give freezer space to all sorts of things that seem quite reasonable to keep at the time, handfuls of rosehips and small boxes of sloes, yoghurt cultures and heels of home made pumpernickel for use as old bread soakers, and then once stashed I forget them completely. I went so far once as to write an inventory and promise myself that I would update it .... time to do it again I guess. Thank you for the prompt and the lovely read :)

  3. Don't throw it out . . . try to remember what you saved it for in the first place! :)

  4. I accidentally unplugged my freezer about a month ago and came to open it after 4 warm days. Freezer sludge and Tupperware is not pretty!


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