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Once the gardening and outside work is finished for the season, it’s time for me to get going on the inside work. Truth be told, all summer long my house looks like a mini cyclone came through it. Funny that the outside of my house always looks so much neater than the inside! But that’s a die hard gardener for ya. I’m not the only one, right?
The list of chores is pretty long by the time I get around to “spring cleaning” my house. Even if it is Fall. Or Winter.
One of the items on my to do list is to clean out the deep freezers. We have two, one upright (awesome) and one chest (also very good). Usually what happens at our place is, the chest freezer gets filled with all the berries we harvest in the summer. Bags of frozen peas also get tossed in that freezer. Since it is housed on our main floor, it’s easier for me to get the peas frozen and tossed in there, rather than having to go downstairs to the upright. Busy, busy, busy…that is me all season long. I’ll save steps wherever I can.
The upright freezer holds all of our meat, which, depending on what we have raised that year and the previous year is: Pork, chicken, fish and beef.
Our freezers are quite new, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a good defrosting and cleaning at least once a year. Here’s how I do it to try and make the job as quick (and pain free) as possible.
I gather some of the twenty odd (it seems) coolers we have. I have no idea why we have so many – they tend to gather for conventions at our house. And they just don’t leave!
Even though I have tried to organize the meat by type in each of the freezers, inevitably chicken ends up mixed with pork, and fish ends up with beef.
I fill each cooler with ONE type of meat, to make reloading quicker.
It takes a LOT of coolers to hold the meat and you can see the overflow starting. Berries seem have migrated from one freezer to the other!
I also freeze lots of lemon juice every year – we use it to make lemonade and also use it in cooking. The pink juice is grapefruit.
Once all the food is out, I want to make the rest of the job go as fast as possible, so I can get the frozen food back in the freezers. I use a large pot or two and fill them with boiling water.
I set the pots on each of the shelves in the freezer. I put a couple of old towels on the freezer floor, because I will need something to sop up all that melted ice. Unplug the freezer to make the inside warm up even faster. Close the freezer door and leave it alone for 10 minutes. While you are waiting, put more water in the kettle to get it boiling so you can replace the water in the pots.
Make sure you’ve got a large bucket to wring out the towels into. Once the water is all sopped up, I just use the towels to wipe the sides and inside door of the freezer.
You’ll find you can get the freezer all defrosted and cleaned in about half an hour. Once I’m done, I start right away to refill the shelves. I take the time to organize it again. Pork one on shelf, chicken on another. Doesn’t this look better!
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