Monday, May 22, 2006

A (Not-So) Chilling Tale

When Craig and I moved in with the McQueens, it brought the total number of people living under one roof to be 7, plus the two dogs. Food storage and preparation is a problem to be solved. Thankfully they had two fridges and a deep freeze.

The fridge in the kitchen is one of those fridges that's divided down the centre. The right side is the fridge, and the left side is divided into two freezer compartments. I have no idea what the designers of this fridge were thinking. They have the same amount of shelf space as a fridge with the freezer up top, and the fridge below. But since they only have half the width the vertical distance between the shelves is halved. This means that most things have to be put on their sides. Taller items cannot stand uprightly. The fridge ends up getting really packed and things get hidden behind other things. You forget what's in there. It's way too easy to let it go for a while and things go bad, and take up space, and you don't find it until you need the space.

The second fridge is located in the basement. This fridge is the conventional design. The freezer is up top, and the fridge is below. Unfortunately, the top of the crispers is broken, so we have effectively lost a whole shelf of storage space. This fridge is used for longer term storage.

The deep freeze is a fairly large size freezer. It had been given to the McQueens as a gift a number of years ago. They had used it for their time in SSM. As of the fall of 2004, when Craig and I moved in, the freezer had not yet been plugged in. It had not been needed. It was sitting in the basement just outside of my cubicle.

One day the McQueens went shopping and brought home a tonne of groceries. Enough to last us for quite some time. A lot of it was meat to be frozen. We filled up fridge #1, then fridge #2, and their respective freezers. There was still more to be frozen. So we plugged in the deep freeze. The motor made a buzzing noise, as freezer motors often do. A few minutes later I opened the top and stuck my hand inside. Yup, it was getting colder. We started loading it up with the remaining frozen goods. The freezer would be cold enough pretty soon.

After a few days I opened up the freezer and a terrible smell came out. The freezer had not gotten much cooler. All the meat, including lots of fish, had spoiled. We put a small Styrofoam filled with water cup inside to see if it would freeze. It never came close.

Eventually the freezer was emptied of its contents. Unfortunately, the meat had leaked some slimy stuff. This dried up and stuck to the inside of the freezer. And it stunk!! It was horrible! It was pungent! Even though the freezer was on the opposite side of the basement as the door to the basement, as soon as you opened the door to the basement you could smell it. And I slept right next to the freezer! Luckily, by the time you got downstairs you got used to the smell.

When I moved back to the Sault for the winter semester, and came back down for the next summer semester, I opened up the freezer door to see if it had been cleaned out. I was practically knocked over by the odor emanating from the freezer. Apparently it had not been cleaned out. One year later, I'm back. I don't know if the freezer has been cleaned out yet. I don't dare find out. So for the time being, we're stuck stuffing our frozen goods into two fridge's freezers.

No comments: