Use-It-Up Update–Feb. 25, 2016


My project is moving along nicely.  Last night, I was able to finish re-filling the cleaned freezer from last week and empty another one in the process.  I found these berries from ’13 and ’14 (pretty icy and old), this mystery green soup (?) and those chicken thighs that look pretty freezer-burned.  Today, I will serve the green stuff for lunch, make berry crisp for the weekend helpers that are coming to assist us with sorting and moving loads to storage, and see if the chicken is salvageable.  I found some terriyake marinade in the fridge that I can dump on the chicken if it looks save-able and hopefully kill any off taste.

So, now, another freezer has been standing empty, thawing out, all night, and I will wipe it out and turn it back on this morning.  Then, I will start filling it up from another freezer, and so forth, until I have done them all.  I’d like to do one per weekend, until I’m done.  I should have an empty one to not turn back on at the end, but we do have pigs almost ready to butcher, so, I guess we’d better keep eating if I want that to happen.  I am pretty determined to not move or keep quite so many freezers.


This is my garage fridge, nicely cleaned and sorted out by Patsy (with assistance) last evening.  She was in a cleaning mood.  I’m not one to argue with that, so while I worked on the freezer, I showed her how to remove everything, and wipe up the mess that was in there.  It was pretty bad, as this has been an extra fridge for us, and has been used for stuffing all of the bulk purchases, garden produce, etc.  Some jam had spilled all over the shelf, and she got it cleaned up.  There were other piles of yucky sticky stuff in other places, including under the drawers.  We both scrubbed part of it, but she sure did a lot.  I’m proud of her.  Now that my house fridge is broken, I wanted this one cleaned out to maximize it’s usefulness, since it is my main fridge now.  The one in the house is cool, so I am using it for lettuce, ketchup, etc.  Things like meat, milk, leftovers, etc. are going out in this one.  So handy, I know, trotting back and forth:)  The plan is to bring this one in, but we are so overwhelmed with the sorting/packing/storing things for the move, we just haven’t done it yet. So, between things from the back of this fridge, and some really old stuff from the freezer, we got a good-sized bucket of slop for the pigs, a freezer that will be ready to re-fill this morning, and a nicely-cleaned and organized fridge.   A little girl got a good lesson on how to clean a fridge, and that’s worth a lot to me, as well.

Food items I have used this past week include:  frozen fish, green beans, drinks I found while cleaning the garage, the items in the picture above, canned pears, canned potatoes, some bacon that was frozen and looking old (but was fine), and leftovers (quite a few).  We also got quite a bit of bread out of the freezers.  Rob served it for meals, and I threw some of the really bad stuff in the pig bucket I was filling.  When we are given bread, I put it in the freezer, but sometimes we don’t eat it all.  I’m not out anything, as it was free.  I was also ruthless with bowls of ???? that I found lurking in there. If it looked freezer-burned, I threw it into the pig bucket.  I’m sure somewhere in the past, I thought I’d want that leftover, but that time is past.  Now, I know that these freezers will be in relatives’ garages in-between houses, so I want to keep meat, produce, and frozen cheese and butter as my top priorities.  I still have a tremendous amount of meat to deal with, and want every bit of it, as we will not have the opportunity to raise our own meat again for a while, at least.


6 thoughts on “Use-It-Up Update–Feb. 25, 2016”

  1. Had to laugh at the mystery green soup(?). Used to have a freezer full of such things. I always referred to my freezer as a place I put things into and never take out. Must be nice to have such a good helper cleaning up the fridge.

    1. That mystery soup ended up being split pea with sausage. I just devoured a bowl-full after working all morning in the basement and it was great.

      I was amazed that my helper agreed to clean up some of the messes that were in that fridge. I just kept reminding her that the sticky stuff was just sugar and fruit (jam) that had spilled, and she wiped and wiped and wiped–it was BAD! I am very happy to get it clean.

    1. 5 uprights, 1 small chest, and 2 small ones with the fridges. The freezer under the fridge that is broken will be emptied soon, but for now, it is on a different motor system than the actual fridge, so it works really well, still. I’ve got that one a little bit empty now. I also am making good progress with the chest freezer. I now have one upright that is totally empty, but would like to go back to 3, if I can pull it off. It’s too much electricity, too much sorting and trying to keep on top of it, etc. Also, I don’t feed so many people now as I used to. We only have 3 children left at home, and our circumstances have changed. I used to take a meal to someone at least once a week, and some weeks I took several. I still take a few meals, but I’m not on the list I used to be on at the church where Rob worked for many years, so the food is holding out much longer. Because I absolutely love taking meals to people, I still take to a few friends, and plan to get right back onto a similar list when we get re-settled. We were in a predicament a couple of years ago when we had a bunch of turkeys, chickens, and pork butchered, plus had just received a 1/2 beef we buy each year. Of course, it was in the fall, so I had all of my fruits and vegetables in there. So, we were given the chest freezer and one of the uprights. We have never bought one, except the fridge/freezer combo that is broken now, and a chest freezer we bought when we were first married, used, and it’s broken now as well. The rest have been discards from relatives and friends. Now, I’m going to find someone to use a couple of them.

  2. Your girls are such a help even though it sometimes takes twice as long to show them how to help. That is the best way to learn though. So many working girls today go from home, to college, to work and never learn how to cook and clean and sew. These are essentials. If you pay others to do everything you would do if you stayed home, then you are only working to pay others, You have to know how to run a house and make your money go as far as you can.

    1. Barbara,
      It does take a while to teach the girls things, but I agree, it’s worth it. Today, they helped a lot with packing and sorting. It was the 2 younger girls, each with a Grandma or Auntie working with them, and it was lovely to watch. I am feeling extremely frazzled and overwhelmed, so they had more patience than I did with the girls today.

      I had my plans laid…then 2 strong young men showed up to help (Yea, actually), so they cleaned out the attic storage. They brought it all down the little ladder and stacked it on the garage table, and all over every inch of the remaining room in the garage under my husband’s supervision. Then, they hauled trash down to the burn pile, and hauled tons of bins to the basement where we are storing them. Christmas bins, for instance, had already been put up there the way I wanted them, and they could go straight down to the basement. They also loaded up the van entirely full of stuff for the charity thrift shop. Then, they helped take more debris out of the basement. The items were taken to the shop, they boys left, my mom and aunt came, and we spent the rest of the day sorting things. My mom cleaned some things that were extremely dusty from the attic, and my aunt helped Patsy sew a pillow for her bunk in the camper and plant a pot of pansies to make the porch look nicer. Now, the garage is navigable, I can rest a bit, and hit it again tomorrow, when another friend and some men are coming to help. I am thankful.

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