In The Freezer
Fooled you, didn’t I? Admit it, you saw the title and thought “oh a shidduch post. He hasn’t done one of those in ages.” Well, nope. If I wrote on that topic, I’d be like a billion other bloggers, and my goal is to be unique. That’s why I blog on wordpress and refuse to wear pants whilst writing, brainstorming or shopping.
I came home this morning to the sweet smell of that most delicate of Ashkenazi foods, the meat boureka. It’s unknown in any other culture, because they’re just not good enough to have it, and it’s a rarity in my parents house because my mother usually refuses to make anything involving pastry, oil, or anything else that might make food, to use a technical term, “delicious”. She saves that stuff for yom tov, and when I tried to “borrow one”, she told me that these were for succos, right after slamming my thieving hand with a rolling pin. The lesson here is not to try and take one when your mother is still rolling out pastry, but the secondary lesson is that the freezer simply stops time. Food does not age in the freezer, as long as it’s both in there, and wrapped in foil.
Whether or not this is true, my mother truly believe it is. She sometimes will look in the freezer and dig out an unidentifiable lump of something, frost-bitten and wrapped in tinfoil. She will then bring it to me to see if I know what it is. If I don’t she takes it to everyone else in the house. If noone is sure what exactly it is, she’ll defrost it and eat it just to find out. I swear I’m not kidding. The number of times I’ve asked her later if she found out what the freezer lump was, only to have her tell me that she microwaved and ate it is staggering. “Oh, it was chicken soup”. “Oh, it was brisket”. “I’m not sure what it was, but it tasted good with a little salt”.
Now that I’m technically an adult, and have gone out into the world a little, I’m starting to realize a lot of strange things about my parents, mostly regarding food. One of my favorite books is “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris. (If you haven’t read it, get it. I can’t recommend it highly enough, it’s just plain hilarious). The last story is about how his father hoards food for years, usually in the bathroom cabinet. I found it funny, but creepily familiar. If you check any of my fathers jackets, including suit jackets you will always find chocolate in the inside pocket, usually in the form of Raisinets, but also Kit Kats, Twix and chocolate covered coffee beans. Basically, my dad likes to have chocolate handy at any time. And it has no expiration date for him. They can be there for years and he will still snack on them next time he puts on that jacket. He also shares my mothers freezer mentality (maybe that’s why they married?) as he will buy anything chocolate or snack related and put it in the freezer. There’s nothing better than frostbitten caramel, is there? We all complain, and I don’t know how he eats the stuff. I really don’t because none of us have ever seen my dad eat any of the things he keeps in the freezer. Much like David Sedaris’s father, my dad will buy anything at a discount, then keep it in the freezer for years. Meat that expires the day he buys it goes into the freezer for weeks before he’ll eat it. He doesn’t equate “quick sale” with “immediate consumption”.
This has gone on way too long, considering my original point was meant to be the question: does anyone actually know if things kept in the freezer stay edible forever? Or am I being slowly poisoned by chicken slaughtered in the Roman era, by all probability.