Cleaning Mud From the Freezer

Today while the sitter had the kids, I tackled the freezer. First I removed all the frozen radishes. Which was a worse chore than you might think, because they went straight from the ground to the freezer without being cleaned.

Just before the derecho storm hit, I had been gardening. I pulled up all the radishes left in the patch, raked the soil smooth again, and planted the tomato and pepper gift seedlings. And I brought the entire patch of radishes into the kitchen, intending to clean them later that evening.

But just 20 minutes after I came in, the storm hit, we lost power, and I wound up sleeping in the bathtub with the kids. The next day temperatures were supposed to be around 100F, we still had no power, so my priority was not dealing with the radishes.

The next day I convinced T to leave a day early for NYC. That's the morning we emptied the upright freezer/fridge. When that chore was done, I wondered what to do about the radishes. T suggested putting them in the now-empty freezer, since it was dark and cool like a root cellar. I concurred, and threw them in there. I knew if the power came back on, they'd freeze and I'd have to compost them all, but since I don't have an actual root cellar, I'd have to compost them all anyway since I couldn't process them at the time anyway.

I've been ignoring them since we came home. I did thaw one out to see if I could still use it for radish relish, but determined that wouldn't work. The texture was too far gone. I'm not too bummed about losing them, since 1) I planted way too many anyway, and 2) they are a fast crop, and I'll still get to replant, harvest, and make some relish before hunting season. I intend to serve the relish with venison.

So this afternoon I got rid of the radishes which have been in the freezer for weeks now. But there were still bits of dirt and leaves stuck all over the inside of the freezer. I washed them off. I started washing top to bottom, in typical washing fashion. But by the time I got to the bottom, enough water had dripped down the walls to create mud out of the bits of dirt which were down there. Now THAT was a chore to clean up. Partially thawed, viscous, radish mud. But I got it done. And cleaned all the shelves, too, which was also more difficult than I would have liked because I had to pull the refrigerator out from its cubby in order to open the door wide enough to get the drawers out.

But once the freezer was clean, it was a great opportunity to adjust the shelves and get it all organized. I am designating the top rack just for ice cube trays. I put my cooler packs in the broken ice maker up top. I had a bunch of plastic storage containers I bought when we first moved here, precisely because they fit the freezer shelves exactly. So I stacked them (empty) on the shelves. It was starting to look like a freezer from a magazine photo shoot! I dedicated one of the door shelves to popsicles, so T and the boys don't have to be rooting through the chest freezer. My intention is to move all the foods T might want (mostly convenience foods, White Castle burgers, etc.) into the upright freezer. Without anyone else rooting through the chest freezer, I should be able to keep it neater. At least, that is the plan.

The freezer project is not complete, I still must move more things in there. But the hardest part is done, so I'm glad about that.