What The Hell Is That?: A Story of Leftovers Gone Wrong

So, what happens here at Al Dente HQ when we make too much soup or buy too much meat? We freeze it. You’ve seen this with our periodic Eat The Freezer entries.

More often than not, we bring it back out for a meal to be named later. Sometimes though it gets lost to the deep freeze, only to come back during a cleanout day.

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Al Dente HQ has three freezers. There is the primary freezer located in the kitchen. I have a secondary standalone freezer in my basement that is only slightly warmer than your average cryogenic unit. And then there is the freezer that is part of the 1970s-era refrigerator-freezer in my basement that keeps my beer cold. That is the last option for freezing.

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Sunday became a cleanout day when it became clear that there was not enough space upstairs for us to store any groceries this week. I made my way downstairs and attacked those freezers as well. Anything without a label was immediately discarded. Anything older than eight months went too.

The results were troubling. I found marinara sauce (above) dating to 2012. There were containers of green stuff (below) that could not be identified. There was soup of some sort that predated The Kid. One bag of rolls had more ice crystals than bread.

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My mother would have called this a sin. “It’s a sin to waste all of this food.” (Everything for Northside Italian Catholics was either a blessing or a sin. There was never any middle ground with these people.) She would also have tried to feed us the 4+ year old soup. “It tastes fine,” she would say, her own taste buds fried by years of smoking (Salem Menthol Ultra Light 100s, preceded by Parliament 100s).

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She would have also yelled at me for forcing everything down the garbage disposal. There was a glacially slow melt occurring after dumping everything into the sink. Hot water moved things along slightly, but an extra-large chef’s knife and the disposal helped me clear it all out. As a child, I was constantly accused of trying to break the garbage disposal by, you know, using it.

All told, 12 quarts of frozen liquid and two garbage bags of food were tossed. Some items were relocated to the basement. And, I clearly need a Foodsaver or better way of packing food to freeze.

Maybe my mother was right. Maybe it is a sin.

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