Monday, October 23, 2006

Freezer Disaster

You might recall back in August me talking about filling my freezer ready for the autumn term. Cart loads of chilli, bolognaise sauce, casseroles etc squirrelled away ready for the impending autumn and winter.

Well very soon afterwards disaster struck.

We have two freezers, a little 'under-counter' one in the kitchen which houses ice cream, frozen peas and about a weeks worth of meals to save me going outside to the garage where the bigger chest freezer resides.

DH had been busy during the summer knocking odd jobs off his 'to-do' list to keep out of the way while my parents were in residence. One particular day after doing some outside gloss painting he had left a tub of white spirit complete with brushes in soaking on a low surface directly next to the freezer.

One of us inadvertedly knocked the aforementioned tub into the open freezer - aaaarrgghhhh!!!

I wiped up the spillage and removed any affected food from the top of the 'totally full freezer' - well it would be wouldn't it - these things never happen with an almost empty one.

Having done this I thought I'd dealt with the problem but sadly it became apparent over the next week or three that everything we took out of the freezer was tainted.

Not having realised the quantity of white spirit that had been deposited in the freezer it didn't occur to me at the time to empty everything out and clean out the bottom of the appliance.

Of course white spirit, being neat alcohol, doesn't freeze at domestic freezer temperatures and was sitting in the base gradually pervading everything in there.

Being the busy sort of people we are it took us a wee while to get round to investigating the situation more thoroughly and once we did we realised we were going to have to destroy the entire contents of the freezer - hence the fascinating photo of these items going into bin liners before being transported to the tip.

As you can imagine having spent all that time filling the dratted thing I could have wept at having to empty it all again and waste all that food.

Sarah was a real gem and sat and made a full inventory of everything as it was discarded so I now have the joy of valueing it all (not that easy when things are homemade) and then seeing if there's any way we can claim on the house contents insurance - hence the photographic evidence.

This morning the entire Bebbington clan (well the Taunton contingent anyway) had a multiple dental appointment - our twice yearly check-up. NHS Dentists are notoriously difficult to find in the UK now but we were lucky and managed to sign up with one here in Taunton - we were never that lucky in Gloucester. Thankfully because of this it only cost us a total of £31 for Nigel's and my check-up and the kids go free.

I'm glad to say that we all had the all clear, I'm very proud to say that none of my children have needed any dental work at all except Sarah's orthodontist brace - very rare in this day and age considering the amount of sweets and fizzy drinks that their peers consume. Neither Nigel or I can boast that we got to their age without any fillings, that's for sure. Mind you fluoride in the toothpaste and the drinking water has also contributed to this difference 30-40 years down the line.

Because, when I booked the appointment six months ago, I didn't realise Nigel would be taking some leave from work, I booked the appointment for 8.15am so he'd be able to head straight off for work.

As you can imagine it was a bit of a pain having to drag everyone into town for that time on the first day of the half-term holidays.

Still it meant that we managed to visit the dentist, do all the little shopping bits and pieces in town, pick up some fabric (me on that one of course) and do some supermarket shopping before returning home around 10.45 - wow, can't you get so much more done when you get up in the morning!

So the rest of the day up to now has been doing some more cooking to refill that beautifully spring-cleaned empty freezer - shepherds pie base, chilli and lamb and garlic casserole simmering away as we speak.

The fabric photo shows my purchases - what looks like a fairly boring assortment of sand shades for my ongoing group ostrich, which is precisely what I'm going to do a bit more on now. I never did get that baby quilt sandwiched yesterday but it is draped over my sewing machine quietly reproving me for not sorting it out so that's still on my immediate to do list too :o)


The Calico Cat said...

Lamb & garlic casserole - do share more...

oh yeah, I have to know about Chili in the UK too - there are a wide range of variances on that stuff here in the states!

Sorry to hear about all that got ruined...

Good thing on the teeth...

Judy said...

Oh it's painfel even to see all that food go to waste!! Yikes what a loss. I can just imagine though the smell that permiates through all the food from the spirits.

I can bet that isn't a place that soaking brushes will ever be set again, huh? Keep them far from the freezer is the new rule!

The fabrics are lovely, one of my favorite colors to work with... the warm golden tans!!

Dormouse said...

Oh Anne, that is just heart-breaking after all your hard work. Horribly costly as well.

I have to confess that we've got brushes in a jar of cleaner on top of the freezer where we keep all the dog meat. I really must go and move it.

I do like your new fabrics. Very nice.

DubiQuilts said...

I feel so bad for you!

Someone in my family pulled the plug (accidental) and everything had to be tossed.

My husband is the cook in our family, wish I could send some food over to you.

Very nice fabric colors.

YankeeQuilter said...

Yikes...don't you hate it when you think you finally have things under control and then happens! Back to square one or, as in your case, standing in front of the range!

At least the dentist ended up well!


Ali Honey said...

Oh what a ghastly experience, what a waste of your time in particular, and when you were trying to be all prepared to save time later on. Keep smiling if you can.

Well done re the teeth.

Patti said...

Oh Ann - I'm so sorry! How awful to lose all that food. Sounds like you have an upbeat attitude about it now, but I bet it wasn't that way to begin with! Congrats on the good teeth report.

Clare said...

Know exactly how you feel!

Love those colours. Oh and can I have the recipe for the lamb casserole at some stage?

Carrie said...

I am so sorry to hear of your freezer tragedy!! And you're right - that usually ONLY happens when it's full. What a bummer!

I love the tan fabric, looks like something I'd pick out too!

Hope you're having a good week! God bless :)

Felicity said...

A lot of food went to waste but I'd be mad about all the time I'd wasted cooking it in the first place! (Yep, I'm too lazy to cook for the freezer!)
Booking an appointment for 8.15am sounds like something I'd do and regret it! My DH is a very early bird but bizarrely my teenagers are not ;)! We're going next week - hate, hate, hate dentists!