Old Mother Hubbard


Is my freezer always at bursting point with stuff I will never eat? When I go shopping I seem to buy not only for my wife and I but for the freezer... like it’s an actual person who needs feeding. “Ooooh, lark’s tongues. I’ll put those in the freezer. Yum, anchovy and chocolate mousse. Looks so interesting. I can freeze it.” The result of all this largesse is my fridge is crammed full with stuff that in the cold light of day I don’t want to eat. Conversely, I feel guilty about throwing out food, so this abundance just sits there.

...and another thing

My mother was the same. She hoarded in the freezer, everything from half a lemon via a button size piece of uncooked pastry to tripe whose price ticket when she died in 2008 was still in Pounds Shillings and Pence (the UK decimalised it’s currency in February 1971).

When The Daily Express was running a huge story in the 1980’s on the hunt for Dr. Josef Mengele, a Nazi war criminal spotted everywhere from Brazil to Borneo but no one could actually find him, I half suspected to find him to be hiding in our freezer.

...and another thing

Why do supermarkets who at last understand that not all shoppers are buying for large families and therefore provide fresh foodstuff in individual portions or at least for couples, think that anyone who owns a freezer has a family of 100 all on child benefits?

In general, not only is the quality just this side of crap, but the amounts offered are staggering.

Botulism burgers…100 in a pack, salmonella prawns, 50 in a box, rubber cheesecakes, three to a box, each the size of manhole covers.

Yes, I know I could buy the decent stuff on offer that’s fresh and freeze it, but slow freezing really impairs quality. Meat forms ice crystals in the tissue and hey presto, your decent cut of lamb when defrosted tastes more like kangaroo.

...and another thing

Not only does freezer stuff taste like bad 1960’s food, it looks like it. If you work in food packaging design and specialise in freezer… sorry but it’s the dead end of design.

It’s all garish colours, big letters, terrible photographs. You open a freezer chest and are faced with a smorgasbord of the work of bottom of the class designers and copyrighters.

“Algernon, love the haircut, avant garde clothes and the fact you read The Guardian, but these designs… let’s just say it’s ice chest work for you. You can team up with Igor, a language learning student who is also a copywriter.”

...and another thing

I can’t even persuade my two dogs to empty my freezer. If I open it and take something out and start preparing it, four eyes stare up at me.

“We love you buddy but make us eat that and we gonna crap in the house and eat a couple of carpets…”

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