Richard was really my hero yesterday. He went out to our large freezer that we keep in the “cat house” (so named because, when we had two cats, they claimed this outbuilding as their own). One of the great losses of our lives in Coker Creek was silently creeping into our reality, and we would not have known it until it was too late without Richard’s foraging for fish in our freezer.
Our freezer was in the process of a mysterious meltdown! My twenty-five pounds of head-on Gulf shrimp, months of Jack’s banana peppers that we had so lovingly pared and blanched for use in interesting hors d’oeuvres, gallons of greens and Buffy’s beans all at the edge of annihilation. Richard was clearly on the verge of panic – I don’t know if this was because he could see all of these culinary creations of the past year being hauled to the dump, or because he really feared my meltdown, along with that of the freezer. Richard never really panics, but he does get close occasionally.
It seems that all this winter’s rain and snow not only dampened the earth and her inhabitants, it also shorted out the electrical cord connecting the freezer to the source of its power. This should have been a simple, fast fix – plug in another extension cord, right? This is easier said than done when the freezer in question is several hundred feet from the closest electrical outlet.
Not only is that, but the power to the cat house is in a daisy chain from the house to the RV to the cat house freezer. Nothing that hooks up to an RV is of the household variety; therefore, no maintenance or repair parts are available anywhere near locally. This would be the case even if we lived in a major metropolis, but it is even less likely that we’ll find parts within a one hundred mile radius living on a mountain top in the forest in South East Tennessee.
Richard was able to locate enough power tool extension cords connected to his various projects to temporarily get juice flowing back into our treasure trove of frozen foods while he went in search of heavy duty electrical cord repair parts. All the while, there was nothing I could do but stay at my computer avoiding the issue. I just couldn’t bear to face the freezer facts.
With great trepidation, after several hours of denial, I finally determined to go see if I could do some damage control. Richard had said that there was still ice on some of the shelves even though the food felt defrosted to him. There was some slim hope that I could carefully salvage at least a bit of our bounty by immediately cooking it and inviting all our neighbors over for a food frenzy feast, like we’re used to doing after the freezers defrost in the power outages connected to hurricanes.
I took a garbage bag with me on the hundred yard walk; I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. I slowly opened the freezer, expecting the worst. My eyes went immediately to my treasured jumbo shrimp. They were not only still solidly frozen; they hadn’t even melted and refrozen into a great glob. If the shrimp were still individually frozen, the rest couldn’t be too bad. I looked for reasons for Richard’s report of impending dietary doom. A couple of sugary sauces were indeed still soft, but they never get solidly frozen. Our friends will just have to wait for their food fantasies to be sated, one dinner delight at a time.