Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Grandmother's Freezer

Grandmother had a big “deep freeze” down in her basement. Actually, she had two, but this is the one I tend to remember, because it was there the longest.

I wish I had a picture of her basement pantry, too. She was always prepared to feed any number of people with her multiple freezers and many shelves full of food. I remember when some friends of ours decided to just stop by her house, unannounced, because they figured that way they would save her the trouble of fixing a meal, which she was sure to offer if they had called ahead and planned a visit.

So they just showed up to say hello. Of course she insisted they stay to lunch. I can’t remember what they told me they ate, but it was a full meal with several dishes, bread, etc.

She was just that way.

So, this freezer was at the bottom of the stairs. You can see the staircase on the left side, actually. She would send us down to bring up corn on the cob, or frozen fruit, or a pie shell, or some cut of meat. It was freezing in that freezer! I remember having to stop and warm my fingers up before I could resume looking for something.

Two things amaze me about the freezer. No, three.

First, I’m amazed at how much she cared about people, and how she showed that so concretely in her preparing of food. I don’t know many people who do that today. As much as I admire the trait and love it when I can manage a “real” meal for my husband or for company, I can only hope to someday do it the way she did.

Second, I’m amazed at how well she remembered what all she had in stock! She had these two deep freezes in the basement, as well as a freezer upstairs by the kitchen. And somehow she could tell us which freezer to search for which food, and often she knew which side of the freezer it would be on. Just amazing.

Third, I’m amazed at how well her freezers worked. Just tonight—April 25, 2007—I opened a jar of apple butter that my dad brought to me after Grandmother’s death. (That means it’s been in my freezer for at least three years, so I have to add that I’m amazed it survived so well in our somewhat puny freezer, too.)

But as you can see, this jar was put in her freezer in 1992! And that apple butter is still delicious! (It was unopened until tonight.)

I remember her talking once about wanting to make some apple butter, so I have reason to believe she made this herself, probably with some help.

So, we’re still feeling her love through her cooking. I think that’s pretty amazing.


Carolinagirl said...

I wanted to ask if you have moved that freezer into your place.

Sheila said...

No, the freezer stayed in the house, if I remember correctly. I did get to see the basement a few months ago, but I can't remember for sure if the freezer was still there. The people who live there now are precious, by the way. I've had two visits to the house since they moved in.

Lisa said...

Hey Sheila -- I'm pretty sure the freezer stayed there. I think Daddy said that the stairs were built after the freezer was put in and that they couldn't figure out a way to get the freezer out without taking off the banister.

I have great memories of that first Christmas after Grandmother passed away. So much of the food was prepared from things from her freezer.

I think I still have some pecans. :-)

Sheila said...

I still have some nuts, too. I think mine are walnuts. And I have that big water bottle that she used to keep in the freezer. We just got a new fridge/freezer --yea!!! the old one had broken shelves that fell down easily, and it leaked for more than a year before we got the new one--Anyway, I like having that old water bottle in there, adding a touch of class to the newness.

Gioietta said...

That is truly wonderful, Sheila. I would have tears, happy tears too, knowing you get to savor your grandmothers cooking still today, more than a decade since she's freezed the applebutter :)

Lawrence Underwood said...

Yep, the freezer was before the stairs. Try as we might, we could not figure a way to get the freezer out. And, it tells you something about appliances of the past. They were made to last!