What’s In Your Freezer, and How Long Has It Been There?
Freezers were made for storing stuff for long periods of time but there is a limit.
This is not a new revelation, more of a realization.
How long has it been since you dug deep into your freezer and found food that was long past its "good by" date? For me, the answer to that question is a few days. However, prior to the weekend, the answer would be a few years. Yes, a few years.
I knew there was a bag of chicken wings in the freezer for the longest time, there was never the right time to pull them out and fix them. The right time came recently when I was struck with the notion of having some barbecued wings. I even picked up a brand new bottle of hickory smoked barbecue sauce for the occasion.
I'll admit, I was feeling slightly excited for these fresh out of the oven barbecue wings while watching some college basketball. I turned the oven on to preheat, set out a cookie sheet for baking, and pulled the bag of wings from the freezer. It had never been opened.
Like a little kid opening a bag of candy corn, I ripped open the bag of wings and looked inside. Hmm ... the wings were white as snow. "Are frozen chicken wings supposed to look like this?" I wondered to myself. I pulled one out and gave it a sniff. "Are frozen chicken wings supposed to smell like this?" I mused.
Suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have a brand new bottle of hickory smoked barbecue sauce that will not be opened tonight. I scanned the label on the bag of chicken wings. There it was, "Best by 7/10/2017." My heart sank like a bowling ball in quicksand, as I realized barbecue chicken wings were not going to be on tonight's menu.
But, wait! Didn't I see a half bag of breaded boneless chicken in the freezer? Yes, it was still there! Oh, happy day! I pulled the bag from their frigid confines and looked anxiously at the date on the label. Holy heartbreak, Batman! The "best by" date was 3/20/2018. Too late, once again.
It was not in the stars for me to have barbecued chicken for dinner that night and I think my options at that point consisted of a frozen burrito or tomato soup. I opted for the burrito, but not before scouring the rest of the freezer for food that needed to be discarded.
Everything else seemed to be reasonably fresh with the exception of one package of ground turkey dated September 13, 2016.
Are you kidding me?
I've always known it was in there and I remember thinking many times, someday I'm going to fix that. Someday never came.
Perhaps this will inspire you to do a little excavating in your own freezer to see what ancient relics you might uncover. With any luck, you'll make some exciting discoveries before it's too late. Perhaps, like me, you'll find some food antiques that should have been eaten long ago. If this were December, I would seriously be considering making a new year's resolution to be a better man in the new year. But, I'm too late for that as well.