The pancakes could be the death of you

ImageIt’s a big fat sausage! A jalapeño cheddar brat from Dublin Jerky (a local meat shop). Where I also picked up some NY Strip at cost…you know what cost is…4.39 lb. The Husband was a bit shocked when I bought the whole slab he thought we were getting a “few” steaks. Love me some discount meats. 

Last week was the 4th of July holiday, meaning a visit to the Grandma’s house for fireworks, fires, overly tired screaming children and spoiled food.

This holiday was no disappointment in any of those categories.

We went visiting a the week before the holiday. My grandma asked me to pull some random food item out of her mini-freezer. Some form of pre-cooked meat product that she decided we needed to eat, that was more than likely questionable before it was cooked, then sat around at least a week in the refrigerator before it even made it into the freezer. Upon opening the freezer it was discovered that the freezer broke down and everything was thawed.


This thing had been off for at least four days, if not an entire week. The melted water in the bottom of the freezer was lukewarm. It was the same temperature of a glass of water that sat out for four hours.

I inform my grandma of this catastrophe, she begins to lament about the broken freezer my saying “HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!” Well…It’s a freezer from Montgomery Ward. They went out of business in the late 1990’s, in the odd chance it was bought around the time they went out of business the freezer would have been 16 years old. A pretty good run for any small appliance, however this tiny freezer was no ordinary freezer. Oh no. This thing was a trooper. As I learned that this freezer was purchased using my dad’s employee discount when he worked in the appliance sales department of the local Montgomery Ward department store. My dad had moved on to the small electronics business working for Shock Electronics about two years before I was born…I’m going to be 32 this summer.

It broke because it’s a 34 year old mini freezer, that’s how that happened.

I start pulling out soggy, spoiled, thawed food. On a good note it was not so thawed that it smell like rotted food yet, just a faint odor. I pulled out something indistinguishable my grandma yells “Quick! Get that in the freezer!”


She then told me that “it’s all still good” and it will “refreeze just fine.”


No, once something is that thawed and sat in 80 degree weather for a few days, it’s done. You just sigh about the food going in to the garbage and you toss it.

Instead my grandma argued with me over every item I pulled out. One of the more amusing items (that I conceded in letting her keep) was a box of ice cream sandwich bars. The box was soggy and falling apart, the cardboard box was staring to desinigrate from sitting in a puddle of melted freezer juices. The internal individually packed ice cream sandwiches were melty puddles in bags. My grandma ranted about how they would re-freeze just fine. I grabbed the falling apart cardboard box brought it to her, opened it and poked at one of the ice cream sandwich wrappers where the internals sloshed around like a belly after drinking a 64 oz Slurppee. I said “It’s gone, there’s nothing left to save,” poking the bag of melted mush each time to accentuate my statement.

Eventually I gave in and tossed them in the working freezer, figuring that if anyone came across them thinking they were going to get a tasty frozen treat would know by how the “ice cream sandwich bars” were more of a frozen slop pile would know something had happened to them and would be eating them at their own risk.

I then grabbed a package of hamburger. It had already turned that weird brown color and started to omit a foul oder. I walked over to the garbage. Grandma knew what I was doing, she started to protest buy before she could say anything I tossed it in the trash. I heard her say “All that good food….gone….”

The problem with that thought it that it’s no long good food.

Grandma then decided to try and stop my food purge and made her way to her freezer in an an attempt to stop me from throwing everything out. There was a brief battle of wills, which I won, only for the simple fact that I am more mobil and can walk to the garbage can quicker. I conceded on a few items, even if I still felt they were beyond saving just to make sure the things that might kill a person ended up the garbage can.

I then warned everyone staying in the house what items those were. One of those items was a brand new box of Schwan’s frozen pancakes.

When we were up for the 4th of July holiday, Grandma saw me whipping up some pancakes.  When she saw me she started in about how she had some pancakes already made up in the freezer and I shouldn’t do all that work of fixing breakfast.

Then I cut open the bag of mix and dumped it in the bowl saying “oh, look, I already opened the bag, now I have to make the pancakes.”

I’m not getting suckered into those thawed and re-frozen pancakes, who knows what surprises they made hold.


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