What’s in Your Freezer?

Forget the wallet. There’s nothing in there but club cards to stores I frequent. What’s in the freezer is a much more interesting topic.

Certain current and former colleagues will recall a Christmas party at our house at which we revealed little freezer bags filled with skinned squirrels, frozen in all their scrawny nakedness. The ensuing conversation revolved around all the staff members who had ever eaten squirrel. Based on the number of people who had eaten squirrel, one would not have thought that we were advanced degreed educators living a mere hour from the sophistication of Washington D.C.

In our defense, I must say that those squirrels ended up in a very tasty French recipe,soaked for three days in cognac. Ok, I personally couldn’t eat the meat,having watched the squirrels splayed on the ping pong table being skinned, but it was quite a flavorful stew.

Then there was our (third) daughter’s wedding where the groom had to be warned not to open the green trash bag in the mancave freezer. It contained a decapitated deer head, with antlers of course, awaiting a trip to the taxidermist. The deer, in all it’s taxidermied glory, now watches over football games wearing a Raven’s cap. The freezer is currently available for things like ice cubes.

My niece’s husband recently got a deer with a very nice rack on it and he wondered if he could store the head in our freezer. Ha ha, no. John suggested he put it in his father-in-law/my brother’s freezer. I’m guessing that went well…I haven’t heard yelling from my brother yet.

Our currant unorthodox freezer arrangement involves bee hives. Bee hives can not just sit around in the mud room. Critters like them. Ants, for starters. And wax moths, for keeps. After spinning the honey in July, the honey box sat in the mud room for a little while. To ensure that no unauthorized squatters had taken up residence, Mr. Beekeeper put the frames on ice. A little time locked in the freezer will kill off unwanted pests.

The difference between freezer storage versus fridge storage is that stuff can stay in the freezer indefinitely. It might get freezer burn, but it doesn’t get moldy or liquefy and drip into every inaccessible crevice. It sits there gathering ice crystals until you have to make room for something else. It may be inedible, but it doesn’t smell bad. Hey, my mom used to put garbage in the freezer so it wouldn’t stink up the trash.

The current batch of hive frames will be ousted soon. We have a dead hive whose hive box has been taken over by wax moths that need to die. Freezer as execution chamber. Some people store dead stuff in the freezer till trash night. Others store stuff in the freezer to kill it off.

So what’s in your freezer? And don’t tell me it is full of apple pies and peach cake. I will believe you but I will be bored.

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Gobble, gobble

This part of Maywood is photo-enforced!  Thanks to Tim McQuaid for these photos.

This part of Maywood is photo-enforced! Thanks to Tim McQuaid for these photos.

There’s more gobbling going on at Maywood than just me eating up the Easter candy. It’s turkey hunting season. For the first time, Maywood Man is taking on the turkey.

We’ve lived here for…gulp…twenty years and the first turkey John saw was last year. I was dumbfounded when I saw a couple of wild turkeys a few years ago, and my father-in-law was the next to see one. But they have been scarce.

Well, they are shy and have excellent vision, so they are likely to see us first and avoid us. Usually our turkey sightings have been from inside the house. That’s where I was when I saw our dog chase after a turkey, who charged down our driveway like it was an airstrip and took off with great lumbering wingflaps over the trees. It was amazing, like watching an ostrich fly.

Maywood Man has been getting up in the wee pre-dawn hours to call in the turkey. His turkey caller (a disc scraped with a wooden stick) sounds not unlike nails on a blackboard…or certain family members when they get squawking. The annoying sound is supposedly a real come-on for the Toms. They come toward the screeching in search of a mate. Again, not unlike certain family members. He almost got one..a turkey, that is. The young male came walking right toward him. Fifteen feet away, Maywood Man aimed (sort of) and missed.

photo by Tim McQuaid's field camera at Maywood

photo by Tim McQuaid’s field camera at Maywood

A few days later, a turkey sauntered across the top of the driveway while we were grilling dinner. Clearly taunting us. We were chatting with Tim, one of the hunters who had stopped by to change the batteries on his field camera. This was Tim’s first glimpse of a turkey at our place. That is, until he got home and viewed the pictures on the field camera. The corn he had set out for the deer turned into a gathering spot for a few gobblers.

A certain family member who shall remain unnamed wondered how a camera strapped to a tree could get such great photos.
“It’s a motion activated camera.”

“Yeah, but the birds are so well centered in the photos.”

“It’s a motion activated camera.  It takes a picture when something is in the viewfinder.”  It took awhile for that to sink in to her turkey brain.  Nevertheless, she has a point.  The camera on a tree took some pretty good pictures.

No bird to cook on the grill yet. In the meantime, I’m rather stuffed myself from MarySue Easter Eggs.

Turkey selfie.  But the photo is  courtesy of Tim McQuaid & his field cameral.

Turkey selfie. But the photo is courtesy of Tim McQuaid & his field camera.