Monday, November 28, 2011

Midwinter food additions

My in-laws are completely incapable of sending us home without tons of food. Don't get me wrong, this is not a complaint. In fact, when I know they have excess, I ask for some of it.
So we now have two coolers on our back porch full of more fish and more moose meat (mostly ground, with a couple of roasts to top it off). We also got an enormous grocery bag full of potatoes. At Christmas, we'll see how all of this is doing and get more if necessary.
Shane's dad was worried about if we'd have enough freezer space for it. Shane laughed and said, "Dad, it's Fairbanks. My freezer is bigger than the house." In most parts of Alaska, there's the worry about bears if food is left outside. However, Fairbanks is magically situated so that most black and brown bears stay south of us, but polar bears are still way north. Of course, foxes are still a problem (the last time I was at the feed store, someone was buying a fox trap) and in the outlying areas wolves can also be pesky. But here in town, in a fenced backyard, our food should be fine. The only pest we have to worry about is the dog, who was sniffing it interestedly this morning. When I told Shane to keep an eye on her he said, "But it's frozen! Not much smell should be coming off of it. Are you sure she's not just curious?" I answered, "It's Pepper. She smells the food."
Since it's in coolers, we don't have to worry about it getting too frozen either.
I have thought that someday it might be nice to put our chest freezer on wheels so that we can roll it outside during the winter and then don't have to pay the electricity to keep it going. There's a lock on it, so we wouldn't have to worry about having our stored food stolen. But I'm not sure how good that would be for the freezer, and we couldn't do that right now because the back door isn't big enough. The other option is that if we have a garage of our own we can stick it out there, where it at least won't have to work as hard to stay cool.
We don't keep all of our food on the back porch for several reasons. I already listed the dog, whose sense of smell and desire for food shouldn't be underestimated. The other is simply that it's not all that convenient. Would you want to stand outside at -40 deciding what to have for dinner? Or try choosing the right pack of meat in the dark? Neither do we. If, toward the end of winter, we eat down the freezer to the point that it's not worth the electricity, and as long as it's not getting above freezing, we'll probably load food into the coolers and put them outside to conserve the power (and money!). For now, though, it just wouldn't be convenient to do for all of our freezer food.
Ah, the list of things I want to do "one day". I'm sure this is true for most people, but I still shake my head at myself sometimes. I think I'll spend most of my life waiting for "one day" to arrive.

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