Frozen Things

I seem to be attracted to frozen things, items, concepts, words, and images.

If you have the time and patience, it is well worthwhile to research refrigeration. It’s been around for quite sometime, although the new “compact” versions for the home are fairly recent.

Well, at least I remember having an icebox when I was young. Perhaps we were just poor and I didn’t know it. Hmm, we didn’t have television, we had a party-line telephone, and we had an icebox. Yep, we were poor in finance, rich in spirit.

The icebox was great to keep things cool. I think the water vapor as the ice melted added a little something extra to the lettuce. The milk bottle always had beads of perspiration, and of course it was delivered fresh every other day. The Iceman Cometh twice a week.

The chips of ice in the street combined with the tar of the asphalt and made a cold chewing gum. How our teeth and gums survived that I do not know.

But frozen food? Nope, that was a mystery. The supermarkets began to have frozen food but it was for the upper crust that had refrigerators. Now, even if you did have a refrigerator the freezer compartment held two ice trays and room for one frozen pea package, and two frozen corn. I’m not sure that anything else was available frozen.

We had corn and peas growing in the backyard, but I dreamed of the day that we could have frozen vegetables. So… modern, inventive and fresh (frozen).

Several years later we had a black and white TV with rabbit ears. More like Jurassic Park rabbits, because the ears were monstrous whip antennas. Much of my youth was spent being the channel changer (five channels, but the adults never watched two of them), and the antenna adjustor. The adjusting mostly ended with me watching the program from the back, while upside down, while holding on for dear life.

I was still thrilled, it was my television, and the images were sharp and clear because of my efforts, even if they were upside down.

On the refrigerator side of things, the freezer compartment was much larger. Large enough for four TV dinners. What? How perfect!

We also had this great cart that stored six folding TV trays. All that was necessary was to sit comfortably, unwrap the heavy tin foil lid and eat from the nifty compartments. Don’t want your food touching other foods? This was perfect, the gravy never mixed with the cranberry sauce!

Is having food mixing a real thing? It all ends up in the same place! Or perhaps it is a distant memory of a perfect time when foods were served in compartments?

I loved my frozen foods! Then a miracle happened, my father fell victim to a TV commercial. One years worth of frozen foods delivered twice a year. So much cheaper to buy in bulk, and, get this, a brand new “deep” freeze delivered with the food FREE.

The most powerful word in the English language. This was “deep” because you were in danger of falling in to pick up that last frozen steak. It was big, so big that it deserved a room of its own. Most families had to put it in the garage.

For the first time we felt pretty well off because we had a laundry room off the kitchen that was almost the width of the house. The washing machine shared it with about thirty tropical fish tanks.

Heck with the fish, they migrated to other rooms, even the bathroom. We placed that shiny white coffin of frozen food just a step away from the kitchen. I mention it as a coffin because it was certainly possible to fall in and have lid lock down on you. And if a certain child would actually get in to see how cold it was, and when the light goes off… well, no need to buy an extra coffin.

I never really talked with my parents about the twice a year delivery of frozen food but it was fabulous for me. No worries about food, we had six months worth right there. We had tubs of ice cream, tons of TV dinners. We had peas and corn, forget the garden.

I was hooked on frozen. Years later I realized the quality of frozen words in time. Books that captured frozen ideas, photos that captured frozen moments. It all made sense, I was addicted to the thaw of frozen things.