IFAD #2: multipurposed freezers

I suppose domestic freezers are intended for preservation of edibles, but IFAD contributors demonstrate there are plenty of good uses for the cold-making technology – even after the freezer’s congealing powers have ceased.

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Maureen Abbott, a Dawson City fine art painter, notes that freezing her palette – and sometimes even a canvas-in-progress – extends the lifespan of the paint’s malleability.

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note the palette on the 2nd shelf. the other thing I love about this pic is how Maureen's in-progress portait of one of her sons rests above a freezerful of tasty, locally hunted caribou & salmon

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A “total repurposing” freezer story that puts a retired rectangle to good use. From Amanda McMillan, Herminie, Pennsylvania.


Inspired by local horse stables, my mom is retiring our hard-working freezer to greener pastures at their 95-acre farm. This freezer – which used to preserve, depending on the season, fresh venison, a dozen peach pies, green beans, home-pressed cider, or gallons of ice cream – will now be happily unplugged and home for 200 pounds of oats.

The freezer seals out mice and other hungry critters (including too-curious horses) and seals in a relatively stable temperature that keeps oats fresh for our equine friends throughout the summer and winter seasons. We hope our freezer enjoys the rest and retirement.

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from Sarah Walker, in Arles, France (my sis!) comes this tale of using a freezer to survive a hot summer night while on a holiday in Croatia:

It’s HOT. I’ve never been this hot, it seems. I’m lying on a narrow bed in a cramped room in Dubrovnik, Croatia. There is no fan, and although the window is open and it’s past midnight, not a hint of breeze is stirring the heavy, humid air. How will I ever sleep??

Jana and I arrived in the early afternoon and negotiated our way through the throng of people offering rooms to the wilted travellers getting off the bus. We ended up in this little flat, high up above the old town in a warren of stone buildings, all radiating the heat of the day. It’s not fancy, but clean enough. And, the owner invited us to feel free to use the fridge as needed.

This last suggestion gives Jana an idea. As a Czech, used to living in medieval towns with little greenery, she has learned a few cool-down tricks along the way. She pulls the top sheet of my bed and hers, and proceeds to the bathtub. Whaat?, says Sarah. I help her soak the sheets, wring them out and then… sneak into the dark kitchen and stuff them into the already rather full freezer compartment! Ten minutes later, we pull them out, quickly lie back down and drape the deliciously cool sheets over us – absolute heaven.

The game then is to fall asleep before the sheet warms up or dries out… or you have to start all over again!

I never would have thought a damp sheet would be a blessing, or that a freezer could make or break a whole holiday. And so I raise a glass to freezers everywhere which have lightened the hearts of so many!

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and just because this exchange gave me a laugh – my favorite response to the “call for submissions” for IFAD, from two London artists:

Sunshine Frere: don’t you know, Londoners don’t have freezers, only tiny little fridges. ha haha.

Susan Westbrook: Such nonsense Sunshine, of course we have freezers. We don’t put anything in them, just chip out a teaspoon or so of ice when we don’t feel like going to work, scatter it on the pavement and presto! City shuts down for two days!

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