The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Freezer disaster


We have two freezers. One at the bottom of our fridge freezer in our larder and the other lives in our barn.

The later is fuelled by electricity that runs from the plug in the larder. The cable goes out of the window and finishes beside the upright small chest freezer thirty yards away.

It’s a perfect setup as long as no one jiggles the cable.

This morning Danny had bought a half price free range Gressingham duck from Tesco for Sunday lunch (always eaten in the evening). I knew that we had Victoria plums in the barn freezer and offer to fetch some to stuff the duck.

When I lifted the lid of the freezer I could see that something was very wrong. I usually struggle to mini defrost this freezer. Removing the ice from beneath the lid with a wooden spoon.

Today the contents had dropped. I could have stored a suckling pig in the cavity. There was very little ice.

We now are heads down cooking up the defrosted meat. We enjoyed minted lamb kebabs for lunch. Tomorrow and the next day it will be Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon for lunchtime sandwiches. I have just turned off a slow cooked Spring game casserole in the slow cooker. Danny will finally be making home made sausages tomorrow evening whilst pork and veal meatballs simmer in the slow cooker. On Tuesday we will be making salami.

Meanwhile the Newmarket Computer Company have discovered that my sickly laptop needs a new hard drive. They can also copy my files to the new one. As these are not backed up (shame ?) I’m going to use their services and hopefully I  might have my laptop back under my fingertips very soon.

Meanwhile this post is from a borrowed laptop so just time to write a bit but not answer comments or emails. Many apologies.

  Leave a reply


  1. Jo@LittleFfarm Dairy

    I sympathise, wholeheartedly.

    This week (just before my parents arrived for a week’s holiday, absolutely laden with food including many chilled & frozen goodies) both fridge & freezer in the kitchen abruptly packed up; the freezer going first then the freezer icing up massively before quietly ccughing & dying in support of its erstwhile chum. Luckily we have a cold room & other freezers – but far from ideal.

    And earlier this year Tony’s laptop packed up completely, just when we needed to access some crucial infomation secreted in the depths of the hard drive. Nightmare.

    However at least I haven’t had laryngitis….yet. Oooerrr, perhaps that’s tempting fate….?!

    Get well soon my friend – & hope that your freezer & laptop are similarly restored, ASAP.

  2. Veronica

    oh dear! Still, you can look forward to lots of fab home-cooked ready meals in future!

    And good news about the laptop — hopefully it won’t be too expensive to fix (hard drives are cheap these days). If you have broadband, maybe you should look into an online backup service for the future? I’m just trying out, which looks excellent and you get 2GB free.

  3. kate (uk)

    Oh dear…but then, a chance to really sort the freezer out, if it is anything like mine, a rare event!

  4. Joanna

    Once our freezer was off for four days due to a power cut caused by a snow storm. So we had to start using the stuff up – thank goodness for a Wamsler solid fuel cooker, only trouble was that we had to keep the temperature low as we didn’t have the electric to pump the water around and it was in danger of overheating if it was turned up to high. I remembered having slow cooked lamb with prunes one meal. Wished we had our Wamsler now but it is not much use in a small flat but the heat would be lovely in winter when they won’t turn the heat on in our cold Soviet flat.

  5. sebbie

    Oh dear.

    When we went on honeymoon my parents came to check on the house for us. In mums house all the important sockets are below the worksurface and without thinking she switched all our above the worksurface sockets off.

    It proved a very expensive mistake for her – she replaced the entire contents of our freezer before we got back. We were delighted because all our cheap produce was replaced with M&S goodies. I don’t envy your marathon cooking session although I’m sure the results will be delicious.


  6. Michelle in NZ

    So, so sympathise.

    Dad’s brother, Phil, has clear instructions for locking/shutting up their holiday home.

    Only once their eldest daughter misunderstood and not only turned off the power to the house, but to basement as well = no power to chest freezer with much recently caught fish.

    In an understatement – when discovered it was all very stinky.

    So relieved you found out about your chest freezer promptly, hope there is healthy freezer space for all the results from your super human cooking efforts.

    xxxxx Michelle and Zebby

  7. arggg no thats one of my worst nightmares! we have a huge chest freezer in the inside storeroom & a smaller on in the outsde one,the newer one had to go inside as they dont these days(due to less gas in them I believe,)better for the enviroment but makes them more sensitive to temperature change~ the one thats outside is pretty ancient sturdy thing. What we get here is power cuts, chests will keep ok for 24 hours some say..I dont chance it though so if its a over a couple of hours then we get the generator out.

    It would be lovely to know if there was anyone that without exception preserved all their produce the old ways & didnt even have a freezer,for me thats just too hard to comtemplate certainly with 2 smalls,I am non stop all day as it is~weak giggle~ :o)

    Today I have been shelling the first lot of peas so they have been bagged & into the freezer hurrah!
    GTM x x x

  8. magic cochin

    Drat and double drat!!! It was lucky you found out before the contents were beyond saving!

    I can picture the hive of industry at CS this week. You’ll both deserve a large glass of your favourite tipple while relaxing in the garden after all that cooking!


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