But anyway–you probably know that Jenny Craig is a program where you’re supposed to eat THEIR FOOD, which comes to your house mostly in frozen, single-serve packages. I’ve been on the program (for the second time) since November and am only ten pounds away from my goal.
But after several months on these meals, you begin to get a little queasy every time you look at one of those distinctive packages. I mean, even the foods I LIKED were beginning to taste bland and not-so-good. Plus, once you hit the mid-point, you are officially allowed to begin working in foods of your own choosing, as long as you mind your calorie count and don’t go hog wild.
One more thing you should know–this Jenny Craig food isn’t cheap–it’s about double the price of a lean cuisine on sale.
Okay–so as of last week I had about a month’s worth–probably more–Jenny Craig foods in my garage freezer. I had also been filling the freezer with all the cupcakes and cakes I was baking in my latest baking obsession. Stacks of cakes and bag after bag of cupcakes and muffins, all just waiting for the plate in the kitchen to clear so I could set out some different goodies.
But Tuesday afternoon, as I went out to the garage to get a Jenny Craig lunch, I noticed that the box was a little soggy. Hmmm. Went out again and noticed that all the boxes stored in the doors were soft . . . not a good thing for cardboard. I decided that my hubby (who’s been eating the JC meals, too), had left the door partially open, as he is wont to do. (What is it with men and drawers/doors? My son leaves things open, too.)
So I closed the door up tight and when whistling on my way. Near dinner time, however, I went out again, and even MORE packages were soggy. Hmmm. The lower shelves were soggy, the upper shelves were still cold and ice-covered. Furthermore, the lower shelves were WET, because the accumulated ice had begun to melt. Uh oh.
So my hubby was off the hook and I decided that the freezer was dying. When one purchases a freezer, one knows that the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Murphy’s Law all decree that this freezer will one day die, probably when stuffed full of food. But you buy the freezer anyway, hoping that the appliance will die during someone else’s lifetime.
So–what to do? I grabbed all those soggy packages and stuffed them into the kitchen refrigerator–the freezer side, which did not have a lot of room to spare. I kept running back to the garage to check on the items on the top shelf, which included the Christmas Ham we didn’t eat, so I was saving it for Easter. With a $35 price tag still on the ham, I wasn’t about to let it go bad. Unfortunately, every time I opened the door, what cold air there was promptly spilled into the stifling garage.
Finally, I hit upon a brilliant idea–set a little cup of water in the freezer, close the door, and leave it for a while. If the water froze, the freezer would live and I simply needed to replace everything. If the water didn’t freeze, I was in trouble.
In the mean time, I went online to read about what can be safely re-frozen and what can’t. Discovered that all those soggy packages probably needed to be pitched, as they contained meat and I had no way of knowing how long they’d been thawed. The cakes and un-iced cupcakes would be okay, as would the English muffins and loaves of bread.
After a couple of hours, I checked my cup of water . . . still very liquid, so I called all the home improvement stores in town and asked who could deliver a new freezer TOMORROW. Only one answered in the affirmative–Lowe’s. So I ran down to Lowes, plopped down the charge card, and bought a new freezer.
Rushed home, where the hubster helped me sort through soggy boxes. I thought that our homeowners insurance would cover the ruined food, so I began to toss boxes with a lighter heart. (Later, I discovered that my company doesn’t cover food in freezers if the freezer dies a normal death. If someone had come in and STOLEN all my Jenny Craig foods, however, I’d be covered. Ha. )
This morning, while sweeping up water from the defrosting OLD freezer, I picked up a 40 pound bag of dog food to move it away from the puddle . . . and the bottom burst. While I tried to sweep up all those little kibbles, Babe stood by my side, eating for all she was worth. Sigh.
So right now the old freezer is gone, the new one is cooling, and my kitchen fridge is stuffed with foods that MUST BE EATEN ASAP. But I don’t know . . . the thought of eating a package that has been gushy leaves me feeling . . . gushy in the stomach.
And so that’s the latest domestic diva report. I console myself with this thought: someday this will make a great chapter in a book. 🙂