Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

sized freezer helped


Back in the day, the powers that be banned cyclamates because apparently they weren’t good for us or rats. Cancer potential or some such thing. Woodward’s, our go to store for everything from groceries to socks didn’t dispose of their cyclamate filled soda pop. They put them on sale twelve for $1.49 along with the similarly priced cans of cyclamate soaked fruit.

At the time, as a treat, my brother, sister and I were allowed one pop and one bag of potato chips on a Saturday night to eat while we watched Gilligan’s Island. No McDonald’s, no Friday night pizza, no Costco muffins, one bag of chips and one pop, once a week. When they went on sale at Woodward’s, Mom bought every can of pop and fruit in the store. Our kitchen cupboards were stacked floor to ceiling with root beer and canned peaches.

When we were raising our kids, they fared a little better than I did for food but our shopping list didn’t ever consist of very fancy cuts of meat. I could have written the book, one hundred ways to cook ground beef using nothing but a casserole dish and a tin of soup. No one suffered, we ate pretty well and it was “good enough”.

But now that we have less mouths to feed and more than two cents to our name,  we thought we would like to explore shopping for meat direct from the farmers. Years ago we were able to get a half a lamb from the island farm and it was delicious. But it filled our tiny wee freezer full and that eliminated any other freezing options for the entire winter.

Today, a quarter pig arrived through Craig’s connection on the big island. Butchered this week and straight into our new electric freezer. Knew to this, I had no idea how much space the meat would take, what types of meat we would get and really anything else about the process. I was mortified a tongue would show up. We are city folk just trying to eat better quality meat.

I know a few of my readers raise their own meat and don’t need to be hearing anything from me but for the rest of my friends who follow along and know as little we did.

We ordered one-quarter pig. It wasn’t cheap. Craig figures next time he will save money and do the butchering himself.. He likes to???????????

We traded our short ribs for extra bacon…

  • 5 packs of bacon totalling 3.32 pounds
  • 6 packs of Pork Stew totalling 3.32 pounds (great for E’s famous sweet and sour pork
  • 1 leg roast … 3.20 pounds
  • 1 shoulder roast…  3.20 pounds
  • 1 should steak..   2 pounds
  • 5 packs of bone in loin chops totalling 6.7 pounds

Yesterday, I had made as much room in the freezer as possible then checked with family and friends to reserve space in their city freezers if it was necessary. I vacuum sealed the newly arrived packages of meat with my handy-dandy food saver bought for just this kind of merriment and stacked the sealed gems with great skill and care.

Much like winning a game of tetris, it all fit. Having a decent

sized freezer helped

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

5 thoughts on “sized freezer helped

  1. Well done! If you keep it up it will become second nature. Fitting it all in I mean. If you, or Craig, try the butchering yourself, that will also become second nature, though I would leave the killing of the poor piggy to a professional; that is the hardest part. We butcher a deer or two every year, and have done forever; not difficult once you get the hang of it. Speaking of which, hanging it is vital, unless you like chewing on boot-like substances. I’ve not tried, but am sure you can find info on the Internet re: butchering. I am pretty sure the older editions, possibly the new ones too, of the Joy of Cooking, have a diagram for butchering different types of animals….thanks for the interesting post.

    • I am not butchering anything!!! I can’t even kill a fish! or a mouse for that matter. I am of faint heart. Truth be told I can’t even eat meat on the bone.. I am a whimp…. Craig however, loves to hunt, and kill deer, bear, just about anything.. He loves to do the butchering himself, has been doing it his whole life…. When I was first married, I took my shower gift of The Joy of Cooking and ripped out the pages that showed how to skin a rabbit….. I am a whimp!!!!

      • Well, it is not for everyone that’s for sure! I don’t think that you are a wimp though. I don’t actually kill the deer, but I have been know to cut them up. We draw the line at deer though; not into bears other than watching the live ones at a distance once in a blue moon. Your reply is pretty entertaining by the way! Thanks…

  2. When we got our larger propane fridge in 2011 it came with a nice sized freezer. We were used to just enough space in our old one for two ice cube trays (got to have ice for our cocktail hour) and a few pieces of wrapped meat from the store. Ice cream was definitely out of the question. Does your electric freezer take much power? We are solar backed up with a generator in the winter. – Margy

    • Same, we are solar backed up with a generator. This year we added more panels and bigger batteries to handle whatever should come up in the future. E figures the fridge uses 800 watts per day. When we left for five days at Christmas the batteries went from 86-82 percent, I doubt there was much sun topping things up while we were gone… It was a lot of money, But I want to get propane out of our lives.! We are looking forward to having room for icecream this summer. But my friend has a really cool recipe for homemade icecream that you can make without an icecream maker… Ill post it, if I remember… hugs

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