publickman

Freezer door open when we got back

Lars
12 days ago

We got back to L.A. yesterday evening but did not check the freezer in the garage until this morning, and Kevin discovered it with the door open. We don't know how long it has been open, but some of the food was still cold and some was already spoiled. I think we are going to have to throw most of it out, but I should be able to salvage things like flour, nuts, yeast, and some other things that are vacuum sealed.
I was hoping to be able to use a lot of the frozen vegetables that I had, but I don't think that will be possible. Maybe the frozen corn will be okay. I'm going to go through things this afternoon so see what the full damage is.
We're going back to Cathedral City tomorrow to stay for possibly two months, and I think we should be able to buy food there. I have not been to a store here yet since we got back. We were also surprised at how much traffic there was on our return trip. We expected the freeways to be nearly deserted (except for trucks), but that was not the case. There appeared to be only about a 30% reduction in traffic, but it was still light enough that we could travel at full freeway speeds, which we often cannot do.

Comments (81)

  • Lars

    I do need a toddler lock. I used to have those on my kitchen cabinet doors, to keep them from opening during earthquakes, but they got to be too annoying.

  • annie1992

    I'm sorry to hear that, Lars, besides being an inconvenience it's a shame when stores are so limited and so crowded. Given your health and Kevin's, I wouldn't chance trying to keep anything except the flours and nuts either, I think that's a wise choice on your part.

    I'm glad you get to stay in Cathedral City, it seems so much more peaceful from what you've said, and less stress is always better.

    Stay safe and stay well, my dear.


    Annie

    Lars thanked annie1992
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  • Elmer J Fudd

    Stores aren't too crowded or have limited supplies where I am, and I'm not that far from where Lars is.

    In Southern California and perhaps elsewhere in metro areas, after the first week's wave of panic reaction, there has been plenty of food in stores. Some items here and there can be sparse. They may not have X kind of bread but they have Y. Still bread. Not every kind of beef steak but I found steak, same with chicken. Maybe not A paper towels but they have B. I say this based on experiences of friends and phone calls to stores over the past few days. People aren't out foraging for food in the hills or trying to trap bunnies.

    We went for food this morning and got everything on our list and more, no problems with two stores. If infection rates increase, we may do delivery next time but there were no issues. The stores weren't crowded. Stores are limiting the number of people allowed in at once, and limiting quantities of the hoarded items. I think of it as required and non-negotiable consideration for others.

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • sealavender

    That stinks, Lars. Safe travels.


    Lars thanked sealavender
  • Lars

    That's good news, Elmer. I was going to go to Bristol Farms this morning, but then there was the freezer crisis. I can go to Bristol Farms in Palm Desert later this week, if I need to. I did expect store shelves to get back to somewhat normal after the original panic - how much food and TP can people hoard anyway? Eventually they will be saturated and then people can shop in a more normal way; i.e., without hoarding.

    It looks like I'm going to miss epiphyllum season this year, but at least my neighbor will be able to see the flowers, as she will be doing some watering for us while we are away. I'm going to take a couple of them with me, especially Connie Mayer, which is night blooming anyway, and it is already making some buds. I bought it because it makes purple flowers, and that is rare among epiphyllum, but unfortunately it only blooms at night and then the flowers close up before 10 or 11 am.

    ETA: We've pretty much figured out that the freezer died while we were gone and then the fermenting food caused gas that made the door open. Anyway, the freezer is dead and will not turn back on. I am going to convert the refrigerator in the garage into a freezer - it has a switch that will make the change, but I won't do it until we come back. Most of what was in the freezer is now in the garbage.

  • Elmer J Fudd

    Call the store branch of interest to you to find days and times. Vons/Pavillion/Albertsons have (not well enforced age-wise) but intended to be senior hours where I am Tu/Th, doors open at 7:00, that's where we went today for first shopping foray in a week. People mostly formed a polite line (safe distances) around 6:45. Whole Foods has such hours every day first thing. Target has some days and times, Ralphs too. Do check first for yourself to get it right, I'm at the coast and it may be different in the desert. Good luck.

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Olychick

    It's possible that the freezer burned itself out after being left open and running for days and days trying to cool the food. I've had a similar thing happen and it's especially heartbreaking if you've either grown your own food or shopped for special things and frozen them to use later. Hopefully, you won't have too much trouble restocking when you return.

    I now always lock my freezer and just put the key on the top of it so it's right there.

    Lars thanked Olychick
  • wildchild2x2

    So sorry this happened to you. With all the stress of sheltering in place, more difficulty shopping to replace lost items I agree with others ,the timing couldn't be much worse.

    Lars thanked wildchild2x2
  • chispa

    I am glad that most of the markets are posting signs that items are not returnable, which should hopefully dissuade the hoarders from buying more for the sake of buying, now that they won't be able to get money back when they don't have use for all the stuff they have hoarded.

    Most supermarkets in the LA area have a mix of stock. Lots of fruit and vegetables. Some meat. Lots of fish. No canned soup anywhere! Haven't seen any TP or paper towels, but I don't go to the market in the morning when they might actually have that stock. I prefer to go around dinner time when more people are home eating.

    Lars thanked chispa
  • Elmer J Fudd

    "Haven't seen any TP or paper towels, "

    We bought one package of each (that was the limit) this morning. They didn't have every type and size of every brand but there was a selection. Perhaps not later in the day.

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • chispa

    Thanks Elmer. We are good on both right now. I didn't have my usual stock due to some house projects we had going on, but enough to get us by, specially by changing our habits just a bit to conserve more.

    Lars thanked chispa
  • Lars

    Maybe I'll go to Bristol Farms in Westchester tomorrow morning to get some fish - they have the best fish market in my neighborhood, and I've not found a great fish market in Coachella Valley.

  • Elmer J Fudd

    There's also some of this nonsense still going on. If the news account is correct, over 1000 people waiting in line for senior hours at Costco in Santee. No thanks. There were maybe 30 at Vons I was at anticipating opening, no one waiting and no crowd at 7:30 at another one I made a quick second stop at for something I forgot.



    Crowd at Costco

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Elmer J Fudd

    I usually have good luck at Whole Foods for fresh fish Lars, both NorCal and SoCal. Much better quality than what I find at the average grocery store, though I know Bristol is a a step up in quality.

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • chispa

    I like Bristol Farms too. We've bought really good fresh tuna there. Have you ever had their large warm fresh chocolate chip cookies? So goooooood!

    Lars thanked chispa
  • Elmer J Fudd

    Born and raised in SoCal but have spent most of my adult life in Bay Area. We've been spending more time in SoCal over past 5 years but haven't yet been to a Bristol.

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • chispa

    Lars, did you check out the Gelsons in Rancho Mirage? They are more like what Whole Foods used to be like before being bought out. They are pricey, but have excellent quality fish, meat and produce. They also have good prepared foods and salads in their deli counter. Their customer service is amazing too and they seem like a company that takes good care of their employees.

    Lars thanked chispa
  • Lars

    Yes, I have been to Gelson's in Rancho Mirage, and when we lived in Venice, we shopped at Gelson's in Marina Del Rey all the time, especially for their sushi (which we also bought in Rancho Mirage), although we usually bought that at Mitsuwa or Marukai in WLA. From what I can tell, there are no Japanese markets in Coachella Valley, and so I will be taking plenty of Japanese ingredients with me that I won't be able to get there very easily. The Gelson's in MDR had a very good fish department, but the one at Bristol Farms in Westchester is even better and is almost as good as the Santa Monica Seafood Market, which I used to go to before they moved their location to a place with terrible parking. I often make my own sushi, and I have shari rice plus nori and the equipment to make the sushi.

    I seldom shop at Whole Foods, but I will check it out in Coachella Valley. I know the one in El Segundo has reasonable fish, but not as good as Bristol Farms or Gelson's. Still, in the valley, it might be more difficult to find good seafood and sashimi. I can live without that for two months, however.

  • Islay Corbel

    Forget thé freezer.....not important in the greater scheme of things. You and your health are priority.

    You peeps worry a bit.....you seem to be shopping around....aren't you only supposed to go out for essentials to protect yourselves and others?

    I would be truly terrified to be in a big city like LA. Wear your masks and gloves if you must go shopping and stay at least 1 metre from anyone else.

    Wearing a mask will not necessarily stop you from catching it.... the idea is to try and prevent transferring any possible illness YOU may have without knowing it to the poor people working in the shops.

    The only way to protect yourselves and others is to STAY IN YOUR HOMES.

    STAY SAFE!

  • laceyvail 6A, WV

    Lars, you said something about using alcohol as a disinfectant. Anything above 70% alcohol evaporates too fast to be effective in destroying the virus. That's why they always say 60-70%. Be safe!

    Lars thanked laceyvail 6A, WV
  • Lars

    I haven't been to any stores for two weeks, and I don't plan to go myself. If we need food or medicine, my brother will go to the store. We are not shopping for anything that is not essential.

    I downloaded a pattern for a mask that I can make myself. I have plenty of fabric and two sewing machines plus anything else I need to make these.

  • chispa

    Roy's in Rancho Mirage has good sushi, though not a huge selection, since their menu is Asian-fusion. I always get the seared Ahi tuna and the chocolate souffle! A good place to go once all this is over.

    Lars thanked chispa
  • Lars

    Thanks, Chispa. I am very much looking forward to this being over also. I have not had great luck finding good sushi in Coachella Valley, and the places I went to in Cathedral City had fake crab, and so that was a disappointment.

    I found Roy's web site, and it says that they are closed until March 31. I would think that they would be closed longer than that, but maybe they will be providing take out. Anyway, I am going to wait a few months before I go to a restaurant again.

  • Compumom11

    FDA INSPECTIONS Sushi would be a food I wouldn't eat at this time. The FDA is cutting back on food inspections. If they can't guarantee the safety of raw fish, count me out!

    Lars thanked Compumom11
  • chispa

    Even in good times, you should be picky about where you eat/buy raw fish. Just common sense.


    Lars, definitely try Roy's in a few months. We have eaten at the RM one 4 or 5 times and enjoyed our meal every time. There is also one in Pasadena that had some issues a few years back, but they changed management/chef and are now providing quality food and service. We have also eaten at Roy's in Florida and Hawaii. All great meals.

    Lars thanked chispa
  • Elmer J Fudd

    I agree with compumom in part. But keep in mind that the US's food inspection program is abysmal in good times, especially for fish, so a reduction of something that's already very inadequate doesn't change much.

    A very low percentage of food in the US is ever inspected, unlike what's standard in Europe. I'm not sure a cutback would mean much for sushi. I think part of safety for fish bound for sushi, if there is any, is being frozen at a very low temperature for a prescribed period of time. Beyond that, one needs to rely on proper handling enroute and by those doing the preparation.

    Lars thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Lars

    I'm not going to be eating sushi for a while. I generally get sushi and sashimi at Mitsuwa or Marukai here in WLA, but they do not have stores in Coachella Valley. In fact, I have not found any Japanese markets there at all. I believe the Ahi tuna at Bristol Farms is sushi grade as well.

  • kittymoonbeam

    I saw online that people were using oreck bags to make a layer that inserts into a fabric washable mask. Also people are using the 3M home air filters as material to make masks or to make inserts. Bridal sewing techniques on YT has an instructional video using the 3 M filters. There are better patterns though with less seams.

    Lars thanked kittymoonbeam
  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

    One good thing about COVID-19; The whole world basically has stopped eating sushi for a few months. This will give the ocean a chance to heal and to recuperate.

    For those who make their own face masks, which is a very good idea:

    a. Air conditioning air filters are completely useless. Holes are too big. Try instead vacuum cleaner filter sewed between fabric layers.

    b. Around where the mask fits over your nose bridge, sew in between layers a strip of aluminum wire, or cut a strip of aluminum roofing flashing. This will make your mask less leaky around the nose. Aluminum wire and roof flashing are inexpensive.


    Stay safe. Keep your distance.

    dcarch

    Lars thanked dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
  • marilyn_c

    Lars, sorry that happened with the freezer. My husband was a commercial shrimper and the only time we ever froze a lot of shrimp...someone unplugged the freezer to use the plug and forgot to plug it back in. The freezer was in a building in the backyard, we called a "wash house". (Washing machine was out there too.)

    I used to have Connie Mayer. I bought it from Matt's. I potted it up in a mix I made according to his directions and it grew like wildfire! It grew a foot a week, once it got well rooted. But in a windstorm, it was blown off the porch and the feral hogs ate it!


    Lars thanked marilyn_c
  • Lars thanked marilyn_c
  • Lars

    That Connie Mayer looks great! Mine is not so big yet, but it is doing very well. I'll probably need to repot it this summer.

    Weather is really warming up here in the Coachella Valley, and yet we are still getting snow in the mountains. It's supposed to be 88° here in a few days. The plants that I brought with me are very cheerful, especially the orchids that are blooming. I only brought one bromeliad, but its flowers should last a long time. Most of my bromeliads are too large to move easily.

    The pattern for masks that I have includes a pouch that allows for a filter to be inserted, but I'm not sure I have anything I could use for that - maybe coffee filters.

    I'm going to work on getting the kitchen organized here, and I have a few things that I need to freeze for later. I don't have a huge freezer space here, but I think it is enough.

  • tigereye

    Lars, you can use vacuum bags, especially the ones that are allergen filters. Just cut to fit.

    Lars thanked tigereye
  • Lars

    We also do not have vacuum bags, as we use a canister style vacuum, and we clean out the filter between use.

  • tigereye

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006OLG0S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Just cut to fit the opening and stitch around to keep from falling apart. Cheap and can throw away when you wash the fabric part.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

    Lars, probably best to make something you can easily wash. Mine are cotton t-shirt material with a pouch on the mouth side I can add extra layers of cotton or filter. I have 6 of these. Similar. Really comfortable.

    I saw a video that had a link to patterns, SML, from a hospital nurse asking for help from home sewers to help out. We have not left the home/yard. No reason to. So have not worn them yet.


    Lars thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • tigereye

    I posted a link , which for some reason is not showing for vacuum bags. Just message me.

    Lars thanked tigereye
  • Lars

    I saw that same video of a nurse, and I downloaded the pattern and printed it out. I have to unpack my fabric and see what I have here.

  • beesneeds

    I feel for ya Lars... I had a circuit breaker flip on me once, and I didn't know the freezer didn't have power till later. Didn't lose a lot, but still, it was a bummer.

    Extra ouch when it happens at a time like this.

    Lars thanked beesneeds
  • Olychick

    I think the point is that even if you have none at home, it's probably easier to come by vacuum bags in a store, or from a friend or neighbor (in exchange for making some masks for them, perhaps) than some other materials/things appropriate for making effective masks. Perhaps there hasn't been a rush on them yet.

    Lars thanked Olychick
  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

    Hepa rated vacuum bags.


    dcarch

    Lars thanked dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

    Soon you will see curbside pick-up only. No entry to stores. Long wait times for even curbside. Think about that pharmacy list. Isopropyl alcohol, a spritzer.

    The only way we can stop the curve is to sanitize everything and prep ahead.

    I'm in NY. If the national guard went active 3 weeks ago with mandatory masks and sanitizers/and wipes at every other street corner, we could have made a 50-80% dent in the spread. (no stock pile of masks or any sanitizers at all... and were so suggested years ago).

    Outside uv is excellent but remember all surfaces. Spin on a table over and over. But best is to hit packaged surfaces with bleach/alcohol first.

  • Elmer J Fudd

    "we could have made a 50-80% dent in the spread."

    What's the source of these numbers?

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

    There is talk that building codes will be changed to require all commercial spaces be equipped with UV lights that get turned on when the spaces are not occupied.

    There is also talk that many manufacturers are planning to introduce home UV sanitizes so all families will have one like microwave ovens.

    I really am concerned with trillion tons of sanitizing chemicals that kills everything then all washed down the oceans.


    dcarch


  • Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

    Is there not a danger of being so clean & sanitary that allergies & asthma will become worse than they already ?

  • Elmer J Fudd

    " Is there not a danger of being so clean & sanitary that allergies & asthma will become worse than they already ? "

    I doubt that physicians and public health experts would be advising these steps for a brief period of time if there were greater risks of more severe long term collateral problems.

    I suspect asthma sufferers are at higher risk to the pandemic since they suffer from reduced respiratory function. If you know one, ask if they're prefer precautions be taken or not taken. I know what answers you will hear and I think you do too.

  • Lars

    We're using UV light from the sun, as we have abundant sun in our patio and a high UV index.

  • Arapaho-Rd

    Lars, sorry about the freezer door. I didn't have time to read the enter thread. Do you know why the door became ajar?

    Lars thanked Arapaho-Rd
  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

    "-------Do you know why the door became ajar?"

    For all old refrigerators and freezers, some magnetic gaskets eventually get weak and would not hold the door closed reliably.

    dcarch

  • Lars

    Arapaho, we think that the freezer died (it was old enough to go, I think), and then when some of the food started to ferment, it created enough gas to make the door come open. This is Kevin's explanation. The door otherwise stays closed when it is closed, but perhaps not as strongly as it used to.

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