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Cermele: A Freezer Full of Mystery

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December 15, 2009

Cermele: A Freezer Full of Mystery

By Joe Cermele

Last night I was digging through my freezer and buried beneath the Ellio's Pizza and a few venison backstraps, I found this lone vacuum-sealed trout. I thought quite hard about where it came from. I'm usually pretty good about marking the date and species on all sealed fish, but this 12-inch brown trout, no doubt a local stocker, is anonymous and apparently slipped out of view during cold storage. Its origins remain a mystery.

Perhaps I kept it to give to someone who requested a trout and never delivered. Perhaps I hooked it deep and it died. Regardless, thanks to vacuum-seal technology, I'm sure this trout would be almost as tasty as the day it was caught, and because of vacuum-sealing, a fish lost in the back of the ice box isn't such a big deal. But I vividly remember the days of plastic wrap and tin foil. Leave some fillets wrapped in these materials in the freezer for more than a month, and the contents were worthy only of becoming fertilizer.

The problem with old fish is that sometimes other people find it and cook it not knowing how long it's been in the freezer. They see "striped bass" on the bag but miss the 2006 date. The worst story I ever heard was from my friend Mike who lived with his parents and Italian grandmother growing up. After a fishing trip, Mike tossed a bag of peanut bunker in the freezer and forgot about it. Two seasons later, "Nana" found it while making a spaghetti feast and decided to spice up the sauce with some seafood. She thawed the little fish, beheaded them, and plopped them in the pot. He still gags when he sees peanut bunker and the smell apparently lingered in the house for months.

I'm curious, what's the funkiest thing you've ever pulled from the freezer, fish or otherwise? - JC

Comments (23)

Top Rated
All Comments
from WAH wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

My roommate collects dead things for various reasons. At this very moment our freezer contains, in addition to food for us and frozen rodents for pet snakes, a painted turtle, a star nosed mole, a Senegal bichir, his pet rat "Pam" (who he's saving until his pine snake is big enough to eat her), porcupine feet, and probably many other things I have not found yet.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

I rarely freeze fish, usually keep only what i'll use in a week or less. With vacuum-sealing i'll think nothing though of thawing and using last years venison. Try that with butchers paper?... not me.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jeffo52284 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

well there is no topping that nice work WAH. was a forgotten trout from a few years earlier that wasnt vaccum sealed and barely distinguishable

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

I currently have a coyote in my freezer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Judd McCullum wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

My sophomore year in college I spent a lot of time in the zoology lab taking care of tanks and what not. One day I had a bit of a blizzard left over so I went to put it in the freezer for later. I found, among ice-cream sandwiches and Popsicles, a three foot long iguana, a bearded dragon, a Tupperware container filled with mice, another containing a rat that hadn't quite been killed after being offered to and rejected by a Burmese python, and myriad freezer burned anomalies which no doubt still inhabit that freezer. I went ahead and finished my Blizzard.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Buckhunter... I just gotta ask WTF? Saving it for the taxidermist?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Great stories all around. It takes a lot to taint a Blizzard. Good move.

Yeah Buck, what's the deal? You waiting for another coyote so you can make an extra-large batch of your famous Super Bowl Party "mystery meat dip" or something?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

lol ... poor Mike. Unless you live alone or are very forgetful, never put bait in the freezer.

I used to travel a lot so sometimes meat got left in the fridge too long. I would toss it into the freezer and then throw it out on trash day. Put it out too early and animals would raid the trash cans. Women think everything in the freezer is okay to thaw and eat. Girlfriend learned to ask first.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Moishe,

WTF is exactly what my wife said. lol. It was my son's first yote and the pelt was pretty good for summer. I was going to have it tanned but once it went into the freezer it was out of sight out of mind. Not sure if it's still good. (just like JC's fish) I have a picture of it on my profile.

Happy Holidays.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

MLH...that's what I'm talking about. I've come home to a few fish dinners in preparation to which I immediately must say "hun, which fish are you making?" Ah yes, the mahi mahi from 07. Not her fault. Totally my own.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

We usually consumed fresh fish within two to four weeks and keep it on the freezer for six months tops..My wife kept a salmon for 18 months in the freezer and they were air tight sealed of course, cook it, and the family love eating it..Little that they know, it was there for almost two years and it was still good to eat!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelgirl wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

CURRENTLY RESIDING IN MY FREEEZER IS THE SIX AND A HALF FOOT RATTLER I SHOT THIS YEAR SCARED ME SO BAD IT TOOK A WHOLE CLIP TO 22LR TO KILL THE DAMNED THING SO I SAVED IT TO SKIN BUT HAVEN'T GOT AROUND TO YET AND PROBBALY NEVER WILL THEY DON'T SMELL TOO GREAT FRESH I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT'S LIKE NOW. . .

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from matakis wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Could not think of a gift for my dad for christmas. He is getting a vacuum sealer thanks to this article.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

I had a dead squirell I shot this summer for trapper class, sitting next to the ice cream bars and pizzas. Should've saw the looks on peoples faces when I walked in that school with a dead squirrel in a bag.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

At the total dive I stayed in while salmon fishing in Astoria, some other fisherman had left their fudgecicles in the freezer...who knows how long ago.

Just removed some trout from the freezer from two seasons ago...not pleasant.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from losername2of2 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

That's the story of my life. My dad and I went to all catch and release about 4 years ago and still find the occasional 12 to 16 inch trout in the freezer. There were probably around 20 in there accumulated over about 3 years prior to our revalation.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I've only once or twice tossed a trout. tossed 70lbs of venison after the basement freezer lost power in July unbeknownst to me. Gave the garbage man a nice tip that week. Right at the moment the only oddity in the freezer is a small bag of rabbit meat that I was just thinking about on the drive in. probably should toss that in a casserole soon.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmiles wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I went to La 3 years ago to fishing in July for 2 weeks. When I returned my wife had left me and the power had been off at home for most of the 2 weeks. It had averaged over 100 degrees in my garage while I was gone. The freezer was full of venison and fish and several critters for the taxidermist. Nice smell! At the divorce hearing the pro hunting judge made her pay me restitution!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

In late October I was digging around the bottom of the chest freezer. I decided it was time to reorganize and throw out some stuff to make room for this season's elk. I came across a well-wrapped round hunk of something that wasn't labeled, so I had to open it up. Staring at me was the head of a bobcat, with thousands of frozen tiny maggots attached. YAAAGGGHHHH! This was a pickup from a friend who found it while deer hunting in 2006. He wanted me to clean/boil the skull for a mount. Since he hasn't asked about it, I think it was probably meant as a sick joke to gross me out with the maggots. I haven't mentioned anything to him about it, because I'm not gonna let on that the sight of it made me gag.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from taylor1 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

i have a roadkill hawk in my freezer been there for about 5 years now. and i also have an osprey. they were legal as i asked if i could have them from the conservation officers. But one time my dad shot a bear skinned it out but letf the skull and all in the hide threw it in the freezer in a garbage bag wiating for it to get tanned. neverr did get tanned several years later my grandma goes in to the deepfreeze opens up the bag only to have a a big old black bear looking her in the face.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from slothman wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

About the only odd things I have in my freezer right now are a set of javalina tushes in a clear plastic bag that I was supposed to clean up for my buddy last year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I have plenty of I don't know what in plastic containers;from morell mushroom stock to frozen berries,to snook fillets and (unidentified)others.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Clean up the frost is a must...
Maybe next year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WAH wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

My roommate collects dead things for various reasons. At this very moment our freezer contains, in addition to food for us and frozen rodents for pet snakes, a painted turtle, a star nosed mole, a Senegal bichir, his pet rat "Pam" (who he's saving until his pine snake is big enough to eat her), porcupine feet, and probably many other things I have not found yet.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

I rarely freeze fish, usually keep only what i'll use in a week or less. With vacuum-sealing i'll think nothing though of thawing and using last years venison. Try that with butchers paper?... not me.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

I currently have a coyote in my freezer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jeffo52284 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

well there is no topping that nice work WAH. was a forgotten trout from a few years earlier that wasnt vaccum sealed and barely distinguishable

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Judd McCullum wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

My sophomore year in college I spent a lot of time in the zoology lab taking care of tanks and what not. One day I had a bit of a blizzard left over so I went to put it in the freezer for later. I found, among ice-cream sandwiches and Popsicles, a three foot long iguana, a bearded dragon, a Tupperware container filled with mice, another containing a rat that hadn't quite been killed after being offered to and rejected by a Burmese python, and myriad freezer burned anomalies which no doubt still inhabit that freezer. I went ahead and finished my Blizzard.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Great stories all around. It takes a lot to taint a Blizzard. Good move.

Yeah Buck, what's the deal? You waiting for another coyote so you can make an extra-large batch of your famous Super Bowl Party "mystery meat dip" or something?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

lol ... poor Mike. Unless you live alone or are very forgetful, never put bait in the freezer.

I used to travel a lot so sometimes meat got left in the fridge too long. I would toss it into the freezer and then throw it out on trash day. Put it out too early and animals would raid the trash cans. Women think everything in the freezer is okay to thaw and eat. Girlfriend learned to ask first.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Moishe,

WTF is exactly what my wife said. lol. It was my son's first yote and the pelt was pretty good for summer. I was going to have it tanned but once it went into the freezer it was out of sight out of mind. Not sure if it's still good. (just like JC's fish) I have a picture of it on my profile.

Happy Holidays.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

MLH...that's what I'm talking about. I've come home to a few fish dinners in preparation to which I immediately must say "hun, which fish are you making?" Ah yes, the mahi mahi from 07. Not her fault. Totally my own.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelgirl wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

CURRENTLY RESIDING IN MY FREEEZER IS THE SIX AND A HALF FOOT RATTLER I SHOT THIS YEAR SCARED ME SO BAD IT TOOK A WHOLE CLIP TO 22LR TO KILL THE DAMNED THING SO I SAVED IT TO SKIN BUT HAVEN'T GOT AROUND TO YET AND PROBBALY NEVER WILL THEY DON'T SMELL TOO GREAT FRESH I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT'S LIKE NOW. . .

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from matakis wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Could not think of a gift for my dad for christmas. He is getting a vacuum sealer thanks to this article.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

I had a dead squirell I shot this summer for trapper class, sitting next to the ice cream bars and pizzas. Should've saw the looks on peoples faces when I walked in that school with a dead squirrel in a bag.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from taylor1 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

i have a roadkill hawk in my freezer been there for about 5 years now. and i also have an osprey. they were legal as i asked if i could have them from the conservation officers. But one time my dad shot a bear skinned it out but letf the skull and all in the hide threw it in the freezer in a garbage bag wiating for it to get tanned. neverr did get tanned several years later my grandma goes in to the deepfreeze opens up the bag only to have a a big old black bear looking her in the face.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Buckhunter... I just gotta ask WTF? Saving it for the taxidermist?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

We usually consumed fresh fish within two to four weeks and keep it on the freezer for six months tops..My wife kept a salmon for 18 months in the freezer and they were air tight sealed of course, cook it, and the family love eating it..Little that they know, it was there for almost two years and it was still good to eat!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

At the total dive I stayed in while salmon fishing in Astoria, some other fisherman had left their fudgecicles in the freezer...who knows how long ago.

Just removed some trout from the freezer from two seasons ago...not pleasant.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I've only once or twice tossed a trout. tossed 70lbs of venison after the basement freezer lost power in July unbeknownst to me. Gave the garbage man a nice tip that week. Right at the moment the only oddity in the freezer is a small bag of rabbit meat that I was just thinking about on the drive in. probably should toss that in a casserole soon.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmiles wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I went to La 3 years ago to fishing in July for 2 weeks. When I returned my wife had left me and the power had been off at home for most of the 2 weeks. It had averaged over 100 degrees in my garage while I was gone. The freezer was full of venison and fish and several critters for the taxidermist. Nice smell! At the divorce hearing the pro hunting judge made her pay me restitution!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

In late October I was digging around the bottom of the chest freezer. I decided it was time to reorganize and throw out some stuff to make room for this season's elk. I came across a well-wrapped round hunk of something that wasn't labeled, so I had to open it up. Staring at me was the head of a bobcat, with thousands of frozen tiny maggots attached. YAAAGGGHHHH! This was a pickup from a friend who found it while deer hunting in 2006. He wanted me to clean/boil the skull for a mount. Since he hasn't asked about it, I think it was probably meant as a sick joke to gross me out with the maggots. I haven't mentioned anything to him about it, because I'm not gonna let on that the sight of it made me gag.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from losername2of2 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

That's the story of my life. My dad and I went to all catch and release about 4 years ago and still find the occasional 12 to 16 inch trout in the freezer. There were probably around 20 in there accumulated over about 3 years prior to our revalation.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from slothman wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

About the only odd things I have in my freezer right now are a set of javalina tushes in a clear plastic bag that I was supposed to clean up for my buddy last year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I have plenty of I don't know what in plastic containers;from morell mushroom stock to frozen berries,to snook fillets and (unidentified)others.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Clean up the frost is a must...
Maybe next year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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