529: What's in your Freezer?

Unknown Speaker 0:04

I'm Molly And I'm Matthew

Molly 0:06

and this is spilled milk the show where we cook something delicious eat it all and you can't

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:10

have any and today we're talking about what's in your freezer in

Molly 0:14

deed what is in our freezers? We're going to find out today

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:18

and this question slash topic was asked slash suggested by listener Kara Thank you listener terroristic

Molly 0:27

Thank you listener Kara. So Matthew What do you remember being in your freezer when you were growing up?

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:33

Okay, well first of all obviously growing up I had my own personal freeze. Well, actually, I

Molly 0:37

was going to ask Did your family have like you know, the freezer that was in your kitchen and then a garage freezer? Yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:43

we did. I don't remember when we got the garage freezer and I don't even particularly remember what would go in the garage freezer versus the indoor freezer because I mostly just remember the indoor freezer. Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 0:56

what was what was in there?

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:57

I mean, we never had like a half a cow in the garage freezer or something. Okay, so these these are the things that came to mind. I know like if you ask my mom she would say like a bunch of other things. But the things that I would go to the freezer for budget gourmet frozen entrees. michelina is frozen entrees, Costco burger patties. Ketos and other frozen Mexican food were a big thing too. Okay, that's it for me.

Molly 1:22

I didn't put I didn't put this on my list, which I'll share in a second. But do you remember Tony's microwave pizza? Yeah, definitely. For some reason Tony's was the brand we always bought. And yeah, Tony's microwave pizza would always be in there. You didn't get select pizza for one. I did not know I waited till I was of age to get that. Yeah, so just just made Matthew to show

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:45

like the Chinese more spit takes.

Molly 1:47

Okay, so what I remember is stowford Turkey. Tetrazzini. Okay, sure. I really, I mean, I can still taste it. Okay, Brahms, French vanilla ice cream.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:00

Now that's interesting. I never thought about Brahms as being a home ice cream. Like I know they sell it there because I was there but it just didn't occur to me that you would actually buy

Molly 2:09

it. Yeah, my dad would stop there. And we'd get you know, like a half gallon of milk and and ice cream. And it was always French vanilla. So the kind you know, what's the difference? It has like egg yolks or something. Yeah. So it was always a little bit more kind of creamy colored? Or, you know, kind of off white. Yeah. White. Accurate, shall we? So there were also always frozen peas. I mean, I feel like that goes without saying but I remember it as a kid because I remember using them as ice packs sometimes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:39

Oh, do you? I'm sure we talked about this before the Daniel Pink water series of children's illustrated children's books. Irving and MK talk to bad bears. No. Oh, okay. Well,

Molly 2:50

I love it when you say the name of children's books on this show. Like it's always so cute. I start to get sleepy immediately. Say it again.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:01

Okay, so it's a series of books. The first one is called Irving and mactac to bad bears. And it's a series of books about two polar bears, who are always like escaping. So they can eat blueberry muffins. And one of them like they get they get overheated because they're polar bears and they have to and they have to like ice themselves down and and one of them says we are relying on frozen peas because they're frozen peas.

Molly 3:22

Oh, okay. Yeah, no, I I don't know that context for frozen peas. But now I do. Okay, so in December there would always be my mother's Christmas cookies. Oh, sure. And I remember standing in front of the freezer kind of prying open the lid on one of these like big rectangular topre wares that were Yeah. And taking out a Linzer cookie. There was also I just remember this morning working on the agenda that there was some sort of like salesman who came door to door would like pull up with this like hatchback with a whole bunch of coolers in the back and he sold me door to door that and

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:04

is so hard to understand.

Molly 4:07

It wasn't just like, it's like difficult to explain. I remember one thing he sold was Cornish game hens that were already stuffed with wild rice. Okay, sir mixture. He also sold individually packaged boneless skinless chicken breasts. This was the 90s So that was a big sell. Anyway, I remember my parents were quite enamored with the quality of the meat this guy saw, okay, whatever. So he'd just pull up in the driveway and my parents would go out there and buy meat out of the back of his car. Sure. Seems seems legit. But the other thing that was in my freezer was my poetry

Unknown Speaker 4:48

because he got a lot to handle. I want to

Molly 4:51

discuss this later. Someone had told me that like if the house burned down, that there was something like flame retardant about like the bombs Have a freezer

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:03

lost if civilization has lost your teenage poetry?

Molly 5:08

I was a teenager. Very important

Unknown Speaker 5:12

to make total sense.

Molly 5:14

Yeah, you know, now I keep the adult equivalent of teenage poetry in my freezer, which is to say, my DNR my, my will

Unknown Speaker 5:26

wait, do you really keep my mom's in the freezer? Yes. Oh, okay.

Molly 5:31

Because then I know where they are. Like, if I put them in like a file box or something, then like somebody has to go get the file box. True, but this way, you just get the freezer. Oh, okay. Yeah. What if I die? everybody now knows where to find information about my my final wishes?

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:53

Yes. Okay. Yeah, at the moment you breathe your last everyone will come running to your freezer freezer. Get that poetry.

Molly 5:59

Yeah. Anyway, Matthew, like, do you not keep your your will in your freezer?

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:05

I do not. I keep it in the file box.

Molly 6:08

What does everybody know where the file boxes? You should tell the listeners what

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:11

do you mean everybody like it's important for the listeners until like, step in and like I have named the listeners as my executors. So I forgot about that till you. You reminded me just now. Okay, so yeah, so yeah. Okay, so the file box is in my side of the bedroom closet. Okay. Underneath, like some shirts.

Molly 6:32

What if there's a fire Matthew?

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:34

I don't know. It's on Google Drive.

Molly 6:36

Okay, that fair enough. Okay, all right. Okay. When I mean,

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:39

when when you're a kid, did your parents have a safe deposit box? Mine did

Molly 6:43

my mother still has a safe deposit box? And I'm she took me over to the bank. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:50

I certainly did when I was a kid.

Molly 6:52

I remember my mom being like, got to take you over to the bank and get your signature on the safe deposit box.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:58

I mean, it does kind of make sense. But also it sounds so annoying. And I don't want to pay for it. Well, luckily, I'm not paying for it. Yeah, no, no, I mean, for I don't want to get one for myself for that reason. Yeah. Even though it would be the right place to keep the poetry burns down.

What I mean?

Molly 7:13

What if, anyway, so yeah, my childhood poetry was in my freezer. And it's not anymore. I don't keep my writing in the freezer. In fact, I hardly even have printed copies of my writing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:27

Yeah, that's true. I mean, do you do you feel like some some sense of loss that the keeping poetry in the freezer era has passed us by? No, okay, cool.

Molly 7:35

Yeah. Anyway, Matthew, hold on you you did the research for this app. I did and I think you may have gone quite deep into freezers and you're going to be able to answer once and for all my question about whether a freezer is going to survive a house fire

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:50

I didn't research that so get to where I mean I know that like safes have like a fire rating for like how long they'll like they will keep stuff on burned like in a fire like you know that like they could be in a fire for two hours or something. Let me look this up. Alright. What have I just Googled? Okay, can a freezer catch on fire? Alright, great question. Appliance fire this is from temperature master.com And

Molly 8:15

this is appliance fires I'm not talking about the fire not fire. The proper thing to Google is will a freezer survive a house fire?

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:23

Will a freezer survive a fire Okay, great. Hi, your items in an appropriate fireproof location a fridge or freezer is definitely the most effective choice. As such items are the most likely to survive a house fire also a thief would probably not going to look at such places. Well, this is from a very reputable website hunker.com.

Here's a thread on Reddit where someone says can I store my documents in the freezer? And the top response is I don't know about the safety of your documents but I can tell you that they will smell rank after a while yeah, so okay, I don't think we can really recommend this.

Molly 9:07

Okay. I did take all my documents and I wrapped the entire envelopes in plastic wrap before I put it in the freezer it maybe it'll take like 20 minutes longer to smell rang.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:17

Yeah, no, that would definitely prevent poetry freezer burn. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 9:21

Okay, tell

Molly 9:21

us about freezer. Alright,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:23

I noticed when we were when I was researching for this recipe like we've done like we did like a frozen vegetables episode and we talked about Clarence Birdseye. We talked about TV dinners on a TV dinner episode. I don't want to go into that. I want to go he talked about pekao Yes. Oh, I went down a rabbit hole on their website yesterday. It's so much great stuff. I should have bookmarked this because I'm gonna get the French wrong there is like a frozen buckwheat crepes with green hair, onions and and lard doll and the top review was one star pod one you'll Patil outdoor It's so great.

Molly 10:02

Oh my God, no onions and no bacon.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:07

Maybe skip that one. Okay, so let's talk about the history of freezers for a little bit first, so freezers, you know, ways of keeping food cold, long predate, like by centuries ways of keeping fruit food frozen, which was just not practical in a domestic setting until the 20th century because Okay, yeah, okay, that's like you know, you had like an icebox that where you like pack ice around a compartment and that would keep it cold inside, but not like zero degrees frozen cold, right.

Molly 10:39

So if someone for instance pulled up at your house with a trunk full of meat Yeah, do you think it would have been like cured meat? I probably would have been cured me Yeah. 1900s Okay. Wouldn't have been frozen Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:54

they would have like popped open the hatch on their Model T. Okay. And and they put it pulled out some so Posadas Turkey, some jerky, yeah, I got some really good cured meat for Christmas. By the way. We're recording this like it's a freezer outside as we're recording this. It's 17 degrees. This morning in Seattle. It's December 27. It's the coldest day in Seattle since 2010. So to the point is I got cured meats for Christmas. I also got giant Apple jerky, which looks really good. I haven't opened it

Molly 11:23

yet. Wow, I didn't get anything edible for Christmas. Really?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:26

I only got like a huge sack of chocolate and some cured meats.

Molly 11:30

I feel like that's like a dad thing. We always used to get my dad edible things. Yeah. Like when you become a dad. Everybody starts giving you like beer of the month and and edibles. Okay, go on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:42

Okay, so freezers were introduced the to the American retail market in 1940. Prior to that, there were like, like, you know how like in your dorm fridge, you would have had like a little tiny metal tray at the top where you could fit maybe one or two ice cube trays. And that's it. So you know, home refrigerators had that before that some of them did. But there wasn't like a separate freezer compartment until 1940. And it didn't really like take off and become a popular you know, mode of freezer freezer fridge till after World War Two. And wait for the show. Laurie mentioned that her grandparents, the freezer that they had in their house like their whole lives did not have a separate freezer compartment. It just had like the tray. Interesting. It was my dad 1959 or something. 49

Molly 12:29

My dad was born in 1929. And it's interesting to think that he probably would have grown up through his childhood years without having Yeah, this like household appliance. That seems so normal. Oh, yeah. The way that we live and cook now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:48

Yeah. And of course, as soon as freezers like there was a, you know, synergistic is the wrong word. What's What's it called? With like symbiotic relationship between frozen food and freezers? Like the more people got freezers, the more manufacturers started to market frozen food, the more manufacturers started to market frozen food them like it was it was like downhill. Yeah, it was like a snowball rolling downhill. They were Oh, man, there have been so many cars trying to drive up and down our hill in the snow, which no one should do. And it's very funny. Alright, so um, yeah, when it gets when it gets cold, like, I get weird. That's what happened. Awesome. So go, I wanted to know, if how freezers work. And like, I had this image of like a child asking me to explain how our freezer works and me realizing I have no idea. So I saw I looked it up. Okay. And now okay, you know the answer without looking at my explanation.

Molly 13:44

No, I don't understand how they work. Okay, tell me anything.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:48

Let's start by thinking about what happens when you spray an aerosol can. Alright. The camera gets cold. Right? Wait, the can gets cold? Yeah, not about that. Okay. Yeah. So the reason the hand gets cold is because gas is expanding. And when gas expands because of you know, the ideal gas law, the temperature goes down. What's the ideal gas law, it's the relationship between the temperature, quantity temperature and pressure of a gas. So like, when you put a gas under pressure, the temperature goes up because more gas molecules are hitting the, the sides of the container. When you Oh, okay, I'm getting that sort of thing. Okay. i Okay, so the idea is, we're not trying to make a canned cold here. We're trying to make the inside of a box cold. And how can we use the same principle to do that? Now making a box warm, really easy warming stuff up? That's like the natural state of things. You just turn on a heating coil that gets warm. Making a box cold is a lot harder. Okay. All right. This is a difficult problem. So okay, we pump gas into a chamber at high pressure. This chamber is not the box of your freezer. It's like at the bottom of your fridge. All right. Okay. So now pressurized gas that's very hot. It goes through those tubes on the back of your fridge. Yes. So it's so that it's no longer like deadly hot, and then it gets sprayed into a low pressure evaporator and the evaporator gets super super cold because you've got this gas under very high pressure going to very low pressure. Okay, all right. Okay. Okay. And so then you blow air over that extremely cold evaporator into the fridge and freezer and you blow more of it into the freezer, so it gets colder and less of it into the fridge. And that's how your fridge and freezer work.

Molly 15:37

Okay, so this hot air, it seems like this hot air would be problematic because Well, for one thing is problematic. You don't want to have like an uncontrolled heat source in in your house. I mean, like just giving off heat all the time. And the other thing is like what's in that? What is that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:56

Very good questions. Okay, so you there is no way to avoid having your fridge or freezer also be a space heater. That's basic physics. You can't you can't make it cold inside without taking that heat and emitting it somewhere. Okay, it's a very energy intensive process.

Molly 16:13

So wait, what about an air conditioner? Does an air conditioner do this to an air conditioner

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:17

is exactly the same thing. Except that the box that you're trying to make cold is your house instead of a smaller thing inside your house. It's exactly the same. Okay, so

Molly 16:26

if I have like, we have like a portable air conditioner that has this big fat like, like kind of accordion yes tube that goes outside. So what's that thing doing?

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:38

It's taking the hot air that's generated by the compression process and sending that outside so that it can blow the cold air inside. There's no way to make an air conditioner that doesn't have event to the outdoors. It's physically impossible. Unless Unless you're like bringing blocks of ice in.

Molly 16:55

I'm kind of amazed though that like standing next to my refrigerator, I don't feel a lot of heat coming off of the refrigerator because like

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:03

it's because it gets sent to the back of the refrigerator. If you were standing behind you. That would be pretty warm. Okay, okay. Okay, fair enough. So you also asked like, What is this stuff that's inside the tubes? That's, that's getting compressed and expanded? And here's where things get not so great. Okay, the answer is like, could you just use water? No, that would not work at all, because the boiling point of water is way too high. And you're trying, you're trying to evaporate this quickly. So you need something that's a gas at room temperature and actually a gas at lower than freezer temperature. And you okay, you want it to be so the type of of substance we're talking about is a refrigerant. And so you want it to be non corrosive, non toxic and non flammable so that it won't like break down the yes, you there.

Molly 17:50

Wait, I'm raising my hand. I'm just realizing that we like never have to refill whatever this thing

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:56

that's right. It's a totally closed system. It's just it's it's energy is being put into it to compress the gas and then expand the gas. And it just keeps going around and around. And they're like they used to be, you know, they would leak they would wear out you'd have to like refill them and replace them. That hasn't been true for a very long time. There. There is a pretty mature technology.

Molly 18:16

Okay, so what is this stuff,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:18

okay, so it's got to be able to store a ton of heat. It's got to be a gas at a low temperature, it has to compress and expand readily. And for many, many, many years, this meant using AR 12. Also known as Freon, which is a great refrigerant. It does all of those things. Unfortunately, it also destroys the ozone layer and has extremely high global warming potential 10,000 times as bad as co2. So Freon has been banned for a while but it is a great refrigerant not

Molly 18:48

that long because you and I both grew up Oh, yeah. Absolutely on Yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:52

It's it's a great refrigerant in the same way as that a atomic bomb would do a really great job of decluttering your house

Molly 18:59

but I'm so did that with an apple in my mouth. Here's

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:03

the problem though. So you go looking for a better refrigerant. You have to make compromises somewhere. So like a lot of a lot of like air conditioning units. Now use propane that's flammable if it gets out. Okay, you know, so So you have to you have to if you want one that doesn't cause as much global warming, you have to compromise on other things, and there are no really good choices. The The problem is we're just doing too much freezing and refrigerating

Molly 19:31

So wait a minute. So like what do our fridges and freezers probably run on?

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:36

That's that's a good question. So most likely they run on like a post Freon organic, you know, refrigerant that is not great, but not nearly as bad as Freon so something that, you know, maybe requires more energy to produce but doesn't have as much global warming potential. Some like I kind of went down a rabbit hole reading about all different refrigerants. And now I'm going to tell you every lot about every single one because that's what our listeners demand. Do you think we still have any listeners on at this point in the show? No.

Molly 20:10

Okay, what should we do now?

Hey, have you finished watching the Beatles get back? Yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:25

I did. I loved it. Like um, can you would you have have predicted that a middle aged American dude would love this documentary? Seems weird, right? In

Molly 20:35

a million years. No, but but the second episode, Ash and I literally had to like, stop and start over the course of three or four nights to get through it because it was like watching hi, teenagers just try to make each other laugh. Like it was so dumb. I was like, God, you guys get it together and do your jobs. I know. But yeah, like we but then. But then in the end, like, we can't stop talking about it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:04

I know. But but also, isn't that what we do? And like, and we force everyone to listen to what we're doing right now. It is. I've got a feeling like with a with a Scottish accent.

Molly 21:17

Oh, God. We're going hey, it would

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:21

go in home.

Molly 21:23

One home. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:28

But, but but unlike them, like we know when to when to like, pause the joke and like move on. Yeah, real stuff.

Molly 21:35

Yeah. So. So Matthew, what's the must have item in your freezer? Current?

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:40

Oh, I'm so glad you asked. I mean, your poetry that I stole, obviously. Okay.

Molly 21:46

Which one's your favorite? Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:47

the one about a horse that. Okay. I mean, I did read some of your old poetry ones with your permission. Do you remember this? Oh,

Molly 21:58

I don't know. We've been we've been friends for so long. I think I blocked that part out. Yeah. Okay, go on. Anyway, what's in your freezer now?

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:07

Safeway potstickers gotta have them Trader Joe's frozen curries. Very good as some kind of frozen noodle could be ramen could be Udaan. Could be Chinese wheat noodles could be all of the above. Mm hmm. You got to do all of mine.

Molly 22:21

Okay, so guess what, everybody?

Unknown Speaker 22:24

I still keep frozen peas in case in case polar bears come over. Yes.

Molly 22:28

I always have a good supply of frozen fruit for smoothies. So, always got to have strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. And then whenever I have bananas that are getting too right, we have some of those. I put the whole banana in the free course. We're talking about this a lot. Yes, I have. So when we bought this house, like 11 years ago now. It came with two crappy ice cube trays in the freezer. Okay, yeah. I still have one of them. And then the other ice cube tray we have is from like a koala crate like kids like science. And both of them make really gross tasting ice. But we just what else are we going to do? Like? Yeah, what do you do if you need like, I need ice for the occasional cocktail. Otherwise, I don't really need ice but ice that you make in an ice cube tray always tastes terrible. Yeah, it's true. Anyway, when you were a kid, did you ever have an ice cube tray that had like a lever that was supposed to make it easier to break the ice out of out of ice jail? I had one of those up Brandon found one at like a you know thrift store or something when we were in our late 20s, early 30s. And we both found it extremely enchanting, except we never successfully operated.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:53

Yeah, of course. I know. I never know because it freezes.

Unknown Speaker 23:58

Yes, it totally freezing. water in

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:01

it wasn't frozen. It would work great.

Molly 24:04

Anyway, okay, so yeah, always got these two janky ice cube trays.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:08

Yeah, ice cube tray technology, I don't think has really gotten anywhere in our lifetime. Like it's still like we still have just like kind of the same old shit.

Molly 24:16

I just and my freezer doesn't smell terrible. I keep it fairly clean and yet and I use filtered water for my eyes. Yeah, no feel like it doesn't taste that great. Anyway, okay. I also always keep a pound of ground beef in the freezer. Oh yeah, that makes because there is nothing like like the power that you have. If you have a pound of ground beef. You know,

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:40

especially if it's if it's hatchback beef from Yeah,

Molly 24:44

it took me a minute. Oh, parmesan Ryan's you've got to have Parmesan row increasing and like here's the best thing you know, as you finish them up you just like you make sure you have like a little Tupperware in your freezer. That's your parmesan rind place. You chuck them in there. That

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:59

makes sense. You Put ice packs on your list like we have ice packs in the freezer but they are for lunches for people who go to work or school. And I know that ice pack except when I hurt myself. Oh, okay, you know we have injuries we

Molly 25:13

we have a large kind of gel ice pack that I use sometimes for my lower back because I'm old and my spouse my spouse has had a shocking number of injuries or injuries related All right, that makes so these are all injury related. I mean, my spouse has had a we even have like a special one that straps onto your face. Wow. Because my spouse has had a couple of like, nasal valve surgeries and wisdom tooth removed and we've got so many different I hate

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:47

having to ice a muscle so much like it feels like it's not doing anything but and it's cold. Yeah, it just it's just miserable to me.

Molly 25:55

Oh my god, but I love the feeling when the surface of your skin is really cold after you take it off. Stop like like touching my own lower back. Oh, love it. Oh, okay. Anyway, and then my spouse goes through an alarming amount of ice cream. Oh, I do too. Always ice cream. Usually cookies and cream

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:14

is the aldens Cookies and Cream is that the one that you gave like a funny nickname to hippies and abusing cream. Yes. Yeah, cuz

Molly 26:20

it doesn't taste like it doesn't taste like Oreos. It tastes like to I don't know it tastes like off brand or Yes. Okay, but somehow it's really tasty. Anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:29

Um, no, I like that aldens Ice cream. Other stuff in my freezer. French bread pizzas for sure. So first chauffeurs or Red Baron. They're both good. Whichever one sounds. Okay. Ice cream, pretty much any kind butter. And

Molly 26:42

you gotta always have an extra pound of butter. Absolutely.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:45

Yeah. How to be powder butter. You're golden. You can take my favorite dish. Here are the ingredients. One pound of frozen beef. One pound of frozen butter. You figure out the rest and what are these

Molly 27:08

you wrote brown cookies? They're

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:11

they're ginger molasses cookies. But our niece and nephew Angela and Jessie love them and call them brown cookies.

Molly 27:19

And sounds like a euphemism? Yeah, I'm trying to think if there's anything else frozen noodles, I feel like we should really I know you mentioned frozen noodles, but I just want to say that I love having frozen like frozen Udaan or whatever because like, you don't defrost it you just plunk it in boiling water and so it makes me feel like I also always have like an instant meal ready to go.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:44

Yeah, if if I successfully make it to a watch Am I I'm gonna make some of that dipping good on this week.

Molly 27:49

Excellent. You know recently so ash really likes crispy m&ms The ones in the blue package and they like some frozen. Oh, and yeah, we got we had like a sharing size bag of crispy m&ms in the freezer and accidentally picked it up by the wrong Oh, I've done this build everywhere and we found them in there for weeks like just when we thought we had found the last crispy m&m No, no, there would be another

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:19

one. You know what I did recently I dumped a bunch of flour on the rug. Oh my god. You imagine how hard it is to not do the job. The vacuum sort of did the job I had to like stop and empty it a bunch of times. Oh my God, it was bad. I'm so sorry. And then I had to clean the filters on the vacuum which and then they take like three days to dry in the winter.

Molly 28:39

Wait You You wash you wash the filters? Yeah, that's what I do that I thought you just replace the filters.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:46

Ours came with instructions saying to saying to wash them? I mean I do have replacement filters also, but I washed him Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 28:52

Oh wow. I love his rift.

Molly 28:56

Has there been anything else unexpected going on in your kitchen or your freezer lately? Oh, yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:01

I this is gonna be so exciting. I found a bag of frozen ravioli in there that I forgot I bought and then I ate it for lunch like three days in a row.

Molly 29:11

Wow, what a feeling. Yeah, you know I at Thanksgiving, I made an extra pie crust. And I went ahead and like rolled it out crimped the edges it's in like an aluminum pie plate. And I wrapped it all up nicely put it in the freezer thinking I would use it at Christmas. I still haven't used it. What should I use it for? It's like ready to go. It's not part it's not like par baked or anything but I wish I do. I told you

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:38

at how like I tried to make quiche recently and sort of got it on the second try and I want to do it again. So that's what comes to mind for me but also you can make like apple pie. Okay, so that's where that's where you like slice up apples and put them in the pie.

Molly 29:51

Oh, I always wonder Yeah, okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:55

You know what I ate this morning. When I when I got back from my from my failed attempt at shopping In the Snow White for the show Laurie had made those those hand pies using friend of the show Cheryl days pie crust recipe but made like apple turnovers. Yeah. Oh good.

Molly 30:10

Oh, wow. You walked in from a snowy morning to that. Yeah. That is the stuff of a children's book.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:16

It was Yeah.

Molly 30:17

Were there any bears?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:19

I mean, it was Capitol Hill. So yeah. Nice. Well, there should be there should be a children's book about me. You're right.

Molly 30:28

Great. I'll get right on it. Okay, Matthew, do we have any spilled mail this week?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:33

Do we ever it's from listener Sophie.

Hi, Matthew and Molly. I recently found a copy of fuchsia Dunlop sharkfin and Sichuan pepper in a used book barn in upstate New York. Shout out to the owl pen. Do you think of a book barn is a actual barn? I hope so. Okay, remembering that Molly had once referenced in a long past episode, but little other context, I decided to splurge the $5 and take it home with me. The next couple of weeks were a potent reminder that the combination of food and travel writing has the power to banish that cooped up sensation of late and replace it with actual feelings of excitement and adventure, even if only lived vicariously through the author. Anyway, here's my question for you. What are your favorite food and travel books that have allowed you to feel some sense of exploration in times when you've been unable to leave home? Also, where do you find these books at a bookstore? They're wonderful. Intersectionality can make them hard to find sometimes. Keep up the great work you too. Abby. Sophie from Toronto and partner of listener Sophie Mitch, polls Am.

Molly 31:33

I Am I love it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:34

Do I go first? I think I talked a lot about refrigerants, and probably still listening doesn't want to hear anything else from me.

Molly 31:41

I'll go first. You know, I, I loved this question. Because this is something that I've encountered a lot in reading over the past two years, like this feeling of almost, like physically painful yearning to be somewhere else. And for me, actually, I don't know that I I don't think I've read a lot of what would qualify as like travel, writing, frankly, Matthew, you will be able to speak to this better. I don't know, we'll see. But the books that do this, for me are a real mixture of genres. So for instance, around Christmas time I find Louisa Weiss's cookbook classic German baking, incredibly transporting because, number one, there's something about her voice that is so reassuring somehow, and read it like the traditions of German baking as she presents them are so like, it's like this stuff of fairy tales. Yeah. At least for me as an American. It feels so old worldy in a way that I have real nostalgia around. So especially the Christmas section of that book just makes me feel oh my god, like very far away. You know, I recently dug out Nigel Slater's kitchen diaries. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I know, which I had not looked at in ages. I dug it out. And that book, even though you know, it is not a travel.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:10

It's like, opposite of traveling. Totally transporting, right.

Molly 33:15

Oh my god. It's so transporting. I recently made a potato leek soup from that book, and

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:21

pull poles and potato leek soup.

Molly 33:25

Anyway, it was so good to open up that book again and feel like I was in his like English Garden. Okay. Another thing and maybe this is kind of a weird one. Is Jenny urban Beck's book, not a no, no, no. What is it? So she is a German writer. She is an East German writer, grew up in East Germany and writes in many ways, really complicated ideas about home. And like the loss of home, even when, like the culture you come from is one that was filled with suffering and hardship. And so anyway, she in this book, not a novel, which is a collection of essays, it's a memoir. She writes about growing up in East Berlin. And I read it sometime in in 2021. And just the way that she writes about her neighborhood, I mean, it could be any neighborhood in any I think, sort of older city. The lives of the older people who lived there with her the like the dead ends in the neighborhood. I felt such unexpected nostalgia for a time and a place that I have no reason to feel nostalgia for. Okay, hold on. I have two more minutes. I'm really sorry. It's just going

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:43

on forever. And then and then I'm going to jump in and it's going to continue to go on. Okay,

Molly 34:47

so MFK Fisher, sure, of course. Especially if you're a Francophile although there's a lot of Italy in there, too. Maybe some Switzerland as I recall. i Yeah, that's I don't know. It's I would start with the gastronomical. me in that book you're going to start out in the Southern California of MFK Fisher's youth and that but then there's also a lot that takes place in Europe when she is you know, an adult. I remember an incredible meal involving trout I feel like it was like it's some Swiss chalet or something. I mean, it's just the stuff of a like at least a Euro files, Drew Sure. Okay, lastly, and this is not a book, but oh my god, nothing transports me like the movie. Call me by your name.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:32

I haven't even seen it. Where is that movie set?

Molly 35:35

I think Matthew is going to hate it. It's set in Italy. And of course its most famous for being like a gay love story involving a peach. However, for me, oh my god, the scenery, the food, the music. It is like a wet dream of an Italian summer. Yeah, like in Italian countryside summer. Oh my god. Like, it makes me feel actual pain. It makes me so yearn for

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:09

that. Nice. Okay. Yeah, I mean, I think I think like you like I I like stuck to a little more like classic travel writing, because I think but I think you make a good point that like, you know, transporting, like travel writing doesn't have to be found in like a, you know, I went to Italy and here's what I saw type of book. I found when I was like thinking about this that like that, obviously, like travel writing in English has been even more so than others genres like dominated by like a white colonialist perspective, and like some of the stuff I picked definitely fits in that perspective. And I tried to pick some stuff that doesn't as well and I know you to do. So. First of all, like I have to the first thing that came to mind is is Anthony Bourdain, a cook's tour which is just like a brilliant all over the place book that he wrote while he was shooting his first ever travel series. And it's the book that made me want to go to Japan.

Molly 37:04

I didn't know that about you. Oh, wow. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:08

and so I would definitely recommend that my favorite piece of travel writing from the last few years is definitely Diary of a Tokyo teen by Christine Mari who I've talked about on the show before she is a brilliant artist and writer and just like us is like so little ink to to like you know capture someone's face or a setting and put you there it's like the the economy of her art is incredible. Hmm. Like other other another Japan focused book is baby Neil's book Hi, my name is loco and I am a racist. It is a fascinating book that I haven't read in many years and need to reread but babe McNeil, he's a he writes a column for The Japan Times he is he's a black American who lives in Japan he's from from New York. And he has incredible stories and like a really like unfiltered and thoughtful perspective that is very very different from what you will get if you read like my kind of fawning book about Japan. Like you know he can really he's one of the best writers about the black experience in Japan which is a very unique perspective tastic the French milk by Lucy Lucy can easily

Molly 38:20

I don't know if it's her name, I've always wondered

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:23

Yeah, that's a delightful little little memoir graphic memoir about about going to Paris and the one that's like you know, you know I need something like a brick of a book that I can like you know, spend as much time with as I need that's like the GET BACK OF books like you know, that'll get me through a sleepless night you got to go with Waverly roots the food of Italy or the food or France like you know they that is like to me is like the quintessential like I went to Italy I ate everything and documented in enough detail that you can smell it.

Molly 38:54

Fantastic. Oh my god what a good question. Katie was there so much listener Sophie,

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:00

and now it's time for now but wow, I feel like we just did now but wow. But now we're gonna do now. Now we're about an hour

Molly 39:14

it's time for me to talk about another book and Matthew, this is one that actually you have read as well. And I have to say I have not finished it at the time of this recording. It is Ted Chiang's first collection right? Yes. First collection stories of your life and others. It's called it is will Ted Chang I know that I believe I recommended his collection exhalation Yes, not too long ago. So it felt only natural to go back and do stories of your life which is also acclaimed. I have been having the most wonderful time listening to an audio book of Ted Chang stories of your life and others while doing crossword puzzles. Okay, highly recommended for you Winter activity so Ted Chang writes science fiction speculative fiction and you say short stories just so engrossing his brain is an incredible place. Get out of crossword puzzle. Get this book on audiobook and enjoy.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:17

Yeah, the first story in that book story of your life it was made it to the movie arrival. And

Molly 40:23

it's not the first story. It's just the title title. First story is Tower of Babel.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:27

Oh, that was really good. But stories story of her life is my favorite short story. It's astonishing. Oh, yeah.

Molly 40:34

I haven't gotten.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:37

I'm so excited for you. Okay. Okay. Cool. All right. It's very different from the movie. If you've seen the movie,

Molly 40:43

okay. I haven't seen the movie. But I bet our producer Abby, sir. Catella, who's a real movie buff has seen the movie and she is our producer Abby.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:51

circumstellar. Great. Okay. Yeah, I think you can rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts, including now on Spotify.

Molly 41:01

Mm hmm. And if you would like to chat with other spilled milk listeners, you can find us at reddit.com/are/everything Spilled Milk

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:11

I pop in there like once a month or so and sometimes answer a question that someone asked three weeks ago it's really exciting when that happens. Me too. What's your what's your your username on there again?

Molly 41:22

Oh, Candy fiend 69 for 20 Perfect.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:27

All right. That that's it. So let's let's finish out the show by talking about like our eight favorite refrigerants

Unknown Speaker 41:36

each okay.

Molly 41:38

I love post Freon

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:42

I like you know, you know what I found works really well is like melted Starburst candies.

Molly 41:47

Oh, yes. So hi. I ran out of idea. All right,

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:50

me too. I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 41:53

And I'm Molly Weissenberg.

Strangely, I think you have one of my hairs coming out of your your or maybe it's your wife's hair but it looks more like my haircut left. Headphone Pat. There you go. You got it. Yeah, that looks like my hair. Yeah, I think so weird.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:15

I don't know what happened. Maybe you wore these headphones last time

Molly 42:18

I just decorating you with with me? That's fine.

Unknown Speaker 42:21