Saturday, July 27, 2013

How to avoid breaking the law with your new home freezer

When I saw Hazel Meyer's The Complete Book of Home Freezing from 1953, there were no awful pictures to draw me in. There weren't all that many recipes either. A few recipes make their appearance toward the end, but most of the book consists of instructions for preparing and freezing various foods. It almost seemed too boring to bother with, but I couldn't resist picking up a book with section titles like "Don't Be Afraid of Your Freezer."

A look through the book actually made the freezer seem scarier. Home cooks at the time could actually break the law with their freezers.

The book actually has a section on laws regulating home freezing of wild game! The book notes that "Most of the state laws were passed before home freezing became popular and widespread" and suggests that "The laws of more restrictive states will undoubtedly be changed as their constituents convince their legislators of the freezer's logical and valuable contribution to real conservation, both of wildlife and of food." It's hard to imagine a time when state laws had to catch up to the technology of freezers in the home.

I am also totally weirded out by the thought of have a freezer shelf of migratory birds with their feet, heads, and head plumage intact. Nothing like reaching for the peas as a frozen goose looks on.

Just in case you wonder what the laws regulating home frozen game looked like, here's a page:

You'll notice that there's no section for Alaska because Alaska was not yet a state. 

I love that this lists the officials to contact if one wants copies of game laws. Sounds like a fun way to spend a late-summer afternoon. I think I'll have my fake fifties alter-ego write away to the Fish and Game Commissions today! Maybe she can collect all 48 sets of laws. Meanwhile, I will be pawing through old cookbooks.

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