In the song "Steam" by Peter Gabriel, there is a line of lyrics:
Stir-crazy from the freezer to the foil
Is this an idiom I have never heard before, or just a bit of nonsense he strung together?
It's not even used as a rhyme, it's just a free lyric near the end.
In a comment, @BoldBen questions whether its actually even "foil" in the first place. Now I'm not sure! Maybe this is just a mondegreen!
When you do a Google search or Bing search on "Peter Gabriel Steam lyrics" you get a ready-to-read list of lyrics, credited to MusixMatch.com, and those show "from the freezer to the foil". Here's a link to the lyrics on the site: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Peter-Gabriel/Steam
Likewise MetroLyrics.com says "foil":
On one web site the lyric is given as "from the freezer to the boil":
On another web site, the lyric is given both as "from the freezer to the foil" and as "from the freezer to the boil", for two edits of the song. It's highly unlikely that the lyric was changed, it seems certain that one of them is incorrect.
Radio edit, "freezer to the foil":
Main song entry, "freezer to the boil":
Okay, let's go to the source. Here's the YouTube video for the song, cued up to the part (at about time mark 4:55) where Peter Gabriel sings that line:
I'm still not sure which one it is! I have literally thought for decades that it was "foil", but listening to it now it sounds closer to "bowl" than anything.
There's a following line (at about time mark 5:06) where he sings "coming to a boil" and the word "boil" is clearly enunciated, which argues against this word also being "boil"... why would he pronounce the same word two ways? But the second time he sang the word "bubble" over and over and maybe that changed how much emphasis he put on the 'b'?
Arguing for "boil": The technology used for this song to equalize the levels on singing tends to over-emphasize white noise, causing an 'S' sound to be amplified into a bit of a hiss. You can clearly hear this on the often-repeated "steam" in the song. An 'f', as in "foil", can get amplified as well, to a lesser degree. On the mystery word I don't hear anything boosted at the start of the word.
Also, arguing against "boil", it's not a hard word to rhyme and it's surprising if Peter Gabriel used "boil" as a rhyme for itself. But there's this "freezer to the ???" lyric and then "coming to a boil".
But doing web searches for "freezer to the foil" finds nothing but references to this song, so I'm now convinced it's definitely not an obscure idiom, but either nonsense Peter Gabriel made up or a mondegreen for "freezer to the boil".
If it is "boil" that means that the song follows "freezer to the boil" with "coming to a boil", which is kind of repetitive, but it's kind of free verse at the end rather than the neat rhymes of the main song.