Here we are, in the third week of having no refrigerator, which means we also have no freezer. It is supposed to be fixed today, but I am not holding my breath.
What I am doing though, is contemplating all the things I had in my freezer and fridge that I used once or twice a year, or never (aging bread products being a good example of never).
I value the freezer compartment for bread. With just the two of us bread goes mouldy before we can eat it all, so dividing it and keeping some in freezer bags at the ready is very useful,
All well and good, but I cannot seem to bring myself to throw out bread of any description and when the freezer thawed without my permission I was forced to face all my bits of bread products and realize that I am a bread hoarder.
Remember when bread just meant bread? Lovely loaves of white bread that I learned to make from my mother but had to stop because I was eating too much. Now the bread in my life/freezer means white bread, grain bread, apricot walnut bread (wonderful for lunch with cream cheese) flat bread, pita bread, tortillas, a nice crusty stick or rolls and hamburger and hotdog buns.
I’m the hamburger eater in the family. I make wonderful big hamburgers with different cheeses, bacon, tomato, lettuce, dill pickle, red onion and lots of mayonnaise. One is a meal for me and has all the food groups. Ha ha. I only have it every now and then and the rest of the buns go into the freezer and I may use one or two before they dry up to a schnarbuckle. Ditto most of the above, no matter how often I swear to make bread pudding. And there are only so many crumbs a cook like me needs.
For the past three weeks I’ve been shopping every few days to pick up some perishables, freezing nothing and keeping everything in the unheated sunporch. You’d be surprised how many of the things they tell you to “cook from frozen” are just as good cooked from thawed.
Every morning as I go out to the sun porch to gather breakfast fixin’s I am grateful that it is winter. Some days things freeze. Sunny days I have to open windows to keep it cold enough out there.
You’d be surprised how many of the things they tell you to “cook from frozen” are just as good cooked from thawed.
The big take-away from this experience is that I am realizing why I hate grocery shopping and that I can change that. My method was to do a big shop once a month or so, which took well over two hours by the time I loaded it all in the car and then lugged it all in the house and put it away, usually too beat out to actually cook any of it.
Now I run in, pick out something for supper, seldom have more than one bag; two if we’re out of juice or milk or Newman’s favourite vegetable; potatoesturnipcarrotcabbage. I buy packaged salads, which as expensive as they are, are saving us money as I haven’t thrown out a slimy cucumber, withered celery, brown lettuce or soft peppers in three weeks.
I have a bin in the porch with bottles of things from the fridge. There aren’t very many because by the time I threw out everything too outdated even for me to use, the bottle brigade was cut in half.
I have dollar store plastic bins sitting prettily on the fridge shelves waiting for my new organization of like things together. If I stay in this mode I won’t have as many like things, but even if I do, in my new fridge and freezer dream minimalist utopia, none of them will be hiding away never to be seen again until it’s too late.
The thing I miss the most is ice. Ha ha. This is a good thing because I’ve always heard that problem drinkers don’t use ice. However, if the ice man cometh today, I might just have a problem not having a problem in celebration.
If you know what I mean.
Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at email@example.com.