Keeping My Cool | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published August 5, 2006 at 8:47 p.m.

Our fridge broke today. Or rather, it became temporarily disabled for a 24-hour period (we hope). It's 20-plus years old, and not the most efficient piece of machinery, and about every year and a half it just gives up and needs to be unplugged for awhile. I'm hoping that's the case again this time.

Gahlord wrestled the fridge out from the wall and unplugged it.  I wrestled it back, then spent a big chunk of this afternoon cleaning things out of it, and thinking about the preposterous amount of frozen and canned edibles I tend to stockpile. My grandfather lived through the Great Depression, and as an adult took a very long-term approach to shopping. Whenever I visited him as a kid I was amazed to see he'd filled not only the pantry, but an entire auxiliary room with canned and boxed food. I'd find plastic bottles of soda in the linen closet, and huge economy packages of toilet paper under the spare room beds. My mom inherited this approach to a lesser degree, and passed it on to me, particularly with regard to edibles that need to go in the fridge. It is rare to see empty space in our icebox. 

I wonder at the usefulness of the hoarding instinct.

The fridge had already been off and cooling for at least 20 hours before we realized the situation, and with the localvore challenge, it was pretty frustrating to think of all of the farmers' market produce, U-pick berries and local dairy items I'd tracked down gradually going bad. Gahlord had been given a pork roast from a pig raised by a friend of a friend in the Northeast Kingdom, but that was in the freezer, so I'm pretty sure it's still OK.

Two friends volunteered temporary fridge and freezer space (thanks, Mandy and Angela!), and hopefully tomorrow all will be back to normal, albeit a little less stuffed-to-the-guppers. I hope to maintain shelf visibility henceforth.

In food-related news, last night Angela hosted a grilling party at her house, where about adozen folks consumed locally made tempeh with veggie cream gravy, potatoes,salads, grilled zucchini, homemade potato-and-beet chips, polenta, moreof the buffalo (not beefalo, but actual buffalo) and turkey burgers,and lots of corn on the cob. I made blueberry pancakes this morning. They were yummy, and that's really what I've been eating all day.