Gerard’s Blog: Opining the Fridge

Just a couple of days left on “The Program.”  Regardless, I expect that much of our diet will remain unchanged:  we will continue to support local agriculture as much as we can, not only because the quality and nutritional value is superior, but also as a means of economic support for those locals who are making the effort, despite the unlikely odds.

But there is still this unshakable craving for convenience and sugar and salt.  I can’t recall whether this preceded “The Program” or not, but I have taken to late night cravings.  I find myself drawn to the kitchen, looking for that little something to cap the day off.  Something that says, “Well done, now enjoy this!”  A treat.

And usually, a quick survey of the fridge immediately discloses to me those food items of low interest.  Sometimes I just can’t place that unmet desire, and I then go through the process of elimination, trying one thing at a time in a desperate attempt to hit the nail on the head. And it is clear to me that we are not all wired the same. 

Last night, as I stood forlorn in front of the open fridge, all I could hear was the quipping of Suzanne, “why don’t you have some of that moose liver pate?  It goes really well on that bread I made.”  (The bread is hard, dark, flat, dry and about 2 weeks old.)  Then, without losing breath, she lists off my options in a speedy staccato: “Go down to the pantry and get some bottled moose meat so you can boil up a soup.  There are chicken carcases in the freezer that you can boil up to make a nice broth.  Try a mug of hot water; maybe you’re just thirsty.  There is some kefir in the fridge. Have you given any thought to the possibility that your late-night cravings might actually be the body’s misrepresentation of just being tired?  Why don’t you heat up some milk and froth it?   I don’t understand why you don’t like frothed milk when you readily eat cheese, yogurt and ice-cream by the gallon, and they all come from the same cow.  Why don’t you like frothed milk?  Why don’t you learn to like it?  I don’t understand!”

Meanwhile, I’m still transfixed in front of the open fridge, looking deep for dietary inspiration.  All I can see are various mason jars of partially decipherable identities and dates.  Many seem to contain whey, while some have meat products in them.  Others have floating berries in a cloudy fermenting solution, the only thing lacking being the skull and crossbones identifier.  There is something wrapped in cheese cloth, and intuitively, I highly suspect that I will not quench my craving by indulging in the contents within.  There are two jars of promising-looking cream but unfortunately, both are labelled, “SAVE!”  Two large gallon jars are filled with milk, clearly needing to be skimmed before being subjected to late-night culinary impulse.  There is a whole chum salmon thawing on a cookie sheet.  There is fresh Market Garden produce galore, including onions, zucchinis, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, radish and lettuce.

And in the deeper recesses of the fridge, there are the really dangerous things; the things that were failed experiments, still awaiting their final opportunity for recognition as potential marvels.  These nearly-missed-miracles-of-creation are obviously too precious to toss, regardless of their age.  Why, everyone knows that one more day of fermentation might be all that is required…

These are the items my eyes are casting over, while my ears are being assaulted by Suzanne’s diatribe about the easy access to perfectly valid snack material, all just at my misguided fingertips.  There is clearly a perceptional disconnect at play here.  It became poignantly obvious when, just as I thought these very same words, they were uttered by Suzanne: “I don’t understand!”

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