A friend once told me that she found there to be something “very restful” about a freezer full of meat. Though I am more or less vegetarian, I see what she means. There is comfort in knowing that, come exams, crummy boyfriends, lectures on parasitic arthropods, or Hurricane Irene, my roommates and I still have ample, if not healthful, provisions. If meat is restful, are other foods festive? I’ve been feeling a little down lately, so I thought it might cheer me up to make a list of everything in my refrigerator.
Though we have little in the way of bread, there’s a veritable city of condiments racked on the door: ketchup, Sriracha, salsa and peach jam, apple butter, pumpkin butter, cashew butter, butter. Two packets of soy sauce, four of duck sauce and an equal number of active dry yeast litter the butter dish. There’s tomato paste and curry paste, a jar of whole grain mustard for when we feel fancy and a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup for when we don’t.
The vegetable drawer, though more suburban than the condiment rack, hosts a stable population of carrots, apples, half a green pepper, broccoli, Swiss chard, thyme, half an onion, one yellow squash, hot peppers, three lemons and a zested lime.
Should we be thirsty, we’re in luck. Four liters of Canada Dry ginger ale await the Wild Turkey in the freezer (and the following day’s upset stomach). There’s lemon juice, lime juice, a gulp of Orangina, a sip of Coca-Cola and a forty. For the Anglophile, there’s a juice box of Ribena, the famed black currant drink enjoyed hot or cold by generations of British schoolchildren. (Don’t be fooled by its claim to contain four times the vitamin C of oranges, however. Two New Zealand high school students who tested the nutrient levels of the beverage in 2004 found it to harbor a scant 22 milligrams per 100 milliliters of the good stuff.)
For those who prefer a Continental flavor, there’s half a jug of Carlo Rossi Sangria for the taking. Be warned, though—that second jug is full of coffee that merely tastes and smells like Carlo Rossi Sangria.
For those who don’t take their coffee black, there’s a half gallon of Organic Valley two-percent milk as well as an inch or two of whole milk purchased from the Howe Convenience Store one stumbling morning when I discovered that there was nothing to put in my coffee besides my vegan roommate’s soymilk. There is very old cream cheese and very old vegan cream cheese, plain yogurt and plain soy yogurt. We have Asiago cheese for pasta, two varieties of cheddar for sandwiches, and Ski Queen Gjetost cheese, originally for my housemate’s Norwegian boyfriend and now for mousetraps.
Sometimes I look into my refrigerator and realize it is packed full of absolutely nothing to eat. Today, however, there is hummus and applesauce, leftover sweet potatoes, a bag of tortillas, a bar of chocolate with the corners nibbled off and, of course, baking soda—for freshness.