In honour of the new season that officially kicks off tomorrow, I have gone on a cleaning rampage! It all started in the bookshelf. I’m trying to pare down all of the stuff I don’t want to have cluttering up my space anymore and preparing it for a garage sale with profits going to my fundraising efforts for the Friends For Life Bike Rally to raise money for Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. The momentum slowly but surely moved to the kitchen, where the pathetic situation in my fridge stared at me like a monster muttering obscenities under the din and hum of the cooling mechanics every time I opened the door.
For a chick who really likes food, the state of her fridge was unacceptable by any standards. Lemons who hadn’t seen the light of day for weeks, dried up, and moldy at the stem end; carrots from the garden that had been saved for a special occasion since only a few of them had grown at all, left forgotten and guilty in the crisper; jars with months old pomegranate juice and expired bottles of kefir with only a tablespoon or two left in them, slighted since there wasn’t even enough to bother opening.
Down on hands and knees, it was time to take care of business and lighten the shame of my ice box. I popped everything stock worthy into a pot with a chicken skeleton from the freezer and let it bubble as I went about other tasks. I filled my green bin twice with putrid duck fat renderings, rancid flax seeds, and half a head of lettuce a child would have nightmares about. A few things from the lost and found department were unearthed in the process… Hooray for the bonus bottle of gin I found at the back of the freezer behind the chicken skeleton – to go with the sidelined tins of tonic water now poised and awaiting consumption with friends. Scrubbed and sanitized, I chose the bare necessities, the jars and bottles I could never live without, and placed them neatly on the shelves. I cursed myself, for I only have myself to blame now, living on my own, of the waste, my privilege, and considered all of the hungry people in the world.
If I were from Iran, I’d be celebrating my New Year now, so I will adopt the Persian that so many people mistake me for anyway for a moment, and take this opportunity to make a resolution. The fridge is my sacred place. I will treat it with dignity and respect. I will not waste a morsel, nor burden it with unnecessary condiments. I will not impede its function by storing and forgetting about the things I so carefully placed in Ziploc bags in the freezer at the height of their season, and instead will start to part with the precious commodities by utilizing them in my everyday meals. I also resolve not to buy so many things in bulk and pretend that I could eat all of it in the following few months, because inevitably I will become inspired and excited by different things and will no longer want to have blackberries in every seed laden smoothie I make for the rest of the winter. I will clean up unfortunate spills when they happen and before they become sticky. I will use fresh items while they are still fresh and have a plan for the vast majority of the items that I will carefully place on appropriate shelves and drawers according to type, height, and urgency. I will do this instead of what I have gotten into the habit of doing, which is to purchase completely disconnected ingredients because I think they’re cool, or have wanted to support a farmer I really like, or because it was convenient. I then have to choose my own adventure each evening with a cacophany of items with which I experiment. Experiments, as we know are called experiments because we do not know what the results will be. We can predict, we can formulate our hypothesis, but experiments sometimes result in meeting the hypothesis, sometimes not.
Alright Spring, you can come now! Nothing to be scared of here!
Now moving on to the dining room table/office/dumping grounds………. May the force stay with me.