Life Without a Refrigerator

Eating has grown cumbersome. It is a process i no longer enjoy and quite dread. It’s more of a chore than a reprieve these days. Anytime something is cooked it must be either perfectly portioned or babysat in order to prevent bacterial growth. A baked potato takes me 1.5 hours to cook. I’ve been eating a lot of potatoes lately as they keep well outside of the refrigerator. However, i usually make more than one at a time. Now i can’t do that as there is no refrigerator to keep leftovers in. So each potato is its own separate 1.5 hours of prep time. Apples and oranges can be eaten whenever and im thankful for them but they are more of a snack than filling. Pasta must be perfectly portioned to a quarter of the bag so that it makes one plate exactly because what am i to do with leftovers? Actually at times i do make a whole bag of pasta but then every three hours i have to add a cup of water to it and place it back on the stove to heat it again so that i can prevent it from going rancid. Every three hours i recook it until the final time that i let it cool, dump it in a ziploc freezer bag, take it to Fredericksburg, put it in the break room refrigerator while i work, and then thaw it on the car ride home to eat for some meal located half way in between when lunch and supper should be. Because there is this effort to keep the pasta from going off before i can eat it, once i make it i must eat it for supper, then breakfast, then supper again. I get tired of eating the same thing for three meals in a row but the sooner i get rid of it the sooner i can stop babysitting the thing trying to make sure it doesnt grow things and also doesnt congeal and stick to the bottom of the pot. I’ve gone from three meals a day to two. It’s just easier that way. Im not hungry for three meals and i cant handle the effort of planning three eating sessions. I eat once in the morning and once in the afternoon. This is simply what must be done for now. Wednesdays are the one day a week that the county produce warehouse is open. I still go but i can only buy things that will keep well outside the refrigerator: onions, potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, apples and oranges. I considered buying a 12 cubic foot refrigerator vs a 20 because then i could fit it in my suv and get it to the property myself. I wouldnt have to wait a month for delivery. I then realized i hadnt thought of who was going to haul the old one away…. Also, the 12 cubic ft fridge was still a hefty 146 lbs. i would need a dolly and a second person and i still couldnt lift the old fridge over the threshold to get it down the stairs and into the yard. I remembered how awful it was to have a random laundry unit in the yard for a year and didnt want to return to this aesthetic. Half of the attraction of the 12 cubic ft fridge was that it was a vintage themed fridge with a powder blue exterior and a vintage door handle. I thought to myself, “This will help me budget. If it wont fit, i cant buy it. Im one person. I dont need more than 12 cubic feet of food a week.” In fact most of my 20 foot fridge just holds dishes im procrastinating washing. I just throw them in the refrigerator to keep them from needing attention urgently with the idea that i’ll tend to them later. After reading all the concerning reviews of the particular brand and realizing that my patients had the same brand of mini fridge in their rooms, i interviewed my patients and realized that these were crap fridges that never ever worked right and often leaked water or had insufficient seals on the doors. I gave up on the idea of the vintage themed slim fridge. I called around and realized if i went with another company it would be december 7th before they could get me laundry units and never before they could get me an out of stock fridge and they didnt offer take away services either. I was stuck. There was nothing to do but wait and try not to food poison myself in the process. My family member from the city said, “well wait until it gets a bit cooler and then you can just keep all the food outside”. In Texas, she means to say wait until december or january…and the refrigerator is supposedly available before then. Also, the idea that food is going to be kept outside and not immediately raided by little masked bandits if not every other living creature in the woods, is a very concrete jungle thing to say.

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