I was just reading this post about three things which are always in the author’s fridge, and it got me thinking. Now, if I were to answer that question it would be very boring. The three things which are always in my fridge are milk, cheddar and olive oil spread, and sometimes I run out of one of those. I just did a quick count and my fridge currently contains fourteen items: milk, mayonnaise, cheddar, tomatoes, mushrooms, olive oil spread, eggs, mayonnaise, two types of jam, honey, lemon juice, tomato ketchup and some cranberry sauce left over from Christmas. I consider that fairly well-stocked.
Don’t forget, I also have a freezer. That’s where most of my food is: already cooked and portioned, ready to be defrosted and heated up each evening. Things which don’t need to be kept cold live in the kitchen cupboard. I’m not starving to death by any means.
But I do wish I had more food in my fridge, because that would also imply that I had more people eating it, and more time to cook it. I would love to have a fridge bursting with fresh vegetables, left-overs from last night’s dinner, snacks and treats and things that will get eaten before they become sentient. A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about my short-, mid- and long-term goals and realised that they can all be summed up by the desire for a kitchen. Short-term, a kitchen with fewer than 14 people using it. Mid-term, a kitchen with just me and my family using it. Long-term, the kitchen of my dreams. All my other hopes and ambitions are embodied in those dreams.
The empty fridge, though, is an even more clear image of things I’m looking forward to changing in future. My approach to meals is keeping me healthy and nourished while I’m busy with other things, but I do get a bit tired of the sameness of eating from a necessarily limited selection of meals. There’s only so much space in the freezer, and it makes sense to cook large batches of the same thing.
In three weeks, term ends and I will have a little more breathing space. I’m planning on making another lasagne or several, and a couple more pies, because those were delicious. I’ve got some interesting recipes lined up to try out and a few old favourites will be sticking around (spaghetti with “meat”balls and blue cheese is still one of my favourite meals). I will still not be able to spend an hour cooking each night, preparing vegetables and cooking sides to go with my main course, because at that rate I’d not be eating before 9pm. Student life is a funny old business.