Credit the contents of our freezer for the most illuminating insights during last week's blackout. Every package of ancient frozen peas, every nearly empty box of popsicles, every container of leftovers was an artifact of what were once my highest aspirations. At first, our put-it-in-the-fridge-and-don't-think-about-it-again style worked for us. While the contents of everyone else'sfreezer slowly melted, ours was so stuffed it was like the tundra in there. So much for those goody-two-shoes-monthly defrosters.
But, as it turned out, we were among the last to get our power back - Friday night - and all those pent-up edibles were starting to dribble. It was time to suck it up and empty the damn thing. What I saw when I reached into that box of limp digestibles shocked and amazed. To what lengths - I wondered as I lifted out a container of last summer's chili sauce - will we go to try to avoid confronting the waste we're responsible for? Is it some ancient hoarding instinct or fear of famine that has me stuffing all this debris into the deep freeze?
Consider the six containers of ice cream that tumbled off the bottom shelf, each with half a teaspoon of pastel ooze left in its crushed shell. What possessed me to think I had to save that last pathetic bit with its icky icicle-crusted coating? And did I need a fridge map to remind me that every laughable leftover we've shoved in there pushes the ice cream way back into the nether regions.
Perhaps it's the fear of facing the garbage. Maybe the empty containers will wind up filling up a bag and we'll have to tie it up and cart it off to the rotting can outside.
Then, evidence of my noble culinary aspirations. I seem to have frozen chicken stock, three large containers of it, five years ago, in the hopes of having it on hand should the need arise. It never did.
There were shattered pie crusts, a relic from the day I fantasized I would bloom into a baker; some very grey stew hidden away; and individual servings of raw fish in full sight on the freezer door - there for an emergency, of course, but, alas, now too late.
Bonus: Though I'm still solving the mystery of our missing tupperware lids, I did recover a ton of complete containers - bottoms and tops.