Sesame Chicken, Please

Jana Burke peered into the fridge. Same old bunch of celery, bag of baby carrots, not enough milk for a bowl of cereal, and leftover chili alongside the year’s worth of condiments that always manages to build up in the shelves on the door.

She blew her bangs across her forehead and rocked back on her heels, still holding the door open. At least I’m fortunate enough to be able to order out, she thought, slamming the poor fridge shut and reaching across the counter for her phone.

“Pizza or Chinese?” she hollered down the hall. No answer. She stomped back to Daniel’s room in her stocking feet and knocked on his door, chuckling a little at the thought that she was old enough to parent a teenager. After a moment of rustling, the door opened inward.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“Pizza or Chinese?” Jana repeated. 7eac64caabfeea155248ab641bace029.jpg

“Oh. Sesame chicken, please. And eggrolls. Thanks.” Daniel turned back to his desk, closing the door as he went.

Jana shook her head and dialed their favorite Chinese restaurant and sat down in her favorite chair as it rang.

Death of a Fridge

We’ve lived here nine years this November, and in that time we’ve gone through our share of appliances. Let’s see, two stoves, two washers, two dryers, one stand mixer, four or five-ish window units, even a thermostat and a blower motor for the 1978 heater. Does that count as an appliance? Don’t get me started on the plumbing and wiring. If it could be done half-assed, it was.

Last weekend, it was the fridge, our second. I don’t know when it died; I worked mostly evenings last week, so I don’t know the last time I was in the freezer before Sunday afternoon. Maybe Thursday?

I opened the door and thought, ‘hm, that’s funny, I could have sworn the freezer was packed.’ Then I touched the bag of ham stock. and it was not hard, or even very cold. Crap.

I quickly checked the refrigerator, which was still pretty cool. There’s that, at least.

I had to get Siri to text Ian because I was getting too frustrated with autocorrect. When he called, I was one-tracking away at him. The freezer is broken. We need a new fridge. The fridge is broken. I don’t know what I’m cooking, whatever’s most thawed.

Nothing gets to me like wasted food. Food is not cheap, and it’s stuff you have to have. Some weeks I live on leftovers because certain others in this household don’t want to eat it if it’s ‘old.’ ‘Old’ meaning more than an hour for some things, I’m not talking days or weeks here. Ahem.

Alas, goodbye yummy ham stock. Goodbye chicken stock. Goodbye chopped onions. Goodbye cream cheese ice cream (good stuff!). Goodbye zippy bags of soups and stews and beans. I cannot eat you in time to save you from the raccoons. Feast, raccoons, before the famine! For no trash shall be had next week.

Flour, yeast, and chocolate chips, thank you for being tolerant of this temperature shift.

After a trip to the trash can outside, the situation was not as dire as I’d feared. I asked Ian to bring home some ice and said we could go get the minifridge from storage in the morning. We hadn’t gone shopping for a while, and weren’t planning to this week, since we’re leaving Friday for a week at my parents’. Still, we had to get to eating.

Sunday night we had pork loin with a side of pork chops.

Monday night we had pork loin with a side of unfrozen frozen corn and unfrozen broccoli and cauliflower.

An aside of advice: buy the big pork loin and cut it up yourselves, guys, it’s cheaper that way. And you can make it the perfect size. Also, frozen corn tastes way better than canned.

Tonight there’s a slab of ribs in the oven and corn fritters to be made, leaving three packs of hot dogs in the cooler. They’ll snuggle up nicely with the juice, cheese, carrots, and condiments in the minifridge. And the inevitable leftover ribs.

At least Abby’s not here to whine about the small selection. She’ll be happy enough with chips and hot dogs Thursday night. And I’m sure she’ll enjoy peeling the photos off the old fridge with me.

Fortunately, the guy we got the dryer from last month is giving us a deal on a fridge next week when we get home, since he’s happy that Ian helps him unload the new one and load the old one. Make friends with your local secondhand vendors. We get a good deal on tires too.

Still, I had to throw away food. Ugh, that chaps my ass.