Last Sunday, just before my daughter left with her boyfriend to take some things to college, she mentioned that the refrigerator light wasn’t on and the refrigerator didn’t appear to be working.
I leaped into panic mode because:
- Getting anything repaired in Los Angeles is usually expensive.
- Getting anything repaired on a Sunday in Los Angeles is usually very expensive.
- I just bought a plane ticket to go back to visit family for Labor Day, which I probably couldn’t afford, and this was God’s way of showing me that, (in your best God voice) “Yes, it’s true Fran, you probably can’t afford to go anywhere, and I arranged for your refrigerator to break down to beat that into your thick head.”
Thanks God, I needed that.
Then Hamlet showed up. Hamlet was the repair guy from MK Appliance Repair, who not only came on a Sunday afternoon, less than two hours after I called him, but showed me that my refrigerator was not broken! We just had so much crap piled in it, a habit I picked up from my mother, that the air flow was restricted and therefore it wasn’t cooling like it was supposed to. And Hamlet replaced my refrigerator light for nothing!
The whole thing cost me 40 bucks. I almost hugged him, but it would have been a really awkward moment. In my joy, I tipped him five dollars,
The only bright spot in all of this was that Hamlet forced me to take everything out of the freezer so he could check it. It was a humbling experience because the contents of my freezer looked scarily like my mother’s, minus the small package of chicken feet she was hiding. Otherwise we could be freezer twins.
3 separate bags of grated cheese, one with less than a teaspoon of cheese.
Two very small pieces of frozen pie dough that, together, would barely even make a small tart.
4 bags of frozen bananas – some horribly brown, some hideously brown (the ones pictured are the hideous ones)
1 large bag of lemon juice left over from a wedding I catered last January
1 small bag of frozen diced quince from God knows when
2 leftover ham bones (I had to throw one out – it was like Sophie’s Choice for me)
2 bags of chopped walnuts
1 small bag of hazelnuts
1 mostly empty container of leftover pesto
3 bags of Nestle’s white chocolate chips (I’m testing a theory that they last longer if you freeze them after opening them — I’ll let you know the results.)
1 container of chopped peanuts
3 bags of coconut
1 container of leftover peanut butter icing
1 container of vegan coffee icing from a blog over a year ago – Dear God what was I thinking?
2 peanut biscotti – those had to be from Christmas!
1 bag of wheat buns
And that isn’t even all of it. That was just what was in the door of the freezer. I’m sure this proves I have freezer-hoarder syndrome. But, like my Greatest Generation parents, I hate to throw out perfectly good food. If I just baked a ham, I save the bone for soup. I do the same with chicken. If I make icing and have some leftover, I save it for the next cake.
I honestly can’t help myself. I can hear my mom’s voice in my ear. “Honey, dond a trow datta out — dattsa good a food!” I freeze nuts because they last longer that way. I freeze buns thinking I’ll make burgers, then never do. I make plans for baking things that never transpire – that explains the brown frozen bananas. Even as I type this I was thinking about how many eggs it would take to make lemon bars from that lemon juice I found. But I decided to chuck it all since the plastic probably leached into it by now and I’m better off without lemon bars anyway.
The good news is I just made delicious split pea soup from the ham bone that won the Sophie’s Choice decision. Here’s a link to an old blog post with that Split Pea Soup Recipe. It’ll come in handy this fall and winter. I’m also going to wash all my plastic bags, then dry and re-use them. Then I’ll figure out what to do with all the Costco ravioli in the freezer, pick out some recipes for the frozen fish, then tackle the frozen meatball problem, then probably pass out. But at least I’ll rest comfortably knowing my mother’s legacy lives on.