So it’s Day 1 of number 27, the ‘No Fridge’ challenge, as submitted to the list by my sister-in-law, Sandy.
“Piece of cake!” I said.
Living without a fridge is kind of hard. Sure, there are plenty of technicalities you could use to get yourself out of it, but that’s just not how I roll… (at least, that’s not how I roll this early into a challenge!) Walking up to the shops and buying refrigerated food seems very much like cheating to me. No, it has to be harder than that. And pieces of cake? They’re most definitely out of the question!
In fact, I’ve decided to take it to the next level and live without my microwave, oven, toaster and kettle too. I’ve restricted myself to the cooktop alone, and I’m already fresh out of ideas for what to eat. Do you know how many foods have refrigeration involved? It’s almost all of them, and I’m not even exaggerating. I figure I need to remain “blissfully ignorant” of the refrigerated trucks used to transport fruit and veg, otherwise I’d probably starve. (That, or be forced to live on a diet of Space Food Sticks and Fruit Fingers. Do they still even make those? I hope not).
Being the purist that I am, I’m trying to steer clear of foods that have been refrigerated at all (excluding the necessary refrigeration required for transportation across our great brown land).
For some (mildly disturbing) reason I feel like this challenge would be way simpler in North America. I’m sure my North American friends will correct me if I’m wrong, but my 6 months in Canada did little to dissuade me that they love their food decidedly un-fresh up there. I remember trawling the aisles of the local Canadian supermarket in search of juice and, unless I wanted the concentrated stuff (unlikely), I pretty much had to settle for tinned pineapple juice. Sure, it does the trick when all you’re trying to do is dilute the vodka, but when it comes to general consumption, let’s just say… it’s not my beverage of choice.
I awoke this morning entirely unprepared for the challenge, and was rewarded with a hearty breakfast of a handful of sultanas and some plain Doritos. It was hardly the breakfast of champions, but I figure the sultanas to be the very opposite of refrigerated and the Doritos? Well, before you judge me, they’re a relatively pure food consisting of corn, vegetable oil and salt.
So far so good!
Of course, I’m now suffering from what the Canada Girls will know as “Tostito Burn” (the stabbing pain brought on by excessive consumption of corn chips) and I shudder to think what my energy levels will be for my run tomorrow.
I was lucky enough to be in the city with Andy today at lunch time after a meeting, and thoughts turned to a quick restaurant meal. I’m sure the vegetarians and lactose and gluten intolerants among us will sympathise with my struggle among the many tempting menus along the Darling Harbour foreshore. You’d think I could find a single meal not requiring refrigeration at some level?
You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
Being Day 1 and all, I was almost empowered by the experience and compelled to return home to construct my own non-refrigerated meal. That was, until we were accosted on the street by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, who were looking to offload some seriously delicious-looking (but refrigerated) bags of chocolate money.
Oh God, why do you taunt me so?
I consoled myself by heading to the nearest supermarket to check out all the foods I could eat. We bought some bread, fruit, potatoes, and delicious tinned meat concoctions (which are soon to become our dinner). Andy eats these Campbell’s “Fully Loaded” tins for lunch all the time, so surely they’re not half bad? (Or, as a more optimistic person might say, “Surely they’re half good?”)
Time will tell, but my consolation prize came in the form of a positively angelic can of Coca-Cola, which had been set upon an unrefrigerated shelf. For a brief shining moment I could have suspected that all my Christmases had come at once…
That was, until I tasted it.
Look, lukewarm Coke is not to be sniffed at. I’m sure there are starving children in the World who would go coca-loca for a tin of lukewarm Coke. The air-conditioning in this joint was pretty fierce, so the Coke wasn’t even half bad.
Spoken like a true addict.
Anyway, pathetic addict that I am, I chugged my Coke and hightailed it home to turn my potatoes into substantially more appetising French fries. The best part is, I found a legitimate purpose for the tiny little tomato sauce packets that my cousin Mel sent me for the McDonald’s challenge. The big ‘Fountain’ bottle of sauce was lurking in an unfriendly fashion in the door of my banished fridge, so it was packet sauce all the way today! Success!
Truth be told, there are plenty of awesome foods out there that are not refrigerated. Thing is, when you live in Australia, it seems we refrigerate practically everything just to keep the bloody flies out. The only non-refrigerated thing currently springing to mind is… red wine… and, for that, I say “Hallelujah”.
It’s times like these when I am forced to look deep within myself and really think. Forced to confront the very essence of my being and just… be grateful…. be grateful that I’m not one of those weirdos who keeps their Vegemite in the fridge.
Do you keep your Vegemite in the pantry, or are you one of those weirdos who likes to keep it in the fridge?