Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Now it's working....

now it's not.

That is the punch line to a tired old joke about women and cars and windshield wipers, but it sums up a  revealing episode in the life of the AustinAgrodolce household.

As I was hunter gathering in the auxiliary garage refrigerator for dinner ingredients, the refrigerator light went out.

No worries - I've replaced many an appliance bulb in my day.  AND we happened to have an extra on hand.

I fetched it and replaced it and nothing.  Nothing but gloom and food in there.  Then I noticed there are TWO light bulbs in that refrigerator.  Hmmmm.  That still didn't mean the new light bulb ought not work once it was screwed in.  But it wasn't.

And what are the odds TWO light bulbs would burn out at the exact same time?  It might seem logical that both bulbs turn on together and worked the same amount of time but in my experience that just never happens simultaneously.  Light bulb union rules or something.  You can put three bulbs into one fixture and each one will burn out on its own schedule.

I checked the freezer.  Heyyyy - the light bulb in the freezer was burned out too?

A tiny light FINALLY went on in my dinner prep distracted brain.  The refrigerator wasn't working.

As in broken.  As in a lot of food was going to go south as the temperatures slowly climbed.

I called in the heavy artillery.  The Hub checked the plug.  No help there.  All plugged in.  He checked the light bulb.  Nope.  Having a man screw that bulb in was no help at all.  The refrigerator was still kerflunken.

After determining there was no way to arrange for same day delivery of a replacement refrigerator (and even if we could borrow a truck to fetch one home today there'd be haul off to arrange so we bailed on that idea) we bit the bullet, consulted the runes, the tea leaves, Consumer Reports and ordered ourselves a new backup refrigerator to be delivered Monday.

I busied myself moving the expensive proteins into the kitchen refrigerator while The Hub wondered aloud (because surely he wasn't speaking directly to ME) how I'd fit it all in seeing as both refrigerators and freezers had been pretty doggone full to start with.

Little did he know that I had begun storing nuts and grains in our freezers and not too surprisingly, since I don't keep my freezer in proper order to be able to easily see what I already have on hand, I have (cough) one or two extra packages of almonds and pecans on hand.  I figured I could take out all the non-immediately-perishable items from both freezers, move the proteins and frozen foods over to the kitchen, and the only leftover consideration here is that I now have two frozen pizzas that have become "what's for dinner tonight".

But my point here, (and I really have had one), is that putting all those nuts and bags of barley and polenta and coconut into one place has shown me that I may have a teensy OverStocking problem.  There are a couple of bags of stuff in there that I am pretty sure I might never use.  Sad but true.  I mean, if I can't remember buying the barley (or why I thought I needed it in the first place) I am fairly certain the odds are low I'll actually NEED much less want barley anytime soon.  And why I've ended up with three bags of black eyed peas is a bit of a mystery.  We like them just fine but three bags?  Really?

So.  It is a new day (or afternoon anyway) and a new dawn and I am feeling filled with resolve.  I will clear out the stuff I know I'll never use (once more with feeling) and toss out any foil wrapped packets I cannot identify or remember.  I will make room in my freezer once again for the food we actually will EAT and I will stick to the program to only buy items I intend to serve for dinner that same week.

As we all know, the first step to solving a problem is recognizing that it exists.  Boy oh boy do I recognize this one.  It is spilling out of a cooler onto the kitchen floor as I type this.  

How about you?  Your refrigerator all neat and organized and filled with foods you use up regularly?  No random ingredients or impulse buys in there taking up space?  (and if not maybe I can borrow some of your space...just temporarily......)


Iris said...

Sorry to hear about your refrigerator failure! I share a bit of your overstocking tendencies but don't have an extra refrigerator so am forced to edit fairly regularly.

I agree, three bags of blackeyed peas seems a bit much. And I'm not sure I've ever purchased barley.

That said, only cooling what you plan to eat that week is seriously spartanly! What about pickles and mustard? Weird chutney you tasted once 18 months ago?

TexasDeb said...

Thank you Iris. Pickles and mustard won't perish if they reach room temperature for a day and hey - we LIKED that chutney!

If you'd like to try some barley just let me know. I happen to have some extra on hand and (for once) I know exactly where it is. I could put my hands right on it...

Kathleen Scott said...

Oh Deb, I'm chuckling. We had a refrigerator moment last fall...and I know you'll understand the feeling: http://hillcountrymysteries.blogspot.com/2009/10/uh-oh.html

Sounds like barley soup time at your place.

TexasDeb said...

Kat that's just it - I don't have a barley soup recipe....at least not yet.

I am so glad my Texas readers at least aren't starting off with a "why would you need a second refrigerator" question.

We started out with one when the kids were little to staunch the steady flow of cool air out as they got drink (after drink after drink) during our 7 months of summer. Then we graduated to cooling a stash of beers and wine and well, you get the drift....