Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Communing with My Mystical Fridge

So you know how most of the year if you want something chilled in Boston you just have to open your back door for 5 minutes and the frost begins to form? I think that those times of year would be a GRAND time for a person’s refrigerator to give up the ghost. It would be so easy to keep things cold – just set them outside your back door and whenever you need some milk or cheese or mayo you could fend off the occasional curious squirrel to help yourself.

But that’s not what’s happening Chez LaLa. Noooooooo. The fridge at my place has chosen a muggy warm season for its holiday (don’t we all) so when my food begins to warm up I have to throw it out – or find it another home.

For a few hours last night I was in the midst of what felt like a very surreal chapter in a long saga entitled ‘Living with Your Sly Fridge.’ I got home to find that my apartment reeked of some mechanical oil smell – this made me think the Fridge Repairman had been by. But when I opened my fridge it was dark and warm, and the freezer (formerly working just fine thanks) was also dark. I called Landlord. He called me back. He said, “The fridge is fixed, but we have to leave it off and open for 2 days.” Um. I’m sorry, I don’t think I could have heard you correctly. If a fridge is fixed, doesn’t that mean it … should… work… ??? Silly LaLa, so clearly NOT a Fridge Repairperson!

(At this point I went off into a reverie, picturing what my Fridge Repairman might actually have looked like, and what spells and incantations he might have said to produce this strange result. I pictured tall white socks, short black shoes, blue shorts, a big belly, long hair, and a Macbeth-like chant on a heath along the lines of “Eye of newt, toe of frog, make this fridge, cool like fog”. Hey, if after 2 days of enforced warmth my fridge refuses to chill, I may try that out on my own. Sans socks.)

Anyway. For whatever reason my deeply sensitive fridge requires a day or two of ‘space’, or ‘down time’ in Fridge parlance. Even though I am quite skeptical that these two days will end in successful refrigeration, I know that the only way to prove to Landlord and Fridge Repairman that this STUPID IDEA is a STUPID IDEA is to give it a go. So last night I had a small window of time in which to save whatever food was left worth saving in my fridge and freezer. (Landlord helpfully asked, “How much can you eat for dinner?” Well. Usually an impressive amount, but NOT THAT MUCH, sir. Thank you.)

I used to have a staff member in my department who couldn’t keep track of her keys. I called her the Easter Bunny of the Keys because she’d just move through her day, leaving keys here and there. It was almost sweet. Well, last night I was the Easter Bunny of Refrigerated Goods. I took bags of food to all sorts of neighbors’ kitchens and stuffed them in whatever chilled corners I could find. Landlord’s Son lives across the street so he took a few things. My good friend and neighbor Miss Krafty took more than a few. They shall definitely be rewarded with fresh baked goods once my kitchen has returned to working order!

The rest of the evening was spent disposing of things that were way, way, waaaaay off. Sweet mercy! I will not even try to describe to you the almost tangible soup of smells that I had to get through to clean out that fridge.

Also, I will not try to describe to you the incredibly circular and ultimately fruitless conversation I had with my roommate trying to explain all this. She missed all of Landlord’s explanations (which I call by that term only out of courtesy) so I had to try to recap for her over the phone (in time to save some of her food) and when she got home (and could see our gaping warm fridge for herself). Since I didn’t understand The Official Explanation myself, I apparently failed to make sense when I tried to explain it to her. And English is her second language. Gestures and eyebrow raising were utterly useless in this instance, despite all our best efforts.

This morning’s update: My sister’s fridge freezes in all compartments. My fridge is dark and open and communing with the (very warm) Boston universe and is predicted to start cooling again sometime in the near future. Roommate has embarked on a foolhardy experiment with room temperature soy milk. My cats are nose-detecting all kinds of data out of my once-chilled-and-filled, now empty vegetable crisper and cheese drawer. And now that I can't keep dairy or leftovers in my fridge, I am simply DESPERATE to cook, filled with all sorts of culinary inspiration and innovative ideas. I'm sure they'll evaporate as soon as Fridge starts working again. Like in a week or so.

1 comment:

Pumpkin said...

There is nothing worse than a broken fridge!! ....I feel for you. Hopefully it'll be working soon, especially as having read the post where you give tips on surviving hot weather and you mention the jammies in the freezer, I know it must be murder for you.
I shall pray to the god of refrigerators can only help right?